16 December, 2008


So much for being original. Word of Mouth host Virginia Prescott shattered my illusions today when she sent along a link to Stuff White People Like #105: Unpaid Internships. According to SWPL, "White people view the internship as their foot into the door to such high-profile low-paying career fields as journalism, film, politics, art, non-profits, and anything associated with a museum." Got me on that one.

For the record, this is my last "official" week as an unpaid intern at NHPR, as noted by Laura Knoy in the final moments of The Exchange yesterday.

03 December, 2008

Fast Advertising

Today at Word of Mouth, my mission was to nail down Tom Farber, a calculus teacher in San Diego who sells ad space on the bottom of his tests and quizzes cover his class photocopying costs. I called Mr. Farber at his home in San Diego this morning for a quick pre-interview, but before we got very far, he said, "Hey! I'm on TV! I'll call you back." Mr. Farber didn't call back, but that's not surprising given how much media attention this teacher's story has generated in the past 48-hours. He's been a busy guy.

The San Diego Union Tribune and other area papers broke the story before Thanksgiving, though it seems to have gone relatively unnoticed by the national media until Monday, when USA Today ran a story on Farber's advertising scheme. Since then, Farber has been under the media microscope. He was interviewed on As It Happens yesterday and CNN this morning. Some bloggers dissed the concept of advertising on student tests, but others, like the Daily Kos, devoured it, calling Farber's bottom-of-the-test ads "brilliant".

Mr. Farber kindly took a day off of teaching to humor the media. I tracked him down again, booked an interview for several hours later, wrote a script and Virginia handled the rest in front of the mic. Our interview with Tom Farber will air on Monday.