Print Isn’t Dead

source: www.mediamill.tt

source: www​.medi​amill​.tt

This guest post for The Works was written by Erica Thompson, a recent jour­nalism grad­uate from NU who is cur­rently working as a Copy Editor at the Boston Globe.

Print is dead,” said my jour­nalism pro­fessor in our first lec­ture freshman year. “Get out while you can.”

The harsh advice wasn’t exactly how I planned to start my five years at North­eastern, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t leave a lasting impres­sion. While print media has taken a serious hit in our pri­marily dig­ital world, I’ve dis­cov­ered that calling the news­paper industry “dead” is nothing but a hasty generalization.

So despite the dis­cour­aging words, I stuck with jour­nalism, as I encourage those cur­rently in the major to do, too. It’s tough, undoubt­edly. Finding sources to con­tact and explaining your­self as a “stu­dent” jour­nalist isn’t like writing a 10-​​page research paper or studying for an accounting exam; it’s a dif­ferent kind of mental discipline.

But it was worth every 3 a.m. haze in Snell, every moment of panic that I didn’t credit a source cor­rectly, and every snippy cri­tique from a fellow student—not just because it made me a stronger writer (and person), but because I, along with most of my former class­mates, got a job after graduation.

source: fyeahjournalismmajorcamel.tumblr.com

source: fyeahjour​nal​is​m​ma​jor​camel​.tumblr​.com

And it wasn’t by hap­pen­stance. I grad­u­ated North­eastern in May 2013 and, like many other jour­nalism majors, com­pleted three co-​​ops that really set the stage for my job search. While co-​​op pro­vided me (as I’m sure it did for others) with expe­ri­ence, writing clips, and the day-​​to-​​day skills nec­es­sary to be suc­cessful in a job, the con­nec­tions I made and the net­working that took place during co-​​op were an equally large com­po­nent to suc­cess­fully landing inter­views and actu­ally get­ting a job offer.

Without a doubt, the jour­nalism industry has def­i­nitely seen a struggle, and the number of jobs is not as high as a field like busi­ness or nursing. But as a North­eastern alumnus, having con­tacts through co-​​op is the key to get­ting your foot in the door.

The notion of “co-​​op con­nec­tions” is some­thing I only came to appre­ciate after I grad­u­ated, and some­thing I wish I had been more con­scious of while working. As much as the co-​​op depart­ment stresses the idea of net­working, work becomes rou­tine and it’s easy to forget that in six months, you won’t be sit­ting at that same desk, with those same people.

But being able to reach out to former col­leagues, espe­cially in a com­pet­i­tive field like jour­nalism, is the dif­fer­ence between sending your resume into the black abyss of Medi­a­bistro, and obtaining the direct e-​​mail of the hiring man­ager for a cer­tain posi­tion. And, most impor­tantly, the con­nec­tions made on co-​​op extend beyond just the com­pany you’ve worked for. It’s the con­nec­tions cur­rent employees have with other com­pa­nies, which opens up double, if not triple, the doors for post-​​grads.

Trea­sure that. It’s the most unique part of being a Husky, par­tic­u­larly in the field of jour­nalism. And don’t give up on the industry. Just because it’s changing doesn’t mean it’s dead.

Erica Thompson grad­u­ated from North­eastern in May 2013 as a jour­nalism major with a minor in public policy. She cur­rently works as a Copy Editor at The Boston Globe, where she co-​​oped twice. She can be reached at erica.​thompson@​globe.​com or on Twitter, @EricaThompson_