What would you tell this young, anxious student about the future of journalism?
Over at MediaShift, a New York University undergraduate journalism student Alana Taylor (studying, coincidentally, where I teach) wrote a critical essay about the online aspects of her education. Her essay was custom-built to stir up controversy (and boy, did it ever), but we should all check it out:
"[The professor] informs us that people actually get paid to blog. That they make a living off of this. For me this was very much a “duh” moment and I thought that it would be for the rest of the students as well. They should be fully aware at this point that blogging has become a very serious form of journalism. Furthermore, they should be aware that it is the one journalistic venture that requires little or no ladder-climbing."
Honestly, .0000001 percent of all writers actually support themselves completely online, and I am frank with all my students about that fact--and I give them suggestions about ways to cobble together more online experience with web writing, citizen journalism tools, and webby-videos.
Young writers are seeking answers to questions that won't be answered for another 50 years until after all the dust from digital publishing has settled. In the meantime, what's your advice to young writers? Chime in, and I'll collect the answers in a post this week.