Sarah Cahalan | February 1, 2018
When Rich Jones left The New York Times last year to work at Notre Dame, many of his colleagues asked the same question.
“What are you doing leaving Manhattan and going to Indiana?”
The query, Jones says, always made him think of Lou Holtz’s famous summary of our campus: If you’ve been there, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t, none is adequate.
But, of course, some explanation is required. Notre Dame had an opening for the Annenberg directorship of the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Jones had a long history of teaching journalism in addition to his years as a reporter and editor, and, as “a Catholic kid from north Philadelphia,” he’d always admired Notre Dame. But he never thought he’d end up here.
“I don’t want to get too cosmic,” he says, but, to borrow another phrase often heard around campus, sometimes you just feel called.
Jones’ resume is impressive. He’s logged more than a decade at the Times and nearly as long at the Philadelphia Inquirer, writing about everything from criminal justice to the New York Jets, and he’s taught at a half-dozen universities. Over the years, he has often found himself at schools known for their journalism programs — Columbia as a graduate student, New York University as an instructor — but he likes the dynamics of a smaller journalism minor program like Notre Dame’s.
“There’s something special about teaching journalism in this context as part of the liberal arts tradition,” he says. “I mean, journalism is a liberal art, right?”
With a Notre Dame education, Jones says, the concepts fit particularly well.