New York City never loses its allure — for me or the media students I bring to the city each January term.
This year — the fourth for Miami University’s NYC Media class — was as thrilling as the first time.
Weather interruptions delayed our Saturday arrival by a few hours. A plane, a van and a cab later, we hit the snowy city. Some years we dodge the weather. Other years, not so much. My travel partners — husband, Doug, and daughter, Beatrice, a first-year Miamian — were good company.
Sunday, Jan. 8
A trip to the 9/11 museum is also a NYC Media tradition. It fits into the trip well since so many of the artifacts rely on the work of journalists. Each of the 2,983 watercolor squares in Spencer Finch’s mosaic — titled “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning” — represents a victim of the 2001 or 1993 attacks.
Monday, Jan. 9
We began the official visits during our action-packed week at The New York Times. After great chats with Times columnist Gail Collins and public editor Liz Spayd, we learned about the demanding audience at NPR from its public editor, Elizabeth Jensen. Monday also included a visit with Miami grad Caitlin Von Mol, a producer at A&E Television, in the living-room-like conference room at A&E.
Tuesday, Jan. 10
Day Two had us all over town:
- To BestProducts.com, a Hearst site, with Miami grad Bridget Clegg and colleagues.
- To Bloomberg News, with Miami grad Andy Martin, newly named editor of the legal team.
- To Columbia University to meet with Megan Mulligan, deputy administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.
- To CNBC, across the river in New Jersey, to meet Miami grad M. Courtney Reagan Baker, a retail reporter.
- On Monday and Tuesday, half of the class got seats in the audience for a taping at “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” while the rest had VIP tickets for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” (They switched the next night, so got into both shows.)
Wednesday, Jan. 11
We spent a lot of time in midtown on Wednesday:
- Miami grad Daniela Pierre-Bravo, an associate producer at “Morning Joe” welcomed us and then sent us to the set to watch hosts Joe Scarborough and Nika Brzezinski in action.
- At Fox News, Miami grad Bill Hemmer was ever-gracious, with a chat about his career after time on the “America’s Newsroom” set.
- We stayed at 1211 Avenue of the Americas for our next guest, Miami grad David Marino-Machison, enterprise editor at MarketWatch, a Dow Jones site.
- We learned about the immense challenges that journalists outside the country sometimes face from Maria Salazar Ferro, the emergencies director at the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- We ended the day with tickets to “Front Page,” a revival of the old newspaper show featuring the larger-than-life Nathan Lane.
Thursday, Jan. 12
We took it a little easier on Day Four with four stops, leaving students free to explore Brooklyn in the evening:
- Miami grad Amanda Wolfe continues to employ her considerable digital skills for Meredith Corp., as senior digital director for both Shape.com and FitnessMagazine.com.
- At the uber-hip BuzzFeed, Miami grads Shannon Rosenberg and Elaine Wahl comb the country for the best in health and animal news.
- Miami grad Cassie Carothers transitioned well from Yahoo Foods during our last visit and now serves as editorial director for Global Citizen, focused on poverty around the world.
- We ended the day at VICE (also uber-hip) in Brooklyn with Miami grad Taylor Dolven, a key member of the VICE HBO team.
Friday, Jan. 13
As students prepared for their trips home, we squeezed in two morning visits:
- At the New York offices of London’s The Guardian, Jon Swaine and Oliver Laughland, center back above, reviewed their terrific work on “The Counted,” a web project that tracked police-involved shootings and other incidents across the country.
- At The New York Daily News, political reporter Adam Edelman, nephew to Miami professor Mary Jane Berman, reviewed his tangles with Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential elections.
Home again. Went too fast. Time is short. Now to grade student work, and prepare for the spring semester.
As always, I offer most sincere thanks to our guests in New York, my colleagues and students in Oxford, and my “assistant director” and life partner Doug Newberry.