Education, Coarsely

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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