My first experience working as a journalist was an internship at the Macon Telegraph in Macon, Georgia. My alma mater, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, required a three-month stint at a daily newspaper for graduation. The sting of the editor’s red pen was bitter at the age of 19.
My first assisgnment was to cover the County Fair, which was a blast. I interviewed carneys, alligator handlers, sideshow performers and locals attending the festivities.
Greg, one of the Metro editors back in 1990, sat me down and went over my article sentence by sentence, showing my how to improve my writing. His criticism bruised my fragile ego, but he walked me through the critique with the patience of a saint. By the end of my tenure in Macon, I realized that feedback was just part of the profession and took criticism like a professional.