Pulitzer Winner Eli Sanders Talks About Stuff
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog: So what was your major?
Eli: Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, I don’t know if they have that anymore. MEALAC?
Bwog: Yeah, they changed it to MESAAS just a little bit ago. What did you think of the Core?
Eli: I really liked it, I enjoyed it. I went to public schools in Seattle, and a lot of other students from prep schools and private schools had read these books. I hadn’t, so I really appreciated it.
Bwog: And has it been useful?
Eli: I appreciate it even more now. A lot of what you’re reading is really great stories, and if your job is to write good stories, at least, it’s really helpful.
Bwog: Awesome. Is there a big difference between campus journalism and the real thing?
Eli: Well, you get paid. And you get benefits. But it’s still a bunch of writers in a room trying to put out a good paper or publication.
Bwog: You were on Spec. What is your most ridiculous undergraduate reporting experience?
Eli: [laughs] The most absurd thing that happened to me: at the Spec Blue Pencil Dinner, which they still have, Andy Rooney was the speaker. That was the year I was editor, or maybe the year before. And I knew him, but didn’t really what he was all about. Anyways, we’d been drinking and eating. And we took a picture, and I was next to Andy Rooney. There I was with my junior and senior year Jew-fro, and I just imagine him looking over and thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?”
Bwog: Do you still read Spec?
Eli: I don’t. I’m way out here in Seattle; I do keep up with New York news, but not so much campus stuff.
Bwog: Do you have a favorite fictional journalist?
Eli: I don’t think I ever spent time developing affinities for fictional journalists. I do have some favorite real journalists.
Bwog: Would you name some?
Eli: Capote, Mailer, new journalists. They weren’t perfect, but I admire the force of their writing.
Bwog: Any advice for hopeful journalists?
Eli: It’s harder than it was when I was starting, and that wasn’t too long ago. A lot of things have collapsed since then. I would say go into it with very clear eyes about what you’re getting into.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
Headshot via elisanders.net
Tags: alumni, alums that both give us hope and scare us, alums who make us proud, interviews, journalism is hard work, pulitzer prize, spectator, telecommunication is the shit, the west coast is another coast that exists