March 17, 2008

Arizona Daily Star intern coordinator offers advice

Leslie Anne Newell and I were fellow cub reporters at the Arizona Republic nine years ago. She's since reported around the country and is now assistant city editor at the Arizona Daily Star, a 110,000 circulation day paper in Tucson. She also directs the internship program there. Here's her advice to young journalists:
"Networking is incredibly important for young journalists. Companies are looking to cut every corner they can right now, which means not paying the fee to post on journalismjobs or other sites that also charge for the ad. With the state of the industry, companies also aren't hiring as often as they used to, which means fewer jobs for new grads. For both of those reasons, it's incredibly important for students/recent grads to get every foot in every door that they can. They're more likely to hear about positions. But on another hand networking isn't any more important than it ever was. I think managers have always relied on it to some degree. For example, I hire upward of 20 interns a year and I can't tell you how much more it increases a candidate's stock if someone I know sends me a good word about her/him. If a colleague comes back from a conference and gives me a folder on a good candidate, that goes to the top of the pile. If I see a professor at the UA whom I really respect is listed as a reference on a resumé, that also goes to the top. Young journalists cannot do too much right now to make sure they're putting themselves out there. And don't forget to tell them that means follow-up notes to every conversation they have with anyone who might help them."
-Mark Grabowski

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