I teach college journalism. It's my passion (see also: the job doing yoga and making handicrafts wasn't full-time). As our industry has evolved, the revenue base has suffered. But the need for well-trained reporters is still critical. Our need for skilled truth-tellers who ask the hard questions abides. When I have the privilege of seeing a student's talent for storytelling align with a desire to shine a bright light in dark corners--it's fantastic. Not only because our passion and paths are similar, but because the world has gained another accountability keeper. The stream of such students is unsurprisingly not busting down my door. But I teach wonderful, curious young people and it's a privilege.
And sometimes it's deliciously life-changing.
In fact, just today, I've had my first student do something pretty remarkable as a result of an assignment she completed in our Advanced Reporting class.
At the time, this student, whom I'll call Lulu, was in a long-term relationship. For her trend story, she wanted to explore local attitudes toward cohabitation before marriage. She isolated her interview pool to twentysomethings, which included a fellow who worked at a local establishment she frequented. We'll call him D.
She sat down with D. and she said the interview lasted four hours. She learned so much about this person; he became that clutch source that helped to shape her story. His candor gave her the direction and courage she needed to interview others.
Later in the semester, I asked Lulu how her relationship was going. She said things were complicated. And also, that she was mad at me. That it was all my fault, because I had assigned her a story that had made her open her eyes to the fact that D. was everything she had prayed about and hoped for.
Today, D. asked Lulu to marry him. And she said yes.
If that isn't reason to major in journalism, I don't know what is :)
Congrazzles, Lulu and D.