by Dan Oshinsky on April 27, 2009
I was looking at my résumé this afternoon and struck by a strange realization: the thing is three pages long, including references and clips. Ideally, I’d like it to fit on a page. So what follows is an exercise in brevity: my work in journalism, in one — albeit very long — paragraph.
When I was 14, I decided I wanted to be a journalist. It seemed like a good idea at the time. ❡❡ At 15, though I had no idea what I was doing or how to do it, I got an internship working at States News Service in D.C. By summer’s end, I’d been published in The Boston Globe. This gave my parents the unfortunately false impression that I was talented. ❡❡ Then I started working as a stringer at Redskins games. I became good at interviewing people who were wearing towels. I still consider it one of my most developed skills. ❡❡ I spent the next summer working for The Nantucket Independent. While journalists from The Globe and the AP were mocking John Kerry for his windsurfing skills, they were citing my opus on Nantucket politics in their stories. I also improved my in-towel interviewing technique, only this time, I was the one wearing them. ❡❡ The Kansas City Star gave me an award for sports writing the next year. In K.C., I tried the local barbecue for the first time. I selected the University of Missouri as my college destination that same day. ❡❡ That spring, I interned at The Business Gazette in Maryland. Four years later, some of my articles still show up the later pages of my Google results. If you go even deeper into those results, you’ll find out that, apparently, I have children and am bald. ❡❡ I showed up at Mizzou in the fall of 2005 with a dream: to learn how to tell stories via any number of platforms. I also wanted to see ESPN’s “College GameDay” come to campus for a football game. I was ambitious back then. ❡❡ Soon after, I worked at The Washington Examiner, where I learned how to cover the Nationals in less than 350 words per night. Non-Nats fans still wonder how I managed to fill those 350 words. “They lost, again” is only three. ❡❡ Back at Mizzou, I became a student senator so that I could change the school’s ticketing policy for sporting events. I started DJing at the college radio station, too. In four years, I have still yet to figure out how to work the station’s phone line. (573) 882-8262 is the request line if you’d really like to test me, though. ❡❡ The next year, at CBS News, I produced radio stories about Presidential frontrunners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Fred Thompson. We were all quite sure that one of those two was going to win. ❡❡ Last summer, I worked as a political exile multimedia journalist for The Rocky Mountain News in Beijing. They let me do stuff that I’d prefer the Chinese not know about. ❡❡ Now I’m graduating from Mizzou next month with a degree in convergence journalism and minors in spanish and sociology. ❡❡ I’ve mastered a number of technologies — like Final Cut Pro and Photoshop and Flash and CSS/HTML and Audacity — as well as digital photography. ❡❡ The only thing I didn’t learn, I suppose, was how to get a job. ❡❡ Maybe I should’ve taken classes in that instead.