Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Freelance Journalism

Last night in Scripps 111 Jamie Ratermann led us in a discussion and overview of Freelance journalism. Assistant professor Ellen Gerl contributed by discussing her experiences as a freelance journalist for magazines such as Midwest Living and Ohio Magazine.

Freelance journalism is something anyone can break into, including college students. Attempting this might be even more beneficial for college students as they may get published, press, and paid- a bonus for any and all college student. They won't have to rely 100% on the income of a freelance journalist (which is sadly minimal, unless you have built a name for yourself and your writing is very valuable) but can use the change to begin to build a name for themselves. Another amazing by-product of freelance journalism is the networking chances it brings. Often freelance journalism can serve as a sort of application process. The editor will already know you, know your writing and know that they can rely on you to meet a deadline (if that is true.) Thus, an editor may be more likely to offer you a job if the opportunity arises versus an unknown writer.

SPJ members are offered multiple different resources for freelance journalists including a freelance directory that may match you up with editors, a job bank as well as a "list of resources and organizations devoted to aiding freelancers in everything from pitching stories to paying taxes."

Check out this SPJ article: "New media helps freelancers and fights repression."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Business Journalism- Angie Lau

Hello SPJ-ers,

If you missed the past week in SPJ you missed two great events! First, on Tuesday award-winning journalist and fellow SPJ-er, Angie Lau, spoke to SPJ about business journalism. Lau gave students great advice. She said the key to coming up with stories is to ask the uncommon question and then answer it. "A lot of opportunities in this industry you will create yourself," Lau said. This has proved true for Lau who eventually worked her way up to work as an anchor and producer for the business news company, Bloomberg.

According to Inc Volume 11, "Bloomberg is located in more than 135 locations around the world and employs more than 10,000 people." Scripps is one of nine lucky schools in the world to receive a Bloomberg terminal. We, as students, should take advantage of this resource because as Lau said, "that terminal is used by financial professionals who pay up to $2000 per month to use it." For the many of students who don't know, the terminal is located in Scripps' Lasher Learning Center and has nearly unlimited pages of business and finance information.

Saturday SPJ and Ed2010 collaborated to host our first annual Battle of the Bands, a fundraiser that brought four music journalists into Athens to judge the bands and provide valuable information to students interested in music journalism. During the 2 hour panel the judges discussed their experiences in the field and answered any type of question thrown their way. From "how to write a compelling review" to "what was the biggest problem you had after writing a negative review" and many more in between. We learned not to put an artist down in a negative review and the extreme benefits of freelancing- hopefully landing a job-as it is proof that you can write interesting articles on time.

"You don't stop being a student once you graduate" - Angie Lau


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Writers Wanted!

Many of you (hopefully all of you if you're a Scripps student) have received SPJ's weekly publication, Inc. This is our journalism focused publication with tons of valuable/ interesting information on the field you chose to compete in! This also means that there are typically no ethics problems between Inc. and other campus publications. With the change from a bi-weekly to a weekly production, we are looking for even more writers and copy-editors to contribute! All you have to do is come to our meetings, Tuesday at 5 in Scripps 111 and explain your interest in helping. There are multiple article choices including a meeting preview, an overall journalism story, an internship overview, a "how-to," a transcript and a column. Articles vary in length from 750-800 words or 450-500 words depending on the type and are due that Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Writing for Inc. is a great way to gain clips, gain writing experience, boost a resume and contribute to SPJ!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Study Abroad- to Uganda!

While many students have already had internships, many are still looking. Why not expand your search to a journalism study abroad option? This summer Scripps Jschool is offering a 4 week, 9 credit hour trip to Africa! The title of the program, "Uganda: Media, Diversity and Governance: Summer 2010," gives a little insight into what an exciting opportunity this trip truly is!

The coordinator behind this trip, and the Director of the Institute for International Journalism, Dr. Yusuf Kalyango, gave SPJ members a more in-depth look into the program. While you do receive credit, it is more of an internship, hands-on type of program. Students will have the opportunity to speak with government leaders, professors, and even participate in a dinner with the King of Uganda. Students will be able to focus on specializations by working with news organizations, advertising firms, the national parliament, and nongovernmental organizations. They will also go on weekend trips to see the local flora and fauna of Eastern Africa, visit historical and cultural sites, visit a game-wildlife national park, and in the process receive 9 credit hours and complete a tier III course. Is it the chaos of Africa you are worried about? Dr. Kalyango has arranged for everyone to stay in a four star hotel with all the amenities of a four star hotel in the United States, including an indoor and outdoor pool, workout facility, and a variety of food choices for breakfast and dinner everyday.

If this is a program that even slightly catches your interest, go to the information session February 2, in Sing Tao room 101 at 6:00 p.m. There Dr. Kalyango will discuss further details such as price and affordability and any other questions you may have. There isn't a lot of spots left in this competitive internship so if you are really interested you could always secure a spot by going here and signing up!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Mark of Excellence Award

You worked hard last year to write, produce and hopefully publish your journalism articles or broadcasts. A college journalist attempts to publish their work to obtain clips, create a portfolio, gain some experience and have proof that your career path isn't entirely a dead end. Now, SPJ is offering a chance to use those published works to win the Mark of Excellence Award.

This Award is presented annually to honor the best in student journalism. It is offered to any student in a college or university in the U.S for work published in 2009 in print, radio, television or online categories. There is also a category for published art/graphics or photos! Entries will first be judged at the regional level then first place regional winners will make it to the national competition. Ultimately, the national winners will be honored at the 2010 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, October 3-6 in Las Vegas. Judging will be based on certain criteria such as accuracy and completeness, enterprise and ingenuity, significance, clarity, and adherence to high journalistic standards among others

To sign up or nominate a friend click here There is a $9 entry fee for SPJ members and an $18 entry fee for non SPJ members (but everyone should be an SPJ member anyways!)

As journalists we are nearly obsessed with writing the next best story in an attempt to inform the public, why not attempt to boost our resume while we're at it? A Mark of Excellence Award is a perfect honor to do that!

go to for full details.