Magazine article Editor & Publisher

An Education

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

An Education

Article excerpt

Do you remember your first byline? Mine was in the eighth grade in the Grandparents Day Newsletter. I was one of three students selected to have their essay published. To be honest, I still consider it one of my proudest moments in my writing career, and it gave me my first taste of seeing "By Nu Yang" in print.

I got the same thrill seeing my byline over the next couple of years, writing for my high school newspaper and a few guest articles for my local daily paper. I always knew I wanted to be a writer as a kid, but after I had the opportunity to job shadow an editor, journalism became my dream career.

In college, I studied English and journalism, and started writing for my college paper. I was a sophomore when 9/11 happened, and my editor tasked me with talking to students in my dorm and reporting their reactions. It wasn't easy, but I knew I had a job to do. That day taught me how to ask the right questions, empathize and listen. It was also the first time I felt like a real journalist.

These memories came back to me as I read a Columbia Journalism Review special report titled "Do We Need J-Schools?" The article presented three different points of views: "Yes, more than ever" by Bill Grueskin, a Columbia Journalism School faculty member; "No, and they should not exist" by Felix Salmon, a financial writer and editor; and "Maybe, but cost is key" by Alexandria Neason, a CJR senior staff writer and Senior Delacorte Fellow.

All three presented good arguments, and I have to say none of them are wrong.

"A strong journalism program will help young reporters challenge their presumptions and prejudices, will encourage them to meet people and go to neighborhoods outside their comfort zone, and will force them to develop the resilience that journalists need, especially now," said Graeskin.

Looking back, it was the school system that helped me become a better reporter. …

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