When I went into the Foster-Foreman Conference, I didn’t expect it being so interesting. I thought that I’d be fighting to stay awake and be doomed when it came to writing this blog post and the article. It was the exact opposite. There have been very few speakers that have caught my attention like Dean Baquet. The wisdom of journalism as a craft that he shared with everyone in that room was amazing. He wasn’t arrogant, he didn’t speak as if he was the all mighty guru of journalism and he was just a flat out personable guy.
One of my favorite moments of the conference was when he began speaking and the microphone wasn’t working. He started talking and praising Gene Foreman and no one in the back could hear him. When they fixed the problem he summed up what he was saying with a simple, “Gene’s a good guy.” I thought that was hilarious and it really put some energy into the room.
His outline of advice for young journalists was:
- Learn history.
- Understand the difference between building a career and building a craft.
- Read, read, read and never stop.
- Don’t get caught up in ambitions and just be a journalist.
The biggest, most reassuring thing he said to all of us aspiring journalists in the room was “You;re entering a profession at a great time……you’re going to have a blast.” As communications majors we are always told how we can’t get jobs with a communications degree, we have the easiest major and that we never go into journalism for money. Dean Baquet made none of that matter when he spoke. He reassured my passion for journalism as a craft and helped make the negatives not really matter.