#savecomm

Barbara Allen Interview Transcript

00:45

we both signed up to take um advanced

00:48

news reporting this semester

00:50

and the class actually got cancelled

00:52

because there weren’t enough people

00:54

signed up to do it but the professor who

00:56

was teaching it is actually also our

00:58

advisor for our student newspaper

01:00

and he volunteered to do an independent

01:02

study with the two of us

01:04

that was nice yeah he’s pretty great but

01:08

he had kind of posed the question

01:09

because at the beginning of the semester

01:12

we got an email stating that fdu won’t

01:14

be taking newcom

01:16

students next year because we had

01:20

our like department chair retired at the

01:22

end of last year

01:24

and then one of our full-time faculty

01:26

members like left very abruptly before

01:28

the start

01:29

of the fall semester um and

01:32

now on the course listings for next fall

01:36

the third of our four full-time faculty

01:39

members isn’t

01:40

listed so we think he might be retiring but we aren’t sure

01:42

as well

01:43

but basically the school told us that

01:45

they want to kind of revamp the

01:46

communications program

01:48

and our professor kind of gave us this

01:51

idea and he was like

01:53

well why don’t we tell them how they

01:55

need to do it

01:57

that is smart and it’s smarter than you

02:00

guys to come up on it and that you did

02:01

the leg work for them

02:03

yeah um so we actually talked to our

02:05

university provost kind of about like

02:08

their vision and everything before we

02:10

reached out to like experts to try and

02:13

see

02:13

what other thoughts were and also just

02:16

trying to get a background of like

02:18

you know what does the future of

02:20

communications look like and

02:22

what actually matters for us who are

02:24

graduating with this kind of degree

02:27

okay tell me a little bit more about

02:29

your school where it is what the student

02:30

body is like what the area is like

02:34

jen do you want to go or you want me to

02:36

care um so as far as our school

02:38

it’s located in if you’re familiar with

02:41

new jersey it’s located

02:43

in hackensack slash t-neck it’s

02:46

it’s like 20 minutes away from like

02:47

metlife stadium to give it like a

02:50

a good visual of where it’s around as

02:53

far as the student body

02:54

it’s not the largest school but it’s not

02:56

the smallest school

02:58

i would say roughly like our total

03:00

enrollment is about

03:01

close to ten thousand but not quite i

03:03

may be even overshooting it just a

03:05

little bit because our

03:06

our school is separated into two main

03:08

campuses

03:09

as far as the one we go to i’m talking

03:11

about the one in hackensack and t-neck

03:14

but otherwise that’s pretty much it and

03:16

then it’s mostly like

03:18

we where we have our two campuses our

03:20

other campus is more specialized

03:22

and like the arts where it’s like

03:24

communications like the humanities all

03:26

that type of stuff where our campus

03:28

although it has those programs is more

03:30

specialized than like the sciences

03:32

and like education programs so that’s

03:34

like a little bit like

03:35

of a rough biopic of our school

03:38

okay is it is it a public school

03:41

no private university

03:46

why do people come to your school what’s

03:48

the number one reason for attending

03:49

your school i’m gonna be completely

03:52

honest right here it’s the amount of

03:53

financial aid that they give

03:55

that’s a hundred and ten percent the

03:57

reason people go there um

04:00

i know that like myself and jen was full

04:03

rides at fdu

04:05

and that was like my deciding factor and

04:07

everyone i talked to

04:08

has like fantastic financial aid

04:10

packages

04:12

why is that i’m getting somewhere with

04:14

this i’m not just like

04:15

quizzing you for my own interest

04:17

although it is interesting

04:21

i would say it probably comes from the

04:23

fact that a lot of donors so

04:26

right now they have this like two

04:28

campuses one university campaign that

04:31

they’re doing right now

04:32

um recently had a donation to our school

04:35

that was

04:36

quite large that they’re going to be

04:37

building a new building with

04:39

on our campus um so it’s i think that

04:42

the financial aid definitely comes from

04:44

the fact that they just have a lot of

04:46

money donated to the university

04:50

do you guys is this a guess on your part

04:53

or do you have any

04:54

research that indicates that you guys

04:56

have really high financial aid

04:59

yes so we actually looked at the

05:02

financial aid numbers

05:03

on our website um and that’s also

05:05

something that like when you go on a

05:07

tour at fdu

05:08

like one of the first things they like

05:09

tell you in like their little

05:10

presentation at the beginning

05:12

is that they give x amount millions of

05:14

dollars in financial aid every year

05:17

so it is definitely a point of pride and

05:19

it’s a well-known fact not just among

05:21

journalism students but other

05:24

folks yes okay

05:28

um okay that’s very interesting what

05:32

would you say the number two reason

05:34

people would come to your school is

05:39

probably athletics

05:42

so we are a d1 school and i specifically

05:46

know like

05:46

there’s a lot of um players

05:50

on like the baseball team or even

05:54

um not necessarily like basketballs like

05:55

our big thing but like baseball softball

05:57

those kinds of things

05:58

that were at like d2 schools and end up

06:01

transferring in their sophomore junior

06:02

year

06:03

to fdu because you went to school and

06:06

they got an opportunity to

06:08

go there to play yeah

06:12

i would definitely say between the two

06:14

it would definitely be

06:15

unless you do ask for the number three

06:17

reason as far as

06:20

as far as the number two reason it’s

06:22

definitely either athletics or like i

06:24

said where

06:25

our school is more specialized in like

06:27

we have like a lot of four plus one

06:29

programs especially for like

06:31

the sciences and education programs most

06:33

people who are going to fdu

06:35

are either going to like study like i

06:37

said within the sciences whether they

06:39

want to become a doctor

06:40

or some type of profession in the

06:41

medical field or it’s because they want

06:44

to become an educator and we have like i

06:46

guess a really good

06:47

close like program that

06:50

is able to get their foot in the door

06:52

faster rather than going to somewhere

06:53

else

06:56

okay i will stop asking questions now

06:59

and let you guys ask me

07:01

but if you come back to this i do have

07:03

some thoughts i do have some ideas for

07:04

you guys if i can

07:06

share those after you’re done yeah of

07:08

course

07:09

um so our first question for you it just

07:11

kind of we wanted to know like what your

07:13

journey in communication really looked

07:15

like to get where you are at pointer

07:17

today with kind of specializing in like

07:20

college and um university like

07:23

communications

07:24

okay well i’ll tell you i specialize

07:26

probably probably in empathy

07:29

if you really had to had to pinpoint it

07:32

a blind luck

07:34

uh the universe just lining things up

07:35

for me so i

07:39

i’ll try to be brief i’m the i’ll go

07:41

backwards i’m the director of college

07:43

programming for pointer

07:44

and that is a job that i created for

07:46

myself

07:47

based on needs that i saw i had come to

07:51

pointer three years ago

07:53

to be the editor of pointers website i

07:55

have no

07:56

freaking idea why they picked me to do

07:58

that i had no pedigree i mean my

08:00

co-workers are from like

08:02

the washington you know they came from

08:03

the washington post in the new york

08:05

times

08:06

one was the editor of the charlotte

08:07

observer which is one of the best papers

08:09

in the country

08:10

another was an emmy-winning tv producer

08:12

i have no idea why they picked me

08:13

because

08:14

at the time i was serving as the advisor

08:18

to a newspaper

08:19

at the college that i went to and had

08:21

been the editor there

08:23

so after i graduated

08:26

and spent about a dozen years in local

08:28

media i was lucky enough

08:30

to go back to my alma mater

08:33

serve as the advisor and then for a few

08:36

years i was also the like the director

08:37

of student media not like the academic

08:39

department but the

08:40

newspaper campus media department um

08:44

so with my background in like

08:48

higher ed i just noticed that pointer

08:50

had a lot of resources that weren’t

08:51

really being

08:53

i mean they were there but they’re kind

08:54

of passive you know and

08:57

i wasn’t really sure that students and

08:59

professors knew

09:00

how to access the materials if they

09:02

realized like how much stuff we made

09:04

with college students in mind and that

09:06

sort of thing

09:08

sorry i’m like huffing and puffing i’m

09:11

just getting my

09:12

my you know my uh pandemic walk in um

09:17

so that’s does that kind of answer your

09:19

question

09:24

throughout my career i worked with

09:25

students in one way or another and

09:27

um i had some

09:31

you know i’m gen x and there’s a lot of

09:34

um

09:36

there’s a big swath of gen x missing

09:38

from our nation’s newsrooms because

09:39

they’re the right age to

09:41

take a buy out switch careers

09:44

whatever in the last 20 years that

09:48

um newspapers have been struggling point

09:50

being

09:51

um you have your i’m being

09:54

speaking in very broad generalities here

09:56

this is not everybody

09:58

but you have your more baby boomer type

10:01

journalists who

10:02

are very um get a thick skin

10:05

toughen up kind of a thing which is fine

10:08

for them

10:09

because they’re not on twitter and they

10:10

don’t know how it works they don’t know

10:12

not to read youtube comments

10:14

um and then you’re missing a lot of gen

10:17

xers who

10:19

i think tend to be um

10:24

maybe i’m tooting my own horn i like to

10:26

think that gen xers have some of the

10:27

best

10:28

qualities that we we look for in

10:29

journalists you know

10:31

empathy patience a little bit of

10:34

reflective qualities

10:36

and so that’s i think that’s kind of how

10:39

i got to where i’m at

10:41

is that probably i just like to listen

10:44

and i’m not so egotistical as to think

10:46

that i have all the answers

10:47

or um can fix anybody’s problem really

10:51

sometimes what people need is just to be

10:52

listened to especially

10:54

um college students who are

10:58

at a really tricky point in life where

11:01

they’re trying to especially in your

11:02

all’s case

11:03

and you’re managing a student media

11:05

organization you’re trying to get a job

11:07

trying to maintain your grades sometimes

11:08

you have a part-time job

11:10

so whatever it is that you all love

11:11

about your advisor

11:13

hopefully i was that kind of advisor too

11:15

like

11:16

there’s a you know you like when we go

11:18

to like conferences and there’s other

11:20

advisors like we

11:21

we we can spot each other pretty quickly

11:23

you know like the

11:24

the good witches and the bad witches so

11:27

that’s my

11:28

that’s my communications journey okay

11:32

yeah our advisor um he’s been putting a

11:34

very big

11:35

focus on um kind of checking in with

11:38

everyone before we actually start our

11:40

meetings since everything has to be

11:42

online right now

11:43

so i think that was something that like

11:46

becoming editor-in-chief in the middle

11:48

of a pandemic was not what i expected

11:50

out of my college career

11:51

oh my gosh so that’s a lot

11:55

it is a lot um kind of having that like

11:58

family aspect at the newspaper has

11:59

really like

12:00

helped us a lot i think yeah it’s funny

12:04

i was

12:04

talking to somebody the other day one of

12:06

my friends from my newspaper days

12:08

who’s now the editor of a major metro

12:10

daily and i said like that was my family

12:12

like

12:13

i don’t because i have a child but he’s

12:14

in college now and she doesn’t you know

12:16

she’s not in journalism and i’m like i

12:18

don’t know where to tell her where to go

12:19

like when i was sad i just went to the

12:20

newsroom

12:21

you know that’s where my family was um

12:23

so that’s i think it’s

12:25

that’s the first step in you know if you

12:27

stay in journalism

12:28

i think in a lot of ways that that ethic

12:32

that ethos kind of kind of runs

12:34

throughout journalism that we’re kind of

12:35

a family so

12:36

anyway yeah um our next

12:40

question was um what would you say are

12:42

the top three most valuable skills for

12:45

someone who is looking to go into a

12:46

communications

12:48

um job to have whenever they graduate

12:52

like with the kind of job market that

12:54

we’re in right now

12:55

okay so you want top three skills i’m

12:57

gonna answer this two different ways

12:59

i’ll tell you my top three skills but

13:01

i’ll tell you first if you’re preparing

13:02

a dossier for your

13:05

like administration if i was advising

13:09

them i would say i’m a little suspicious

13:12

of what’s happening in your school like

13:13

i’ll be i’ll be honest and say like

13:16

you guys will probably be fine but you

13:19

need assurances from them that they’re

13:20

not going to just kill the program

13:21

outright or something

13:22

you know because that is happening

13:24

across the country

13:28

so you know when you go back i don’t

13:31

know i don’t know you’re all business

13:32

but i would just like

13:33

don’t tell them not to pull punches be

13:35

like if that is on the table then

13:37

let us know so that we can do some

13:39

research to help you tell you why that’s

13:41

a terrible idea

13:42

yeah um that’s actually like a very

13:45

interesting point because

13:47

when all this news like came out the

13:50

dean of our like actual school um is

13:52

stepping down now

13:54

so like he’s like the calm department

13:57

but also like the liberal arts

13:58

school as well um and he’s stepping down

14:02

at the end of

14:03

like this summer which seemed a little

14:05

sus to me as well

14:07

i mean you know i’m i’m like i’m such a

14:10

skeptical journalist i’m like

14:11

everything’s nefarious you know there’s

14:12

always a plot afoot

14:14

so i especially there’s a real us

14:17

thing with like administrators and

14:18

student journalists like well

14:19

administrators and students period

14:22

you know we’re here we understand things

14:23

to be a certain way

14:25

um we know things that you don’t know

14:28

well

14:28

yeah i know things that you don’t know

14:30

you know

14:32

they need to work with you to figure out

14:33

what you all need and you need to make

14:35

the case that

14:37

you know a journalism program is a vital

14:40

well hello

14:41

is a vital um part of any college campus

14:45

and the reason i was asking you all

14:46

those questions about why people come

14:48

there

14:49

here’s what i think is gonna here’s what

14:51

i think is administrators need to know

14:53

about the next 20 years

14:55

i think you’re going to see increased

14:58

specialities right like

15:01

i’m trying really hard to scrub right

15:03

from my vocabulary that’s like such a

15:05

middle-aged white woman thing to do so

15:08

if i do it again scream at me okay

15:11

just like hit a taboo buzzer or

15:13

something

15:16

you saw this with sports media programs

15:18

all of a sudden all over the country

15:20

were these sports media programs where

15:22

they recognized

15:23

that they could offer a journalism

15:25

degree

15:26

that would also teach sports hungry

15:29

youths

15:30

mostly men who wanted to be you know rub

15:33

shoulders with athletes

15:35

how to be sids how to be you know sports

15:38

agents how to be pr people for

15:40

teens and stuff like that i see that

15:43

expanding into like

15:45

like to use an example that i would

15:47

think about like where i lived where i

15:49

was from in oklahoma right in the middle

15:51

of the plains

15:52

we just happen to have a really rich

15:57

we had an abundance of all kinds of

15:59

energy we had

16:00

wind turbines oil and natural gas

16:03

petroleum

16:04

and coal and so we talked very seriously

16:07

about adding

16:08

an energy reporting certificate or major

16:10

to our program

16:12

and i think people are having those

16:13

conversations everywhere so what was

16:15

interesting to me is if like you held a

16:17

gun to my head

16:18

i would say right now there’s not a

16:20

journalism school that specializes in

16:23

reporting on higher ed which

16:27

what administrator would want to teach

16:28

you all how to blow the lid on what

16:30

they’re doing

16:31

but there’s so many issues

16:34

around higher education and just as an

16:37

example i just finished a course with a

16:39

reporter from the chronicle for higher

16:40

education which is a magazine like an

16:42

online

16:43

and print magazine that covers um higher

16:45

education america

16:47

we just did a long course on

16:50

understanding title ix because

16:52

title ix is used at every university

16:54

across the country

16:55

and yet most students don’t have a clue

16:59

what it is or how it works but guess

17:02

what

17:02

if you get you know uh

17:06

sexually harassed by a professor or god

17:08

forbid

17:09

you know sexually assaulted at a party

17:12

you’re gonna end up at your title ix

17:14

office probably

17:16

and then what so

17:19

circuitously what i’m saying is rough

17:22

gun to my head i might say hey

17:24

you know here’s a program that isn’t

17:26

offered in american journalism

17:28

it’s um reporting on higher ed

17:32

you know we are the only

17:35

institute in the country that offers a

17:38

certificate

17:40

and a minor in this you know growing

17:43

area where more and more reporting is

17:45

being done around the finances of higher

17:47

ed or the

17:48

hiring practices of higher ed so

17:51

you asked me about go ahead sorry no no

17:54

it’s okay i was just

17:55

i was just gonna agree with your point

17:56

because a little background about me is

17:58

i’m actually one of those people

18:00

that is wanting to be in the sports

18:02

media programs and when applying to

18:03

colleges

18:04

i saw that like how you said like it’s

18:07

becoming a little bit more specialized

18:08

in certain skills of reporting

18:10

or like obviously with me like my

18:12

specific major majors broadcasting

18:14

communications

18:14

with a minor in sports media so i

18:17

definitely think you echo a great point

18:19

yeah it’s just like give me a little

18:21

something that sets you apart from other

18:23

schools and the key of course is

18:25

will it bring in more money our sports

18:28

media program which is one of the first

18:29

in the country

18:31

we it was an embarrassment of riches we

18:33

had so many students we didn’t know what

18:35

to do with

18:36

um because because somebody at oklahoma

18:39

state thought of it first

18:41

you know all you got to do is think of

18:42

it first staff it

18:45

and hopefully the money will follow but

18:48

that’s what i tell you provost what i

18:49

would tell

18:51

you guys since you asked top three

18:53

skills um

18:57

i think everybody in journalism has a

19:01

little bit of a different answer to this

19:02

i think

19:04

um

19:08

i think data visualization the ability

19:11

to

19:12

collect tabulate and understand data is

19:15

really really huge

19:19

i think increasingly

19:23

i mean if you want to make a million

19:24

bucks here’s what you do you create a

19:26

journalism school that’s built around

19:28

fact-checking

19:28

nobody’s done that because the

19:31

proliferation

19:33

of miss and disinformation is going to

19:35

present a significant challenge to

19:37

democracy in our future

19:39

so we teach several

19:43

we have a certificate program we teach

19:45

several courses

19:46

to different age groups cater to like

19:48

their skill sets you know like you can’t

19:50

teach

19:51

like we actually partner with aarp do

19:53

you know what aarp is

19:54

yeah you do or you don’t i do

19:58

okay so we partner with aarp to teach

20:00

like media wise for seniors

20:02

a name that by the way this people in

20:03

the course hate which we should have

20:05

seen coming

20:06

uh we teach that totally different than

20:08

we teach like my campus correspondents

20:10

who do peer-to-peer training

20:11

who already know not to you know again

20:13

not to belabor the point not to read the

20:15

comments on youtube um so being able to

20:23

not just like like we confuse fact

20:26

checking in journalism with fact

20:27

checking

20:28

in against miss and disinformation fact

20:30

checking in journalism is very much like

20:32

a function of the copy desk

20:34

you know calling people making sure

20:35

their name is spelled right

20:37

fact checking is a little bit more of a

20:40

rigorous process

20:42

of tracing back specific information to

20:45

its source

20:46

so you look at something like politifact

20:48

sorry i just walked by a

20:50

busy street if you look at something

20:51

like politifact which was born

20:54

to call out uh politicians and the lies

20:57

they were telling

20:59

also like fun fact we don’t call it lies

21:02

we call it miss and disinformation

21:04

because lying

21:07

expresses intent whereas miss and

21:10

disinformation just labels it as a fact

21:11

stuff like that

21:13

so having some understanding of the

21:16

emerging art of

21:21

sussing of the practice of

21:24

of debunking i guess is the verb i’m

21:27

looking for

21:29

and for that you can look at these are

21:31

all pointer products

21:32

uh we own politifact we have the media

21:35

wise fact checking program which

21:37

started out as a program for teens and

21:38

college students and expanded to

21:40

basically everybody

21:41

and then we have the international

21:43

fact-checking network which is

21:46

um a consortium of international

21:49

there’s 80 signatories uh all across the

21:53

globe who subscribe to kind of the same

21:56

principles of like

21:57

what good fact checking is how you don’t

21:59

take money from advertisers how you

22:01

you know apply rigor to your debunks

22:03

things like that

22:05

that was two am i like just going way

22:08

too long here

22:09

you’re i’m not fine at all

22:12

i’m yeah i’m really enjoying this

22:13

conversation

22:15

well i do love to hear myself talk um

22:19

what’s the third most valuable thing

22:22

gosh

22:24

i mean

22:31

i i think just a general

22:35

set of like new media skills

22:37

understanding your way

22:38

around platforms that are

22:42

i’ll try to make this sound cool

22:45

someone who is savvy about story

22:47

presentation

22:49

in the sense that they understand that

22:50

stories are no longer stories

22:53

that information exists on a continuum

22:58

that may have sort of a

23:03

a curve graph of um information where

23:06

like the bulk of the work

23:09

is a is a printed story or a or a teleco

23:13

you know like a

23:13

television news package or but then

23:16

there’s going to be follow-ups there’s

23:17

going to be

23:19

social media campaigns around it there

23:21

might be

23:24

i mean to name a couple of examples

23:25

there was a um

23:27

there was a school up here like like a

23:30

reform in florida a reform school

23:32

for wayward boys and it turned out to be

23:35

a very very bad place

23:38

so bad that they had murdered children

23:41

and buried them on the grounds

23:43

and then told their parents that they

23:44

ran away and probably got eaten by

23:46

alligators and swamps

23:47

that place was open up until about 10

23:51

years ago

23:52

i don’t think they were murdering as

23:54

many students

23:56

uh in the 90s and 2000s but it happened

23:59

up through the 70s and 80s

24:02

that’s not one story you know and

24:05

that ends up being

24:09

it’s not a book it could have been that

24:11

ends up being a documentary

24:12

a series a pulitzer finalist

24:16

you know you end up going to speaking

24:18

engagement you know the authors of that

24:19

are on speaking engagements the

24:21

photographers get called all around the

24:22

country you’re like

24:23

you know so understanding that stories

24:27

and that’s that exactly i mean that’s

24:28

kind of always happened with big stories

24:30

but like

24:30

knowing that going into it just knowing

24:33

that stories

24:35

are part of a continuum how’s that

24:38

and i’ll shut up

24:42

okay um so our next question that kind

24:45

of

24:46

goes off just you know for our size of

24:48

our university

24:49

what would you say are kind of like

24:52

resources

24:53

that fdu should be investing in you know

24:56

i mentioned that we really are only

24:58

going to have one full-time faculty member listed

25:00

this fall that is from our campus

25:03

um but what exactly do they need to be

25:07

doing and putting their money towards to

25:09

make this program

25:11

better i mean the number one thing that

25:13

i knew is i need to be a member of the

25:16

ae jmc do you know what that is

25:19

i do not it’s the don’t make me let’s

25:23

see

25:23

it’s the ae american

25:26

educate it’s it’s it’s the um

25:31

what’s it called it’s it’s the governing

25:33

body if you will

25:34

for mass communication programs i would

25:36

not be surprised if you guys remember

25:38

i mean most journalism schools are and

25:42

it’s like

25:43

they they’re responsible for

25:44

accreditation do you know if your

25:46

program is accredited

25:47

i don’t think it is i don’t think it is

25:50

because it’s not specifically a

25:52

journalism program there’s just a

25:53

journal right

25:54

just within it so there’s aejmc

25:58

and if you poke around at ajmc there may

26:00

be a couple other

26:02

auxiliary groups with that um

26:05

but i think that having

26:09

having a um a professor or a dean or

26:13

whoever

26:13

who’s involved in that organization is

26:16

super helpful

26:18

um because it’s got

26:21

the networking possibilities there you

26:24

know meeting other people who run

26:25

journalism programs work in journalism

26:27

programs

26:28

people are very willing to help each

26:31

other out

26:32

like in journalism and in this

26:35

organization

26:36

sorry it’s about to get noisy here for

26:37

just a second

26:40

i’m gonna let these cars pass

26:53

what other resources i’m you know i’m

26:56

not an academic

26:57

so i’m not sure i’m best suited to

27:00

answer this question

27:04

um

27:07

i’m trying to think it’s totally fine if

27:10

you don’t have anything else we do have

27:12

like other people we will be speaking to

27:14

um somebody actually is a

27:17

doctor of communication that works at

27:19

arizona state university just got back

27:21

to us today

27:22

so that’s going to be definitely a lot

27:25

of help i think

27:26

um kind of seeing it from a bigger point

27:28

of view than

27:31

well in arizona state is going to be a

27:34

great person a great group to talk to

27:35

because

27:36

they have such a huge expansive program

27:38

that i know that there’s things that

27:40

they’re sorry that they’re missing on

27:41

because

27:42

they’re too big you know yeah so they

27:45

may have great advice for you like where

27:46

the opportunities are

27:48

for a smaller program so

27:51

our final question kind of is more for

27:55

our students who will be graduating what

27:57

advice do you really have for college

27:59

students who are entering the job market

28:02

within the next like two to three years

28:04

and

28:05

what do you personally think is like the

28:08

future of communications

28:12

oh my gosh um well i have

28:17

i have a bleak answer and i have a

28:19

hopeful answer

28:21

and you guys are the first person to

28:22

hear my hot take on this

28:25

um i think there’s a chance

28:30

if some philanthropists buy

28:34

the chicago tribune are you familiar

28:36

with this happening at all

28:38

um i actually does that what professor

28:40

kenny was talking about today in

28:42

classroom

28:44

he might have been i’m not that is what

28:46

he was talking about

28:48

so like without getting too far into the

28:50

weeds like journalism history like

28:51

journalism in america really started as

28:53

um

28:54

you guys probably already know this it

28:56

kind of went through this

28:57

these phases of ownership and we’re

28:59

coming out of a family ownership phase

29:01

and have moved into a um

29:04

where a lot of people like a lot of

29:05

families own papers

29:07

um the new york times washington post

29:17

the sacramento bee is a great example

29:18

because the family owned the sacramento

29:20

bee

29:20

was like this is going great it’s 1985

29:23

and we’re making buckets of money let’s

29:26

buy some more papers

29:28

so they did that and

29:31

usa today was born and gannett said

29:34

let’s buy you know we own usa today

29:36

let’s buy up some more papers

29:37

and so then you ended up with these like

29:39

corporations

29:42

and now what we’re seeing is

29:46

this corporatization of journalism has

29:48

really led to

29:50

i mean this is how crazy it is you okay

29:52

let’s pretend you own the chicago

29:54

tribune like you’re the publisher you’re

29:55

the owner of the charge review

29:57

and business is going really poorly and

29:59

it’s been going really poorly for a

30:01

while

30:02

and you get bought by a hedge fund

30:06

and a hedge fund is simply

30:09

i mean in its simplest terms it’s a it’s

30:13

a

30:14

it’s a entity it’s like a person or a

30:16

thing

30:17

that makes money for the people who

30:20

bought into it

30:22

it’s a it’s a perfectly clear legal and

30:25

effective pyramid scheme

30:26

so you sell the chicago tribune

30:30

to this hedge fund

30:34

and the people who work at the hedge

30:36

fund they do not give a

30:38

about the people who have worked

30:41

hard for you all those years

30:42

they don’t care about journalism they do

30:44

not care about democracy

30:46

and i’m this is not me being hyperbolic

30:49

this is the natural

30:51

offshoot of a capitalist system

30:54

for a lot of people making money

30:58

is the most important thing i too like

31:00

making money

31:01

i use it for things like rent and food

31:04

so i’m not even

31:05

shaming the pursuit of money in the

31:07

current america which we live

31:10

but you can put an extreme side to that

31:12

so when an organization that does not

31:14

care

31:15

about legacy media comes along

31:20

and they do the unthinkable thing where

31:22

they sell your headquarters

31:25

the beautiful downtown building that you

31:28

have been in

31:28

the skyscraper with the with the

31:32

gargoyles and the spires the thing that

31:34

it never even occurred to you to sell

31:36

you would never sell

31:38

that’s the first thing to go and now

31:40

that hedge fund has just made 25 million

31:42

dollars

31:43

on the sale of your building rents

31:46

repeat

31:46

they just they have torn through the

31:48

country buying up property

31:51

laying people off selling buildings

31:54

so that journalism is down to this bare

31:56

bones operation

31:58

okay that’s the bleak outlook it’s hard

32:00

to get a job

32:01

once you do get a job you don’t get paid

32:04

very well

32:04

it’s demoralizing but there’s a super

32:07

interesting thing happening in

32:08

journalism

32:09

where people are starting their own

32:12

publications

32:14

they’re having these little

32:15

entrepreneurial startups there’s god

32:17

there’s one in

32:18

flint michigan you gotta look it up it’s

32:20

this lady

32:22

and her kid was gonna don’t quote me on

32:25

this

32:25

but it was something like her kid or

32:27

somebody she knew or something was

32:28

getting sick from the water

32:29

so she quit her job to start her own

32:31

newspaper with like no formal training

32:34

sound pointer went to a couple pointer

32:36

classes and now she makes a living

32:38

not a great living but she makes enough

32:40

money through memberships

32:42

and subscriptions that she can go out

32:44

and do journalism she doesn’t have to

32:46

print a paper

32:47

she is not under any deadline she can

32:48

like do journalism whenever she wants so

32:50

point being

32:53

number one there’s light on the on the

32:56

horizon

32:57

because the big nasty evil you can quote

33:00

me on that

33:01

hedge fund that was set to buy chicago

33:04

tribune

33:06

is now being challenged

33:09

by some philanthropic buyers who

33:13

if they were able to purchase this i

33:15

think here comes my hot take

33:18

i think this represents a real turn in

33:24

the face of american media

33:25

it says citizens value

33:30

the freedom that a free press brings

33:33

they value the democracy that goes hand

33:35

in hand with the free press

33:36

they value it so much they’re willing to

33:38

fund it and they’re willing to put

33:40

resources into getting

33:42

um people to pay for it you know

33:44

subscriptions memberships that sort of

33:45

thing

33:46

so if you’re a student just coming out

33:47

of school you better know things about

33:49

entrepreneurship you better understand

33:52

how non-profits work

33:54

and you better have a really good feel

33:57

for

33:59

like the flexibility of jumping around

34:01

from place to place like

34:03

i’m gonna pitch in here i’m gonna pitch

34:04

in there there’s no company loyalty

34:06

there’s no

34:07

i’m gonna go get a job in 20 years from

34:09

now i’m going to be the editor i’m sorry

34:10

i went really long on that because i

34:13

hate alden that’s the evil hedge fund

34:16

that’s totally okay um i personally like

34:20

i’ve been feeling this frustration

34:22

because i felt like i was throwing

34:24

resumes into a black hole this spring

34:26

applying for summer internships and

34:30

i feel like it’s because like they don’t

34:33

care like it doesn’t matter what

34:34

experience you have it’s about

34:36

who you know not what you know for a lot

34:38

of companies

34:40

and it’s like it’s frustrating as a

34:43

student to try and get an internship

34:46

you’re here’s what i think you should do

34:49

go get this is gonna separate bananas

34:52

here’s what i think would be exciting go

34:54

get a part-time job at starbucks

34:56

enough and get a roommate don’t get

34:58

married tell all your readers don’t get

35:00

married

35:01

uh you’re too young damn it um

35:04

go get a part-time job at starbucks or

35:06

you know wherever i like starbucks

35:07

because they’ll help pay for school

35:09

and um i think that employer like loan

35:11

givers are more attractive

35:13

and then go get go strong go start your

35:16

own thing

35:17

go find something i mean we always talk

35:19

about this like oh the cool thing about

35:20

journalism is you can go wherever you

35:21

want you can

35:22

there’s journalism everywhere yeah there

35:24

is so if i’m in st petersburg florida

35:26

right now

35:27

and i really care about the ocean

35:30

let’s say for some dumb reason i’m going

35:33

to

35:35

find a way to do some reporting on my

35:37

own about a water issue here

35:40

and then i’m going to put it on the

35:41

internet and i’m going to ask people for

35:42

some donations for reading it

35:44

and a few people are gonna give me a few

35:45

hundred bucks and i’m gonna turn that

35:47

around i’m gonna buy a camera

35:48

right and now i can write stories and i

35:51

can take pictures

35:52

so i would really encourage students

35:54

right now

35:55

for the next two or three years to think

35:58

about

35:59

entrepreneurism as being more important

36:03

than polishing your resume

36:06

and getting that big internship do the

36:08

exact opposite

36:09

go do reporting that you really care

36:11

about teach yourself

36:13

get a little bit of business sense and

36:15

you’ll either get snatched up by

36:17

somebody who recognizes your genius

36:19

or you’ll be able to make it on your own

36:21

writing about the things that you really

36:22

care about

36:23

how’s that sound does that sound insane

36:25

that probably sounds crazy

36:27

um my mom literally said to me she was

36:30

like

36:30

this summer you need to make it what you

36:32

want it to be not worry about

36:36

like filing into the system that we live

36:38

in in america she’s always been very

36:40

like go after your dreams and do

36:42

happy she is a smart lady

36:45

even you know i i mean i i’m just one

36:49

person there may be other people who say

36:50

are you insane or that’s unfair you know

36:52

people have to support their

36:53

parents or they have children or

36:54

something like that so i do recognize

36:57

that doing that takes privilege

36:58

but if you’re a college student right

37:01

now

37:02

and you have access to things like

37:04

student media you know the cameras and

37:05

things like that take advantage and go

37:07

build out

37:08

and go do the reporting that you care

37:10

about and that you love right now

37:13

and have it ready to go when somebody

37:14

wants to see it or when you want to make

37:16

a case for a small business loan

37:19

to get yourself set up yeah 100

37:23

because as l said my mom is also the

37:25

same way about going towards your dreams

37:27

because

37:27

as you said before i’m going into a

37:29

field that’s predominantly male

37:31

1 and i just want to hit the door

37:33

running and

37:34

because a lot of these because i see how

37:36

the way like

37:38

sports is run a little bit and it needs

37:40

to be changed especially like

37:41

with recent like events with like the

37:43

ncaa and how they value females in the

37:45

sports industry

37:48

yeah so go right on that don’t even

37:50

don’t even wait for somebody to give you

37:51

an assignment go pick up a camera and a

37:53

pen

37:53

and go figure out a story around that

37:55

thing that you’re interested in

37:58

so our um final question of course is do

38:01

you have anyone else that you think that

38:03

we should talk to to help us further our

38:05

research

38:07

well i don’t know somebody who talks

38:11

less than me

38:12

um

38:16

hmc i mean it depends like if you want

38:20

advice for students going out into the

38:22

world then

38:23

yeah if you want advice or how to

38:25

rebuild your journalism program that’s

38:26

kind of two different things

38:28

um who would i have you talk to

38:34

i don’t know there’s this guy named

38:36

lawrence cunningham at the university or

38:38

at iowa state university who has kind of

38:41

built kind of a student media empire i

38:43

always talk to him about stuff

38:47

he’s found ways to

38:50

create revenue within his student media

38:53

department

38:55

to keep the campus newspaper going and

38:57

to give other students other

38:58

communication students

39:00

like pr and marketing experience

39:03

with a creative agency i think they do

39:06

like a photo booth rental

39:09

they do like client work pr agency work

39:14

who else there’s a really nice guy

39:18

there’s a really nice guy at the

39:19

university of carolina

39:21

unc university of north carolina who is

39:24

his name is deb and his last name is

39:27

akeet i think it’s a-i-k-e-t

39:29

anyway he’s the incoming president for

39:31

ajmc so if you don’t know

39:35

anybody at age amc i i would i would

39:39

start with him

39:40

um he’s really great he’s

39:43

he’s he’s he may be a little bit of a

39:45

character but

39:47

um he’s really great

39:50

i’m trying to think of some non-white

39:51

people also deb is indian

39:54

um i’m saying he’s indian

39:57

that is a little presumptuous on my part

40:00

he could be he could be from a number of

40:03

places i took him to be

40:05

um indian um

40:09

who else

40:12

uh you know find somebody at the

40:16

columbia school of journalism graduate

40:18

school

40:20

i think it’s the is that the craig

40:23

newmark

40:24

either columbia or cuny has the craig

40:25

newmark

40:27

uh graduate school i would talk to them

40:30

just say like you know

40:35

same questions

40:39

okay um yeah so

40:42

our like whole mission here is kind of

40:44

like you know

40:46

what is valuable to students and how

40:48

does that like apply

40:49

to our program and how does the program

40:51

need to be changed to fix that

40:53

yeah i see so thank you so much for your

40:57

time today

40:58

um i definitely thought that was very

41:01

insightful

41:02

and

41:06

about where i’m going um no

41:09

no no you know i you asked me what’s the

41:13

most important thing and honestly even

41:14

though i don’t love this the most

41:16

important thing is that you stay hungry

41:18

this is not a job for the meek and even

41:21

though we’re making strides in social

41:23

justice

41:24

it is still a hard job you have to be

41:26

hungry

41:27

you know i can’t teach people to work

41:29

hard i can only ask them to work hard if

41:32

you’re a hard worker you’re going to be

41:33

fine

41:36

how’s that that’s a good answer i like

41:39

that

41:41

you guys strike me as hard workers so

41:44

you just keep doing what you’re doing

41:45

and you’ll be good thanks

41:48

um last summer we actually did our first

41:51

ever

41:51

like summer of reporting for our student

41:54

newspaper the equinox

41:57

we actually used the free pointer

41:59

courses that they were offering the

42:01

discount code for

42:02

um to like help our staff build more

42:05

skills so i was already familiar with

42:07

pointer

42:08

and our professor was like well reach

42:10

out to someone from there like you

42:12

might as well like the worst they can

42:14

say is no

42:16

no i i mean we’re really dedicated to i

42:18

mean you guys are the future of the

42:19

industry

42:20

you know we’re really dedicated to

42:21

trying to build something that’ll help

42:23

you guys

42:23

what course did you take do you remember

42:26

um

42:27

i think i took one about cleaning your

42:29

copy um that i

42:31

ended up like teaching a lot of ap style

42:33

stuff to our staff that a lot of people

42:35

didn’t know

42:36

yeah we’ve been trying to have more of a

42:38

focus on like being technically correct

42:40

as well as like being factual

42:43

on things so well we’ve got that

42:46

um i built out an open records course

42:49

that’ll be really helpful if you ever

42:50

need to request records at the state

42:52

level

42:53

and that’s free forever and uh this

42:55

title 9 course should be interesting

42:57

once

42:58

once it’s done it should be

43:02

any day now i’m waiting

43:06

we don’t want to keep you um but thank

43:08

you so much

43:09

we definitely will be in touch if we

43:11

have any follow-up questions um

43:13

okay yes thank you so much for your time

43:16

oh thank you guys for letting me ramble

43:18

all night i appreciate it

43:21

you guys have a good night

43:28

i love that woman

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