Good Reads for Journo Nerds

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I read quite a bit — some for work, tons for pleasure — and I would just love to share the gems I come across with you. So each week I’m going to share my list of good reads. Sometimes they’ll be for fellow journalists, some for job seekers, some for millenials and others for just plain fun.

This week’s batch is filled with love for my dear craft, journalism. Now for the goods.

1. Robert Krulwich (of NPR’s Krulwich Wonders) talks about how fresh grads like myself should work their way into journalism. He told a bunch of cap-and-gowned Berkeley students in his commencement address about horizontal loyalty. You really should read the whole thing. It’s long, but reads more like wise words from a seasoned-journalist grandfather infiltrated with great stories than a speech.

2. With the sad news of the end of NPR’s Car Talk, this Chicago Tribune article covers why playing repurposed material, even if it is of the beloved Tom and Ray Magliozzi, just won’t cut it for public radio.

3. #Realtalk from Ann Friedman showed me just what it takes to make it in this, I hate to say it, struggling industry. (She also made killer news gifs. And who doesn’t love a good Meryl Streep gif?)

4. And finally, a piece of advice from Forbes about how to blog like a master and get your dream job.

That’s all the tidbits I this week! Check in next Monday for the next good reads list. And let me know if you run across anything simply fantastic.

Til then!

Finding future dreams in Memphis

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As a soon-to-be college graduate, I often find myself daydreaming — OK, maybe more like stressing — about what I’m going to be doing after graduation. Some days I have big thoughts — think This American Life or USA Today — and others I just want to pick something I could do with my hands. Most days I feel like I’m drowning in the multitude of choices out there.

But then today rolled around, the day I drove down I-40 to Memphis, bucked up the courage and stepped into my much-anticipated meeting with WKNO, an NPR member station dear to my heart.

As my pals know, in the past two years I’ve developed a near obsession with NPR. I flip my radio dial to WKNO just as often if not more so than the local pop stations. I can have a mean car dance party, flailing fists and all, but I love hearing news and stories about people living both near and far from me. There’s just something about stories that I adore.

All that said, after a much-appreciated talk and tour of the station I feel like I may have found my calling, and it’s in radio. We’ll see where this crazy path of life takes me, but right now my heart is calling out for the airwaves. And I couldn’t be happier.

Til then!

Overcoming interview jitters

Just to clarify, I did not take this photo. It is one of the few images of Betancourt during her captivity.

A little over a week ago I had my first face-to-face interview in D.C., and my nerves were a wreck.

This interview was much bigger than what I have done for my campus newspaper. It wasn’t with one of the professors I pass every day in the hallways of my university or another Christian studies major praising the musical talent of Mumford & Sons. I was going to sit down with Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian presidential candidate who spent six-and-a-half years captured by a guerrilla force in the Colombian jungle. She’s a woman with a haunting yet amazing story.

Of course, Murphy’s Law, that morning in my office was hectic and time-crunched. I had more things to do that day than I had yet to encounter and less time to accomplish them. I also had not eaten breakfast and there was no time for lunch!

My mind was whirring with questions and worries as I walked toward our meeting place, the Fairmont Hotel. When I got there, where exactly was I supposed to meet her? How would I know when she arrived? Did I look professional enough or was it obvious I was some college student new on the job? Would she take me seriously? Would I offend her with my questions? And the list went on.

I finally arrived at the swanky hotel with 10 minutes to spare, and I could picture all the fabulous people that had stayed there. So now on top of my interview anxieties, I was overwhelmed with soaking up the grandeur of this place. (You see, at home we’re more of a Holiday Inn Express kind of family.)

Eventually, I met Betancourt — with the help of her kind media contact, of course — on the outdoor patio. Once our question-and-answer session began, most of my worries fluttered away. She answered my questions with a soft French accent between bites of her colorful salad. At the end of the interview, she assured me that I did very well. We even parted with a hug.

Lesson learned. People are people no matter what they’ve done in their lives. Hopefully, I’ll remember that the next time I’m overcome with a bad case of the interview jitters.

Til then!