My blogging/social networking class with Paul Jones is by far the best and most informative class that I have had in college. Besides getting me obsessed with the internet and all its wonderful powers, it's given me the chance to hear from industry professionals about what online journalism is about and how it will change the industry.
Today Wayne Sutton and Ginny Skalski from MyNC.com and 30threads.com stopped by to talk about their websites and how citizen journalism works. The talk was streamed live on 30threads.com and a copy of the video is still online. There was even a live chat going on during the class with some of the students involved as well as live tweeting from many of the students. It was an internet extravaganza!!
After talking for a bit about MyNC, the conversation quickly shifted to a topic that seems to be on the mind of every college senior: jobs. With newspapers dying and online media taking over, where is the place for traditional journalists?
According to Sutton there is still a place for traditional journlists in a different medium, i.e. a blog. If all you really do is write then you can find something you're passionate about and write on a blog about it.
The most important things for graduating journalism majors to do, according to Sutton and Skalski, is to build a "social media resume." When employers search your name, they should be able to see a blog that you have, your Facebook profile (and that it has more substantive stuff than drunken party pictures), and any other social networking you've done online. Newspapers and other forms of journalism realize that this is the future of news and your value to them increases if they see that you've been doing it for a few years.
It also helps to have a broad skill set. Just being a writer may get you a job, but you have a better chance if you can also take video and do video editing, have photography experience, or know how to use flash and create online content (which is why I'm trying to get into this multimedia class). And Sutton and Skalski also stressed the importance of owning this equipment rather than renting it from job to job.
Long story short, there is a job out there for new journalists, but it's not going to be in the traditional style.
While that makes me feel a little better, I'm still not excited about the job hunt that will be happening soon.
UPDATED: here is the video from class today. Thanks to Wayne Sutton.
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