Riese’s Team Pick: “There Are Some People Who Don’t Wait: The Future of Journalism”

I read this entire transcript of NPR’s Robert Krulwich’s commencement speech at the Berkeley Journalism School graduation and it was just really, really, really validating in so many ways. I encourage you to read the entire thing:

…think about getting together with friends that you admire, or envy.  Think about entrepeneuring. Think about NOT waiting for a company to call you up. Think about not giving your heart to a bunch of adults you don’t know. Think about horizontal loyalty. Think about turning to people you already know, who are your friends, or friends of their friends and making something that makes sense to you together, that is as beautiful or as true as you can make it.

And when it comes to security, to protection, your friends may take better care of you than CBS took care of Charles Kuralt in the end. In every career, your job is to make and tell stories, of course. You will build a body of work, but you will also build a body of affection, with the people you’ve helped who’ve helped you back.

And maybe that’s your way into Troy.


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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3212 articles for us.


  1. Riese, that message is perfect and exactly what I needed to read as I sit at work and daydream with my best friend about starting our own business. Thank you for sharing!

  2. This describes perfectly the motivation for the LGBT-friendly newspaper that my friends and I started this year. Hmm … it’s like AS knows me or something.


  3. I was once a journalist. A reporter, really. I abandoned it because I wanted big money and decided it would be too hard on that path. I really admire people who create their own publications to write for. The people who go to those lengths are the ones who need to be out there writing anyway, probably — not people like me. They are the ones with something to say. You gals at Autostraddle deserve big-ups. You’re making shit happen and I know AS will be around for a long while! Feeling inspired is truly powerful.

  4. This is such a beautiful sentiment from a great speech. Krulwich FTW:

    “I am here to tell you, that you are stepping into a world that is riper, more pregnant with newness, new ideas, new beats, new opportunities than most generations of journalists before you. You are lucky to be you, very lucky, though you may not be feeling it at the moment.”

  5. I don’t want to be the party pooper here. . . but does anyone else notice that he only invokes other men to demonstrate this future success that supposedly awaits all of us somewhere over the rainbow? Gosh, I want to be inspired by this really. I want to run in the street with my friends (RENT style) and sing this message! BUT, does it say something that all of his examples are men? And the one time that women are mentioned, it’s seems to be an Oops moment? I don’t know. . . I’m hesitant to find out how this applies to my reality.

  6. I read the whole thing and filed it in the Quicker-Picker-Upper file, for those occasions when one needs a pick-me-up. It was horrendously long (not a quick read at all!), but so wonderfully heartfelt and real and universally helpful. (I’m not even anything close to being a journalist but it don’t matter none) Thanks Riese!

  7. PREACH. I am graduating in July, albeit from a different discipline, and this advice is a million times more relevant to me than the old white dude waffle I’ll doubtless be hearing then.

    For all of us I think the days of being company-workers or organisation-workers are over – I have seen too many people who have had the stars knocked out of their eyes by workplaces they trusted and believed in. Both scary and wonderful to think that however we want to make a contribution, it’s up to us and our dear ones to do it :)

  8. this is just so awesome. almost nothing is certain these days (especially job security, economic stability, etc.) all we truly have is each other and our own two hands. the journalism/media industry is still a corporate-driven monster but now – more than ever – small, independent groups of journalists have created or have access to alternative distribution outlets. still, there is this thinking that an advanced degree or a killer internship or a big promotion will unlock all sorts of professional possibilities. while this may be true for a rare few, the broad reality is that journalism is a hustle. do it for yourself & your friends or do it for someone else. either way, get ready for the fight and make sure your work is worth something. < AS rocks

  9. I was too lazy to read the whole speech, but that pull quote is fucking deep, man. No matter what industry you’re in, “horizontal loyalty” is exactly what’s needed for independent, revolutionary businesses/publications to get off the ground. Hot.

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