Multimedia skills make you newsworthy

Hundreds of newly graduated journalists are about to enter the job market, but only some of them will successfully find work in newsrooms.  It’s not too much of a stretch to say that those who do will be like Megan Brown.

Local TV’s NBC affiliate WHO Des Moines, Iowa (DMA 72), has hired Megan Brown as a multimedia journalist.  In that role, Brown will wear many hats including reporting, videojournalist, Web contributor and on-the-spot updates via Facebook and Twitter when out in the field.

Prior to WHO, Brown anchored the 10 p.m. news and reported for KSAX Alexandria, Minn. In addition to anchoring and reporting, she also worked as a videojournalist, producer and Web editor.

TVNewsCheck published the item above as part of its round-up of headlines.  For those of us who teach and talk about multimedia daily, it may be a little surprising that this is news at all.

The ability to report, shoot, write for the Web and master social media will be required of most of the job applicants putting out their portfolios in the coming weeks.  Those skills will make you “worthy” of working in today’s newsrooms.

So, what if you didn’t get all the necessary skills in school?  Here are some thoughts about ramping up your resume’ while you’re looking for a job:

  • Do your own distance learning.  Check out sites like useit.com and study the most effective ways to write for the Web.  Then create your own online news channel with a blogging site like Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger and cover local stories on your own, so you can point potential employers to your site.
  • If you don’t already have them, create a “work-friendly” Twitter and Facebook account where you post about more weighty matters than what you’ll get your little sister for Christmas.  Consider a focus on a topic about which you feel well-informed and then try to develop a following of other interested people. Begin to read sites like Mashable.com on a daily basis, so you can talk-the-talk when it comes to what’s happening in the social media space.
  • If you managed to get through school without much in the way of video skills, this may be an area where you’ll need to invest some time and money.  You can try to pick up more skills through online tutorials such as those found at Video Journalism Training, but taking another class at a community college or through a professional journalism training outlet may be a better bet.

You should also check out some this site’s previous posts on topics such as “The right way to do a resume” and “How not to get a job” filed under the category of “Getting Ready for the Real World.”

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