Author David Mathison returned to Belmont University this week to speak as part of the New Century Journalism speakers series. Mathison was originally scheduled to speak at Belmont on May 3, 2010, but postponed when Nashville flooding caused the university to cancel classes and events that day. The devastation he witnessed from the Nashville floods partly inspired Mathison to found the new fundraising and awareness event, Home Aid, to benefit the homeless and Americans who are affected by natural disasters.
Unlike many convocation speakers, Mathison opened his event by encouraging attendees to feel free to use their laptops, phones and other media devices to tweet or post status updates throughout his talk, noting that “Tweeting is reporting.”
He then let the audience determine the direction of his lecture, offering students the opportunity to hear more about the ideas in his book Be the Media or the plans behind the upcoming Home Aid event, which will be held this fall in Nashville and New Orleans. Following the students’ lead, he spent his time discussing the development of the Home Aid concept and the planning and promotion of the event.
Mathison’s book, Be the Media, was featured in the New York Times after he sold over 5,000 copies in 11 days via his web site, Twitter and Facebook. He has given keynote presentations everywhere from the United Nations to Columbia University, from Berlin to Cairo. From 1994-1999, Mathison was Vice President with Reuters, the world’s largest news agency, where he pioneered online content syndication. As founder and CEO of the Kinecta Corporation (now part of Oracle), he raised $30 million in under two years. Mathison is the executive producer of Home Aid, a virtual event to benefit the homeless and those facing foreclosure.