After our trip to washingtonpost.com, I was both excited and worried about my future. As journalism students, everyone keeps telling us that the future of journalism lies in the online world. But after our trip, even that future seems small. Washingtonpost.com only takes a couple students fresh out of college, and these students tend to have been interns before hand. I have had no internships yet, and have looked at only print internships for the upcoming semesters before I graduate (in a year and a half). For the older staff, they tend to hire those who have worked in the print industry before. So what do I do when I graduate from college? Do I join a smaller Web site first? Do I do as planned and join a print newspaper? What is the best plan?
Then came the more exciting part. This Web site alone faces the entire city, has a view of all that is happening in the city laid out before its writers, photographers, editors, every single day. Writers receive the opportunity to create art in journalism, to keep the public updated every few minutes, to keep interaction a primary component in the way it runs. And then there's the salary. Washingtonpost.com staffers can make $30,000 or more immediately. That's more than I ever excepted in my first years at a newspaper.
But what is the best plan? I'm torn. I don't know if I want to write for a Web site, a magazine or a newspaper. I know that the future of news lies in new media, in the internet. I know it pays more. What I don't know is where to start, how to break into the new media. Do I start with a print publication and learn the basics of journalism, of reporting in its more original context? Do I immediately go for a smaller online publication and work my way up? What is the best course of action? What are people looking for when they hire new staffers? Do they look for someone with a plethora of experience, who has studied both print and online realms? Or do they want someone who has started immediately with online publications and is attempting to work his or her way up?