Heidi Carr (MSJ87) is taking what she learned during her 19 years as editor at The Miami Herald (where she covered Broward County, education, and obituaries) back to the classroom as a lecturer in the School of Communication at the University of Miami. Previously an adjunct, she recently accepted a full-time position.
One of Carr’s favorite Medill professors peppered lectures with anecdotes about her own experiences as a reporter, which were funny and engaging. She was friendly, but demanded perfection. A stickler for accuracy, she would give an automatic F on an assignment if there was even one error. It taught Carr to never be sloppy and make an assumption.
Carr recalls her first writing assignment on her first day at Medill. The assignment paired students with a classmate, giving everyone 10 minutes to conduct an interview and about 20 to write a short feature story on him or her. Carr spent at least half of that trying to figure out how to turn on the manual typewriter. She complained, saying something like "You'd think for this tuition Medill could give us IBM Selectrics." She was told, as reporters, there might not be an electrical outlet to plug a typewriter into, and they’d better get used to it.
“I thought that was a lot of blarney,” she says, “but, sure enough, when I applied for newspaper jobs around the D.C. area after graduation, some only had an old manual for the tryout. I remembered thinking ‘I can do this.’ And I did.”