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Ji Hyun Park

The Benefits of J-School in the Digital Age

The cons of attending journalism school can typically be narrowed down to cost of tuition, the importance of real-life job experience, and the cost of tuition. But the contacts you’ll gain from a formal education can’t be underestimated — especially in a business where relationships are everything.

“I made friends with other journalism majors, and those connections have been invaluable in my career,” agreed Lauren Streib, a UNC journalism grad who is now an assistant editor at The Daily Beast. When you first graduate, you all may have entry-level positions or internships, but in about 10 years, your friends will be in charge of hiring decisions or have close relationships with people who do. In 20 years, you’ll be running the show.

Read more in 6 Reasons a Journalism Degree Is Still Necessary. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Get a Boston Globe Byline While Living in The District

Landing a byline at a regional pub when you’re an out-of-towner takes some effort, but as long as you keep in mind the audience you’re writing for, editors are usually open-minded.

Take The Boston Globe Magazine, for example. Editor-in-chief Susanne Althoff asks freelancers to remember that the Globe magazine is, at root, a local magazine. “That doesn’t mean we’re not interested in national trend stories,” she said. “But it’s got to be a trend that’s of interest to readers in the Boston area, or in the greater Boston/New England area.”

Find out where to send your story ideas in How To Pitch: The Boston Globe Magazine.

ag_logo_medium.gif This article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

Sportscaster Jim Lampley on Being ‘Persuaded’ To Blog About Politics

After using an incorrect source in his post about the Iraq War for Huffington Post, sports broadcasting heavyweight Jim Lampley faced backlash from readers. But, for the host of HBO’s Fight Game, that scenario — and covering politics, in general — was never in his game plan.

“I had been persuaded to do it by someone very high up in political media who has specific purpose in mind for me. At the end of the day, I decided I wasn’t interested in that purpose,” Lampley said in mediabistro.com’s latest So What Do You Do? interview.

Lampley also touched on media personalities voicing their personal views or politics. “I guess it would be a little hypocritical of me to say they shouldn’t. I used to always prefix any political or social comments I made on the radio by saying, ‘I’m about to give you my personal opinion. I happen to be a commentator by trade, not an editorialist… so you take it as you see fit.’ And then from time to time I would speak out.”

Read the full interview: So What Do You Do, Jim Lampley, Host of HBO World Championship Boxing?

5 Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking

If all the spring conferences and after work mixers typically leave you noshing on free appetizers rather than actually meeting people, there’s a cure. In mediabistro.com’s latest AvantGuild feature, career coaches outline five steps to help even the most socially averse conquer their new-people phobia.

No. 2: Listen first.

The one hard and fast rule to remember is to listen more than you talk, says Juli Monroe, a coach at 1 to 1 Discovery, a Washington, D.C.-based networking and social media agency. “If you listen first, then you know how to talk about yourself,” she explained. “If you can address their needs, then you can pitch your services, but in a targeted and strategic way.”

Read more in How To Network in Any Situation.

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

The Right Answers To Dreaded Job Interview Questions

We’ve all faced those questions in interviews. You know, the ones that make you hesitate, stumble, or just plain feel like you won’t get the job if you answer them incorrectly. For example:

Why did you leave your last position?

You can blame the economy, a lack of growth opportunity, the position changing dramatically after you took it, or the functions being misrepresented during your interview. But the key point here is to be honest — not just for your conscience, but for your career. “Transparency is the best policy with these types of questions,” said Matt Tovrog, a partner at Bell Oaks Executive Search, “because a former boss can easily be contacted as a reference check.”

Read more in 7 Tricky Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

Current TV’s Joel Hyatt: ‘We are all in as a political and news network’

From hiring Keith Olbermann and Internet pioneer Cenk Uygur to expanding into daytime with original programming with Stephanie Miller and Bill Press, Current TV has undergone a great deal of changes since its launch in 2005. But its mission stays the same, says co-founder Joel Hyatt.

“Our goal for Current is to influence the conversation of democracy,” says Hyatt in our So What Do You Do? interview. ”We want to have an impact on the public policy discussion.”

Hyatt, who stepped back into the CEO role in July 2012, also gave his two cents on how the Big Three (MSNBC, CNN and Fox News) are doing in covering the Republican primaries and Presidential race.

“There are times in which the cable networks do a really outstanding job; there are times in which I think the job they do is embarrassingly bad,” Hyatt said. “What journalism needs to do is seek truth. Convey it; explore it; create context for it; connect the dots.”

Is that the general rule on those rival networks? “No,” he said.

Read the full interview here.

One Writer’s Winning Magazine Pitch

Freelancers never know where their next story could come from. For freelancer Christian Feuerstein, it was attending a keynote speech at her college reunion that brought her the awe-inspiring story of a famous alum and Nobel Prize winner who survived Nazi Germany.

So, she did some digging to find the appropriate editor at  the Italian American mag Ambassador and fired off her pitch.

“None of [Feuerstein's clips] blew me away, necessarily,” said editor Don Oldenburg, “but I appreciated her professional approach and that she followed our requirements for a pitch: make it brief and convincing, tell me why you’re the writer to handle the story, and give me two or three clips.”

To see our breakdown of the actual query letter and more reasons Oldenburg green lighted the assignment, check out Pitches That Worked: Ambassador. [sub req'd]

Make Your Voice Count At New York Mag

Breaking into the literary dream that is New York magazine means you’ve got to offer something new, an interesting angle or exclusive access into a little-known subcultural scene in the city (or anywhere else in the world).

“A freelance pitch that provides unusual insight and access into a slightly more hidden world or scene has a better chance of becoming a story here,” said editorial director Jared Hohlt in How To Pitch: New York [sub req'd]. ”Features that trend to get approved are narrative-focused and designed to engage the reader in good old fashioned storytelling.”

David Haskell, the magazine’s feature editor, agrees — but he needs more than just a good anecdote.

Read more

Focus on the African American Perspective

Filmmakers and freelancers with a great story on Black America can discover a byline waiting for them at The Grio.

According to managing editor Joy-Ann Reid, every section of the site is hungry for underreported stories. From great stories with strong characters to photo-driven stories from a unique Black perspective, or even a profile with a big celeb can land you in the site. And Reid suggests adding multimedia to the mix, as the site relies heavily on original video content.

To find out which sections the editors are especially looking to beef up content, read How to Pitch: The Grio[sub req'd]