- You can learn how other organizations work, find solutions and tools you can use
Working with students and schools offers the opportunity to be exposed to some great work being done by schools on the web, this stuff blows away some â€˜professionalâ€™ papers in the country. Working with journalism organizations also gives you a chance to exchange info with other professionals, share ideas on tools and workflow and have someone to call for future ideas.
- You can find jobs
Obviously, these are great networking opportunities. Advising a student paper is probably more advantages for the students to network with you, but their professors, full-time staff and alumni are all potential sources for job leads. Who knows, one of those students could end up hiring you in a couple years. The journalism work is incredibly small; Iâ€™m constantly amazed by how so.
- You can find rockstars before they sign to major labels
If youâ€™re in the position to hire or in the position to advise someone hiring, these teaching and volunteer opportunities are excellent for finding diamonds in the rough before they get snatched up by the NY Times. In a hiring freeze, you say? I was once told by a wise boss that itâ€™s important to always have two or three names of people in mind to replace anyone on your staff. When I first heard this, I thought it sounds kinda like a jerk-ish thing to do. But you donâ€™t think those people on your staff have two or three places theyâ€™d rather be working on their list? Itâ€™s nothing personal. Just business.
- You can get a new perspective
Our culture is changing. Paying attention to how other people (specifically) the youth consume their media, what their interests are and how they find new interests is critical to our survival as an industry.
- Someone probably did it for you.
Most likely in your career, youâ€™ve been influenced by someone giving back to their journalism community â€“ maybe it was a part time adviser/professional journalist at your college paper or someone speaking at a journalism organization event. Isnâ€™t it time you were that influential person in someone elseâ€™s life?
- They need you. The industry needs you.
More than ever, now is the time we need to learn from each other and create a new form of journalism. Students need your expertise and time, now more than ever. Other professionals need strong journalism organizations to educate, raise standards and keep our boat afloat.
For those of your thinking, â€œOh yea, Mr. Fancypants, you tell us to do all this extra work for free, what are YOU doing to help out?â€ Well, hereâ€™s my spring schedule so far:
- February — Video conference discussion with Bruce Strongâ€™s Syracuse University students about multimedia
- February — Judging blog categories in Texas Texas Associated Press Managing Editors annual competition
- March 1st — Organizing and hosting a photo night for the Illinois Press Photographer Association (at my place, email me if your in the area and want to come check it out)
- March — Judging in the Center for Innovation in College Media online college student media contest
- March — Judging the Associated Collegiate Press Online Pacemakers competition
- March — Organizing Illinois Press Photographer Associationâ€™s annual Multimedia Competition, and also assisting with the IPPA conference March 28-29 in Champaign, IL.
- Peppered throughout the Spring — advising and critiquing St. Louis Universityâ€™s student newspaper
- May — Co-chairman organizing the National Press Photographer Associationâ€™s Multimedia Immersion Seminar in May
- June (and peppered throughout the spring) — Working with Poynter Summer Fellowship students (details are still kinda vaugue at the moment but Iâ€™ve said, â€œYesâ€ to whatever it becomes.)
- Iâ€™ll also try and keep Journerdism flowing with the latest journalism, tech and nerd news and commentary for all you delightful readers. Sometime Iâ€™m supposed to rap with some of the ONA leaders about how to make the org kick more ass (regarding my critique from before).
And for the record, Iâ€™m doing all of these without pay, except for the Online Pacemakers, for which thereâ€™s a very small honorarium.
So it’s your turn. Step up and help us all out.