Today, we said good riddance to journalism school and celebrated the unschooled "rat" reporter. Many of you attended J-schools. One of you offered a partial defense, and told a classic rat story.
I went to journalism school in the mid-90s and had great experience. This was largely because of one awesome prof and the fact I made sure to get the hell out of NY in the summer so I could learn how to report at a real paper. I had a very good journalism career (I got out just as newspapers were imploding) and J-school was instrumental in this. That being said, for most people it's a waste of time and money. They go expecting to get a job at the Times. They leave dejected and loaded with debt.
Here's my "rat" story: I interned at the NY Post, where they had a photographer known for doing anything to get a shot. He had his car wired with siren and lights (the kind that sit on the dashboard) which he used to allow us to roar down what was essentially a jogging trail in Central Park to get to a murder scene in the Bronx. This on a rainy October day, so the road was plastered with wet leaves. He did not slow down for joggers. It was terrifying. He kept a pair of kid's sneakers in the car, which he deployed when shooting a kid killing. He'd toss the shoes just in the frame, so it looked like they were the victim's. They fired him soon after this day, I think for sneaking onto the tarmac at LaGuardia or something equally insane. I miss that lunatic.