A Temple professor tells college kids there's no more inspiring time to be a journalist.
Chris Stover hushes the crew of 20 students--the section editors of the Temple News, the Temple University student newspaper--and begins the staff meeting.
"This week has been crazy," he tells them. "In the coming weeks, it will not be like this."
A few students laugh. They know it's always a little crazy here in the newspaper office on the North Philly campus.
The newsroom is full of unadorned workstations, but is constantly alive with caffeine-fueled students laughing, yelling, arguing, gossiping, flirting, bitching, writing stories, editing images, laying out pages and doing whatever's necessary to get the next issue out the door.
This is the first production day of the fall semester, the day before the welcome-back issue hits campus, so things are especially chaotic. The staff has been crunching copy and frantically flipping through The Associated Press Stylebook all day. Many were in and out of the office last week too, while other Temple kids were enjoying the waning days of their summer vacation.
"Post your office hours somewhere so we'll know when you'll be here," says Stover, the Temple News editor-in-chief. "You're supposed to be here 10 hours per week."
The staff erupts in snorts and giggles.
"You'll be getting paid for 10 hours," interjects Shannon McDonald, the school paper's managing editor. "I'm not going to lie; you'll probably be here a lot more than that."
Listening in, I feel both proud and uneasy. As a working journalist and a Temple journalism professor, the passion and dedication of the students is the embodiment of what I preach in the classroom.
I've taught various journalism classes to nearly a thousand college students over at least five years, including seven of the staffers in this room. I've worked with these students directly--teaching journalistic conventions, editing their work and encouraging them to develop a voice and style.
Geek Invasion 2013