Monday, June 01, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

An excerpt from a commencement speech at Berkley's journalism school commencement because graduation—and graduation speeches—make me all warm and fuzzy inside, even if I do sort of think journalism degrees are stupid:
Which brings me back to the subject of journalism as a profession. We are not part of an elite. We are part of the working class, which is exactly how journalists have seen themselves through most of American history—as working stiffs. We can be underpaid, we can be jerked around, we can be laid off arbitrarily—just like any autoworker or mechanic or hotel housekeeper or flight attendant.

But there is this difference: A laid-off autoworker doesn't go into his or her garage and assemble cars by hand. But we—journalists—we can't stop doing what we do.

As long as there is a story to be told, an injustice to be exposed, a mystery to be solved, we will find a way to do it. A recession won't stop us. A dying industry won't stop us. Even poverty won't stop us because we are all on a mission here. That's the meaning of your journalism degree. Do not consider it a certificate promising some sort of entitlement. Consider it a license to fight.

Also, by far the most unfortunate thing about my soon-to-be school is that my academic regalia will forevermore be this color:
Don't ask me what the best thing is because, well, it may or may not be for public consumption.


At 6/3/09, 9:16 PM, Blogger Scraps said...

That really is quite an unfortunate color.

At 6/18/09, 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck at USC, what degree are you pursuing?


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