Archive for the ‘Internships/Careers’ Category


I first heard that word being slung around in mass use when I arrived at MU and started doing activities with my Freshman Interest Group (FIG — wherein you live in the same dorm and take at least three classes with about 15 other freshmen in your major). The faculty adviser for my “Women in Journalism” FIG was Lynda Kraxberger, who chairs the MU Journalism School’s convergence sequence.

And almost every journalism professor I’ve had since has gravely informed us journalism students how vital multimedia is as a dynamic informational and/or visual tool that we all must learn.

I don’t doubt it.

I’m glad that multimedia is going to be a large component of my summer internship at washingtonpost.com.

And on that note: For today’s 3:30 p.m. class in Advanced Techniques, we are to link to an audio slideshow that “you think are well done, or ones you think have some good points but could be improved,” according to the syllabus.

I saw this slideshow when it first came out on washingtonpost.com, back in October after the stocks plummeted and everyone — not just the insiders and reporters — realized that the housing bubble and credit bubbles had finally burst. I still like it. What can I say? I’m a dork about the economy.

Click HERE to view “Anatomy of a Crisis,” narrated by Frank Ahrens of The Washington Post.

I like this slideshow for a few reasons:

  • Unlike a lot of audio slideshows out there, it’s not simply a linear photo story about a singular subject.
  • It is a simple, highly informative piece dealing with noteworthy and newsworthy events and issues that affect the entire nation.
  • It integrates photos and infographics, often alongside each other.
  • It makes you wonder at the end how on earth the slideshow producer pulled so many different images of houses together and turn it into an engaging (and, again, highly informative) slideshow whose visuals work with the audio and never get boring.

Maybe this kind of economic stuff does bore people. But hey — this is the kind of audio slideshow I’m excited about: short, succinct, informative, visual and engaging. And hopefully that’s the kind of multimedia I’ll get to help produce this summer.

Read Full Post »

I promise I’m a balanced reporter.

By that, I don’t mean I’m trying to reassure you that I report on all possible sides of an issue, etc. (But that said, I do my best to report on all sides of an issue!)

Rather, I’m trying to reassure you that even though this blog has gone severely photo-heavy in the past few weeks, I’m still trucking along as a political reporter in Jefferson City.

I’d prefer not to disclose details, but my editor Phill Brooks has had me working on a few features. Those are to be completed before the legislative session calendars truly become congested with hot bills and fast-paced action. There are only five and a half weeks left in session, so that doesn’t leave me much time.

One of those features is something Phill wants me to drop for now and instead pursue next semester, as an independent study project. It’d be a complete package: written story/ies, photos, audio, multimedia, everything. And, if I can get it right, it could be a very compelling story.

I already discussed this possibility with my Advanced Reporting instructor Tom Warhover. Here are the considerations and consequences we agreed I need to keep in mind when I make my decision:

  • I’m already registered for 12 credit hours (four courses) next semester. To complete this project, which would be fairly time-consuming, I would have to drop one of my photojournalism electives.
  • I need to make sure I’d have enough time to do Staff Photojournalism (one of my three-hour courses next semester, but it would require far more than three hours of work a week). That is a course I simply cannot put off any further.
  • Transportation? It’d really help to have a car.
  • If I did pursue this project, this would be my third semester with Phill as my editor. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but my development as a reporter could benefit from working with a different editor.

That said, I haven’t made up my mind, at all. I don’t think I need to until May or so. But it’s certainly something I have to consider very carefully.


Read Full Post »

I am going to Washington, D.C., this summer. Yesterday afternoon, Dee Swann — the multimedia deputy managing editor at washingtonpost.com — offered me the photo/multimedia internship for which I applied. After a quick chat with my mother, I accepted the internship.


I am going to Washington, D.C.!

Wow wow wow.

This year, I applied for internships in either photography or reporting at probably three or more dozen newspapers. As I noted in an earlier post, I’ve received three times as many notifications of cancelled internship programs as I have actual, outright rejections. This is a sad market for journalism students seeking internships, and let’s not even talk about jobs post-graduation.

So, I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have been offered this internship. I know it’s going to be a challenge and a lot of hard work, but I am so ready for it.

That said, it’s been about 18 hours since Dee called me, and I am still in a state of shock. In shock that I’ll be going East — and not West — this summer for the first time in four years. In shock that everything actually worked out and I actually landed an internship this summer. In shock that it’s at washingtonpost.com, of all places!

My starting date is May 26. That gives me a little under a week after my last final exam to pack and laze around before I start interning. I still need to figure out housing and the end date and a lot of other things. And I still need to work out a food allowance/etc. with my parents. But all those things will come along in time.

In the meantime, I am just so pizumped that I’m going to be interning in a profesional newsroom in Washington, D.C., this summer. And yes, I used “pizumped” — that’s how pizumped I am!

Read Full Post »

We all know that The Rocky Mountain News publishes its last edition and closes today, two months before its 150th anniversary as the oldest newspaper in Colorado.

After I sent him the RMN‘s article announcing the paper’s closure, my friend Darren asked what I would do if The New York Times ever “goes under.” I responded, with some facetiousness, “I WILL DIE.”

Seriously, though. I’ve already harped a little about where journalism is headed, but it’s becoming a more critical issue every week. One of my college friends secured a design internship at a good newspaper for this summer but learned yesterday that her internship has been cancelled due to budgetary constraints. I’m still receiving far more notifications of cancelled internship programs than actual, outright rejections. And now The Rocky Mountain News is folding — not for want of readers but for want of general revenue.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the cover package of The New Republic‘s latest issue (March 4 — see its watchdog-themed cover here) is a treatment of “the end of the press.” Below are the related articles:

Just reading the cover story’s first page (on the actual article Web page) upset me. The facts presented in the following paragraph made me actually physically shake. (Italicized, underlined emphasis is mine.)

Despite all the development of other media, the fact is that newspapers in recent years have continued to field the majority of reporters and to produce most of the original news stories in cities across the country. Drawing on studies conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Tom Rosenstiel, the project’s director, says that as of 2006 a typical metropolitan paper ran seventy stories a day, counting the national, local, and business sections (adding in the sports and style sections would bring the total closer to a hundred), whereas a half-hour of television news included only ten to twelve. And while local TV news typically emphasizes crime, fires, and traffic tie-ups, newspapers provide most of the original coverage of public affairs. Studies of newspaper and broadcast journalism have repeatedly shown that broadcast news follows the agenda set by newspapers, often repeating the same items, albeit with less depth.

Then, on the second page:

As imperfect as they have been, newspapers have been the leading institutions sustaining the values of professional journalism. A financially compromised press is more likely to be ethically compromised.

And while the new digital environment is more open to “citizen journalism” and the free expression of opinions, it is also more open to bias, and to journalism for hire. Online there are few clear markers to distinguish blogs and other sites that are being financed to promote a viewpoint from news sites operated independently on the basis of professional rules of reporting. So the danger is not just more corruption of government and business–it is also more corruption of journalism itself.

I am inclined to agree.


Read Full Post »

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! On a loving note, here are a couple of V-Day links I’ve scored up via Twitter:

As a visual journalist, I’m especially a fan of this one from the second link:

Things that I’ve been doing over the past few days (some of which are still works in progress):

  • Working on my application for the Washington Program. I’ll be turning it in on Monday.
  • Not checking Twitter for almost three days. This is due mostly to an economics exam (Money, Banking and Financial Institutions), about which I do not feel good about. The worst part is, this class is not required for my degree: I’m taking it purely out of my own interest in the current economic recession and want to learn background on it.
  • Consolidating all my reading schedules for four classes into one document.
  • Scanning film taken last weekend. I’ll be posting the best photos here, later this weekend.

On the side, I’ve been reading a lot about the journalism industry. I think the Time cover story by Walter Isaacson has fueled a lot of discussion, some of which I’ve been reading via links on Twitter. The variety of responses is stark. One of the most poignant and personal is this: NYU’s paper published a piece by its former editor-in-chief, who begins the feature with “I want someone to tell me I will be unemployed if I stay in journalism.” It’s a good but frightening read.

Other articles/pieces I’ve read regarding our industry, somewhat in response to the Time cover story and definitely in response to the economic crisis facing the media:

I’ve at least skimmed all of these, and still have more reading to do — that is, a dozen or so articles about the federal economic stimulus package. Now that it’s passed and on its way to Obama’s desk, I’m hoping that next week in Jefferson City will be far busier and more productive than the past two weeks have been. I feel like everyone from the legislators to the budget officers have been waiting for some closure on the stimulus package before pressing forward with their own agendas.

And on that note, I’m going to continue with my “to do” list for the weekend and hopefully have some scanned film posted by tomorrow afternoon! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Read Full Post »

Today, Wes Pippert held an information session about the Washington Program, which he has directed since the 1980s. The semester-long program essentially places graduate or undergraduate students in professional newsrooms, firms, agencies and other such journalism/communication workplaces, where the students work alongside professionals in completing their chosen/designated professional project.

Pippert emphasized the “professional project” aspect of the program and, wihin the first five minutes of the session, was vocal about distinguishing that from an “internship.” He highlighted a few participants whose newsrooms/what-have-you placed them in prominent stories. For example, one student who backed out of the program at the last minute was slated to be a Washington correspondent for a Spokane, Wash., newspaper. What the student didn’t know was, his editor had already signed him up to cover Obama’s inauguration and gotten credentials and everything set up.

I’m not sure yet what would qualify as a professional project. Therefore, I don’t know what I would want to do — although, it’d probably be something that would incorporate both reporting and photojournalism. I also don’t know for which semester I’d apply: fall or spring? Either semester I choose, I’d a) have to find a subleaser and b) push back my graduation by one semester.

But I’m definitely interested. The potential benefits are numerous:

  • I’d be working in a professional environment.
  • I’d be working in Washington, D.C.
  • I’d be learning, networking and building my portfolio all at the same time.
  • I’d get to exert a large degree of control/direction over what I’d be doing (which would not necessarily happen in a traditional internship program).
  • I’d be working in Washington, D.C.
  • I’d be earning college credit while I’m at it.
  • I’d get a discount on a membership to the National Press Club.
  • I’d get to expand my journalistic and political horizons from the local and state level to the federal level.
  • Did I mention I’d be working in Washington, D.C.?


Read Full Post »

Today, via Twitter, I came across this NPR article about how journalism students are “uneasy about job prospects.” Featured very prominently is the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism (which I attend) and several people with whom I’ve interacted this semester — namely, Missourian executive editor Tom Warhover, masters student Emily Younker and senior undergraduate student Chad Day.

Perhaps the most frightening and dramatic component of this article is the following graf:

Right now, the economy is especially bad news for these students. When they graduate, they’ll head into an industry that shed a staggering 15,000 jobs in the newspaper sector alone last year.

Intimidating? Rather! Maybe that’s why I’ve received three times as many notifications of internship program cancellations as actual rejections.


Previous, related blog entries:

Read Full Post »

As of this week, I have entered a strange place in my life/mental state. That is, I’ve begun to question exactly what I’m doing in journalism.

It all started when I had to present my goals for this semester to my editor Phill Brooks, as a component of my Advanced Reporting class. After discussing my goals with him, I was to e-mail him and my class instructor a memo recapping the discussion.

Initially, my goals were enterprise, in-depth analysis and connecting with the reader — all of which I’d outlined in a previous blog entry. But when I told Phill, he laughed and said my real goal should be figuring why I am still working — and with gusto — in the bureau when, as a photojournalism major, this class is not a required component for acquiring my degree.

The following is the memo I sent to Phill and my instructor last night.


Read Full Post »

[Psst — here’s my professional resume as of Jan. 31, 2009!]

Everyone knows the journalism job market is exponentially shrinking.

I’ve known this since high school, when it was time to begin applying to colleges and my mother realized just how serious I was about pursuing journalism. She wanted me to look at in-state colleges with communication schools or journalism departments, but I refused to consider them seriously.

Shortly after I told her I wouldn’t go anywhere but the University of Missouri-Columbia, I found a newspaper clipping next to my dinner plate. It basically detailed how the journalism job market was beginning its downslide, and how internships are a must for anyone interested in pursuing journalism as a career.

My mother later asked if I’d found and read the clip, and if I was still thinking clearly about my future. She then informed me that, following my graduation from the higher education sector, she would not be financially responsible for me nor allow me to live in the house.

So, thanks to my encouraging and ever-supportive mother, I have long been aware of a) the job market, b) the importance of an internship and c) how I really need to get a job after college.

Thus far, I have applied to more than two dozen internships.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

In my post earlier today, I mentioned a Twitter discussion about photojournalism, as well as a Politico article about how the Obama administration is treating the press corps. From there, I read up more on Pete Souza, whom the Obama administration has hired as the chief White House photographer.

First, I read PDN’s Jan. 5 article introducing Souza as the chief photographer. After reading the first few sentences, I began to wonder about the nature of the job… especially since Souza was the only photographer present at Obama’s retaking his oath of office (an event at which no other cameras, including television cameras, were allowed).

So, I posted the following two-part update on my Twitter:

Reading about White House photog Pete Souza. Pondering: if I were offered the job of White House photog, would I accept?

Mainly, would any journalism outlet hire me as a photographer after having been basically the PR photog for the White House?

This began the following conversations:

Joel: yes, they probably would. look at Souza, he worked for as WH photog under Reagan then went to the Chicago Trib. the WH photog is more than a PR photographer, sure there’s lots of grip and grins, but you’re documenting history

Me: Truth, about Souza and the job’s being more than PR. But still, not much enterprise/reporting involved (obviously). Hired photogs/press secretaries can find jobs in journ afterward (example: Stephanopoulous), but still – something to think about.

Joel: if anything it would give you a more intimate understanding of the subject that you were covering. the enterprising aspect comes in finding new ways to photograph your subject

Me: Re: intimate understanding – True, but I wouldn’t hire Souza to cover the White House/D.C. after Obama’s administration.

Joel: true, maybe not the very next administration, but possibly subsequent ones

Me: I agree on that point. But re: enterprise – much of the value of that comes from finding the stories, not being taken to an event.

Joel: thats the reporter in you talking, i’m speaking from purely a photographic standpoint you have ultimate access to be creative

Me: Ultimate access is def a plus of the job, can’t argue with that. But yeah, I’m def speaking as a reporter/journalist.

Jeff (also directed at Joel): But after a high-paying PR job with benefits and name recognition why bother going back to journalism?

Joel: i would, unless offered another similar job someplace else. or i’d teach, like Souza did

Me: Because journalism is more satisfying/fulfilling on a personal level then [sic] PR? For some people, anyway. At least, for me.

Jeff: Oh I know. That was mostly sarcasm.

Kevin: You’re crazy to waver. Essentially the best photo-j assignment ever, job that’ll be there in 4 yrs (unlike journalism outlet).

Me: But there’s no journalism involved. You’re an event photographer. The job’s only journalistic value lies in recording history. Whereas journalism implies some degree of original enterprise, WH photog just gets assigned events/handshaking PR jobs.

Adam (also directed at Kevin): By no means do I think Sousa is going to shoot only grip-and-grins—he wouldn’t have taken the job if that was true.

Me: Truth. Still. While the job entails a lot of pressure dare I say it nevertheless seems too easy? Maybe I’m actually jealous

Adam: Yeah, maybe that’s it. (Me too.) q :

I later found another PDN article — published in late October — in which four former White House photographers reflected on their experiences and shared their perceptions and observations of the job. It’s worth mentioning that Pete Souza is the first photographer in the article.

The article is definitely worth reading, and clarified a few points of concern for me, especially with regard to the line the White House photographer treads between being a PR photographer and a photojournalist. I almost wish I’d read it before tweeting my concerns about the perhaps not-so-journalistic nature of the White House photographer’s job, but no regrets. It was a good Twitter conversation with good Tweeple.

P.S. — I posted three entries today. This kind of frequency will not be a regular thing on this blog.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts