i recently joined a daily cardinal alum group, though all i contributed to madison's proud ol' bird was a handful of bleary-eyed concert reviews. still, i'm happy to have spilled a little ink on the same pages as all those pulitzer winners and tv types like jeff greenfield and rita braver.
is it my imagination, or do a lot of sociologists seem to have dabbled in journalism in high school or college? at the next department gathering, you might ask your colleagues how many of them worked on their high school newspaper. just as i edited the sibley scribe back in west st. paul, i learned today that kathy hull edited her school paper in michigan, as did doug in missouri.
though i've always loved writing, i left the cardinal in the fall semester of my freshman year. there were some real journalists in the vilas hall basement in those days -- and they weren't dabbling at all. i recall one cardinal veteran telling me that he liked my writing, "but isn't a music critic supposed to be ... you know, a little critical?" while i never had the heart to savage a struggling musician on an off-night, i eventually developed a critical perspective as a sociologist. perhaps a few other ex-journalist sociologists have followed similar trajectories.