After Shadowing A Job for A Day, You Realize that Life Is Not What You Thought It Would Be

Participatory stories have a long history in American journalism. Nellie Bly faked insanity and became a patient in a mental institution in order to study the horrible conditions there. Corey Levitan put this investigative journalism to a new level in his journalistic career. He has shadowed hundreds of people for jobs he is “entirely unprepared to handle and then wrote about his experiences.”

In my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017, I asked students to shadow any of the following jobs:

  1. Bartender
  2. Sewer worker
  3. Road cleanup crew
  4. Plumber
  5. Auctioneer
  6. A restaurant waiter/waitress
  7. A retail cashier
  8. Mailman
  9. Gravedigger
  10. Truck driver
  11. Basketball player
  12. Mayor
  13. Professor
  14. WIU president
  15. Police officer
  16. Prison guard
  17. Firefighter
  18. Farmer
  19. Doctor
  20. Homemaker
  21. Beggar
  22. Homeless person
  23. Janitor
  24. Secretary
  25. Auto mechanic
  26. Waste Management employee for curbside trash pickup
  27. Real estate agent
  28. Employee for tree trimming and removal service
  29. Football/basketball coach

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A Superstar on the Rise: William Turkington (3)

William Turkington was a student of my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017 semester. In this class, every student must report and write one query letter and more than 10 feature stories in different genres. Each story must not exceed 500 words. Then the student must expand whatever story of their choice into a polished, ready-for-publication long-form magazine article of 1,200 to 1,500 words.

image1_jour330

Students from my feature writing class pose in front of the department Wall of Fame. William Turkington stands in the back row, second from left. Photo credit: Provided by Yong Tang

Turkington came to my attention because  Continue reading

A Superstar on the Rise: William Turkington (2)

William Turkington was a student of my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017 semester. In this class, every student must report and write one query letter and more than 10 feature stories in different genres. Each story must not exceed 500 words. Then the student must expand whatever story of their choice into a polished, ready-for-publication long-form magazine article of 1,200 to 1,500 words.

image1_jour330

Students from my feature writing class pose in front of the department Wall of Fame. William Turkington stands in the back row, second from left. Photo credit: Provided by Yong Tang

Turkington came to my attention because  Continue reading

A Superstar on the Rise: William Turkington (1)

William Turkington was a student of my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017 semester. In this class, every student must report and write one query letter and more than 10 feature stories in different genres. Each story must not exceed 500 words. Then the student must expand whatever story of their choice into a polished, ready-for-publication long-form magazine article of 1,200 to 1,500 words.

image1_jour330

Students from my feature writing class pose in front of the department Wall of Fame. William Turkington stands in the back row, second from left. Photo credit: Provided by Yong Tang

Turkington came to my attention because  Continue reading

Each Student Gets a Chinese Name: A Spring 2017 Souvenir

Like before, each student in my Spring 2017 classes gets a Chinese name as a souvenir. Students must be able to write and read their Chinese names to earn some extra credit. I encourage students to use their Chinese names whenever they can. Students enjoy this activity. Some posted their Chinese names on Facebook. Some even turned their lovely Chinese names into beautiful tattoos. Continue reading

Southwestern Law School Conference on Global Freedom of Information Laws

Today too many conferences are becoming just too big. Thousand of attendees. Thousands of papers. Huge hotel with hundreds of conference rooms. Often times, too many people try to connect to the same Wi-Fi at the same time. The huge traffic brings the Wi-Fi completely down. Every participant is busy because he or she, Continue reading