Posts Tagged ‘New York Times


National Editor for Days (Will Obert)

On Thursday February 9, 2012, Bellarmine was fortunate enough to be graced by the presence of one Mr. Sam Sifton, the National Editor for the New York Times.  He spoke to whoever wanted to attend during free period and his crow was rather substantial compared to other “crowds” there has been for other speakers.  Most of the audience consisted of students, however, there was a good handful of “outside the Bellarmine community” guests as well.  Folks from the Courier Journal and local news stations came to our very campus to listen to Mr. Sifton and hopefully gain some tips that would aid them in becoming a better journalist and reporter.

Being the Communications Major that I am, I happened to be very intrigued by Sifton’s talk and found myself really and truly listening to what he was saying.  Seeing as how I am writing constantly for my classes as well as writing/editing numerous articles for the beloved Concord every week; I discovered that I was listening very intently to our guest speaker.

Fortunately for me, being one of the editors of the school newspaper has its perks and I was allowed to schedule an interview with Sam Sifton and talk to him one on one.   Though he is a Harvard graduate, Mr. Sifton was not what you would expect from someone of that stature.  He was extremely personable and not the somewhat expected Ivy League “nerd”.  During my interview, the National Editor was very concerned with responding to the Tweets he had received during the talk as well as the Tweets received after his talk concluded.  He is extremely into social media and thinks that social media is the future of the newspaper industry.

When I finally got Mr. Sifton to “simmer down” and focus on the task at hand, I found that he was a great person to talk to.  One question that I asked him was if Obamacare will play a factor in the 2012 upcoming election.  He responded by saying that he has to remain indifferent on issues concerning politics because of his career, however, he does believe it will be a large issue concerning Mitt Romney and “Romneycare”.  After just one political-centered question, I realized that he didn’t particularly want to talk politics and just started conversing with him.  We talked for about ten minutes about his life and career aspirations when he was in college and that transitioned into him asking about my aspirations as a journalist.  Upon the conclusion of my interview, I informed Sifton that I would be in NYC in March with two other Concord editors for a journalism conference and he told me to contact him when we arrived to get a tour of The New York Times office on Times Square; that’s super legit.

Though Sifton’s talk was said to cover the upcoming election and The New York Times role in covering the campaign process, he didn’t actually discuss the topic at hand very much.  The majority of his talk dealt with how he got the position he is in now and what you need to do as a journalist to be successful.  Mr. Sifton was allotted a whole hour for his talk but only talked for about twenty-five minutes before opening up the floor for questions with no limitations.  His demeanor was extremely lax and quite humorous if I do say so myself.  The New York Times National Editor is a person just like you and me, however, he happens to have a pretty “gnar” job.


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