Region 7 Career Connections, 11.18.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

  • Learfield Communications is looking for an experienced reporter/anchor for Missourinet — a statewide radio network based in Jefferson City, Missouri. Candidates must have a broadcasting background. To apply, contact Ashley Byrd, fellow SPJ member and chief of news services for Learfield News, at abyrd@learfield.com or 573-556-1208.
  • KCCI, the Des Moines CBS affiliate, is looking for a weekend morning anchor/reporter. Click here for more.
  • The Waynesville Daily Guide, in Waynesville, Missouri, is looking for a managing editor. Click here for more.
  • Enterprise Publishing, in Blair, Nebraska, is looking to build its design team. Click here for more.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7!

 

 

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Region 7 Career Connections, 11.10.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7!

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Mizzou SPJ hopes to connect students with employers at November event

Photo courtesy of Christina Turner

Photo courtesy of Christina Turner

By Lauren Whan

Each month, Lauren Whan, Region 7 assistant for campus affairs, will take a look at a university chapter from across the region.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — One of the largest journalism schools in the Midwest is the University of Missouri, otherwise known as “Mizzou.” With many successful journalists graduating from the university, it has become a popular place for aspiring reporters.

Mizzou started a Society of Professional Journalists chapter in 2000, and has slowly but surely built a large membership.

Chapter President Christina Turner said the Mizzou chapter has 24 official undergraduate members, 10 of whom are new to the organization. She said the chapter also has several graduate students attend meetings and support events. The chapter also has about two-dozen undergrad students who are not official card-carrying members of the national organization, Turner said.

Turner said she is hopeful they will recruit more members throughout the semester.

During the fall semester, the chapter held two get-to-know-you SPJ events.

  • A free speech event, where people could write whatever they wanted on a big poster board around campus to celebrate First Amendment rights
  • A profit-share event with a Yogoluv establishment downtown.

The Mizzou chapter now plans to hold an event in November where journalism employers can tell students what they’re looking for in future interns or new hires after graduation. This event will include a speed-dating component, where students can spend five minutes with each person from each organization discussing their specific interests.

Turner said she is also working on getting the event catered by a restaurant.

For the spring, the chapter is working on bringing in guest speakers from out-of-town to discuss emerging issues within the journalism school, documentary journalism and multimedia journalism.

“More and more, every emphasis area within the journalism school is multimedia, so we want to bring in professionals who use all these different platforms and skills to show that it is necessary to get a job in journalism these days.” Turner said.

Turner said Mizzou is launching a documentary journalism emphasis area in 2015, and the SPJ chapter is working on bringing in documentary filmmakers to discuss how documentary film and journalism intersect.

Christina Turner

Photo courtesy of Christina Turner

Turner said she has been president of the Mizzou chapter since January 2014 and will transition out of presidency in January 2015. Her future career plans are to work in television news after she graduates in May 2015.

“At this point, there are opportunities both behind and in front of the camera throughout the country and in Europe, so the specifics of what I will do and where I’ll end up are wide-open,” Turner said.

Turner joined SPJ because it seemed like a good way to meet journalism professionals and learn what the media business was really like. Her favorite moments of being a member of SPJ have been the Excellence in Journalism conferences in Anaheim and Nashville, as well as the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.

As for advice on how to improve student interest, Turner believes the regional conferences haven’t been as well-advertised to student chapters in the past.

“Making sure every student chapter is aware of the conference would help. On our chapter end, we’ll be working on getting as much of that funded by the university as possible,” Turner said.

The sponsorship would help get more SPJ members interested and able to attend the conference.

To keep up with what’s happening at the University of Missouri, follow Christina on Twitter at @CSTurner1 and visit Mizzou SPJ’s website.

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Finding antiquity in Manhattan, Kansas

Screen shot 2014-10-28 at 11.47.37 AM

Manhattan, Kansas, was the last place I expected to find a Terracotta Warrior. But sure enough, one of the sculptures was behind a glass case at Kansas State University.

I made the trek down to KSU last week to kick off a series of pizza visits at universities within Region 7. For all the journalism student groups that will have me, I’ll bring a few pizzas and chat about the awesomeness that is SPJ.

KSU has a fantastic chapter, filled with brilliant young journalists who seem anxious to begin their careers. I hit on three key points that I hope every college journalist in the region knows.

  • The Mark of Excellence Awards submission season begins Nov. 3! The Mark of Excellence Awards is SPJ’s college journalism awards. We recognize the best of the best in the region, as well as nationally. If you’re a journalism student or know journalism students, please encourage them to submit their best work from the past year.
  • The SPJ Region 7 Conference is set for March 27-28 in Omaha, Nebraska. This conference is a great opportunity for professionals and students alike to network, hone their craft and explore a great town. Be sure to save the date!
  • Now is the time to start applying for summer internships! Newsrooms are already beginning to think about who they will bring into the fold. Want to have your resume stand out, send it to me! I’m more than happy to take a look at any journalism student’s resume and cover letter.

KSU’s SPJ chapter isn’t the only student group with whom I will visit this year. Here’s a schedule of where you can catch me in the coming months.

  • Nov. 3: Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska), meeting with staffers at The Creightonian
  • Nov. 17: Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), meeting with Drake’s SPJ chapter
  • November (TBA): University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Lincoln, Nebraska), meeting with students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Do you know of a student journalism group that would like me to visit, pizzas in tow? Send me a note! I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.

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Region 7 Career Connections, 10.28.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7!

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Region 7 Career Connection, 10.20.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7!

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Three alt weeklies bow out in one week

 

Map key: Red – Closed in 2014; Purple – Closed in 2013; Yellow – Closed in 2012; Green – Closed in 2008

When considering a journalism career’s progression, I like to think of the news career ladder in terms of the Daily Planet.

You have your four basic news staffers: the Jimmy Olsen, who is wet behind the ears, has zero idea what he’s doing but is just excited to work in a newsroom.

The Clark Kent, who is a moderately competent reporter with a few years under his belt — but he’s not going to win any Pulitzers.

Then you have the Lois Lane. She’s the cream of the crop in the journalism world. She will expose corruption, win awards for her reporting and protect democracy with every word she writes.

Finally, you have the Perry White — the cynical, old-school journalist who is a newsroom leader, knows the strengths and weaknesses of the journalists in his employ and uses that knowledge to produce an amazing news product.

To get to the Perry White stage of journalism, everyone have to start as Jimmy Olsen. My Jimmy Olsen stage wasn’t with a major daily newspaper like the Planet or even a broadcast outlet.

I started as a stringer for C-VILLE Weekly in Charlottesville, Virginia. My few clips there, which were edited with an expert and heavy hand, helped me gain admission to the University of Nebraska’s graduate journalism program. While in that program, I interned for another alternative weekly — The Reader in Omaha, Nebraska.

For many journalists, the alt weeklies are a place they can learn the ins-and-outs of news while still not quite growing up. The alt weekly staffers are professionals through and through, with the energy and diligence of a German Shepherd puppy tasting bacon for the first time.

The world lost three alt weekly newspapers last week. The San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Providence Phoenix and Metro Pulse all came to an end.

In 2014 alone, I’ve counted five alt weeklies closing their doors. The Grid in Toronto and Real Detroit Weekly also came to their own ends.

I’ve counted at least 13 alt weeklies that have closed since 2008, including Boston Phoenix, Urban Tulsa Weekly and Honolulu Weekly. Alt weeklies clearly are not immune to the same struggles as its newspaper cousins that publish daily.

The news ecosystem is different from the days when the alts thrived. Like any legacy media product, they must evolve to survive in this new world. I hope the current generation of alt weekly staffers, freelancers and interns aren’t the last to sharpen their teeth in that journalism arena.

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University of Nebraska alumnus’ San Francisco Bay Guardian shutters

 

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 9.52.52 AM

Journalism saw a dark day this week when the San Francisco Bay Guardian announced its current owners would publish its final issue on Thursday.

The situation is heartbreaking. Gone is another publication with a storied past that did a lot of good for the San Francisco community and journalism.

You might ask, “Why is McLean discussing the Bay Guardian? San Francisco is thousands of miles away from SPJ’s Region 7.”

Fair argument, I grant you – but the paper had strong ties to the Midwest. The paper’s founder, Bruce B. Brugmann, is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

The Columbia Journalism Review profiled Brugmann back in 2012, citing his experience with the The Daily Nebraskan.

“Born in Rock Rapids, IA, Brugmann went to the University of Nebraska hoping to be a hoops star, but wound up at the student newspaper. He met Jean, his future wife, as an undergraduate, and together they hatched the idea of someday publishing a weekly. Brugmann says he was impressed that The Daily Nebraskan, which only came out three times a week, still managed to upset the university power brokers.”

But there seems to be hope for the Bay Guardian. SFGate.com reported Tuesday that the Bay Guardian’s owners could potentially sell the paper.

I hope news of the paper’s death is greatly exaggerated.

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Region 7 Career Connection, 10.13.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7!

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Region 7 Career Connection, 10.06.14

Each week, The Heartland Beat will post four journalism jobs from within the region.

Check back next week for a new list of journalism jobs from around Region 7!

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