I spent a good chunk of last Friday at the University of Arizona School of Journalism’s fall-semester internship fair.
I originally signed up for eight 20-minute interview slots on behalf of the paper Icurrently edit, the Tucson Weekly.However, Lisa Button, the school’s fabulous internship coordinator, emailed me a couple of weeks before the fair to let me know that all eight of those slots were full, and that the waitlist was getting rather long.
I agreed to add four more slots. With the addition of two walk-ins, I wound up doing brief interviews with 14 students over about four hours.
• The future of journalism is bright, at least as far as the newbies are concerned. This was an impressive, talented, motivated group.
• The future of journalism is female. Over the years, an increasing female skew has hit the UA Journalism School, as well as other j-schools around the country. Of the 14 kids I talked to, 12 are female. All four of our current interns are women, too.
• The future of journalism is multi-talented. Journalists these days can’t just focus on writing or taking pictures. They have to be able to do both. And do video. And be Internet-savvy. And be proficient in other media, too.
• I have no idea where all of these kids are going to get jobs. A third of all newspaper jobs vanished between 2000 and 2010, and even more have gone away since 2010.
However, Iam honored that so many young, talented students are interested in alternative newsweeklies. That’s a sign that the future for this industry has some bright spots after all.