Demand the experience you want from journalism school

Journalism schools do their best to give students a well-rounded education and to prepare them for the real world, but those who set the curricula are generally neither 21 nor preparing to enter a job market that changes by the minute. If there’s something you feel is missing from your j-school education, don’t just accept it: demand change.

With tuition rising at a rate comparable to newsroom layoffs, students should be making sure that they are getting their money’s worth. It’s impossible to be too prepared to enter the work force.  More than likely, a journalist will never be so surrounded with journalism veterans who are willing to offer advice, as they will be in journalism school. Take advantage of their experience by asking questions instead of waiting for the information to find you.

Robert Niles blogged recently for The Online Journalism Review on the importance of being proactive in journalism school. Even if you’ve only just started first year, it’s in your best interest to keep these things in mind as you scramble to finish your streeters.

Eight things that journalism students should demand from their journalism schools

“The new semester is well underway at almost all the nation’s journalism schools. Students have received their syllabi, explaining exactly what the school expects from its students during their courses. But what should students expect from their schools?”

1. Role models
2. A mentor
3. Employment contacts
4. A place to hack
5. Work experience
6. Deep knowledge of a field other than journalism
7. Getting your name out there
8. Passion, not excuses

Check out the blog post in full for explanations behind the list items, and don’t forget to check out the comments: many readers have added their own demands to the list.