Professor Ronald Netsky
Professor's Perspective: Ronald Netsky
This spring I will teach " New Journalism: Reading and Writing Contemporary Non-Fiction" for the third time. Every time I've taught this course I have enjoyed sharing my love of literary journalism—the wonderful stories you might encounter in the New Yorker and other publications—with MALS students. Of course, the challenge comes when students attempt to write their own articles employing the contemporary methods of New Journalism.
Each week we read a magazine piece by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Orlean, Joseph Mitchell or another superb writer, and analyze it to find out what makes it work. We treat the rest of the session as an editorial meeting, with students discussing drafts of each other's work. It gives me great pleasure to watch their writing grow livelier and more compelling as the semester progresses. MALS students have had more life experience than undergraduate students. They've been to interesting places, met fascinating characters and had unique experiences. I enjoy helping them tell their stories.