Here’s something completely unoriginal: you’re going to get flat-ass rejected, crushing whatever self-indulgent perspective you have on yourself, and then you will go some place magical and it will change you.
Here’s my submission to the #jcarn FAIL blog ring.
In 2003, I was an involved and eager high school senior who struggled to focus and was a lot more interested in creative side projects than studying or school work. I thought it made me unique and valuable. Turns out, it just made me a shitty student.
I grew up in rural northwest New Jersey, where the population was made up mostly of either generational residents or the extended foam of the New York City white flight wave. My parents were the latter and my family all lived in or around the 67th ward.
I wanted to go to college in a big city, without following the footsteps of my classmates or returning to ancestral roots, so I applied to colleges and universities throughout the Eastern Seaboard. I am wildly involved, have decent grades and, come on, I’m a total hoot, I thought, these freakin’ schools are going to be fighting over me.
Until the very thin envelopes from universities started to come in.
Continue reading Rejection takes you further than success: why getting rejected a lot brought me here
I’ve been invited to the Hardly. Strictly. Young. conference on alternative ways to implement Knight Foundation recommendations at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri [More on that later]. One of the fun precursors to the two-day event later this month has been participating in the Journalism Carnival of blogging, shepherded by conference organizer, Spot.Us founder and leather jacket-wearer David Cohn.
In January, I wrote about the role universities should play in creating journalism, and in February wrote about two ways to grow the number of news sources. In March, I was supposed to write on what the Knight News Challenge should do next and how the RJI fellows program could be a part of curating that innovation.
Fortunately, in being late, I can point to others who already did it better than I would. No, Cohn, this isn’t a cop out, this is cutting my losses. The undercurrent on both of these questions for me is that I’m not worried about the craft as much as I’m worried about sustaining the craft.
Continue reading Sustaining the craft, not developing the craft itself, should be focus of Knight and RJI
Universities should host the newsrooms of their neighborhoods, towns and counties. If a university has a journalism department, college media and audience, this seems like a foregone conclusion.
Picture Temple University. It is a big, diverse, robust, public research university with a clutch of respected professional schools and an expansive undergraduate population that has been slowly and controversially expanding into at least four different, distinct, overwhelmingly black neighborhoods around it.
When you drive south on I-95 east of Philadelphia at night, look off to your right while only the tallest skyscrapers are yet in view a few miles in the distance, the blur of bright lights made of a dozen square blocks and a cluster of high-rise buildings among a swath of stout two story row homes is the university’s main campus.
Halfway between those stadium lights and Philadelphia’s iconic City Hall is another beacon of light, that old White Lady, 400 North Broad Street, the legendary location of the Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister paper the Daily News.
Mood lighting isn’t the only lesson Temple should take from the investigators of the Inquirer.
Continue reading Universities should host the newsrooms of their neighborhoods