Since print journalism is currently one of my two tracks in JMC, I paid as close attention as I could to this presentation. I thought this group did great and gave a lot of details on the necessary skills needed to be a journalist. One interesting fact I learned is that there are still 1,300 newspapers nationwide. I hadn’t really taken a good look at the front page of the Birmingham News. I was able to see that the layout seems pretty busy and crazy. This business is because they’re trying to get people to buy the paper if they see one story on the front page that appeals to the buyers. As Alabama’s largest newspaper, the Birmingham news only comes out three times a week. A different newspaper, the Hartford Courant, actually has a better layout because white space exists.
There are many different jobs that a print journalist can have. Some of these include being a magazine journalist, an author, columnists, commentators, feature writers, and blogs. The necessary skill sets in order to become a journalist fascinated me as well. Overall, a journalist must inquisitive, remain cool under pressure, interested in current affairs, and be competitive. He or she must be able to meet deadlines consistently. These are only a few of the many skills this group discussed. People who write for magazines must be proactive, determined, persistent, and have the ability to absorb information quickly. This was extremely helpful for me to know as I have thought about wanting to write for a magazine one day. More copies of magazines are online now, and same with textbooks. I prefer to have the hard copies, especially textbooks. I need to have the book right there in front of me. A magazine journalist often attends meetings and is involved with interviewing and researching.
Additionally, I learned that people who write for a large paper generally receive a salary between $60,000 and $75,000. These people work on average 39 hours a week. This is slightly unpredictable, however, due to traveling.
I think I have a much better understanding and am more informed about print journalism now that I have observed this group’s presentation!