“Journalism is like an illness…if you have the illness, if you have the bug, you have to do it”.
- Josh Friedman from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
“Journalism is a wild thing”.
- Luan Galani, TH!NK 3 fellow winner.
Last month, thanks to the European Journalism Centre, the three NYC trip winners from the TH!NK 3 competition (Lara, Luan and me) had the chance to talk to Josh Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and director of International Programs at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica.
Josh Friedman with the TH!NK 3 NYC winners and the EJC representatives!
Picture taken by Andrea Arzaba (September 2010)
We discussed many issues during our one-hour talk. These are some of the big topics we talked about:
When we firstly mentioned that we were going to cover the events around the UN Summit and the UN Digital Media Lounge, Friedman said that our most important goal was educating the readers or the viewers about what is going on.
In his own words: "Use a little picture to tell the big story. Little story tells the big story. The only problem is sometimes people get so much into the little story, that we forget what the big story is.” He added to this information that it requires skills, in order to get your main goal to your audience.
Later on, talking about journalism education in different parts of the world, Friedman added: “We have figure out a way to change journalism education. Sometimes it can be a waste of time”. The journalist focused on practising more and getting less theory in Journalism Programs.
“We have to get media centres and absorb them into our universities.” Then he suggested us to start organizing with our peers, get journalism students all over the world, change the method of education”.
MEXICO – US RELATIONS
Discussing about the current problems about on drug dealing issues in Mexico, Friedman declared: “The US has to help more, because we are the costumers for all of those drugs. Instead, they want to put a big fence”.
As the journalist denominated “the dominant international problem”, we agreed on the importance to build a strong relation between the two neighbour countries, as the leading way to make a real change.
Josh Friedman recommended The New York Times and The Washington Post, as some of the publications he suggests us to read from the US. About radio, the NPR= National Public Radio, was the one he mentioned in our talk. He also referred to The New Yorker as a great publication.
Global Voices as an international citizen journalism site was also pointed out in the conversation.
A very nice and humble person, with an admirable career, Josh Friedman's passion for good journalism was contagious. I would like to thank him for this interview, and reminding us that journalism matters!
(Andrea Arzaba, October 2010)