Bill Dedman tells journalism students that things *weren’t* better in the old days

Investigative reporter Bill Dedman at ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism

Bill Dedman, who recently left to join Newsday, told Arizona State University journalism students this week:

“First, I’d like to urge you to stop worrying about how things were so much better in the old days. They weren’t better.”

“In a way, I want some of you to be discouraged from going into journalism, if you’re the sort that can be discouraged. If you’re going into it to make money, then it’s not your best plan. But if you’re someone who wants to understand stories, who wants to tell rich stories, who couldn’t possibly be discouraged, then you’re the ones we need. …So my first piece of advice is to not be discouraged.”

“Who would go into journalism to go do stories that others have already done? The fun [of reporting] is not in localizing a story; the fun is in nationalizing a local story – finding something that’s happening in your town, that’s so interesting that you write about so completely that [Poynter’s Al Tompkins] tells everybody about it [in his daily story-ideas report], and then every other poor SOB in every other newsroom in the land has their editor come over and they have to do [the story]. …Do original work; that’s where all the fun is.”

* Bill Dedman discusses journalism in the digital age (