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Journalism students need to know business

March 29, 2008

Couldn’t agree more with Pat Thornton on that one.

And I’ve got some skin in this game. Not only is my son, Colin, a junior in the Journalism School at the University of Montana, but LexBlog is going to be employing a fair amount of journalism grads and interns in the years ahead.

Rob LaGatta, a senior journalism student Seattle University has been interning with us for the last year. He may have earned himself a position on graduation by his desire to learn business.

Problem for Seattle U is that he didn’t learn the first thing about business or entrepreneurialism while he in school. Rob and his fellow grads may have learned journalism skills but that ain’t going to pay the rent as he tells me he isn’t sure if anyone in his class has a journalism job upon graduation.

Pat makes some excellent points.

Journalism needs enterprising journalists to think of new ventures to modernize journalism. Opportunities in journalism will increasingly be from entrepreneurial routes as the mainstream media continues to wither away from obsolescence…….Traditional media companies are failing, journalists don’t understand how to make compelling products and new media ventures are beginning to take over. That’s where solid entrepreneurial skills come in.

The opportunities are out there, they’re just different.

The opportunities for journalists are growing, not shrinking. The traditional, MSM routes are rapidly shrinking, but the avenues for business savvy, enterprising young journalists are ever expanding.

Journalism schools need to give students the skills needed to succeeded in modern journalism. That means a little business sense is now needed.

We’ve got another Seattle U j-school student joining LexBlog as an intern this week. I feel good not only about the contributions she’ll make to our mission of empowering lawyers through publishing, but also about what she’ll learn about the business of journalism today.

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