‘Newsroom Confidential’ and 5 Parallels Between Journalism and Academia

‘Newsroom Confidential’ and 5 Parallels Between Journalism and Academia

The cover of Newsroom Confidential by Margaret SullivanNewsroom Confidential: Classes (and Anxieties) from an Ink-Stained Daily life by Margaret Sullivan

Published in October 2022

Quick, identify five things that academia and journalism have in typical.

My listing would include things like the following:

  1. Going through a distressing, unnerving and often thrilling industrywide changeover from analog to digital.
  2. Vital factors of a working democratic technique that are beneath assault by antidemocratic forces.
  3. Genuine anxieties about the very long-term economic viability of our industries as at present manufactured.
  4. Populated by mission-pushed and values-primarily based individuals who entered the career as a thing of a calling.
  5. Navigating a challenging new fact of massive tech competition, partnership and control.

These commonalities amongst academia and journalism, universities and print/digital publications, provide all the motivation demanded to recommend Newsroom Confidential to our Inside Greater Ed group.

Reading through about the internal workings and external struggles of The New York Periods (as very well as The Washington Submit and The Buffalo News) is handy in producing perception of the difficulties we facial area in just our schools and universities.

Newsroom Private (a terrible title, by the way—as it is nicely past time to transfer past Anthony Bourdain–inspired publishing knockoffs) illuminates the lifestyle, structure and economics of the newsroom enterprise from the vantage issue of a solitary very long career in journalism. Margaret Sullivan is best identified as the general public editor of The New York Periods from 2012 to 2015 and as a Washington Article columnist to her retirement from the paper in 2022.

Newsroom Private is portion vocation memoir, and I suspect it will be just one of people must-read through books for anybody wondering about a career in journalism. (A vocation route that, while acknowledging the legitimate worries that deciding on a journalism job might not be the ideal economical shift supplied the fundamental economic fundamentals of the industry, Sullivan still sees as a compelling possibility for the most dedicated and curious, and persistent.)

In academia, we chat about those who have “come up the challenging way,” indicating college leaders who effectively navigated the tenure observe right before transitioning into college leadership roles. In journalism, Sullivan came up the difficult way, shelling out decades as a reporter, editor and newsroom leader at The Buffalo Information before ascending to her perches at the NYT and the Put up. A commonality that could possibly be listed concerning academia and journalism is our shared histories of structural sexism, a actuality that Sullivan describes in her vocation progression toward the heights of her occupation.

The other thread that runs via Newsroom Confidential is Sullivan’s arguments around the romance in between journalism and democracy. She places a lot of the blame for the election of Trump and the Jan. 6 insurrection on the failure of mainstream news to correctly report on the risks of the far suitable to essential democratic norms and values. Newsroom Confidential can be read as a thing a journalistic companion piece to What Universities Owe Democracy.

Sullivan might have some matters to say about the parallels involving journalism and academia, as in August, she was appointed the 2023 Egan Traveling to Professor at Duke.

Here’s to hoping that Margaret Sullivan transitions her eager eye, analytical rigor and speedy wit for analyzing the achievements and shortcomings of journalism to her new dwelling in academia.

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