Student Journalist Spotlight: Georgia Perry, Indiana U.

Update: For those interested in checking out The Robin, Perry reports: “People can read some stories online at www.thebtownrobin.tumblr.com.  Or if they want print copies they can inquire about that through thebtownrobin@gmail.com and we’ll send them over and just ask for a donation of whatever they want to give.”

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Georgia Perry is making a satirical statement, in newspaper form.  Last year, Perry, 22, a senior at Indiana University, launched The Robin, a satirical newspaper that smells a bit like Onion with a local, Hoosier-specific mocking flavor.  The publication seems to be the apotheosis of all of Perry’s efforts at IU, including a double-major in journalism and comedy writing (with a political science concentration on the side); four years in a campus improvisational comedy group;  and a two-year stint as a columnist for The Indiana Daily Student.

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The self-made satirist and campus news entrepreneur is the latest j-student worthy of a CMM Student Journalist Spotlight.  Below, Perry shares  her thoughts on Robin‘s start, “Brothers and Sisters,” and clumps of hair lost forever within IU’s main library.

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Georgia Perry, founder, The Robin, Indiana University

Georgia Perry, founder, The Robin, Indiana University.

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Write a six-word memoir of your Robin experience so far.
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Only need three: Crazy, Sexy, Cool.

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To all the campus media haters out there: Why does The Robin matter?
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Cool it, haters. We’re just trying to make you laugh. Just chill out, OK? Really, I mean it. Send a donation why don’t you? And tape “Brothers and Sisters” on ABC for me? I’ve got plans tonight.
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What is the coolest part about starting your own satirical publication?
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Giving the people I know a place to get published is a great feeling. All the writers are really funny and have great, interesting ideas, and it’s really satisfying to know that I’ve provided them with a place to show it. Most people who know me would say that my contribution to their life is extremely negative, or that I bring them down, get them addicted to heroin in the bathroom at the roller rink, etc. So it’s nice to contribute something positive for a change.
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What is one story you’re especially proud to have run in Robin so far?
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We ran a story called “Extraordinary person to host big thing,” which was just overtly vague terminology about so and so hosting an event to benefit so and so for upwards of 700 words. There are too many actual stories like that out there, you know? And no one ever cares. I think it was different to do a story that essentially just made fun of journalism, and it turned out really well.
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Where do you fit in with other student media at IU? What do you hope is your contribution?
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When you think about all student media on campus as a whole, we’re definitely “the satire paper” or “that thing that’s like the Onion” or whatever. We’re easy to distinguish as the funny publication, and we’re the only thing like that on campus. I hope our contribution is that we surprise people and get them to laugh. And it’s satire, so I hope that we make them think a little. Most of our “news” stories have a point they’re trying to get across. But most importantly, I hope we give students something fun to do in class if they aren’t into crosswords.
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Memorable behind-the-scenes production moment.
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I may or may not have pulled out clumps of my own hair once or thrice while working on The Robin in IU’s main library. By that I mean, I absolutely did that.
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What is one question we should all be asking much more often about the current state or future of journalism?
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Are blogs the new black (and white and read all over)?
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You wake up in ten years. Where are you and what are you doing?
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Walk-up apartment. All I had for breakfast is a cup of coffee and two Excedrin. Complaining to whoever will listen that my cats aren’t cuddly enough.

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