Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mentor, Mentee... Mentee, Mentor.

(Continued. Part 1 here.)

[MinnMon editor in chief ROBIN introduces Strib expat and new "New Journalist" Eric BLACK to longtime crack "reporter" Jeffie the Wingnut Slayer (JTWS).]

ROBIN: Jeff, this is our new participant in the Mentorship Program, Eric. I'll just leave you two fellas to get acquainted. There's lots of mentoring to be done! [Exit.]

BLACK: Pleased to meet you! [Extends hand]

JTWS: [Shakes hand] Likewise, I'm sure. Here, have a seat. [Clears a pile of discarded Hostess Ding Dong wrappers from chair next to him.]

BLACK: [Still recoiling from JTWS's limp, clammy handshake, sits and points to computer monitor] So, what are you working on here?

JTWS: I'm doing some sourcing for my next post about abortion on PandagonsTildSister.com.

BLACK: Interesting choice of sources... let's see [reading over JTWS's shoulder] "...and that's why I would pull out my fucking tampon and menstruate on Dick fucking Cheney's fucking head"???? I'm not sure that's a source -

JTWS: Well, you've got a lot to learn then, n00b. Here, look at this while I finish up here. [Hands Black a sheet of paper.]

BLACK: What's this?

JTWS: It's a syllabus. Familiarize yourself with it, and I'll get to you shortly.

BLACK: [Reading the "syllabus"] "The glories of e-mail: doing an interview without ever having to turn off Cinemax After Dark"... "The well-aimed blinders: How to confirm your stereotypes of wingnuts without actually thinking"... "Making up facts to make others look bad" ... "How to (conveniently) forget how to read"... "Why all males should become slaves for glorious womyn because of past patriarchal misogynies"??????

JTWS: Yeah, that last one is more extra credit. But it's well-worthwhile.

BLACK: I don't think you understand: see, I am to be your mentor.

JTWS: ...

BLACK: Look, I've been in the newspaper biz for over 30 years. I've seen it all. I have a lot of experience to impart. And from what I can tell, you could use some. No, more than "some." A lot.

JTWS: ...

BLACK: I've read your stuff. Frankly, you suck. You need a lot of help.

JTWS: ... You done?

BLACK: Um, yes?

JTWS: Good, then let's begin mentoring you. Lesson 1 on your syllabus: E-mail interviews. This is the New Journalist's secret weapon, and I've used it a lot. There are many advantages to communicating via a medium that inhibits follow-ups and offers the excitement of not really knowing with whom you're corresponding...

To be continued...

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