1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

RIP Conrad Fink

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by deskslave, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Not actually seen it reported anywhere, but Schlabach has it on his Twitter, and I consider that as trustworthy a source as any.

    Damn. Just damn.


    ETA: http://redandblack.com/2012/01/14/conrad-fink-legendary-grady-professor-dies-at-80/
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    RIP to one of the greatest journalists I've ever known.

    I'll always be grateful to him for one small act of personal kindness, when he didn't have to spend 15 seconds giving me his time.

    The AP obit was written by one of his (many) former students, Russ Bynum. Worth a read: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/uga-journalism-professor-conrad-fink-former-ap-executive-and-correspondent-dies-at-age-80/2012/01/14/gIQALHVCzP_story.html
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Never met him, but so many journalists I know and respect rave about him. I wish I'd known him. RIP to someone who sounds like a great person, let alone professor/journalist.
  4. rlavner

    rlavner New Member

    Best mentor a journalism student could ever ask for. He will be missed, dearly.
  5. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    That AP obit describes him as someone whom "students either feared or revered." I don't recall that being an either/or thing. I did both, in equal measure, throughout the time I studied under him, as did most everyone else, I would have to think. As a student, your main goal is always to impress whoever you work for, to avoid their scorn or derision. With Fink, the only way you did that was by being thorough, dedicated, detail-oriented -- in short, all the things that all the greats do. I've had a few really good bosses, but I'm pretty sure I've never had one as demanding as he was.

    (A note: It may sound disrespectful that I call him "Fink." Trust me, it's not. It's what everyone called him, and it's what he did to everyone else. The only way you could disrespect him, in that regard, was to call him Dr. Fink.)

    And it rubs off -- I was embroiled a few weeks ago in a discussion with a reporter about a particular story, which I didn't think was as good as it could be. She basically dismissed it with "Eh, it's good enough. You do what you want with it." And in that moment, like so many others before it, I heard Fink's voice in my head. (Or, more accurately, saw his red-ink scrawlings.) I did that to Fink once. He said something wasn't quite good enough, and did I want to take it back and make it better. I said no, like the dumb, arrogant kid I was. Two days later, I had that story back, and he'd excoriated me, in that red ink. Ripped me a new one, and deservedly so. That's something I've never, ever forgotten.

    One of his former students posted a picture on FB of something he'd written for Fink, on which the man had inscribed something that probably sums him up better than any single sentence can: "Amazing how well you can report/write when you pull your thumb out." He wasn't the kind of guy whom you just couldn't impress at all. You could. And when you did, and when he acknowledged it, there simply wasn't any better feeling.

    I hate it that future generations of students will miss out on that, that they won't have that dreadfully nervous feeling of walking into a Fink class for the first time, knowing on one hand what to expect and yet on the other really having no clue at all, and that feeling of walking out of the last one a year or two later, having been torn down and built back up, in the style of the Marine that he was until the end.
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Great stuff, deskslave.

    Here's another fine tribute: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/1d00df1212974e5c9834d2d8c15d5ddb/GA--Conrad-Finks-Legacy/
  7. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    By all accounts a great teacher and a mentor to many people I respect, but damn, those are some Rooney-esque eyebrows:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  8. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    Great guy and an even better journalist. RIP Fink.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Met him once through a friend who was a UGA grad. He was showing me around campus and we ran into him. I didn't talk to him beyond "Nice to meet you." but I was stunned at the level of excitement that my friend had to see him.

    I was impressed with how many of my UGA friends posted tributes to the guy on FB over the weekend.
  10. bigbadeagle

    bigbadeagle Member

    The girl who works for me swears by Fink. He was a big influence on her. That's good enough for me.

    And FWIW, Russ Bynum is damn good people.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page