Professor David Carr's rules for students


This fall the New York Times reporter David Carr will kick off his second career as the Boston University College of Communication's first Andrew R. Lack professor. He posted the syllabus for his class "Press Play" on Medium, where students will also file assigned stories.

But first, some rules:

  • No raising hands: "This isn’t Montessori, I expect people to speak up when they like, but don’t speak over anyone. Respect the opinions of others."
  • Stay off your phone: "If you text or email during class, I will ignore you as you ignore me. It won’t go well."
  • Link properly: "This is a web-based course. We will transparently link to all sources. Failure to appropriately cite the work of others is a serious matter. Work done for Press Play may not be submitted for another class, and the reverse is also true. Do not use friends or Wikipedia as sources. All other BU academic standards and the University Code of Conduct will be observed and enforced."

Six of the assigned readings for the course are by Carr (one is from Poynter). Carr's bio for the course reads in part:

Your professor is a terrible singer and a decent dancer. He is a movie crier but stone-faced in real life. He never laughs even when he is actually amused. He hates suck-ups, people who treat waitresses and cab drivers poorly, and anybody who think diversity is just an academic conceit. He is a big sucker for the hard worker and is rarely dazzled by brilliance. He has little patience for people who pretend to ask questions when all they really want to do is make a speech.

Related: Carr once wrote that "Having seen many journalism programs up close, I can say that most are escalators to nowhere." (NYT)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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