About 40 UMass journalism students heard from three editors from ESPN this week. Jena Janovy, Sarah Goldsteein and Matthew Lee spoke about the state of the industry and their duties during a 90-minute discussion.
The trio dispelled several myths, including notions that ESPN does not do serious journalism. Janovy spoke at length about the cross-platform, long-form journalism she does. She spoke about how she and her writer spent more than six months putting together the award-winning Ray of Hope package.
All three work for ESPN’s Web site and quickly dispelled the notion that Web journalists do not practice under the same ground rules as “traditional” print journalists.
“First and foremost, journalism and basic skills you need to write a proper story are the same no matter what,” Goldstein said.
All three said there were jobs available but admitted that the pool of available talent is much larger because veteran journalists are being laid off at newspapers. The advice was consistent from all three: Journalism students should acquire as many skills as possible while in school and do as many internships as possible.
Lee polled the crowd as to those who had taken part in internships. When about half of those present raised their hands, Lee looked out at the group and asked:
“What are the rest of you waiting for?”
Good advice indeed.