My Kinda Night Out…

….Chatting with Thomas Friedman about the future of journalism in this failing economy and sharing a ride home with Martha Raddatz.

If I had to coin a word for tonight’s experience at the Italian Embassy of Washington D.C., I would use EPICLICIOUS.

I have to be honest and admit that I am indeed a loser for being 25 and preferring to spend a Monday night mingling among drunk journalists honoring the God of Foreign Affairs coverage and saying “no” to going out dancing with kids my age.

"Pride" by Federica Valabrega

"Pride" by Federica Valabrega

But honesty is overrated and I am a journalist dedicated to networking and hanging around her “myths” not matter the context. And, if the topic is the demise of journalism, the more the merrier.

It makes for a good bed-time story to tell my kids, at least! Or better and anecdote easily shared with my Graduate School journalism colleagues who dread their “very shaky” contract jobs in this industry.

Friedman had indeed  a very interesting theory about the survival of our species based solely on “peaceful coexistence.” The journalism world needs to keep “its brand journalists” and not get rid of the “blogsphere” and viceversa.  No one “easy” solution will work, according to Friedman. Nonetheless,  journalism students should not lose interest and confidence in this market, bur rather WRITE. WRITE, WRITE everywhere and anywhere, no matter what and for whom.

Raddatz was not as deep and  inspiring as Friedman, (she did give it all up last year when she won the Urbino Press Award herself for the Iraq War coverage), but again the ride home was only 10 minutes long, so the only topic of discussion worth carrying on for such little time was some sweet talking about the Washington Post cartoonist playing drums in a band called the “Suspicious Package” and how his daily job did not interfere with his Peterpan-like desire to stay young forver.

Now, is all this networking ever going to get me a job at the New York Times? Or a visa, for that matter?

Not even if the world is indeed FLAT after all!

Are Friedman and Raddatz even going to remember my Italian name pronounced without an “R” after the “F?”


But so what. Who cares.

I will remember them and the impact these journalists made on the world of news and continue aspiring to be like them in the hope, one day, the world would not be FLAT, but indeed FEDE’s.

4 thoughts on “My Kinda Night Out…

  1. ale says:

    Wow…it’s hard to find such a strong motivation nowadays, but i know you, Federica, and your words don’t surprise me.
    As you may know, Fede, I also have no time to spend for crazy nights with 25-years guys and probably you remeber that this condition represents something constant in my life since i was 17…so that i really understand what you mean…
    Apart from my personal needs of “baby-dad” (probably this definition best refers to what i used to be), i’ve always preferred the unexplored roads that life presented to me instead of following common tracks.
    That’s why i appreciate all the steps you’re making to achieve your objectives in the field of journalism. No matter where the night at the Italian Embassy will drive you and your career, the real fact is that there is something in yourself that suggests to see what’s next just beyond the horizon…this is what i name “following your dreams” which means use your reason to perceive what reality suggests to your heart.



  2. Liz says:

    Ha! I’m loving this Fede… especially Friedman’s advice to write anywhere and everywhere, no matter what and no matter for whom… Inspiration I can pass along to my students!

    And no you are so NOT a loser for hanging with drunk journalists instead of dancing with folks your own age. The way I see it, we can learn from more seasoned journalists… drunk or sober :o)

  3. Liz Frost says:

    Fede, my sister of the soul. Your article is lovely, the comments are lovely, and where there is a will there is a way. You certainly have will, darling.

  4. Andi says:

    Hey, with your will Fede you definitely can make things happen…and you have more than “just” will, have something more. You are a good writer and catch the right moment with your camera. Brava! Complimenti! Great blog, I enjoy reading your thoughts.
    Don’t forget sometimes the road is bumpy but there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

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