By Madison Ferril
According to one man, print media will stay around for those seeking journalism jobs.
Jim Wilson, publisher of the Waco Tribune-Herald, spoke at the Society of Professional Journalists meeting Tuesday night about his experiences and offered advice to students looking to enter the field after college.
Wilson said one of the best ways to get an internship is to send a cover letter and resume by mail rather than through email.
“I get thousands of emails,” Wilson said. “If you write me a letter, at least I have to open it. It gets you on the desk.”
Wilson said to find some way to stick out a little bit.
“If you’re trying to get an internship, make sure you say something that sets you apart,” Wilson said. “It’s not just about clips.”
Wilson said one of the worst traits of a new journalist is not asking questions.
“It’s worth it to drop by the managing editor’s office or even a senior reporter and ask a couple of questions before running out to catch a story,” Wilson said. “Spend some time understanding where you are.”
Wilson used the example of a recently hired reporter. He said he made her read the archives for a week before she began working on stories.
“It’s good to go back and understand the historical perspective of the area you’re working in,” Wilson said.
Wilson spoke about new trends, such as backpack journalism and platform journalism, used to reach out to audiences. Reporters carry all of their equipment in a backpack so they can create content anywhere.
Platform journalism allows readers to receive news from a variety of places; in print, online, and through specialized applications for phones and tablets.
“Journalists of the near future are going to need a lot of different skill sets,” Wilson said.
Co-president Catlin Giddens, a senior journalism major from Tyler said that she was encouraged by the high turnout of students who seemed eager to learn.
“As a senior looking for jobs, it’s great to hear a publisher speak,” Giddens said. “The publisher is usually the one who hires and fires.”
Recruitment chair Kelsey Wesolick, a sophomore public relations major from Pflugerville, said that she thought Wilson did a good job of engaging students in discussion.
“He had a realistic perspective, but gave young journalists hope and good tips on how to be a well-rounded journalists.”
Co-president Linley Pisano, a public relations major from San Antonio and co-president of SPJ, said that she was glad to hear Wilson speak.
“He’s just as funny and encouraging as he was before,” Pisano said.
Dr. Sara Stone said Wilson was originally scheduled to speak on Nov. 5, but offered to come back and speak since Election Day prevented a high turnout of students.