Beating the 22-second rule – connecting with readers

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The seminal week of the Urban Media Project camp at Upward Bound at IUPUI finished with a flourish.  Our reporters rocked – conducting Man-on-the-Street and one-on-one interviews and talking to IndyStar Managing Editor Ronnie Ramos about the future of journalism in a digital world. ‪#‎makingmediathatmatters‬‪#‎eagerandenergeticyoungreporters‬

Check out these reports from the first assignment and find out more about what it takes to connect with readers in a fast-paced information age:

By De’Monie Johnson

Indy Star managing editor Ronnie Ramos spoke to IUPUI Upward Bound students June 16 at the Indy Star office about what is it like to be an editor.

ln the Interview, Ramos explained that the world has changed drastically since he started in the news business. Ramos said that most newspaper businesses are done online and that has changed how consumers read stories.

“The engaged time is 22 seconds and that is the average amount of time someone spends on a story, so the headlines are critical,” Ramos said.

As the managing editor, Ramos looks for specific talent in the journalists he interviews and hires.

“The first things I look for is intelligence because you can’t teach intelligence,” Ramos said. “The second thing is versatility and drive because you need people in this business who are self-motivated.”


By Audree Nealy

“The first couple of lines is what makes the story,” IndyStar Managing Editor Ronnie Ramos said. ”So within that short amount time reporter have to tell the reader the important stuff – what really matters”.

On June 16, Upward Bound’s Urban Media class visited the Indy Star, and spoke to Ramos, who gave the class tips and tricks about the journalism business.

In the future he said with the influence of technology, journalism will be mainly be “…on your phones, and tablets.”

Ramos said unique content is good for news and most reporters only have on average of 22 seconds to get the reader interested.

“It’s not hard to get a job…if you’re good.”

Ramos has been working with the Indy Star for 37 years. He started off as a sports journalist and ended up being a managing editor.


By Jazmyne Keyes

Ronnie Ramos, managing editor of the Indy Star, taught the students of Upward Bound about what it takes to get the information out, to be a journalist and covering everyday life.

“I know what you’re reading online, for how long and what you think,” Ramos said. Students learned that on average a writer has 22 second to get a person’s attention before they leave the page.

Each story is different and you never know what you’re going to get. Getting the most important information out within the first 22 seconds is challenging, and that is why Ronnie Ramos said being a journalist is, “Unpredictable because you never know what will happen. You must be flexible.”

He also went on to say a journalist must be “intelligent and that can’t be taught. They must be driven and versatile.”


By Allen Johnson

Managing editor of Indy Star Ronnie Ramos spoke this past Thursday at the Indy Star offices about journalism in today’s world and what it takes to be a good journalist.

Ramos talked about how if you don’t put in time and have something to show, you won’t make it in today’s industry.

“I only hire based on experience,” Ramos said.

To be successful, reporters should when he was up and coming, Ramos worked on the school newspaper in middle school through college.

Ramos talked about how reporters should put their opinion aside because their opinions don’t matter.

“You can’t be biased; you have to show both sides.”





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