Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Advice for J students from OJR

Incoming journalism students should take a science lab course, learn about business and network, according to writer Robert Niles (at right), whose tips appear in Online Journalism Review.

The laboratory science course can implicitly teach the scientific method, which can help aspiring journalists appreciate the goal of being "objective" -- or at least complete, fair and accurate.

Involvement in a business or even a student organization can expose students to the nitty-gritty of dollars and (financial) sense.

And networking extends from access to opportunities to developing sources.

"Without sources, you are a novelist," Niles writes. "(Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Use your non-journalism classes to build your personal network. Publish on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Blog. Video blog. Make meeting and conversing with people your addiction. Fail to network responsibly, and all the smarts in the world won't help you succeed."