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Advice on J-Schools/Mass Comm Schools: Missouri, Marquette, Fordham

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by daveevansedge, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. daveevansedge

    daveevansedge Member

    I need a little insight here on the journalism schools/programs at Missouri, Marquette and Fordham. I've got a brilliant nephew in his senior year of high school, and he can pretty much write his ticket. Despite that, it appears he wants to get into journalism!

    At any rate, these are the three universities he's most considering. Obviously, having been in this business for nearly 20 years, I'm well aware of Missouri's status, and I'm sure as an overall j-school, it would be the best stop. But for those who have either been there (mizzougrad96) or are there now (Simon, didn't you end up there?), if you could pass along some advice, including any details on how the school is working Internet training into its news-edit program, that would be much appreciated.

    As for Fordham and Marquette, I know they don't have the prestige of Mizzou's j-school; in fact, I think they just have journalism departments as part of a mass comm school. But for anybody who went there, I'd be grateful for any advice you could pass along, as well.

    Post your thoughts here or via PM, and thank you for your help.
  2. I didn't go to any of those schools, but I'd like to chime in anyway. My advice to him would be to go to a big brand name school, the best he can get into, in a major metro area. Harvard. Columbia. Northwestern (or the University of Chicago). Georgetown. Maybe Stanford or Berkeley. UCLA or USC. Major in something liberal arts like English (unless he goes to Northwestern, where there is a journalism program), and then start stringing for the local metro and get his foot in the door that way. That's how I would do it if I had it all to do over again. And then encourage him to go to Columbia for grad school afterward if he can afford it.
  3. Cansportschick

    Cansportschick Active Member

    Pulitzer, I agree with you on this one. When I was deciding the journalism school I was going to go to, I talked to people who hire in the journalism field if they hear the names Ryerson, Kings, Carleton and UNB-STU, they seriously consider the candidate (there are also some other ones in Canada, but these are the only ones coming in my head). Remember, I said journalism schools, not undergrad or anything else. In Halifax, there is the Atlantic Media Institute and NSCC which broadcast people (radio and tv) hire from based on the school's reputation.

    While some in the media world think school's reputation means nothing, it does for some places of employment. So Dave, you should tell your nephew to find the best possible schools.

    States side, I have heard of Ithaca, Syracuse University, Stanford and Columbia are having stellar journalism programs. If he thinks about political journalism, there is a program in the summer offered at the Political Institute of Journalism. It is a top notch program. I know a few people that attended it and the intensity of the program in a short amount of time helped them prepare for a stress filled, yet enjoyable career as a journalist at major print/broadcast organizations.
  4. daveevansedge

    daveevansedge Member

    Thanks to both of you for your input. Anybody else who can weigh in, your thoughts would be much appreciated. Again, feel free to PM.

    Pulitzer, I don't disagree with you, and in fact, Northwestern was in the equation, but NW determined my brother and his wife -- who have two other younger boys -- have $27,000 a year that they can commit to said nephew's education. That's not the case. So he's narrowed it down pretty much to Missouri, Marquette and Fordham, all of which have the potential for far greater scholarships/grants based on his academic standing.

    I've gotten a few PMs already, all on Missouri, and all with different points of view on mighty Mizzou. I thought the consensus would be to go there; maybe it will be after this thread sticks around a few more days. And any opinions/advice on Marquette and Fordham would be great, as well. Thanks again, all.
  5. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I've heard Milwaukee is a great city, and it's a short train ride to Chicago.

    Marquette might be the best fit in terms of being in civilization. But there is something to be said for working for a strong college daily such as Mizzou's, which I was able to do in my school years (not at Mizzou).
  6. I would go to Fordham. It's in Manhattan, media center of the country. And NYU and Columbia both have great graduate programs if he chooses to get a J-specific degree afterward without too much turmoil in having to move around the country again, etc., and probably with some contacts in the market already established in either NYC or New Jersey.
  7. joe

    joe Active Member

    I can say that the Mizzou network is large and far-ranging here in the United States. I have yet to work at a job -- and I've worked in Kentucky, Illinois and California -- that didn't have at least one Mizzou grad, and usually more than that. I don't know if the school has the cachet it once did, but the Mafia still has some power.
  8. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Part of the reason college is so frickin' expensive is because people will pay anything for the brand name. So my advice is -- don't, unless he really, really wants to.

    If he feels comfortable at Missouri, Fordham or Marquette, more power to him. But the beauty of journalism is that while education matters, what matters more is the work you do and the opportunities you seek out. Sure, there are connections like Chicago Tribune-Northwestern or St. Pete Times-Indiana. But journalism isn't totally like a law, where being in a top 10 school means everything.

    If he is down to those three, then he should visit each campus, if he hasn't already, and decide based on what he feels is the best fit for him, rather than try to guess what will get him the best job out of school. Because you never know.
  9. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Actually, Fordham's in The Bronx. My school doesn't have big journalism chops like Missouri, but I was taught that accuracy is important.

    I'd think you can get a quality education at any of the three schools. If he's interested in sports journalism, there might be more opportunities on the paper at Missouri because it offers more sports; Marquette doesn't have football, for example.

    But there is also the big fish/small pond factor.
  10. This is just my opinion, but if I had a son or nephew heading down this route, I wouldn't suggest having tunnel vision when it comes to covering sports. Get well-rounded. Better opportunities down the road, even in sports.
  11. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    True dat. Learn the cops beat, etc.

    Just yanking your chain about Fordam's location. No mistaking that part of the Bronx for Manhattan. 8)
  12. JCT89

    JCT89 Member

    I think if he wants to cover sports it definitely wouldn't hurt to go to a big-time athletics program because it means there are many more sports to cover for the newspaper and for the big-time sports (basketball/football) you'll get a chance to cover the team with some of the newspaper business' best writers. Two other schools to throw out there are Penn State and Maryland. Penn State maybe not as much, but UMD is only a metro ride away from DC and plays in the ACC.
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