“The power of the pen is a very beautiful and powerful weapon,” said Dennis Byron, Jr. of the Atlanta Voice at the “How to Break Into Print and Online Journalism” panel this past Friday in one of the Mass Media Arts department studios.
While big timers like Jeezy, The Dream (I guess he’s big now), DJ Drama, Freeway and others held it down at the less than spectacular CAU Homecoming Concert (let me stop) earlier in the week, heavy weights in the world of journalism came out to support the panel.
Put on by the Mass Media Arts department, the event brought in a number of the CAU alums, including: Ivory M. Jones, C’00, BET.com; Branden Peters, C’99, XXL magazine; Khalid Salaam, C’02, SLAM magazine; Jonathan Landrum, C’03, AP. Other panelists included: Dennis Byron, Jr., Cornell C’94, Atlanta Voice newspaper and Maurice G. Garland, Ft. Valley State University C’03.
Panelists discussed their varying (and sometimes happenstance) entries into journalism and gave advice on how to break into the ever changing industry. BET.com editor, Ivory M. Jones, was a school teacher before her break into journalism. “Some things just happen by chance,” she said in a later comment.
“Writing was a hustle for me,” said Peters, who, like Jones, didn’t intend to become a journalist. Peters freelanced after college for extra cash while working in other areas of the media before landing his current gig of lifestyles editor at XXL. Peters also said that all students need to have a blog, especially if they lack published work. It's a vehicle to gauge a students writing abilities, he said.
For students concerned about current speculation about newspapers "dying," Peters had this to add: “[Newspapers are using] an antiquated business model that they have been using for over 100 years.” Interesting thoughts.
Others recommended that students jump-start their careers now. “Use the people who come out of this school…use that network,” said Maurice G. Garland,who has been freelancing for a number of years. “Get a mentor; get someone who’s already in the business of what you want to do,” recommended Landrum. By the lack of student turn out, I guess some kids still think a journalism degree equals a J-O-B. Not so much. Kids, if you ain’t wit it, get wit it. The J-train isn’t waiting for you.
And Just Some Randomness…
And Just Some Randomness…
Don’t you hate it when you’ve been working on your goals for a hot minute and someone tells you they got your dream job on some random tip. Here’s a fictional testimony: “My friend said there was a receptionist job at this magazine. I needed a job, so I applied. I guess I was a good receptionist because a year later, I’m an associate editor.” Well, Camber, I’m “so” happy for you and your job. I’m sorry I slaved at four-plus internships to get somewhere in life. Ahh, sweet reality.