Selected for college media staff? Cherish the moment
Joy in 140 characters. It’s a new rite of spring. Students take to Twitter to celebrate announcements of editors-in-chief, managing editors and other positions in college media newsrooms.
It takes me back to a time long before Twitter. But this won’t be a long nostalgic post. Indulge me one memory, and I’ll offer a brief bit of advice for the newly minted leaders.
How many 10-second elevator rides are memorable? Yet I clearly remember how I felt in the elevator in the Ferguson Center at the University of Alabama, heading up to the office of The Crimson White, on a spring day in 1977. The editor-in-chief had posted the list of section editors for the coming year. I had applied for academics editor, and I was beyond nervous.
It’s odd that I don’t remember seeing the actual list and learning I’d gotten the job. I think I remember my anxiety in the elevator because of how much I wanted that job. I wanted to be an important part of something important. I thought it would be the start of something wonderful.
Here’s what I want to say to those selected this spring. That newsroom turned out to be everything I hoped, and more. If there’s a better place than a newsroom, I never found it. Yes, journalism is a challenging business these days. But for at least the next semester or two, you’re going to work in a real live newsroom with real live journalists — quite possibly people you will know for the rest of your lives — to do something important.