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Speaking at CSU Fullerton

John on October 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

Last week a professor from CSU Fullerton e-mailed to ask if Morgen and I would be interested in speaking to his mass communication class. He had read the Atlantic article and wanted to highlight it as an example of the power of new media outlets to bypass traditional gatekeepers.

We agreed to do it, thinking it would be a class with a dozen or so grad students. We met the professor for dinner and talked about the story then walked cross campus to the classroom. On the way we discovered it would actually be a class of nearly 100 undergrads. That changed things, somehow, in our heads. Would I have cared about this as an undergrad? Doubtful.

We also learned that someone from the campus public TV show would be filming. We joked somewhat nervously about the potential for us to have our own Sotomayor moment.

CSU Fullerton classroom

Fortunately for us, most of the class seemed interested in the videos and the story of how they went from this blog to TV screens, confirmation hearings and the Senate floor. I heard some chuckles when we showed them Gibbs responding to questions about the “wise Latina” comments. It really is an amusing clip.

After about 45 minutes of talk (with lots of video clips interspersed) we took questions for about 15 minutes. We did notice one student who seemed to be nodding off, but most of them appeared (or feigned) interest. They even laughed a few times, such as when I suggested that our “Reality Check” clone site was probably a waste of 15 hours.

We did a brief interview with the producers of the KCET show after our presentation. That may or may not make it into a short segment on the show in the coming weeks. We’ll see.

I guess the highest compliment was an invitation from the professor (whose name I’m purposefully not including) to return next semester. Hopefully we’ll be doing it again, maybe with some new stories to tell.

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