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More from Professor Achenbach

I would blog more but all my spare time is spent grading papers. The Georgetown class is going swimmingly, in large part because many of the students actually want to become journalists. Of course they would ideally like to start out someplace like Rolling Stone. It's hard to persuade a young person these days that the best road to success is to spend several years grinding out police blotter items and courthouse briefs in a backwater town in one of the red states, far from college friends, alone, forlorn, feeling like a loser and gradually getting worn down to a nub of one's former self. That's how my generation did it.

Last week my friend Molly Phee gave a dazzling talk about her experience as the governor of a Iraqi province, working for the Coalition Provisional Authority. She's charming, brave, smart -- a rock star if you ask me. This week Bart Gellman is coming to class to teach us how he manages to get extremely important people to tell him amazing secrets.

I've assigned three articles for them to read, and I'll try to get the links in here. One is a Bart classic from Iraq that a New York Times editor said gave him severe heartburn when it appeared in January 2004. Another is a Kate Boo piece that is a fine example of newspaper journalism as literary non-fiction, in addition to being a tremendous piece of saturation reportage. And in the self-promotion dept., the students will read a piece I did about baseball a few years back, which was pretty good for a day hit.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 9, 2005; 9:25 AM ET
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