Home > Uncategorized > A Must-Read for Every Struggling Journalist: Robert Krulwich’s phenomenal Berkeley J-School commencement speech

A Must-Read for Every Struggling Journalist: Robert Krulwich’s phenomenal Berkeley J-School commencement speech

Left to right: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich

First, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Robert Krulwich: He’s one of the two hosts of Radiolab, a public radio show so brilliant, so smart, and so singularly unique that it literally must be heard to be believed. Thankfully, they’ve got a free podcast, so if you’ve never had the pleasure, do yourself a big favor a download a few shows, stat. [Radiolab podcasts]

And second, I’m not going to say too much about Krulwich’s recent commencement speech, which he gave on May 7 to the 2011 class at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, because there simply isn’t much I can add that will do it any justice. But trust me on this one, please: If you’re currently involved in the field of journalism, and if you’re anything other that 100 percent thrilled with the way your career is panning out, please take the time to read every word of this truly brilliant speech. 

Krulwich’s words were aimed at people on the verge of entering the field, and this certainly is a more-than-worthy read for any of you would-be journalists out there. But if you happen to be, say, a mid-career freelancer with an entrepreneurial bent, or a beat reporter with a job you generally dislike–or for that matter, if you have a dream of any sort, journalistic or otherwise–this speech may very well make your day. It certainly made mine. [Read it here.]

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  1. October 7, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Wow, that’s just a lovely story – it’s actually got details in it and it makes you feel like you’re right there. I could actually see him there on the floor with Maliewsky, even if I didn’t quite catch the spelling like he did. You know, the world is changing – journalism is changing, work is changing. We’re not on the same path that people in the 1950s-80s were on. Fortunately, we missed out on the world wars and didn’t have to live through the gender traps, be they as they still may exist. I launched into independent consulting early on in my career, because I saw that my career (and financial future) would be safer than in one of the downsizing companies of the time. Having witnessed the dot com boom, 9-11 and more recent melt-downs in the stock market, I still feel the same.

  2. December 12, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Thank you so much for posting this.

    • February 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      You’re more than welcome, Lubna. And thanks for the comment. By the way, if you enjoyed the Krulwich speech, you might also want to check out David Foster Wallace’s legendary Kenyon College commencement address, which I believe he he gave in 2005. The Wall Street Journal posted an adapted version of the speech on their Web site after DFW passed away in late 2008. Here’s the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178211966454607.html

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