Dear Journalism Students: Do You See Something the Journalism Industry Doesn’t?

by Shawn Smith on April 7, 2009

Forbes reports that while news agencies across the U.S. are slashing budgets and payrolls, journalism schools are actually filling up.

Who knew?

Says Forbes about J-School applications:

Columbia, Stanford and NYU applications increased 38%, 20% and 6%, respectively, from the previous year. Same thing at state schools. The University of Colorado (up 11%), University of North Carolina (up 14%) and University of Maryland (up 25%) all saw gains.

Hot diggity dee.

MY QUESTIONS

So this begs a few questions from me to students:

1) Do you believe successful careers in journalism are still possible?

2) Do you have plans for supporting yourself on the salary of a journalist?

3) Are you ignoring the lack of money in the journalism industry? Do you care?

4) Why are you going into journalism?

NOW MY ADVICE

As if you asked for it.

If you’re a j-schooler, that’s excellent. The world needs more journalists who can do good work.

That said, while you’re in school I’m going to give you some words of wisdom I wish somebody pounded into my head: take a few business classes. Take an HTML class. Take a photo and video class. Write a blog and try to monetize it. Don’t let yourself graduate with just a standard j-school degree. Soak up everything you can while you’re in school.

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I’m definitely interested in your thoughts though – why choose journalism over other more lucrative majors?

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