February 25, 2011

Goldstein talks on the future of a journalist

Former associate editor at The Daily Beast Dana Goldstein spoke Thursday evening in Rosenwald Hall about the changing news climate and the influence of online journalism, as part of the Emerging Writer Series.

Goldstein, whose work has appeared in such publications as Newsweek and The Nation, read an article that was originally published in the December 2009 edition of The American Prospect which questioned the effectiveness of the administration’s emphasis on funding so-called “innovative” charitable organizations.

Taking questions after her piece she spoke about the changing world of journalism, talking frankly about her need to self-promote and find ways to support herself through her writing.

Goldstein said that there is more pressure on her now than journalists used to encounter. “It used to be that doing something like this (i.e. writing a long-form magazine article) would be your full time job, that would never happen now.” She said that she has to blog and write several different pieces all at the same time.

“I feel like if I’m not out there every week I’m not in the public discourse,” Goldstein said about her blog and her motivation for writing it.

Goldstein also suggested that the line between the news and the editorial page was blurred on the Internet. “There is no op-ed page on the web,” she said, “there’s a new model out there of being an opinion person who also does reporting.”

Yet she does not fear that the readers will mistake news for opinion, saying that “on the web you have to trust readers” to tell the difference.

She is now a 2010-2011 Spenser Education Journalism Fellow from Columbia University. The position allows her to work on long term projects such as magazine articles and a book proposal.

Goldstein also introduced fourth-year Michael Lipkin, who had been chosen to read at the event.

He read from “The Kid from Woodlawn,” an article originally published in the fall quarter issue of Grey City about a man’s experiences growing up at East 61st Street and South Woodlawn Avenue in the 1930s.

Lipkin is a former news editor of the Maroon and the current editor of the newspaper’s magazine supplement, Grey City. Goldstein praised Lipkin’s piece for combining skilled reporting and depth of feeling.