On Monday, Oct. 26, we got the opportunity to hear from Rea Hederman, a publisher for the New York Review of Books. It was incredible to not only hear about his experiences, but also how he impacted the world of Journalism. In his master class presentation, Hederman talked about how he transformed his newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, which was originally quite racist and unprofessional, to one that was both scholarly and journalistically sound.
This hit close to home because during my time as editor of my high school newspaper, I had to fight to do the same. Before I joined the newspaper staff, the paper was entirely unprofessional, both in appearance and in content. I worked my hardest to get it to where it is now. Although it may not be award winning, like Hederman’s was, I’m still proud of everything I was able to accomplish.
The presentation itself was not what I expected. I went into the master class thinking that we were going to be hearing an hour long speech from Hederman, but instead, it was formatted as a question and answer forum. A set of questions was asked, and Hederman got the chance to answer. While I did appreciate this style, I feel like I would have enjoyed just listening to his story a bit more.
Looking back on the presentation, I can’t remember anything in particular that I didn’t agree with. The way he transformed his newspaper is remarkable, and I look up to him as a journalism role model.
I really did enjoy attending this class. While I do love our weekly FIG classes, this was a nice change. I feel like I learned quite a bit, and hearing from someone so outstanding in the field is always an incredible experience.