CQS 25th Anniversary Tribute: Farideh Dada

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Farideh Dada (Summer 2006)
Journalism Adviser/Instructor
San Jose City College and DeAnza College

Sitting around a rectangular table quietly, on the first day of class, bending over their campus newspaper, reading stories and staring at photos, they wonder how in the world they will be able to produce anything like that.

Their answer to the question “Do you know how to produce a newspaper?” is unanimously “No.” It is easy to see fear and doubt in the eyes of these new college students.

“Am I in the right class?” they might ask themselves. “Am I qualified enough to work for a newspaper?”

Fast forward four months. Sitting at their workstations in the college newsroom, wearing smiles, chatting, brainstorming and making decisions about coverage, they lead the newsroom and produce the campus newspaper.

Fear and doubt are replaced with passion and confidence.

That’s what makes my job, as a journalism instructor, fulfilling.

Success is not just about what you accomplish, it’s about how you inspire and help others.

I, an honored Chipster, a peace-loving Iranian-American citizen, or better yet, a world civilian, have much love and respect for the profession of journalism and the students who represent its future.

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Journalism empowers students. It instills self-confidence in them. It makes them better managers and communicators.

It is enthralling to see my students become better critical thinkers, develop passion for journalism and become media practitioners. It is wonderful to see my students sending me news links with their personal analysis. It is rewarding to see my students receiving awards in journalism conferences. It is great to feel I can make a difference in their lives.

The power of journalism is more than what we think. As Tom Stoppard, the Czech-born British playwright, finely said, “If your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”

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