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Journalism and Broadcast Media

Are you investigative and inquisitive by nature? Do you enjoy both technical and creative writing and value attention to detail? If so, then a career in journalism may be for you.

Jessica Capwell '16 standing in front of a sign for French morning magazine.
Journalism is the practice of investigating and reporting events, issues and trends to mass audiences through print, broadcast and online media.

Colgate Professional Network

The Marketing, Media and Communications Network is designed to bring together students and alumni with a shared interest and experience in the communications field.

This network is for anyone interested or working on the creation and delivery of messages, information, and images to a wide variety of audiences via print, electronic, and broadcast.

Journalism and Broadcast Media Advisor

Headshot of Vera Chapman
Read about Vera
Vera first began her career at Colgate University in 2013 as the Associate Director of Career Development and recently transitioned into the role of Career Advisor for Creative Communications and the Arts to allow more time spent directly with students.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, a study abroad experience at Clemson University led her to the University of Mississippi, where she pursued advanced degrees in counseling and higher education. After becoming a licensed professional counselor in Mississippi, Vera served as a career planning specialist and adjunct professor at the same institution. Vera is passionate about empowering others to become the most extraordinary version of themselves— something she accomplishes through blogging and other creative ventures. Vera is joined in Hamilton by her husband, David Chapman, who currently serves as the head coach of the Colgate rugby football club, and their two young children, Grayson and Ivey.

Questions

Call 315-228-7380 for an advising appointment.

Explore Careers

Specific styles of journalism
News Journalism
The style is direct and precise with a focus on reporting facts, events, and information in an unbiased manner. The story can be for print, broadcast and online news.

Magazine Journalism
The style includes reports and articles for all types of periodicals, but fashion and celebrity features are the most popular with magazines. The story is much more conversational.

Sports Journalism
The style is detail-oriented and factual with a focus on reporting statistics related to a sporting event. Also, the style includes interviews with celebrity sport-stars.

Citizen Journalism
The style is nonprofessional reporting in which everyday people can contribute information and/or report on news events by using blogs, websites, media posts, YouTube, and other online formats.

Photojournalism
The style presents news stories through the use of pictures and images.
Television functions
Sales and Marketing Department: Compile and analyze Nielsen ratings information, coordinate and pitch sales presentations, write and produce promotional and public service announcements, manage web campaigns and marketing events.
  • Entry-level positions: Sales Assistant, Account Executive
News Department: Direct and coordinate the presentation of news programming and content, monitor news developments and coverage, and select assignments to broadcast.
  • Entry-level positions: News Reporter, Writers Production Assistant, General Production Assistant
Creative Services: Coordinate and execute social media efforts, direct all advertising and promotional strategies such as graphic and copy design, voice-overs, and post-production editing
  • Entry-level positions: Copywriter, Assistant Editor, Graphic Designer
Engineering Department: Manage the technical performance of a station, coordinates the scheduling of studio time, and oversees the operation and care of equipment.
  • Entry-level positions: Assistant Camera Operator, Tape Room Operator
Source: National Association of Broadcasters Guide to Careers in Television. More info here.
Radio functions
Marketing and Promotions: Coordinate promotional materials and advertising such as billboards, ads, and newspapers, attend and pitch promotional events and concerts.
  • Entry-level positions: Promotions Assistant, Remote Tech
On-Air Staff and Production: Produce radio programs, schedule/produce commercials, maintain media contacts, oversee program ideas and media guests, and involves Announcers, News Reporters and On-Air Personalities.
  • Entry-level positions: Assistant Producer, Traffic Assistant, Board Operator
Operations and Programming: Responsible for the sound/image of a station and the management of personnel. Programming Directors may serve as Music Directors responsible for selecting music for airplay.
  • Entry-level positions: Radio Assistant Program Director, Assistant Music Director Source: National Association of Broadcasters Guide to Careers in Radio.

  • Click here for more information.
Further Exploration

Prepare for Jobs and Internships

Information, tips and strategies to help prepare you as an undergraduate.
General tips
Prepare yourself
Try to get involved with on-campus publications or join a local weekly publication to learn journalism basics (design layout, writing, interviewing and advertising). Always keep copies of your clips (i.e., samples of your writing) for use when applying to future internship and entry-level positions. Helpful resource to learn more about journalism clips: Tools to Build Your Online Portfolio. *Note: Colgate’s Digital Media Services department hires student workers as Media interns and Media Monitors. To learn more, please visit the Digital Media Services homepage.

Develop a Portfolio
The best way to demonstrate your interest in journalism is to create an online portfolio that illustrates your best work, especially if you do not have formal training in the field.A well-rounded portfolio includes: internship/non-academic writing assignments, video, or transcriptions of interviews and/or featured stories. Here are five free websites that offer the ability to create an online portfolio and do not require coding knowledge: WordPress, Cuttings.me, Pressfolios, Flavors.me , and Portfoliolounge.com.

Network
The journalism and entertainment fields are built on personal and professional connections. Conducting informational interviews with Colgate alumni is a great way to make connections and to learn about different career trajectories. The goal is to create a healthy network of industry professionals who are supportive of your career interests.
Résumé advice
Focus on career highlights as opposed to a “life story,” and add a professional summary as opposed to an objective statement. In journalism, experience trumps education, so make related experience the focal point of your document. If you have ever impressed anyone in the media/broadcasting business, list them as references (typically included at the bottom of the resume). Potential supervisors would rather hear from someone in the business than someone who is not.
Helpful skills
  • Writing and Editing
  • Research and Interviewing
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Ability to work under pressure with strict deadlines
  • Experience with software programs (i.e. Photoshop, Publisher, QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro)
  • Attention to detail
Buzz words
Be familiar with these terms and use them in application materials and networking conversations.

Journalism Lingo
  • By-Line: The name of the reporter.
  • Column: An article in which a writer expresses their opinion on a topic.
  • Editorial: An article expressing a newspaper or magazine owner's or editor's position on an issue.
  • Facts sheet: A page of significant information prepared by Public Relations professionals to help news media in covering a special event. A way for a business to market its products or services to other businesses.
Broadcast Media Lingo
  • Lead-in: The beginning part of a story that introduces the story and/or the reporter.
  • Headline: A teaser that is read at the beginning of a newscast to attract audiences.
  • Spot: An advertisement that runs during commercial breaks.
  • Nielsen: A research firm primarily used in determining television ratings.
  • Arbitron: A research firm primarily used in determining radio ratings.

Alumni Spotlight

Current Title and Organization:
Producer, Out of the Blue Enterprises

Major at Colgate:
Psychology

Advanced Degrees:
M.A. Developmental Psychology, Columbia University
Q&A with Alexandra
  • What do you currently do? I am currently the Producer on "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood", an animated series for preschoolers on PBS Kids. I oversee the production process from scripting, to voice-over casting, design, animation, music, and final episodic delivery to the network. At all stages, in addition to integrating feedback from the show's creator, writers, and research consultants, I provide my own direction from my creative point of view, grounded in Child Development research, to ensure that all decisions are on-brand.

  • What was your first position out of Colgate and what did you do in that role?
    I have been at the same company since graduating from Colgate, but initially started in the Writing Department, as a 'Writing Coordinator'. In that role, I was responsible for collating script notes from Network Executives and research consultants, as well as copy-editing all scripts, and finally delivering them to the Production Team.
  • How can students prepare themselves while at Colgate to work in your field?
    I had a clear idea, early on, that I wanted to work with kids in some capacity. I was fortunate to have studied coursework at Colgate that perfectly aligns with my career - I majored in Psychology and minored in Film and Media Studies. I went on to receive my Masters in Child Development from Columbia University, and am now able to combine my educational background with my passion for television to develop engaging content for a preschool audience. As is usually the case with Producer roles, my responsibilities also include the management of series’ budgets and production schedules, ensuring that all departments meet necessary deadlines. A Colgate student, in any field of study, can (and should) be cultivating these skills, as organizational skills and attention to detail are valued in every industry.
  • What extracurricular activities, associated with your profession or not, were you involved with while at Colgate? 
    I enjoyed volunteering through "Liberty Kids" as a reading buddy in Hamilton's elementary school, something I certainly miss today. At my current job, we are less hands-on educating kids, but at the same time, we do have a wider reach. Additionally, I participated in Greek Life as a member and Treasurer of Kappa Kappa Gamma. While it may seem unrelated to Children's Television, networking continues to be a huge factor in the workplace, and it has been great re-connecting with Kappa's from Colgate or elsewhere, at lectures and events.

Find Opportunities

Recruiting timeline
The recruitment cycle of a typical hiring process for journalism jobs and internships begins in February and ends in May. The recruitment cycle of a typical hiring process for radio and television jobs and internships begins in March and ends in June.
Career and Internship Connections (CIC)
Off-Campus Recruiting Consortia
CIC is a great way to connect with employers for internships and jobs during winter break. CIC events take place in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. Potential candidates are encouraged to prepare in advance of CIC deadlines by partnering with Career Services.

Past CIC Media & Communications Employers (entry-level positions and internships):
Broadcast media job/internship programs
A Sampling of Relevant Colgate Coursework
  • FMST333, Documentary Film
  • FMST/SOCI375, Media & Politics
  • PCON 314, Media War: Peace and Conflict in the Digital Age

naviGATE Opportunities

Below are some opportunities that may interest you from naviGATE, Colgate's internship and job database.

More Opportunities

The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) and Nationwide Internships Consortium (NIC) are databases of internships and entry-level jobs posted by employers interested in hiring liberal arts students.

Connect to Careers

Latest stories about internships, workshops, professional networks, and more.
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