Principles of Journalism Pay

I have a real full-time job, near ideal actu­ally, its long title notwithstanding.

UA Lemke Department of Journalism door

Credit UATV, Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas Television

On June 12, I signed a for­mal offer to serve as 2014–15 Interim Assis­tant Direc­tor of the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas Cen­ter for Ethics in Jour­nal­ism and Instruc­tor of Journalism.

It com­prises the same respon­si­bil­i­ties and term as assis­tant direc­tor, with­out the “interim,” for which I applied back in December.

Mainly, I am charged with man­ag­ing the ethics cen­ter. Also, I am to redesign the center’s web­site then main­tain it as well as over­see social media out­reach. Last is teach­ing up to two classes for the Lemke Depart­ment of Jour­nal­ism each semes­ter. The nine-month con­tract is renewable.

This first term, though, runs 10 months, July 15 to May 15, 2015. So, not even a month left as a full-time free­lance jour­nal­ist and web con­tent guy.

My “interim” sta­tus comes from how the inau­gural direc­tor is an interim appoint­ment for 2014–15.

The UA Cen­ter for Ethics in Jour­nal­ism began only in fall 2013 with much-honored news­pa­per edi­tor and pro­fes­sor Gene Fore­man as its first Vis­it­ing Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor and over­seen by a Lemke fac­ulty com­mit­tee. The sec­ond vis­it­ing dis­tin­guished pro­fes­sor has been cho­sen but not announced.

For UA and its J. William Ful­bright Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences to have cre­ated the cen­ter a year ago and now ded­i­cat­ing to it ren­o­vated office space and pro­fes­sional staff includ­ing a grad­u­ate assis­tant is an impor­tant endorse­ment. Jour­nal­ism ethics cen­ters are count-your-fingers rare, mak­ing UA’s a poten­tially strong voice for resilient and fair jour­nal­ism in America.

Ben and Christy Pollock with Old Main of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, October 2013.

Ben and Christy Pol­lock with Old Main of the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas, Fayet­teville, Octo­ber 2013.
Stephen Iron­side photo.

Career­ing. Among oth­ers, I was laid off as a news copy edi­tor / page designer some 22 months ago from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Labor Day week­end 2012, in a “Reduc­tion in Force” of the North­west Arkansas Edi­tion. Free­lance writ­ing, edit­ing and web work since have been eye-opening, more suc­cess­ful at it than expected but still it just made scratch.

I know I am writ­ing drily. That is to con­tain the deliri­ous excite­ment I’ve felt since being infor­mally offered the posi­tion in late May.

While no con­fi­den­tial­ity was asked of me back in May, I refused to jump and shout until I had a contract.

Con­tinue in jour­nal­ism. Ded­i­ca­tion to jour­nal­ism ethics. Web­site design and con­tent. Opti­mize Face­book and Twit­ter. Close enough to bike, bus on bad days, drive in on busy ones. Teach­ing jour­nal­ism. Indeed.

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