July 07, 2005

Words for a student

I know that those of us who love community journalism know the frustrations when students tell us they somehow see that as beneath them.

I wrote this to a student today who is interning on a small community paper but is chafing at all the goings-on in London. "With everything that is going on in the world, especially today, it's killing me to be covering the ground-breaking of the new senior center and (this town's) finest produce stand, but you do what you have to."

Just a thought: That senior center and produce stand are very important to a lot of people -- more so than what happened in London today. With one story, you're probably having a more direct impact on their lives than CNN, Fox, the New York Times ... and the networks combined. Just ask them sometime -- they really do arrange their lives sometimes by what you tell them. Think of that family that's been trying to find a good place for grandma to live or spend her days, the mother who wants fresh veggies for her kids. If you write with those people in mind, you'll make a difference, it will show in your work, and you'll eventually get where you want to be.
I wish I could convince more students of that.

(Cross-posted at Common Sense Journalism.)

No comments: