David Carr on Change

New York Times writer David Carr, “known for his insightful reporting on changes in publishing, television and social media, understood the world young journalists were entering when he offered 10 pieces of advice” to the 2014 graduating class at 2014’s UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

1. 1. Someone who is underestimated will be the one who changes the world. It’s not the person everyone expects. It might be you.

2. “Do what is front of you.” Focus on the small steps ahead of you.

3.  Don’t worry about achieving a master plan, about the plot to take over the world.

4. Be a worker among workers. It’s more important that you fit in before you stick out.

5. Follow the “Mom Rule.” Don’t do anything you couldn’t explain or justify to your mom.

6. Don’t just do what you’re good at. Get outside of your comfort zone. Being a journalist is permission for lifetime learning.

7. Be present. Don’t worry about documenting the moment with your smartphone. Experience it yourself.

8. Take responsibility for the good and the bad. Learn to own your failures.

9. Be honest, and be willing to have the difficult conversation.

10. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious. It’s not a crime.


Carr passed away early in 2015 in the Times newsroom.

Special thanks to Dan Colman, founder/editor of Open Culture, for sharing this advice.

[Photo credit: @mohdali_31 on Unsplash]

David Carr on Change