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Media Internships Don’t Lead to Jobs. So What?

help-wantedWe all know internships are the best way to get a job in media, right? Er, not so much, according to this interactive chart via LinkedIn.

The research doesn’t even delve into the issues of paying interns or what, if anything, you can get from working in digital media. If you scroll down and click through the Media/Entertainment category you’ll see that:

  • In Sports, Publishing, and Media Production, there are lots of internships available (as any job board search will show) but very few actually turn into full time positions.
  • If you want to get into broadcast as a journalist, you’re in even worse luck: few opportunities, and of those, you have almost no chance of getting a job.

For communications and journalism majors starting school this season, that can be discouraging. But it’s also the nature of the industry. Scrolling over Financial Services, you might be wont to change majors. But big accounting firms, for example, recruit their interns and breed them into full time employees. It’s sort of like being in the military, you pass one test, or grueling six month program, and move up the ranks.

In news and publishing, it’s a little harder. Some solutions:

  1. If you don’t land an internship at a large media company — which is also hard to do if you’re enrolled in a school anywhere but New York, stay local or small. There’s nothing wrong with working for the little guys, except that they are most definitely not paying you. You’ll probably get to do more hands on work anyway, and make contacts that actually have time to email you back when you reach out post-graduation.
  2. Go niche. Are you really into sports? Marijuana legislation? Climate change? There are lots of great publishers making their name by being experts in one little thing. Seek them out and beg. And make sure you’re web presence and writing is easily found.
  3. I know there’s the catch-22 of often needing an internship to graduate or for credit, in which case, too bad for you. But if I could go back to school right now, I’d be blogging like nobody’s business. Write. Find your beat. Interact and engage with other writers on social media and in their comments. Then you’ll have more than just a semester of cutting video clips and fiddling with a publisher’s social media accounts: you’ll have some experience.

What are your internship woes? Let us know in the comments or @10,000Words.

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Poynter Institute Survey Reveals ‘Disconnect’ Between Journalists and Educators

poynter post picA recent survey by the Poynter Institute shows that working journalists and journalism professors aren’t exactly on the same page when it comes to ranking the importance of multimedia and digital storytelling skills.

Poynter’s survey, “The Core Skills for the Future of Journalism,” uncovered glaring differences regarding the importance that working journalists and journalism educators attach to multimedia skills, including AV editing, photography and graphic design. Read more

What Is A Social Journalism Degree? CUNY Is Trying to Answer That Question

CMC-CUNY-Logo3In the endless discussion on the value of a journalism degree, the question, “Are we teaching young journalists the right things the right ways?” always seems to surface. And as the digital revolution rolls on, creating curriculum that will be newsroom-relevant by the time students finish their degrees becomes complicated.

But the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism has a fresh new idea for teaching journalism in their new degree plan — an MA in Social Journalism. As media blogger and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis wrote over at Medium, the degree is based on the idea that journalism shouldn’t be about providing content; it should be about providing a service. (He has been developing this concept for a while; he first introduced it on his blog BuzzMachine).

On top of CUNY’s core MA in Journalism and MA in Entrepreneurial Journalism tracks, the degree plan, if approved by the university and the state of New York, would teach students how to tap into a community’s heartbeat, movers and shakers and produce reporting and content based on what they learn.

Read more

Columbia Daily Spectator Might Cut Back on Print Newspaper

The Columbia Daily Spectator  has been printing since 1877.

The Columbia Daily Spectator has been printing since 1877.

The Columbia Daily Spectator may become the first Ivy League university to do away with a daily, student-run print newspaper.

Based in the Harlem Morningside Heights neighborhood, the staff of the Spectator, established in 1877, says it plans to cut back to weekly papers. Editor-in-chief Abby Abrams told Capital New York‘s Peter Sterne that the new printing schedule would “allow all our writers and editors to produce the best content possible.”

Although the decision must be officially approved by the Spec‘s 11-member board, it can’t be argued that the paper’s print product lost money for the first time this year. Still, despite the well-known difficulties print publishers have with generating revenue, Abrams told Capital that reducing print output isn’t based on desperation.

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McGraw Center for Business Journalism Offers Up to $15,000 Fellowship for In-depth Business Reporting

A new initiative established at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism will offer fellowships of up to $15,000 to experienced business journalists starting this spring.

mcgraw center post picThe McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism supports in-depth coverage of crucial issues related to the global economy and business. Read more

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