Leiby to Teach Basic Journalism

248-1.gifYoung Journos watch out!

WaPo’s Arts & Style Editor Richard Leiby has signed on as an adjunct professor at GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. He starts teaching a basic journalism class Tuesday and Thursday nights on news writing and reporting.

And he’s not messing around.

In his syllabus, he writes to students, “I’m going to treat you, my students, as if you’re my reporters and I’m your hard-nosed assignment editor. Treat this class as you would a job at a news organization. As your editor, I expect you to show up on time at your desk, ready to work and well briefed on the day’s news.”

Leiby’s class begins just before 8 p.m. “I especially pushed the class start time to a quarter to eight realizing anything can happen, so I should have time to get over there and impart whatever wisdom I have to the young minds,” he said. “I’ll tell you from someone who’s been in the business now over 30 years, bringing back those core basics is like squeezing out a strand of DNA because it’s so much a part of what you do everyday.”

The class, he said, is the basics: writng nut graphs, leads, finding good stories and sources, conducting interviews, and covering meetings.

Leiby said he officially became part of WaPo management Friday. His titles are many but he describes himself as an “Arts Editor” who’s also responsible for putting out the Sunday Arts & Style section.

So what’s his title? “Person with three jobs,” he replied.

What does all this mean for Leiby?

“It means I can bid farewell to writing,” he said. “I have to run meetings.”

Leiby, now Professor Leiby to some, has worked at the newspaper for 19 years.