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Nothing Intermediate Here

     Taught my first class last night at Georgetown. It's "Intermediate Journalism," but that title must be shunned. "Intermediate" is such a lame word. I don't want these students to do intermediate work. They should do great work. They should shoot for Advanced Journalism. The act of being a writer is arrogant in the extreme, because you're imposing yourself on others, you're asserting your special perceptive powers, and if you don't think you're doing great work then you probably ought to be doing something else. It may be delusional, it may have no connection at all to the quality of the work, but you have to stride into a news event with pad and pen and think: Thank God I'm here. I will own this story. These other suckers are just going to write stuff that's intermediate.

     The students are bright and engaged, and I'm not saying that just because I'm hoping they will write much of this blog for me. The one down note is that only one student had read my story yesterday on dinosaurs. This student will now be known as The A-Plus Student.

-- written Jan. 14, 2005

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 17, 2005; 1:58 PM ET
 
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