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DIALOGUE 04

Challenging the Status Quo of Publishing and Journalism: A Conversation with Rachel Rosenfelt [00:00:00] Interviewer: I know you’ve held roles at Verso Books and the New Inquiry. Can you talk about your professional life prior to coming to The New School for Social Research, why you decided to join NSSR, and what you think you bring to the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Department?

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Rachel Rosenfelt Associate Director of Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism

[00:00:36] Rachel Rosenfelt: The New School for Social Research reached out to me as the founding editor of the New Inquiry [TNI] just as we started to get a lot of recognition for spearheading a new wave of alternative and independent publishing launched by digital natives. As TNI’s founder, I was involved in every element that goes into building a distinctive voice, a coordinated staff, a meaningful brand, and a sustainable business model for a small magazine in a digital landscape. A big part of the reason I decided to join the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism [CPCJ] program at its inception was my conviction that there was nowhere else where the skills I built in that start-up period for TNI could be taught. I obviously believe in “learning by doing”— which is a huge part of the CPCJ program— but there are huge leaps in students’ creative development when they are provided access to a curriculum built by those who understand the landscape as it is today, not as it was 20 years ago. In addition to helping to shape the curriculum, I also direct a lot of my attention to ensuring students have the tangible vocational and life skills necessary to succeed in the modern media landscape. I think it is important to have a twofold focus, on both curriculum and student outcomes. [00:06:17] IN: Do you use real-world examples from your own life to educate your students? Or do you keep it very theoretical, or use a combination of the two?

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