industry news

CollegeJourn recap: Jobs after college?

Sam Rubenfeld opened this week’s #CollegeJourn chat with a statement that hits home for most journalism students these days: “I’m having panic attacks about post-graduation unemployment.”

Moderator Suzanne Yada opened Rubenfeld’s concern up to the entire chat. The general consensus: jobs are slim and PR might be a better option.

I put around 30 applications in at papers and online sites, but among the rejections (to be expected, it’s competitive), got a lot of messages saying their programs were closed -Will Sommer (@willsommer)

I flirted with the idea of doing social media PR for a local university -Holly Setter (@hsetter)

It would be unfair, though, to leave out the one success story:

I’ll be an online news intern at The Dallas Morning News after attending the Poynter Young Journalists Fellowship. -Greg Linch (@greglinch)

Are your skills (video shooting/editing, investigating, blogging) transferable outside of journalism? 

The simple answer is “of course!” Every job needs people skills. Every job needs to strong writing. Increasingly, businesses of all shapes and sizes are turning to video. But, as Rubenfeld noted, doing company PR or marketing means investigating for someone else. Thoughts from the chat:

Companies blog and make videos, as does the government, and lots of people can use investigators. take those two WSJ people who just left to launch a PI firm -Will Sommer (@willsommer)

Also, the ability to gather information through one’s own investigation and synthesize it into somethin understandable is a skill that many non-journo companies would love to have in an employee. – (@aspittle)

By nature, journos are deadline oriented people… another highly marketable skill -Holly Setter (@hsetter)

The popular option in the chat for post-college jobs: Get a full-timer that will sustain you financially (business, PR, marketing, waitressing) and do journalism on the side in the form of freelancing and blogging until you find a real journalism job.

Another general consensus (although slightly disagreed upon) was the idea of using PR to strengthen your journalism potential via self and content marketing.

I actually learned a lot about interviewing, and developing relationships with other PR people and journalists. – Travis (@polarscribe)

If you could start a news organization right now from scratch, what would it look like?

It would be funded by its readers. – Travis (@polarscribe)

community based reporting, ties experienced reporter with “citizen journalist” to produce in-depth web content. funded by the community. – Holly Setter (@hsetter)

heavily crowdsourced for breaking news, and spot.us-ish for feature – Samuel J. Baldwin (@samueljay)

I’d grab a reporter/photographer, cover the hell out of a community in a blog style, produce maybe a larger investigative story about once a week. -Will Sommer (@willsommer)

I would do web-first news, features, multimedia, then i would publish a weekly reverse-print magazine that would feature the best of the week and also add user comments and bloggers -Suzanne Yada (@suzanneyada)

Hyperlocal community-based site, driven by Facebook Connect social web integration and hyperlocal advertising – Beth Carpenter (@bethshanna)

Share your ideas next week. The CollegeJourn chat happens every Sunday 5-7 p.m. PST at collegejourn.com. The European version takes place in the same spot at 8 p.m. GMT. You can read the transcripts here.