In three months time I will graduate. As the date nears some questions come to mind again. Will this master’s help me to get a job as a reporter? Should I choose to return to Ireland or move to Britain will my qualification mean anything to prospective employers? Finally, should I have taken on some internships or other trainee-type positions instead?
I faced the same questions last September when I finally took the plunge and decided graduate school was a good option. For me any journalism experience I had up to that point came from student newspapers and freelance writing. I felt that an intense 12 month program could sort out some of the gremlins in my writing and help me to become a better reporter. I think this is happening.
No matter what though, journalism masters or not, the task of getting a reporting job will be an uphill battle.
I met with a recruiter recently from a large news organization. They told me about a one-man bureau operated by a Florida-based newspaper. The reporter/bureau writes and edits their own stories and puts them up on the paper’s website. The reporter also takes their own photographs and can create graphics without assistance.
The recruiter was pleased when I said I could take my own photos. Hearing about this one-person operation in Florida urged me to sign up for a design course in news graphics over the summer.
The buzz word is “convergence” and more and more I see that as we go forward a larger knowledge base and skill set will be demanded. The one-person bureau is evidence of this.
These are the new expectations – the bar has been raised. But is it still in reach?