High School Journalists exploring their options

April 23, 2009

abbie7I recently had the chance to facilitate a conversation for aspiring high school journalism students.  I shared the responsibility with former journalist, turned PR pro Chris Fiscus.  Our small but mighty group asked great questions about the future of journalism, what we looked for when we were interviewing for job candidates and shared with us their enthusiasm and passion for the written word.

I reached out to my followers on Twitter and asked them to share some of their advice with the students — here’s some of what you said, I took the liberty of editing for clarity: 

badlhoch_sunstv – tell the high schoolers to throw the rope back over the fence and help others once they are successful

Schnepf_Farms talk to them about ethics….Sometimes I wonder if that is even being taught any more????? and good idea about tech

blue22pr tell them to remain focused on their goals and stay up on technology (probably not much of a problem)

Schnepf_Farms for reporters Be Real not emotional; Anchors learn how to be a reporter; PR people how you write your press release is KEY

LindaObele Tell them not to be discouraged. The world — even the print world — still needs media watchdogs who care

bmaack learn to take photos – with better equipment than a cell phone.

I did the same with my friends on Facebook. Again, a little editing was required for clarity.

Sam Alpert Tell them to go into PR instead! 🙂

Stacy Lloyd Tell them it’s an amazing career that will enrich and change their lives forever. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Linda VandeVrede No, don’t tell them to go into PR – we have enough competition in the field already! 🙂 Tell them to refine their writing and interviewing skills.

Charlotte Risch Shaff Remind them it’s not the most lucrative line of work. And need to work your way up…dream jobs don’t just happen…and jobs aren’t just handed to you…get as much experience as possible. Shadow, volunteer, assist!!

Kelly Kribben Mixer Yes, get as much multimedia experience NOW because the journalism world is changing with the times. They need to be able to do it all, including video since everything is online now. Also, get out there and get experience with internships as soon as they start college, not just before they graduate. I could go on but that should help.

Sarah Gatling Tell them to get as much ACTUAL experience in college in college as possible. Intern, intern, intern! It counts so much more than grade point averages and campus clubs.

David Landis Be honest and let them know there’s more of a future in PR than journalism.

Brian Kass Be mindful of your word choice…how you say something affects others in different ways. Document the truth as it means to you. And bring awareness and a voice to those who can’t otherwise be heard…

Anne Buchanan Tell them what you were like in high school; tell them the traits you exhibited back then that ended up being good predictors for a career in PR. At their age, they’re all confused about what they should be when they grow up.

Many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts with me and the students.  With the future of journalism in the hands of people like I met, I am optimistic about the future.


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