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Journalism Major: Dead End?

HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm very passionate about the subject, but it seems like whenever I mention my major, people wonder if I've thought things through. I realize the industry is in decline, and has been for a decade or two, but I don't see finding work as a reporter being impossible.

Am I in the wrong here? Should I consider a more "practical" major -- or one with better prospects?

Hamurabi on
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Posts

  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    journalism is not in decline and never will be. traditional print journalism, maybe - but there's nothing about the transition to digital that is putting it in its death throes. be more excited that it's an industry as dynamic as it's ever been

    it's the kind of degree that isn't going to net you an instant job, but will teach you a lot, and if you invest yourself in it, it can never be a waste of time. what you also need to do to capitalize on your passion is start extra-curricular work - start the slow, hard climb of writing a blog, talk to local papers, write reviews. make manifest the thing you love most about journalism

    if you have found yourself in a particular course or school that has values that seem way outdated and isn't teaching you relevant skills, then sure, reconsider it. but if you've got a real passion for it, don't doubt yourself, especially not on account of other people's naysaying. just do it, work harder than anyone else to do it, and it'll happen. a business or compsci degree ain't gonna help that

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  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Journalism isn't dieing, newspapers are. The world will always need people to find and report news no matter the medium of choice.

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  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I majored in journalism (and minored in political science) and it's very hard to find work. Not impossible, but newspapers are in a decline and a lot of work is being outsourced.

    I've done some work in the industry and gave it up for a much better paying job in another industry (it's still tangentially related to what I studied since I went to a lot marketing classes).

    If you're dead set on going for it, I'd recommend broadcast over print/web/magazine type classes, because you'll learn most of the same skills but with much better prospects for finding an actual reporter type job.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It's fair to point out that "journalism" isn't in decline; I'm guilty of conflating "journalism" with "the newspaper industry." I've just always seen myself working for a major newspaper (given my location, it'd be The Miami Herald, specifically), but I guess I can't really afford to narrow my selection down any further in this particular profession.

    As for alternatives, I'm also deeply interested in politics (though
    I imagine finding work in that field would be even tougher), PR and sociological work. I speak three languages and have been told have solid "people skills," which is what makes me think PR or maybe marketing might be good fits; the sociology thing is just something that caught my attention in a survey course.

    I just want to choose a career path where I'll enjoy the work I do, but pragmatic concerns seem to be getting in the way. : /

  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I've never worked literally for a newspaper, but I did work for a company owned by a newspaper, located in the newspaper's building, in a mid-sized city (population 600,000). And man, they were struggling. In the seven years I was there, they fired a bunch of reporters, did a pay freeze on the rest (no raises), then fired some more.

    This is merely an anecdote of one newspaper, obviously, but what I'm trying to get across is that you should probably research the newspapers you'd be most interested in working at and figure out what condition they're in. In fact, I would contact some newspaper reporters and tell them you're interested in being one someday and ask them if they have any advice for breaking into the industry. If you could actually meet with some one-on-one for a candid discussion, you could glean a lot from them.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2010
    Print journalism is a bad bet. Web journalism as well, you need fewer writers when most of your paper is an AP feed with staff journalists for major national news only. With print journalism shrinking, there are plenty of experienced folk to go around. You'll be unemployed or underpaid.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I do know that the Miami Herald has been busy firing people over the past couple of years, and that circulation of print newspapers in general have been falling at an accelerating rate.

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I majored in English, which is in the same family.

    Don't do it. Find something else.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Maybe add a minor/dbl major in Marketing/Advertising, Business, Teaching, PolSci.

    Something that compliments journalism - a field that needs good writers and strong research skills.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    There will always be a demand for journalism. Right now people are having trouble monetizing journalism because demographic shifts are making it tougher to advertise, but that won't last forever. Newspapers are also figuring out how to make money again, even though most of them did it by cutting staff.

    Journalism as a major also gives you a bunch of skills that are useful pretty much everywhere. Research and writing are two pretty universally applicable skills that are massively neglected in education. It's kind of staggering how often I get asked to write or proofread things before they get circulated, just because I happen to be one of the few people in the office who can edit five hundred words without getting a headache.

    Lastly, it's hard to find work doing anything right now; I don't know what your other options are, but if anyone tells you a particular program will be an easy ticket to a career track gig, I would figure out who's in that program and start selling them timeshares. If you are in a very specialized newspaper editorial program or something, then I would say maybe yeah, look for something more broadly applicable, but I don't generally think that journalism is a terrible decision.

    edit: the counterpoint to this is that if you can write, no newspaper in the country will give two shits if your degree is in journalism. If your goal is to be a political reporter (or to be on any other beat), you would be better served to go out and do political things, string on the Campus Terrible Student Rag or write freelance, and take that experience with you when you are applying for reporting jobs.

    edit2: fuck you ozark

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  • DarksierDarksier Registered User
    edited June 2010
    You want to write and have a good chance of being hired after school? Technical writing. I wish I had at least a minor in it. They always seem to be in demand no matter how crappy the economy is. Guess they need more people to come up with manuals on downsizing.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    A journalism degree isn't a dead end; it's just that 98% of the people who get the degree do something else. Half a dozen of the people I interact with on a daily basis have journalism degrees and none of them are doing anything remotely close to reporting. Most people end up in marketing, though not all.

    That said, you can probably just find a more relevant, useful degree to what you think you'll end up doing and pursue that. You won't be reporting.

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  • EncEnc FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    I majored in English, which is in the same family.

    Don't do it. Find something else.

    I don't understand this. Almost everyone I graduated with that was an English Major (including myself) found employment quickly and with decent entry level pay. You just have to know where to look. Honestly, the majority went into Academic Administration, Local Government, and Engineering (working as go between for the engineers and their sales teams). Those who went into Grad School had an easier time getting into teaching positions at the community college and high-school levels, usually placed within a year of graduating.

    The problem is most English Majors think they should be working in libraries and higher education instruction... or in business. That's not what you trained for. Use your strengths (knowledge of rhetoric, analysis, composition) and use them to full advantage. Go into fields looking for that and you'll find work quickly.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    edit2: fuck you ozark

    :lol:

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Enc wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    I majored in English, which is in the same family.

    Don't do it. Find something else.

    I don't understand this. Almost everyone I graduated with that was an English Major (including myself) found employment quickly and with decent entry level pay. You just have to know where to look. Honestly, the majority went into Academic Administration, Local Government, and Engineering (working as go between for the engineers and their sales teams). Those who went into Grad School had an easier time getting into teaching positions at the community college and high-school levels, usually placed within a year of graduating.

    The problem is most English Majors think they should be working in libraries and higher education instruction... or in business. That's not what you trained for. Use your strengths (knowledge of rhetoric, analysis, composition) and use them to full advantage. Go into fields looking for that and you'll find work quickly.

    I want to second this. All of this.

    I graduated with an English major, and many of my friends did, as well. None of us have had issues past that first professional job with getting work. In any case, your undergrad major doesn't matter as much as people think. Unless you're in the hard sciences the only think most employers are looking for is that bachelor's degree; your major can provide a perk. Hell, I ended up in finance where I now have a very impressive resume. Aside from it being a field I despise, I have been "successful" in every measure.

    A journalism degree doesn't shoot you into journalism, but, as Enc noted, shows that you have certain skills which, in the working world, are hardly limited to "journalism", per se.

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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    If you're going to do it, Jesus Christ, learn how to write. I'm not making a personal observation (I don't know how you write). I'm so tired of reading articles written by people with no concept of grammar or who can't sort out shit like "you're" and "your" or "their" "they're" and "there". Not to mention people who modify "unique". If you turn out to be a famous journalist one day and I find out you wrote that something was "very unique", I'm going to come beat your ass. This is your only warning.

    In any case, you can get a job (eventually), but it may not be the job you were expecting and it will not be a smooth road. You may have to write for peanuts for a few websites or volunteer for some really shitty hitches before you get to be Dan Rather. It's all about being noticed.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yeah, I've heard from other sources that the major I settle on in college only has, say, a 50/50 shot at determining the career I wind up in. I had hoped it was a decision with a little more impact than that, but if you guys are backing up that claim...

    A buddy of mine also mentioned that it doesn't necessarily matter where you go for your undergrad degree, and that where you get your Master's or better that prospective employers will really scrutinize; I hope this is also true, because (due to being a complete fuckwit in my teens and dropping out of high school with a GED) I'm at a community college now, looking to finish my BS at Florida International University.

  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    At a certain point, even your graduate degree stops opening doors for you. Then it becomes about awards, certifications, and experience (usually in that order). However, going to a good liberal arts-oriented university for graduate school is going to give you a lot more exposure to techniques and critiques you might not otherwise see at Podunk U.

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  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    GungHo wrote: »
    If you're going to do it, Jesus Christ, learn how to write. I'm not making a personal observation (I don't know how you write). I'm so tired of reading articles written by people with no concept of grammar or who can't sort out shit like "you're" and "your" or "their" "they're" and "there". Not to mention people who modify "unique". If you turn out to be a famous journalist one day and I find out you wrote that something was "very unique", I'm going to come beat your ass. This is your only warning.

    In any case, you can get a job (eventually), but it may not be the job you were expecting and it will not be a smooth road. You may have to write for peanuts for a few websites or volunteer for some really shitty hitches before you get to be Dan Rather. It's all about being noticed.

    I had a professor this past Fall term who would hammer the shit out of your grade for using the word "very" to modify an adjective.

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  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Enc wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    I majored in English, which is in the same family.

    Don't do it. Find something else.

    I don't understand this. Almost everyone I graduated with that was an English Major (including myself) found employment quickly and with decent entry level pay. You just have to know where to look. Honestly, the majority went into Academic Administration, Local Government, and Engineering (working as go between for the engineers and their sales teams). Those who went into Grad School had an easier time getting into teaching positions at the community college and high-school levels, usually placed within a year of graduating.

    The problem is most English Majors think they should be working in libraries and higher education instruction... or in business. That's not what you trained for. Use your strengths (knowledge of rhetoric, analysis, composition) and use them to full advantage. Go into fields looking for that and you'll find work quickly.

    I want to second this. All of this.

    I graduated with an English major, and many of my friends did, as well. None of us have had issues past that first professional job with getting work. In any case, your undergrad major doesn't matter as much as people think. Unless you're in the hard sciences the only think most employers are looking for is that bachelor's degree; your major can provide a perk. Hell, I ended up in finance where I now have a very impressive resume. Aside from it being a field I despise, I have been "successful" in every measure.

    A journalism degree doesn't shoot you into journalism, but, as Enc noted, shows that you have certain skills which, in the working world, are hardly limited to "journalism", per se.

    English majors that don't think their degrees are worth something must be shitty english majors or be settling for less.

    Journalism is fine - print is dead - go with online. It's the future.

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  • Bryse EayoBryse Eayo Registered User
    edited June 2010
    The issue presented to today's journalists are the lack of jobs, abundance of experts and ease of publication. I'm personally doing the whole journalism degree thing, and I'm not seeing too many rewards. Though I don't want to work at a daily. Cause. Fuck that shit.

    If you want to write about anything specialized, you'll realize people with actual degrees in important things can write almost as well as you can and have been able to find their niche. So you have to compete with their real knowledge using your acquired, probably second hand knowledge.

    But I think the real truth that is revealing itself is new journalists have to go back to the basics. Find a story in your community, be the first one to know/write about it, pitch it to a local editor and then just get it published. I think doing that enough times will garner as much and more then a simple degree.

    Journalism ain't dead but journalism school is another story.

  • CreepyCreepy Tucson, AzRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Wife got hers 17 years or so ago. She regrets taking Journalism as a major.

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  • mcpmcp Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    My sister has a degree in journalism from Mizzou.

    She doesn't do shit.

    I think that might be more of her being a useless fart about, than a reflection on the degree though.

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  • November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I would avoid journalism at this point. Get a minor in it or start a blog if you have to scratch that itch.

    If you do decide to ruin your life in this manner, get as much experience as possible while you are still in school. Become involved with the school paper and whatever periodicals you can, apply for internships with your local papers and TV stations, try to freelance with some online publications. Keep in mind that you are going to be competing for entry level jobs with people who might have 10 or 15 years in the business.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Okay, so how does Marketing sound as an alternative?

  • ToefooToefoo Los Angeles, CARegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    A lot of bad information in here. Getting a degree in Journalism will not "ruin your life."

    In fact, many companies love Journalism majors for their ability to write and communicate. At my last job, a good handful of the people in marketing and PR held Journalism degrees. Just because you get a degree in Journalism doesn't mean you're forced to report news or write online articles.

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  • EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Go for it if you love the coursework. You need not work in journalism to make a journalism degree valuable. As Martin Yate notes, "everyone hires for the same job."

    EDIT: On a more theoretical level, people in the USA seem to have a poor grasp of how majors work. 4-year degrees are RARELY profession-oriented (actually, it would be stupid to do so) save for engineering degrees.

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  • MarmosetMarmoset Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I agree with what's been said here. If you're really passionate about journalism, by all means, do it as a major. You'll be better off later knowing that at least you studied what you loved (this is why I got an English degree). And there are lots of things you can do with a Journalism degree, it's just that a lot of them may not involve getting hired for a major media giant straight out of college and making mad bank. Eventually you may get that far if you put in the right effort and know the right people, but, that one's all on you. In the end, a degree is just a tool for your toolbelt.

    What I would suggest is that you take a second major in something a bit more "practical," if money is important to you (that's why I also got a biology degree). That way, you're studying what you love, but you also have a back-up plan, AND look better to potential employers once they see that you were able to take on two majors.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    My degree is theoretically in journalism, although I specialized in public relations (if you figure out that contradiction, by all means call the department at UO and explain it to them.)

    My general advice would be to get a degree in marketing/ad/PR, rather than pursuing a news ed program. Primarily because marketing/ad/PR will teach you things that a straight news editorial program won't, and that all the people working in the Real World of news ed only care that you can write articles.

    Being a good written communicator isn't necessarily a skill that you can put on a resume that anyone will pay attention to, but if you actually are trained and good at it, it will make you a lot more valuable as an employee.

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  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Whoooah, what is going on in this thread here? >_>;

    Okay first off, newspapers are dying off for several contributing factors. One of the biggest nails in the coffin were when direct mail marketing was made cheaper suddenly compared to the advertisements and classifieds sections which put a huge strain on revenue for newspapers. Second, management frankly has sucked over the years. Newspapers time and again think of themselves as being part of the print industry and not part of the information industry.

    This doesn't mean journalism, or journalistic writing is going anywhere. If you want to work at a local newspaper for your entire life, yeah, you will be making $50,000 a year, if that.

    If you excel and strive, you can find many different and similar positions available to you, not just in newspapers. Think of all of the work needed to get a newspaper made up. There are editors, and writers, sure. But there are photographers, layout editors, graphics designers, and advertisers. These aren't jobs that are exclusive to the ole black and white papers that are thrown onto people's driveways each morning.

    I've been working at my local community college's paper for 3 semesters now. At first I was just simply a writer, doing my own episodic column and a few news stories here and there but last semester I picked up the role of Layout editor (and graphics) because our current layout guy was flakey as hell. Over summer, I'm also taking some photography classes as well.

    So this coming semester I am generally well versed in: Writing, photography, and layout. Being multi-facetted like this can be a huge help not only getting and finding a job, but also being a staple in that job that is difficult to replace.

    If I were you, I would start working on the following skills:
    + Learn journalistic writing. Inside Reporting is an excellent college text book that reads more like a magazine and is enough to get anyone interested in journalism. It simply is a must have. Once you start reading it, you'll know why.
    + Practice, practice, practice. Know the ins and outs of newspaper writing from hard news, to soft news and features. Learn and read up about how to write a good review and all that.
    + Start looking for some periphery skills. I mentioned photography, photoshop, and layout. You will need to be flexible- plus snazzy graphics and brilliant photography can help your writing become more presentable and exciting.
    + Last but certainly not least, get yourself an AP style handbook. It is paramount you get one of these and start reading it and learning about the finer points of journalistic writing. The AP style handbook is the bible of journalism. You will not get far without it.


    Whew, this is quite a lot to type up in just one sitting. PM me if you have any questions.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Dyscord wrote: »
    My degree is theoretically in journalism, although I specialized in public relations (if you figure out that contradiction, by all means call the department at UO and explain it to them.)

    My general advice would be to get a degree in marketing/ad/PR, rather than pursuing a news ed program. Primarily because marketing/ad/PR will teach you things that a straight news editorial program won't, and that all the people working in the Real World of news ed only care that you can write articles.

    Being a good written communicator isn't necessarily a skill that you can put on a resume that anyone will pay attention to, but if you actually are trained and good at it, it will make you a lot more valuable as an employee.

    It actually is a skill that you can put on a resume, it just goes under tasks you did at a previous job. It also gets conveyed in references, etc.

    I got my News/Ed degree and went into PR anyway. Feh. Kinda wish I'd just gone straight for the PR degree, if only for the job-specific terminology I didn't know when I started. (Granted, it was mostly marketing speak.)

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Whoooah, what is going on in this thread here? >_>;

    Okay first off, newspapers are dying off for several contributing factors. One of the biggest nails in the coffin were when direct mail marketing was made cheaper suddenly compared to the advertisements and classifieds sections which put a huge strain on revenue for newspapers. Second, management frankly has sucked over the years. Newspapers time and again think of themselves as being part of the print industry and not part of the information industry.

    *Snip*

    Cynic, I have a feeling that you're a little naive about all this, partially as a result of your lack of exposure outside your community classes. If layout, photography, design, writing, some understanding of advertising, first amendment law and OF COURSE AP style aren't part of your education, you aren't getting a journalism degree. You're still probably not getting a job, even if you interned every summer between classes at a newspaper. MAYBE you'll get to be a copy-editor, be constantly shit-on and underpayed, and possibly not enjoy your job. (Some do.)

    Newspapers are dying because no one reads them anymore. The job of written news producer has been *shudder* crowdsourced, or taken over by major broadcasting conglomerates. The only papers that are going to survive going forward are going to be the free ones, which thrive heavily on advertising and buying cheap syndicated content/shoestring reporting budgets. There will still be a few of the majors for who knows how long and the stand-by "smalltown, local paper," but those provide nowhere near enough jobs for all these newshounds we're graduating.

    The dream of being a newspaper reporter is now a bit closer to the dream of being an astronaut. There's a lot of people who want to do it, and only a few people who grow up to live their dreams. The only major exceptions are specialized reporting like trade reports and business publications. Most of those prefer to hire people who have come out of their targeted communities.

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  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Again, newspaper isn't the end all and be all. I particularly enjoy "soft news" writing which is a lot of the features, reviews, opinion/editorial kind of stuff. Now those usually are the choice bits of a newspaper that few get to work on, but magazines, which has been a growing medium lately, focus mostly on. Just because the content I create takes form in a blog or newspaper doesn't mean it is trapped there- especially with how flexible it is to bend and blend media together.

    InDesign CS5 in particular is great. I've been toying with creating and editing issues of our newspaper to be readable by e-readers. So far, mixed results, but it never hurts to have experience with the new and cutting edge.

    Broadcasting is probably yet another quite viable option as a possible complimentary position to consider.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Magazines are not a growing medium, and the jobs in them are not increasing.

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    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • psycojesterpsycojester Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Esh wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    If you're going to do it, Jesus Christ, learn how to write. I'm not making a personal observation (I don't know how you write). I'm so tired of reading articles written by people with no concept of grammar or who can't sort out shit like "you're" and "your" or "their" "they're" and "there". Not to mention people who modify "unique". If you turn out to be a famous journalist one day and I find out you wrote that something was "very unique", I'm going to come beat your ass. This is your only warning.

    In any case, you can get a job (eventually), but it may not be the job you were expecting and it will not be a smooth road. You may have to write for peanuts for a few websites or volunteer for some really shitty hitches before you get to be Dan Rather. It's all about being noticed.

    I had a professor this past Fall term who would hammer the shit out of your grade for using the word "very" to modify an adjective.

    I started off in a Journalism Major, the lecturer instructed the tutors to take 3 marks off for every single incorrectly placed piece of punctuation or misspelled word. We're talking on a piece that was being marked out of 20. Thanks to that arsehole i got out of Journalism and took up marketing instead, where the lecturers aren't a pack of douche bags.

    Also while you're really unlikely to make any real money with journalism these days its not a bad gateway. Both my dad and my my uncle started off in journalism, moved to P.R and have since ended up in community relations for Energy Australia.

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  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Hi, I'm a working journalist.

    Yes, there are jobs out there, and no they are not impossible to get.

    Print is not dead, it's just shrinking, and this problem is more and more apparent the larger the newspaper and the less able that newspaper is to adapt and change strategy quickly and effectively.

    Small local newspapers make up the vast majority of print media, believe it or not, and those that have made it through the most recent bouts of cuts and downsizing are actually doing quite well. They have survived because they sell a product that you can't get anywhere else.

    When I worked for the Homer News, an 8,000 circulation weekly in a town with two newspapers, we were actually one of the only profitable newspapers in the entirety of Morris Publications.

    You want a job that pays well and will test you as a journalist? Be prepared to work at a small weekly or daily and be prepared to move. You will, most likely, need to go where the work is.

    All that being said, I've been living in Alaska for the last three years and have been working both at the Wrangell Sentinel and the Homer News, have managed to win a few press club awards for my writing and photography and will be looking to make the move down south soon.

    In my latest job search I made it into the top 4 for the Telluride Daily News in Colorado, a state which is teeming with big newspaper journalists out of work.

    They eventually went with a local guy, but one of the things they told me while I was interviewing with them is that they're really looking for the right fit. They're not necessarily looking for Joe Pulitzer from the New York Times, they're looking for a person that fits their newspaper and the culture in which it thrives. Many small newspapers look for employees along similar lines.

    If you haven't started yet, you need to be improving your writing skills, your photography skills, working on getting internships at a local paper, writing for your college newspaper and making contacts. You need to do this now. Luckily, you're in college, a college that has a journalism major. You're basically knee deep in contacts that can potentially affect your future employment.

  • FiziksFiziks Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Honestly, the best thing you can do is try and get an internship with your local paper. They are always looking for content, so getting clips is easy. I haven't even finished the first week and already I've got 3 stories in the barrel.

    Always keep in mind that one internship leads to another. Don't do what I did and assume that you'll be able to get internships at the big media companies out of the gate. Get experience at your school's publication, and at your local paper, then move on from there.

    People are always going to need storytellers, no matter what medium those stories are in.

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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Hamurabi wrote: »
    Yeah, I've heard from other sources that the major I settle on in college only has, say, a 50/50 shot at determining the career I wind up in. I had hoped it was a decision with a little more impact than that, but if you guys are backing up that claim...

    A buddy of mine also mentioned that it doesn't necessarily matter where you go for your undergrad degree, and that where you get your Master's or better that prospective employers will really scrutinize; I hope this is also true, because (due to being a complete fuckwit in my teens and dropping out of high school with a GED) I'm at a community college now, looking to finish my BS at Florida International University.

    The latter really determines the tier of work you go in. Ivy/Near-Ivy BA? You can get entry to a major corporation with some hoop-jumping/experience or Management with regional businesses.

    Masters degrees and above really do dictate what they can be used for. MA Ed.? Teacher. MFA? Beggar/Teacher/Entrepreneur? A PH. D. in Philosophy means that you can understand Podly.

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  • HamurabiHamurabi Cambridge, MARegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    A) I like that Podly's reputation precedes him even outside of D&D. :P

    B) I think I'll go with marketing, since it seems the most, well, marketable. A BBA in Marketing at FIU seems to involve lots of general business classes as well, so getting those in alongside my actual selling-people-shit coursework can only make me more attractive to prospective employers.

    I guess it's just another case of idealism being subverted by pragmatism; I love philosophy and all, but I don't see a major in that field, for instance, really paying off in great (monetary) dividends.

    Thanks for all the advice, folks!

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Enc wrote: »
    Slider wrote: »
    I majored in English, which is in the same family.

    Don't do it. Find something else.

    I don't understand this. Almost everyone I graduated with that was an English Major (including myself) found employment quickly and with decent entry level pay. You just have to know where to look. Honestly, the majority went into Academic Administration, Local Government, and Engineering (working as go between for the engineers and their sales teams). Those who went into Grad School had an easier time getting into teaching positions at the community college and high-school levels, usually placed within a year of graduating.

    The problem is most English Majors think they should be working in libraries and higher education instruction... or in business. That's not what you trained for. Use your strengths (knowledge of rhetoric, analysis, composition) and use them to full advantage. Go into fields looking for that and you'll find work quickly.

    Hmm, yeah, okay. Libraries...

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