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Should we lie to journalism students?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by newspaperman, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    I'll be having a host of energetic journalism majors dropping by my office today for a chance to get their feet wet in the industry. I remember being in the their same shoes when I was in college, and would have loved if someone had been honest about the businesses low pay and long hours. And the small number of jobs usually available to thousands of graduating journalism students each year.

    What advice should I pass along? Should I be completely honest? Encourage them to change majors?
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I don't think the majority of them care about all of that stuff. I was told the same things. I just assumed I would be different, because I was so good and amazing. And, if not, who cares anyway? I'll be covering GAMES!!!! And that's AWESOME!!!!

    They'll think the same things.
  3. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    Mr. Whitman, but shouldn't they care? It's cool when you're 23 and covering football games, making $22k a year. But what happens when you 28 and making $25k and want to start a family? Shouldn't they be informed about all facets of the industry, seeing that they are paying an extremely high price for the "education?"
  4. rpmmutant

    rpmmutant Member

    If you want to be honest with them, tell them they will need to learn how to be online producers as well as good, accurate, fast writers. They will need to learn how to shoot and edit video, become photo journalists, online editors and designers to a certain extent. And they will have long hours, low pay, work weekends and holidays and live in small towns they never heard of to get started.
    No need to discourage them, but let them know the industry is changing. And if they're just there to watch games, tell them to major in biology. That way they'll have enough money to buy season tickets to their favorite team.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Whatever industry you are in you need to stay relevant and adapt to change. Tell them its an exciting time for the industry as they adapt to digital media .
  6. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Sorry. Had lots of people tell me about low pay and long hours when I was in college in the 70s/80s. I loathed every one of those people. Was I not smart enough to figure out I'd be working nights/weekends? I sat there and thought, "You're just afraid one day I'm coming to take your job."
    It's a lot different now because the newspaper industry is in such decline. When I talk to young people, I simply tell them I have no idea what the future is. Who knows what kind of jobs there'll be? But if you're willing to take a chance and can find an opportunity, this is a great way to make a living.
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The weird hours actually appeal to people who want to practice journalism, because it doesn't attract 9 to 5ers. It attracts people who want to be where the action is. The idea of springing out of bed to cover a five-alarm five at 2:30 a.m. appeals to the kind of personality that is going to gravitate toward this business. Keep in mind that none of them have children or responsibilities yet, so things like, "Weird hours," won't make a dent. Hell, most of them are texting each other all night long, and grabbing a few minutes of sleep in between.
  8. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    Thanks guys for the advice....And I'm sure I'll met one kid who thinks as long as he/she gets a college degree, money will be thrown at him/her like Cam Newton....It's always one in the bunch.
  9. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    if they haven't discovered all the negatives of the industry on their own by now they probably aren't great reporters
  10. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    It's like I tell newbies here: 30 years ago in college, one of the perks of being an editor was getting a electric typewriter, not a manual. Blogs were something you threw on the fire on a cold winter's night. I'd talk about how technology is changing how we cover stories, wifi and iPhones letting us report closer to the scene and getting the news out quicker, ect.
  11. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Back when I was in school, some other student, who thought highly of himself for his work on his blog, asked this important question of a big-name columnist who visited class. Who are you voting for the Heisman?

    No follow-up on the columnist discussing his start on the cops beat or the grind of being a reporter. I'm betting a lot of the students coming through would ask similar questions, or ask how good the press box food is.
  12. newspaperman

    newspaperman Member

    With blogs, tweets and other free content so rampant nowadays, will anyone of the younger generation ever pay for content? Once you get it free, there's no way people will pay for it. It's like I want to encourage them to develop their social media skills, stay current with their blog, etc. but where is the income going to come from with this "future journalism?"
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