Journalism education and tips for journalists

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Poynter Online - Convergence Chaser: "Uber-journalists in the making?
The world of converged media may never birth a well-coiffed reporter who can turn a package on deadline, file to the web with pictures from a photo-phone, then rewrite the piece for print with a killer lead. But in converged markets of Richmond, Va.-based Media General, news managers think they can at least train young reporters to think about how to tell better stories using the power of TV, print and the Web.
In the Virginia market that includes WSLS Newschannel 10 in Roanoke, The (Lynchburg) News & Advance and Danville Register & Bee, editors wanted to put an emphasis on recruiting journalists with an understanding of multimedia. But where do you find them?

The discussion evolved into plans for an internship program, beginning in 2004, that puts postgraduates in the TV studio, in the print newsroom and with the Web staff for nine months, rotating through all divisions and contributing to nearly every cross-platform project that comes out of the chute. It's already proved a learning process, but not for the potential interns.
As the first applications come in, print and online editors are learning what to look for in a resume tape. Newspaper and TV editors want to know what you look for on the Web (a little HTML couldn't hurt). Editors from all three platforms will be interviewing candidates and making the hiring decision together. While they don't expect candidates to be well-versed in all three platforms, they'll be looking for training on at least two and a willingness to break ground. In addition to work experience, the intern will participate in the properties' existing training programs, which include everything from technical skills to convergence ideology.

There are some lessons here for other news managers as they start the hiring process for next summer's interns. How will you train young reporters to think about how to tell better stories using TV, print and the Web? How will you get managers from all media platforms involved in the hiring decision?


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