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It’s a time-honored progression: you start writing for your college newspaper and before you know it you’re recruited to be an editor. Suddenly, badly written articles are being thrown at you left and right and you don’t have a clue about what to do. This isn’t unusual. At many college newspapers, editing skills are picked up on the fly. With that in mind, here’s a list of eight things for new editors to watch out for. Buried leads – it’s not uncommon for beginning journalism students to do what’s called burying the lead. That means they put the most important information in a news storyRead More →

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So you’ve decided you want to major in journalism in college, and are in the process of finding a program that’s right for you. That’s not necessarily an easy task, since there are dozens if not hundreds of journalism programs in colleges and universities across the U.S. But by prioritizing the things that are most important to you, you can certainly make the process easier. I have both undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism and have been a journalism professor for nearly 20 years, so here are six things I think any prospective student should look for. Experienced professors: this seems obvious, but let meRead More →

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So you’re in college and have decided you want to someday be a journalist. But you’re not sure what you should be doing now to increase your chances of landing a job in the news business after graduation. Fear not. I’ve been working in journalism, either as a reporter, editor or professor, for over 30 years. I’ve counseled dozens of students on what they can do to increase their marketability in the job market. Here are the five things I tell them to do, and while I can’t guarantee that these measures will work, they will certainly increase your chances. Write for your student newspaperRead More →

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Across the country, some college newspapers are shutting down their printing presses. From the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Post to the Daily Athenaeum at West Virginia University to the paper at Ohio University, student-run publications are reducing the frequency of their printed product or ditching it all together. Editors at these papers offer a variety of reasons. Some say it is a cost-cutting measure. Others say they want to focus exclusively on their digital product and not be distracted by the hassle of producing a printed paper. I think this is a bad idea, and I’ll tell you why. First, a lot of college journalism studentsRead More →