The Professor as Student

NPR’s Morning Edition aired a terrific interview with Robert Plant this morning. Perhaps best known for his time with Led Zeppelin, Plant spoke to NPR about his continuing musical evolution and trying things that he might not be particularly good at.

“You know,” he said, “I’m a student.”

That sentiment is particularly relevant to me. At last weekend’s Excellence in Journalism Conference in Nashville, the Board of Directors for the Society of Professional Journalists officially approved my nomination to chair SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee.

EIJ14_Generic-VerticalI’m humbled to be in this position, and I’ve already been given a heap of support from SPJ President Dana Neuts, former chair Dr. Becky Tallent, my fellow committee members (it’s a great committee!), and from others who are interested in collaborating with us. And that brings me back to Robert Plant’s comments about being a student.

I, too, must be a student: a student of journalism education, of the issues affecting high school and university journalism programs, of finding ways to encourage students to pursue what I believe is one of the most important professions in our country.

That process has already begun. SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee, under Becky’s terrific leadership, has spent the past year reexamining the state of high school journalism in America and will be publishing a well-researched book on the topic in the coming months. It’ll be the first examination of its kind in two decades, and those of us who have been working on it are proud to be part of this project.

During my tenure, I want to make sure I’m accessible, particularly to journalism educators and students. You can find me in a couple of other places: on Twitter at @ButlerCain and at West Texas A&M University (personally, I think I could use a new photo).

Get in touch!

One Response to “The Professor as Student”
  1. Lisa Roskens says:

    Congrats, Butler Cain! I know you have already been a tremendous resource to this high school educator as well as her students!

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