At the recent Society of Professional Journalists Region Four conference in Detroit, I ran into Joe Grimm hauling his boxes of presentation materials out to his car right after the conference had wrapped. Grimm is the recruitment and development editor at The Detroit Free Press and is known as the defacto godfather of journalism job advice, recruitment and confidence-building. He’s sort of a rock star in the journalism field.
His celebrity comes mostly from his amazing Journalism JobsPage, a must-stop Web page for at least the past 10 years for any journalism student looking to land their first internship, or a new college graduate looking to snag their first job. His popularity also derives from his willingness to speak at journalism events all over the place – and that he is a really nice dood.
In fact, someone with me when we ran into him, who was pretty quiet (we were trying to meet some friends so we could get some dinner) said that if she had known it was that Joe Grimm she would not have been so quiet. Later, at dinner, another friend was pretty wowed that Grimm had heard of her blog.
What makes me write this today is two-fold. One, I was looking for a list of journalism slang and I remembered there is one on the JobsPage. Grimm’s slang page is so cool – but not too long – and one of the first ones I studied so I could sound “cool” in the newsroom (or know what the hell everyone was talking about), when I was a baby journalist news aide at the Enquirer in 1998 (as someone from then described me).
Second, was the mousepad he sent me in the mail the other day. I mentioned to him that he had sent me one years ago. That was the reward for sending him a question back then, which I did, asking for some advice on how to get an internship. (I applied an internship once at the Free Press and though I never landed it – they are notoriously tough to get – I received the most amazing rejection letter I’d ever seen, so nice and thoughtful and encouraging. I still have it.)
I threw the mousepad out when I got my laser mouse and thought I’d never need one again. Turns out, laser mice don’t work so well on glass. So, I needed one again. Without telling me, without me giving him my address, he looked up the address at The Cincinnati Post and sent me a new mousepad. He threw in a note that said, “Be more careful this time!” How cool is that? That’s why he’s the godfather.