In the second episode of Under The Sun, Marc Lacey ’87 joined columnist Gabriel Levin ‘26 remotely from his office in The New York Times headquarters to reflect on the lessons he has learned throughout his legendary career in media.
Zubrow Distinguished Visiting Journalist Andrew Morse ’96 visited campus Tuesday for an Inside Journalism event, where he reflected on his career as a journalist, discussed technology’s role in modern journalism and offered advice to those looking to enter the industry.
Against this backdrop of the illusion of meritocracy, contrary to what Best said in the interview, I argue that Substack does not free journalists from the need to game the social media algorithms. Instead, Substack primarily serves those who have already successfully “gamed” the algorithms — those that have already been rewarded with attention, fame and popularity on existing social media platforms, particularly Twitter.
As I reflect on my time at Cornell, The Sun will shine brightly as one of my most lasting and positive experiences. Not because it jump started my career as a journalist or gave me the thrill of seeing my name attached to a published piece, not because it allowed me to speak to science luminaries like Steve Squyres or Carla Gomez (although I covet the audio recordings of our interviews), but because I got to work with and learn from a talented team of passionate writers, reporters and friends. Working as a writer and editor for The Sun primarily taught me about journalism, but it also taught me about myself (cheesy, I know). Ultimately, it solidified my long-held appreciation for good writing and reporting. What I learned about journalism, through my time at the Sun, is reflected in the words of author John Irving — “Before you can write anything, you have to notice something.” It is the responsibility of a journalist to report on what is noticed and, importantly, what people fail to notice.