Required Reading from Journalism Professors

28 Nov Featured Image -- 244

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

Below, six syllabi from journalism professors on what you should be reading.

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1. Journalism 494: Pollner Seminar In Narrative Non-Fiction With Esquire’s Chris Jones (University of Montana)

“The purpose of this course is to teach students how to write publishable magazine-length narrative non-fiction: In other words, my aim is to help you learn how to write good, long, true stories. The course outline will mirror a typical writer’s progress through the birth of an idea to a finished, polished piece, including reporting, writing, editing, and fact-checking. In addition to classroom discussion, course readings will help students understand the difference between good and bad work. My hope is that by the end of the semester, you will have written the Best Story of Your Life So Far (BSOYLSF) and it will help you reach your future potential as an award-winning literary journalist.”

2. Journalism 141: Professional Problems and…

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Day One

11 Aug

I wake up precisely three minutes to five a.m.
I remember this feeling.

Early mornings,fast showers, no breakfast,no make-up which is not important but I look like a freak show anyway lol.

I remember this feeling of leaving the house when it’s still dark and every now and then looking over my shoulder for no apparent reason just because I am afraid of the dark. Yes Really!!!

One thing’s for sure. No matatu stress to work. Phew! Thank God.
About 6:15 a.m and am already in town. That was fast. Okay so uuuhm I know you are wondering why am so early to work. Just so you know, I am a morning person and I hate being late.

So I decide to take the longer route to buy me some time. Nairobi is exquisite in the dark. Wow! Walking past KICC. I remember that rooftop. Memories. Bad memories.

It starts to drizzle. I Don’t have an umbrella. I am freezing and my fingers are getting numb. Okay now I am getting worried. Why is everyone who is walking past me staring at me. Ah! The skirt. Figures! Okay women you don’t have to give me the murderous looks. Didn’t know it was going to be this cold. The men on the other hand though. Stop ogling! am never wearing a short skirt to work again. Okay not ‘again’ but when the weather gets better.

The security guard offers me his seat. Friendly. I know I got about an hour till my boss gets here so I just relax and take out my earphones. Music. Didn’t think i’d be here long. My boss arrives almost immediately. I can see the shock in his face. Okay yeah so am an intern who gets to work early so what?!

“I think tutahave kukupea kifunguo. Ulifukuzwa home…?” , he asks while smiling.
(I think we will have to give you your own keys. Were you chased from your home?)

I enter the office and I know it’s going to be one hell of a first long day for me.

Day one! Unknown more to go…

Again it’s nothing seriousッ.
Later! ღღ

Image 8 Aug


8 Aug

“We are all born with virtually unlimited potential.
We all have 86,400 seconds a day.
Where you end up in life is not determined by where you start.
It’s what you choose to do with the seconds you have- It’s what you choose to do with your potential that shapes your destiny.
You can choose to be selfish or you can choose to make a difference.
I have learned that there are only 2 things that will create your dreams.

1. Your choices
2. Your commitment to these choices.

Your choices will make or break you.
Here are some of the choices that I have found will lead to an amazing life.

Be kind to everyone, even the ones that don’t deserve it.

Smile at challenges. There’s a divine gift hidden in them.

Embrace change. Resisting it will only lead to frustration.

Always take responsibility. When you blame you give your power away.

Believe in your dreams. If you don’t nobody else will.

Strive to become just a little bit better. Soon you will be a master at what you do.

Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. They are your greatest assests.

Be part of the solution, not the problem.

The bigger problems you are willing to solve the bigger the rewards you will get.

Open your heart to strangers. They are just friends you haven’t met yet.

Do what you fear and you will overcome it.

Choose to make a difference. Most people just choose to stay alive.

Don’t let yourself be influenced by negativity.

Constantly seek advice from people that have more experience, knowledge and success than you do.
It will speed up your journey to success tremendously.

Don’t focus on the past. It doesn’t equal your future.

Always Always Always keep your word.

Choose to believe you have the power to create and change anything.
You really do.

Complain less and take more action.

Don’t accept mediocrity.Choose excellence.

Nobody is born mediocre. It’s a choice.

Forgive and let go. It will liberate enormous amounts of energy and creativity.

Stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

Hug someone everyday.

Let’s create a better world.
Together we can do it.
If you choose to.

It’s your choice.

God bless and may you choose wisely in your life”

As usual it’s nothing seriousッ.
Later! ღღ

8th Aug

7 Aug

I nailed it. My thursday was a success thank God! Woke up a few minutes ago and I am really hungry lol. Yeah am eating and it’s midnight so…lol.

Am happy people I can’t contain myself.
I am a fighter. That’s just me. I never go down without a fight. All my battles, I always win. If I don’t win then I sure as hell learn something from it. I am making this happen people. I have come a long way to give up now.

When I start doing what I love to do then I know am gonna live the life that I have always wanted to live.

I am fierce, I am fiesty.

Again it’s nothing seriousッ.
Later! ღღ

Goodmorning. It’s 7th Aug

7 Aug

It’s 2:00 a.m and I am still up. Been reflecting on a conversation I had earlier.  Apparently a friend of mine came clean and gave me a reality check. I needed it. Been giving out these negative vibes. Wounds healing here people. I call it my tough skin. Oh yeah and I got one hell of a tough one. Been shutting my physical world out. It’s not fair to the people around me I know and I still do it.

Don’t judge me. I say it all the time. The roads me and you pass through in life are totally different so uhm! …yeah.

People are meant to cross our paths for a reason. Some to teach a lesson, some to stay, some just pass by and so on and so forth.

So I just found my phone near my feet. It’s 06:15 a.m and I just woke up. So much for a few hours of sleep.

Again with the dreams! Totally weirding me out.

Another day. A new day. New memories to make. Got a life changing meeting today too. Rembering that just made me get these teeny tiny butterflies in my tummy. I know am gonna nail it. I am the best at what I do.

Okay someone’s knocking! What! it’s around 06:30 a.m. I mean who does that. It’s too early.
I hear mom waking up. Probably one of her friends.

Music. Just found my earphones in my pj pockets. The only thing that can soothe my heart.
A little inspirational music. Looking foward to today’s activities. Whoop! Whoop!

As usual it’s nothing seriousッ.
Later! ღღ

6th Aug

6 Aug

Goodmorning! I had a dream last night.
The flowers bloomed; the roses and the lilies. It was all sunshine,  rainbows and unicorns. I danced across the valley as I chased a butterfly. Happiness and joy wafted across. I felt satisfaction.

Okay hold up! That’s just a lie! lol
Dreamt about an ex! Screw up much, yeah pretty much. What the hell!
Why am I even dreaming about some jackass who belongs exaxtly where he is; my past. Some messed up shit you can say. Again I don’t care! It’s nothing serious by the way ツ

Life is so funny and karma a bitch too. I mean where is all the happy ending. All I see is people’s asses getting bit and then that is where the survival of the fittest comes in. The strong and smart ones outdo the rest. I learned that one has to understand the rules of the game first. Learn the strengths and the weaknesses of the opponent. Find out what makes him tick. Finally beat him at his own game. Wits!

It’s 10:00 a.m and am still in bed and no I am not lazy. My holiday has officially begun. Time to get up. Long day ahead today.
Later! ღღ


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