I’m thinking that Pat Thornton’s The audacity of ambition — and innovation would make a good start for an exercise in my classroom, and perhaps in your newsroom, too.

Pat has defined the newspaper industry he wants to work in, manifesto-style. Ambition, innovation and audacity play a large role in his list. (I’d like to see more folks working for newspapers hop on over and add their own thoughts: this could become a fairly important snapshot of what’s on the minds of those who care.)

It will be interesting to put this list in front of my young journalists*, and then ask them to develop their own list, describing the industry they want to become involved in after they graduate. That would, I think, paint an interesting picture of what they see as important both for media and for themselves.

* I told my class the other day that they should stop thinking of themselves as students and start identifying themselves as journalists. The point was to get them to realize that journalism, more than ever, is a field where lifelong learning may be the essential mindset, and the sooner they start thinking of themselves as journalists who are learning, the better.