By Jacob Probus | August 12th, 2010
Journalism is a unique profession. It’s constantly evolving, forever changing, perpetually growing and conforming to the society it serves. If you want to be a good journalist you have to stay on top of the thing, keep your finger on the proverbial pulse.
There are several ways you can do that.
You could go back to school and get a master’s degree or a doctorate, but that’s pretty expensive and we journalists aren’t known for our vast wealth.
You can take advantage of training programs put on by your local chapter or your region or your state’s press association. I took part in a fantastic open records/open meetings webinar that the Alabama Press Association hosted. The association’s lawyer taught the class.
There’s a vast wealth of information online and in books published about the craft. Poynter’s NewsU is a great online source for top-notch classes and webinars, free or cheap or otherwise. (www.newsu.org)
And speaking of Poynter, you can sign up for one of their on-site workshops or seminars. They aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re well worth the investment. Plus, hey, the institute is in south Florida…on the beach…you see where I’m going here, right? And nothing comes close to a Poynter experience (all right…media bias, anyone?). (www.poynter.org)
These are just a few suggestions. There are many more options for the continuing journalistic education. Whatever path you choose, you can never go wrong in furthering your knowledge base, your education, and your skill set. A guy I wrote a profile about once told me, “If you’re going to quit learning, you might as well just die.”