Letter to Students
Dear Students,Welcome to a world where nothing remains constant, change is rapid, the future is wildly unclear,and your career opportunities might be defined by your courage, tenacity and imagination. Your grasp of the skills and practices you are learning in Hofstra's journalism program, appliedintelligently with new technologies, will serve you well in this environment. Today, this class iscalled online journalism, but it is proudly and unashamedly journalism, at pace with the 21
Century.This is an exciting and a challenging time for journalism as mainstream media contracts andwrestles with how to use new digital tools and the capabilities of the Internet to fulfill a critical rolein a democracy -- and remain a viable business. The new-media sector of journalism is growingand in need of talent, energy, creativity and ideas. Journalism is looking for people who are undaunted by technology, and dedicated to thetraditional core values and ethics of the field, and willing to overcome any obstacles to “get thestory” and get it right. You aren’t guaranteed riches, or even job security, but you can make theworld a better place through your public service in this field. It's a job that is never boring. By your very presence here, you are playing a part in building this medium. You aren’t the first totake this class. You stand on the shoulders of generations of Hofstra students that have comebefore you in the 60 years that this school has offered journalism. We have a really ambitious agenda in front of us for the next 15 weeks. I believe in active andproject-based learning and in imparting the skills of self-teaching, a life-long gift. I am still theteacher but learning is also your responsibility and that is a skill that will serve you well in the 21
Century.We can not possibly cover every portion of this unfolding craft in our short time together, but if youcome across something that we don’t cover, bring it up and we will discuss it and I will be glad tohelp you learn it and share your learning with your classmates.I have 30 years in journalism, and I’m one of the few people that can say that they have workedthe last 15 as an online journalist. I have worked at The New York Times as well as the WilsonDaily Times. I have been a manager and an editor as a journalist in New York City. I have coveredGeneral Electric, Microsoft and IBM as well as generations of startup companies and theinnovation and technology in the emerging fields of information technology and molecular biology.I’ve been on deadline in little tiny dirt stock car race tracks or tiny backwoods gyms in NorthCarolina or fishing on a river in Oklahoma or reporting from the pile at Ground Zero on Sept. 12,2001.I’ve covered policy, privacy, economics, business and finance, computers, cancer, and molecular biology as well as community sports. I became one of the few journalist specializing in microarraytechnology (go ahead and ask me about it) and the emerging field of systems biology. I wroteabout Tiger Woods when he was a 16-year-old and I’ve covered over 500 high school basketballgames in North Carolina. I covered Michael Jordan when he played for Dean Smith at NorthCarolina, and Mike Krzyzewski's first press conference at Duke University.