John Corrales, class of 2011, is a news assistant for the National Desk at The New York Times. Prior to becoming a news assistant, he worked as marketing and legal assistant at a Manhattan criminal defense firm and as a reporter on the police beat at the Odessa American, a daily newspaper in Odessa, Texas.
At The Times, John handles content in CMS's, helps direct copy flow, edits and builds weather pages, and, when the opportunities arise, writes for the paper. His articles have appeared in The Times' Lens Blog, The Houston Chronicle, and The San Antonio Express-News. He also composed an ad that was printed in Forbes.
"As a UD English major, I learned to interpret literature sincerely, and I endured the painstaking process of discovering how best to articulate those interpretations in writing. Learning to think on my own without depending on the lexicon of some school of thought meant realizing meaning in literature in my own words and in my own way. Frankly, doing this over and over not only led to writing better papers, but also prepared me to live a reflective and meaningful life.
Becoming a confident reader and honing the ability to prise meaning from texts accurately and quickly have directly influenced my work in journalism. A reporter reads life, so to speak, as in events, actions, and issues that haven't yet been recorded. Reporting, like studying literature, requires analyzing events responsibly and contextualizing them prudently.
Journalism also forces me to see differently in the way difficult Core texts reshaped my vision. But being grounded in the literary tradition allows me to see my work through a powerful lens of familiarity: I'm able to recognize narratives that have recurred in writing for thousands of years, and can shape my own writing by drawing from a continuum established by the masters. Allowing this tradition to inform how I mold issues of today makes reporting a full and rewarding experience."