So you want to be a journalist?

Erin Lee Carr
Feb 12 · 2 min read

Here are some of my favorite David Carr-ism, words that I live and breathe by. It’s been 5 years and as soul crushing as that is, the advice still persists. Happy David Carr Day.

Excerpt from David speaking to the 2014 Berkeley School of Journalism graduating class:

1.) Someone who is underestimated will be the one who changes the world. It’s not the person everyone expects. It might be you.

2.) “Do what is front of you.” Focus on the small steps ahead of you.

3.) Don’t worry about achieving a master plan, about the plot to take over the world.

4.) Be a worker among workers. It’s more important that you fit in before you stick out.

5.) Follow the “Mom Rule.” Don’t do anything you couldn’t explain or justify to your mom.

6.) Don’t just do what you’re good at. Get outside of your comfort zone. Being a journalist is permission for lifetime learning.

7.) Be present. Don’t worry about documenting the moment with your smartphone. Experience it yourself.

8.) Take responsibility for the good and the bad. Learn to own your failures.

9.) Be honest, and be willing to have the difficult conversation.

10.) Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. It’s not a crime.

Whole speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V3o5ZeSEwE&t=5s

Other videos that I listen/watch always in honor of David Carr day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLmkec_4Rfo&t=2s And that scene from Page One: Inside the New York Times. (2011, Andrew Rossi)

Erin Lee Carr

Written by

Director, Author. Director of Mommy Dead and Dearest, At The Heart of Gold and I Love You, Now Die for HBO. All That You Leave Behind for Random House.

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