University at Albany grooming tomorrow's journalists
I am in a classroom in the Science Library at the University of Albany where the students taking Introduction to Reporting and News Writing are taking the final exam. This one class on Tuesday nights is a little sideline from my full-time-plus job here at The Saratogian.
It's been gratifying to work with some young men and women who "get it" -- they understand how to ask questions and pull together a news story, they are excited about the work, they have talent and potential. One is going to be an intern in The Saratogian sports department this summer; another will be doing some writing for The Scene, our summer downtown entertainment tab.
Then there are some who for the life of them can't punctuate a quote. "That drives me nuts", the teacher said. ARGGGH!!! Yet I can't help but like even the ones who seem to be in the wrong place -- if they are trying.
If they come away with nothing else this semester, I hope they've learned, from me and the guests who were kind enough to speak to the class, that journalism is a labor of love. As Rik Stevens, the AP news editor and former Saratogian writer and editor tells the class, his father, also a newsman, long ago told him, "You'll hate the hours, hate the pay, but love the job."