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Advice for PR and Journalism Students

Advice for PR Journalism StudentsI recently heard from an old friend (a former CMO) who is now a lecturer at a university up in British Columbia. She dropped me a line to let me know she was happy to see I was blogging again, because she thinks my posts are relevant for her students. I believe they had to take a quiz about one of my recent posts. Nothing makes me want to write more than hearing somebody learned something from one of my posts. For that, I thank all of you.

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve heard from a dozen or so other professors who have done the same thing – encouraged their students to read Journalistics. That’s nothing short of awesome in my book. Since my friend reminded me of this all-too-important audience segment, I figured it only fitting to write a post just for you (the college student reading this post right now).

Here’s a list of the things I wish somebody had told me when I was studying in college (or not studying if you want to know the truth). The list also includes some new additions – things I wish people would tell students today, that weren’t necessarily relevant when I was in school (but are more appropriate for this generation). Finally, there are some things on this list that I was probably told, but didn’t listen to at the time. If you suspect you fit into this last category, I encourage you to pay attention this one time to what you are reading. [Read more…]

What Led You to PR or Journalism?

how did you end up in pr or journalism?Time for some reminiscing. Think back (for some of you, think way, way back). What led you to PR or journalism? Did you know you wanted to work in PR or journalism before college, or did you discover the field later in life? If the latter, what did you do before?

If I’m asking you to share your story, it’s only fair I share mine. I wrote for my high school newspaper and loved it. I edited our class yearbook in high school and loved it. I even spent my free time at home working on an underground newspaper (much harder in the days of typewriters) – which I also loved. [Read more…]

You’re Still Allowed to Major in Journalism

For most recent graduates who studied journalism, the road ahead has been painted jagged, rough, and tiresome. Even worse, for many recent high school graduates entering into college, or veterans going back to school, this same journalism-major reputation has carried over. According to United Professionals writer Barbara Ehrenreich, journalism is a “dying industry.”

When embarking on a new career (or a first career), it is sometimes hard to see the job opportunities that exist in journalism. With the decline of newspapers and reporters, many are left wondering: What else is there? Unfortunately this question has deterred many away from a major in journalism, but if journalism is what you love, do not give up hope. [Read more…]

What to Do At the End of Your Internship

Did you do an internship this summer? If so, congrats, you’re a smart cookie. Internships are 100% the #1 thing you’ll need on your resume to get that first job after college. The #2 thing you’ll need is proof you can write – guess where you get that writing experience? Yep… internships. To round out the list – and some will disagree with me on this – the #3 thing you need to get a job after college is connections. Again, if you play your cards right, you get some through internships.

If you did just put your internship to bed, or you’re about to, there are a few things I’d like you to do on your way out the door: [Read more…]

NewsU Online Journalism Training

Let’s say you like learning about journalism, but you don’t have the time or money to head out to every conference or event that strikes your fancy. How cool would it be if there were a website where you could get online training in almost every area of journalism for free or a nominal fee? That’s what NewsU is all about. [Read more…]

Journalism Jobs Hard to Come By for Recent Grads

Have you been looking for a journalism job since last May? You’re not alone. The University of Georgia (UGA) just completed its “Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communications Graduates”, finding four out of 10 journalism grads from 2008 were unable to find journalism jobs six to eight months after graduation. [Read more…]

Best Schools for Journalism

There’s been a fair amount of chatter lately about whether or not students should enroll in journalism school. If you want to be a journalist someday, it can’t hurt. Do you need a journalism education to be successful? No. Will it prepare you better than a major in English or Biology? Yes.

There are plenty of people that question the value of a journalism education. Others question whether or not journalism programs are keeping up with the pace of change in the industry. Despite the criticism, enrollment is up at journalism schools around the country. So the big question in my mind is which schools are doing the best job at preparing students for a career in a much different media world than many of us grew up in? Which schools are teaching Internet and social media skills, while sticking to a solid foundation of fundamentals? Which schools put the greatest emphasis on quality reporting and writing? [Read more…]

Preparing the Next Generation of Journalists

I have a little Twitter poll going on right now: Which Journalism School Will Best Prepare The Next Generation of Journalists? 111 Twitter followers have cast their votes so far, with “other” leading the poll. I clearly overlooked some great institutions. If you haven’t cast your vote, I encourage you to do so. The poll is open through the end of the month, and I will share the final tally on the blog (along with many of your comments).

More important than your opinion on which school will do the best job is the bigger issue of preparing a future generation of journalists. I’ve seen dozens of posts on this topic, with many of them focusing on skills related to online journalism and social media. While these skills will be useful for some journalism students, I don’t think everyone needs to know how to format a photo for a blog post, nor do they have to understand HTML. I think media organizations will continue to hire support staff that can support journalists with these tasks.

I think the fundamentals of journalism remain the same. Journalists entering the profession in the future need the same skills they’ve always needed, solid fundamentals in the art of journalism. I’ve talked a bit about the basic journalism skills needed recently on this blog, but it’s important to reinforce this issue. First and foremost, journalists need to understand how to produce great news content. This starts with mastery of reporting and writing fundamentals. [Read more…]