Admit it: You used to be that ‘Guy at your J-school’

April 22, 2016

Maybe he’s the ego-buster journalism students need. About a month ago, a parody account called “Guy at your J-school” began tweeting insights into life, with posts that range from delusional to chokingly smug.

No doubt, “Guy at your J-school” hits notes that can make any jaded reporter sneer. The caricature might even cause some to reflect on their own rosy beginnings. Either way, the account’s 5,630 followers suggest it’s resonating with at least some portion of the Fourth Estate.





Anyone who’s spent time at a J-school may have endured this painful lack of self-awareness, in themselves or others. It’s not that journalism students are foolish or narcissistic. Rather, the decision to go into debt for an unstable and taxing career demands an extraordinary belief in journalism’s power to better the world. It’s a wonderful conviction, and one that bonds the members of this tribe. But that sense of purpose may be a bit inflated on the college campus, where the harsh realities and limitations of the business are mostly conceptual.





“Guy at your J-school” is at his best, though, when he discusses the disenfranchised communities he covers. In those ramblings, he’s the savior of the helpless.





That nails-on-the-chalkboard display of ego reinforces the importance of humility. And that’s a good refresher for any journalist.

Jack Murtha is a CJR Delacorte Fellow. Follow him on Twitter at @JackMurtha