Journalism advice from Badass Humorist and professional swearer Ian Frazier
(This is not a picture of the journalist. Just some male model whose name happens to be Ian Frazier as well. Thank you Google)
Attending The New School situated in the heart of midtown (yes, I stole that line form the brochure) has its perks. As a journalism student I love that all my professors are part-time and are still working in the field. That means they can offer practical advice, instead of lecture me on how things were better before that pesky Internet thing happened. Another perk is the guest speakers we get to meet in our intimate seminar classes and yesterday I got to meet badass humorist Ian Frazier.
Taken from The New Yorker website:
“Ian Frazier is a staff writer. He has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1974, when he published his first piece in The Talk of the Town. A year later, the magazine ran his short story “The Bloomsbury Group Live at the Apollo.” Since then, he has published numerous nonfiction, Shouts and Murmurs, Talk of the Town pieces, and short stories in the magazine. Frazier is the author of eight books.”
Basically, he is a badass and prolific humorist who just happend to be down to earth, funny and a swearer. Anyone would love to have his career and so here are my badly taken notes from his visit.
If you find a voice that nobody has heard before, chances are it will have a lot to say.
All readers want a bedtime story. They want something familiar. So, when it came to that piece [his famous profile on Heloise] I wanted to do something different.
The list is a modernist device.
Online journalism lessens the writer’s authority. Because anyone can lok up what you have to say. That makes it harder for the writer. But it is good for when you have to publish long pieces, like 12,000 words. No [ print publication] publishes that length anymore.
Do something that you won’t be able to find online.
You want your interviewee to feel superior. Most people are not listened to. So really listen.
[On deciding what to focus on in a piece] I talk to people and see what I like.
Check out my LinkedIn profile and get access to my accomplishments.
Follow me on Twitter and a bird will come to your window.