Someone asked a great question today about what a journalist should expect to be able to do. I whipped out my backback, produced my laptop, my DSLR, my audio recorder, started recording video on my iPhone and audio on a digital recorder. (I’ve slimmed my bag down a lot, but all of those things are still right there.
In the ancient dark ages of 2008 journalism professors were asking this question, too, what should students be able to do today. The answers on Mindy McAdams site, a generation of college students later, still hold up:
Write a 12-inch story (400–450 words) in AP print style w/ Web-appropriate head, subheads and suitable hyperlink(s).
Create a 2-minute audio clip with clear nat sound, narration and interview material, edited digitally and compressed for the Web.
Shoot, edit and compress a video of 2 min. 30 sec.
Create and maintain a single-subject blog for at least eight weeks (minimum 16 posts), with at least two posts per week.
Create a 1:30 to 2 min. Soundslides presentation that tells a coherent journalistic story.
Not included here, but it should also be in the back of your mind: social media, social media, social media. Go where your audience is for networking, ideas, corrections, spreading stories and so on.
More at the link, but if you are unclear on these things, on the why or how, let’s set aside some office hours. Remember: it isn’t difficult to find someone who can happily churn out that 12-inch story. We want you to stand out from that. That way you’re going to be a better commodity going forward for a potential employer.
And JMC 201 folks: Look at her blog suggestion. It is a good one to which you might aspire.