‘Journalism, more and more, is about finding your audience. That falls in the hands of individual journalists. …
We have to write things people want to read.’
Alan Murray ’ 77
deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal and executive editor for Journal Online
to-the-pavement reporting. Everything he
wrote about reappeared in the search warrant when it was revealed.
“That came from good old-fashioned
reporting, meeting people in a doughnut
shop or behind a Kmart and talking to
people,” Puente said. “Nothing fancy. You
don’t need Web-based skills for that.”
There’s always going to be a market for
a hard-working reporter, Dunn says. “I’m
actually in a good position to enter this
changing field. I’m not tied down with a
family or a mortgage. I can try new things
— start my own online news organization
if I want to — or go where I’m needed.
Journalism’s not going away, and it’s the
only thing I can imagine myself doing.”
PHOTOS BY DAN SEARS ’ 74
The new job market
Beyond having the fundamentals of
journalism — writing, reporting, an awareness of open meetings laws — students
need to take enough courses outside of the
discipline to have an understanding of the
world around them, says D. Jordan
Whichard III ’ 79, recently retired publisher
of The Daily Reflector in Greenville. And
they need to know the business of journalism — what supports it and how the business model is changing for media outlets.
“You have to understand that today’s
traditional media are being transformed by
the nature of the retail industry, automotive
consolidation and advertising models, and
that pay structures for blogging and selling
content are changing the model,” said
Whichard, who is chair-elect of the GAA
Board of Directors.
Alan Murray ’ 77, deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal and executive editor for Journal Online, looks for
grads who are comfortable with all forms
of media, not just writing.
“You have to engage in marketing
yourself in ways journalists of my generation never had to do,” said Murray, a former member of the GAA board. “
Journalism, more and more, is about finding your
audience. That falls in the hands of individual journalists. … We have to write things
people want to read.”
Dean Jean Folkerts, top, has presided over a substantial restructuring of the school’s curriculum
to try to respond to the shift to new media.
Penny Abernathy discovered that good journalism wouldn’t be enough to save newspapers — she
is teaching two new courses in which students explore the business side of media.