ESPN’s Rick Reilly To Graduating Journalism Majors: “Don’t Write For Free!”

  • Dan Fogarty

Rick Reilly returned to his alma mater, the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, to give the school’s final commencement address (the J-school will be shuttered in favor of a “Journalism Plus” program, whatever that means).

Prior to his speech yesterday, Reilly previewed some of his jokes with the Denver Post. Here’s what the last graduating class of CU’s journalism school heard on their way out.

“When you get out there, all I ask is that you: DON’T WRITE FOR FREE! Nobody asks strippers to strip for free, doctors to doctor for free or professors to profess for free. Have some pride! What you know how to do now is a skill that 99.9 percent of the people don’t have. If you do it for free, they won’t respect you in the morning. Or the next day. Or the day after that. You sink everybody’s boat in the harbor, not just yours. So just DON’T!

“And don’t ever use the word ‘enjoy.’ Ever.

“One of my rules is to write sentences that have never been uttered before in the history of the English language. . . . So when you get out there, say things people have NEVER said before, like: ‘Tiger, I’d like you to meet my sister.’ “

Badum and ching.