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College for Journalism Degree

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by NewsRegisterReporter, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    I had to make this decision three years ago. My final choices came down to Miami (Fl), Maryland, Syracuse and the school I now attend.

    I originally had my heart set on Syracuse because it had the name recognition. Then I visited it and wasn't too enamored with the campus, the town or even the J-program. After visiting Maryland, it became my first choice but being from out of state they didn't give me much money.

    That brought the choice down to Miami and where I go now. I got a 3/4's tuition academic scholarship offer from them but it still would have been about 10k a year with room and board. I could have covered D-1 sports and possibly have freelanced or gotten an internship with the Herald or Sun-Sentinel.

    Despite that, I chose the D-3 school I'm at because I got a full academic ride there. I just couldn't pass that up. I've gotten to do so many amazing things because of the scholarship and I'm definitely happy with my decision. As for the journalism aspect, I've gotten experience at the school's weekly paper (which has one a few Pacemakers since I got here) and with internships at local papers. I haven't been able to break through and get a bigger newspaper internship, though, and I'm left to wonder if it's because I don't have the opportunity to cover the types of things that would allow me to get a bigger internship.
  2. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    "Grad school is useless unless you want to teach."

    For some, yes. But not all. I suspect many who equate grad school with being useful "Only to TEACH!!!!!!" would be shocked at how many people are there studying journalism so they could be journalists, not teachers. And for the most part, the decision to go back to school was far from a career killer.

    In today's world, grad school can help provide a career reset, if you still love journalism and/or are looking to jumpstart your prospects. Ask yourself this question: Will the future of journalism be decided at the newspaper you're at, or at the academic institutions which have a mandate to look into the future?

    There are a LOT of J-schools with graduate programs. If you choose the right one for you, it can work to help you achieve your goals. Yes, with minimal debt. And a lot of people think it's wiser (and more stable) to learn something like online journalism in a school rather than trying to pick up that skill at your paper while hoping to make yourself valuable enough - yet with a low enough salary - so you're retained when the hammer comes down.

    I do agree that if you're there because you want to go back into newspapers, grad school is a complete waste of time. If you look into grad schools and one is trumpeting its newspaper/magazine writing program as its top priority, eliminate it from your list.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I went to grad school for journalism because my undergrad school's journalism department sucked. Professors who hadn't seen the inside of a newsroom in 30 years, a curriculum that was not keeping pace with technology, etc. The kicker was the semester when one prof who didn't know Adobe software was assigned to teach it. On the first day of class he handed everyone a syllabus drawn up by the previous teacher and said "If you have any questions, ask Cadet. She knows this stuff." And yes, I was paying to take that class.

    I went to grad school because I wanted to be surrounded by professors and fellow students who knew their stuff and were geeks about it. I ended up disappointed by majority of my fellow students, who were there as the path to write the Definitive Britney Spears Article for Vanity Fair, but I got a lot out of the professors and guest lecturers.

    Could I teach? I'm not ruling it out. But it's nice to know I have that in my arsenal if I decide to do it.
  4. pallister

    pallister Guest

    I was in college while also working at my hometown paper full time. In one classs, we were learning how to "count" headlines. I pointed out that these days, to make a headline fit an allotted space, you didn't need to know an 'm' was 3 and an 'l' was 1/2. You just had to know how to push a button or two on the computer. Still had to do the assignment, though.
  5. As you should. ;)
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure U-M dropped journalism as an undergraduate degree program in the mid-to-late-1970s, and thereafter offered journalism courses as electives or specializations in the communications department, while still offering masters' degrees in journalism.

    According to this NYT link, U-M quit enrolling students in journalism master's degree programs in 1995.

  7. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    I would also advise asking professors and student paper people at any j-school about their relationships with area papers. Those pipelines helped me more than anything. I went from the student paper to 30K circ stringer to 100K circ stringer by my senior year, following the pipelines. The bigger paper had a full-time opening at the perfect time, just before I graduated, and since they knew my work and could give me entry-level pay (as opposed to the shitload they were paying the guy who retired), I got a huge break. Some of my buddies got jobs at the 30K circ and eventually moved on to bigger places.

    Ask everyone about their professional pipelines. Sadly, it's not always what you know ...
  8. David Panian

    David Panian New Member

    OK. That makes sense. When I was there the communications department offered something like three tracks: journalism, broadcasting and advertising/PR or some such labels. We then received degrees in "communications."

    Those undergrad classes went away about the same time as the master's degree programs.

    U-M still has the Knight-Wallace Fellowships, where 18 journalists are selected to spend eight months studying a certain topic, taking other classes and traveling to New York, Argentina, Turkey and northern Michigan.

    I think it's weird that U-M has these fellowships but no actual journalism program, whether in its own department or within a department. But U-M is a good place to do advanced research.
  9. Oh, this is a game. Correct the grammar in deskslave's pretentious "I'm the dickhead that corrects the grammar in people's post" post. Journalism professors also "tend to kind of big" on missing words.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    ladies, chilax.
  11. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I swear, someone on here needs a hug.
  12. Sorry, couldn't resist. I could use a hug, though. PM me (whatever the hell that means).
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