Where USF faculty, students and graduates are invited to talk about journalism and its problems and opportunities. This blog is not affiliated with the University of San Francisco, nor is the university responsible for any of the opinions expressed herein -- though it is certainly responsible for the people who entertain those opinions, having educated them. They make us proud.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Vrinda Speaks! Exercising My Blog-Given Right as Supreme Gatekeeper, I Put Her Comments on Center Court

Yeah I hear you Lia. Life can be rough in journalism and it certainly isn't about the money. I said that with idealistic positivity in college, before I had to pay rent and utilities and student loans. Now I'm just starting to feel used....do you know post people make more than me? Yeah, and the average person in the silicon valley makes about twice as much. At least it's easy to find someone to buy me a drink.

But I do have to say there are other sides to journalism than your horror story. Everyone told me I'd never start out in the Bay Area, but here I am in San Jose, my first real job out of college. And while I know daily newsrooms run at a high speed pace, forcing young reporters to choke out blurbs on boring city meetings....that's not necessarily true for weeklies or monthly pubs. There are other options out there! Don't dishearten aspiring students, because let me tell you, I'm writing stories that I choose, delving into ideas that I craft, and having a kick ass time meeting new people. I'm producing long form features on cultural movements and investigative digs with real impact on the community. It feels great and the satisfaction of seeing my name on the front page is totally worth all the unreturned phone calls and crazy people I have to deal with. Yeah, there is crap to weed out and frustrating hours when I'm trying to turn 10 thousand words of notes into a 3 thousand word feature that makes sense, but....I'm happy. I love my job. And that's more than some post people can say. --Posted by vrinda to USF Journalism Forum at 8/17/2005 11:39:17 AM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think I may be the middle person between Vrinda and Lia, working at a daily, corporate newspaper but very much coming from an alt.press background.
first of all, looking at the ciriculum for the minor, it looks like most of the folks on this blog should have a journalism minor from USF. I guess we just took those classes under a differnt academic tract.
and I don't really see a point in debating whether or not a jesuit university in the middle of one of the most diverse media markets in the country should have a journalism major. to not would be a disservice to the media community and the school.
There are some classes I know I could have used (or actually paid attention to), like editing, specifically the part on AP Style.
Lia's right -- students need to know the ugly truth about the profession but Vrinda's also right that journalism is so broad that there's a place for anyone.
Take the kids to city council meetings, make them work on deadline, make them accountable to theirs peers and sources, and make them conver, at least once, something they have no knowledge of or interest in (like t he library beat I was assigned to my senior year) and churn out a story. But encourage them with the knowledge that the daily grind for a small paper or corporate paper is not the only path. Alt.weeklies are in desperate need of actual reporters, not just ideologues. independent media is springing up everywhere.
doing the work that you love -- investigative, feature, niche -- is fulfilling, but hard to come by at first. It can happen -- and this takes hearing it from someone whose doing it successfully -- but it takes sacrifices. like eating ramen, missing dates, working a second job ont he weeknds and weeknights, and taking non-paying internships.
I don't think anyone enters this business for money. We all complain about the money, but obviously there's something that drew us to this job that made us outweight the financial burden it creates. it could be a love for writing, reporting, digging, investigating, telling a story that you don't think is out there, or siimply just telling a story.
I think that's got to be there first. that's what'll bring the kids. then let the kids know what's out there -- everything that's out there.
I didn't know I'd working for a daily newspaper in college but sure as hell knew I'd work for someone reporting on social injustice. so I worked for mother jones. which is in downtown san francisco. and part of me getting the internship at mother jones was interviewing their research editor for an assignment in my internship class.
I've taken much of what I've learned at Mother Jones, the center, AAJ, and everywhere else, and I'm applying it to my daily reporting here. because I don't like the way other reporters at dailies work. but I'm also sure I won't be at a daily forever.

from george, since I forgot my blog password