Posts Tagged ‘student journalism’


So when I was hanging out at the Wall Street Journal this morning…

Well as my good friend, a business journalist for the Wall Street Journal, was just telling me…

That espresso machine looks similar to the ones reporters use at the Wall Street Journal…

All of the above are sentences that I may or may not have attempted to work into my conversation today. Okay so I only obsessively name-dropped in my head, but since this is a blog about journalism this seems an appropriate place to freak out and brag: I WENT TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.


I expected a business journal to be rather serious, but everyone smiled and was very friendly. The new CEO of Dow Jones (the Journal is one of Dow Jone’s products) took out all the center offices, turned the outer offices into conference rooms, and made the rooms rows of desks instead of cubicles. His office was even about the same size as everyone else’s. Image

I was also surprised that almost all of their print reporters do broadcast. I had heard that employers expect journalists to be versatile, but seeing a print reporter walk up to one of the several broadcast areas to hop on air and speak with several people on a topic she recently covered was fascinating. The rest of my group was taking pictures of the Journal’s award wall so I wandered over to hear her speak on air for a minute.


THE SHOES. Apparently broadcasters wear tennis shoes a lot just because they can. Business on top, party under the table?

After a couple minutes of her discussing the sequester (which, incidentally, I am currently covering for The Beacon) she went to a commercial break and said hi. So friendly!


We also checked out the hub, the espresso machines, and the marketing and legal departments.


When someone makes a sale in the corporate marketing department they ring a bell and everyone claps. After our group hung around a few minutes without anyone ringing a bell, our tour guide asked if one of us would just go do it. Since I have little shame I quickly agreed. I guess I can check have a room full of Dow Jones employees clap for me off my bucket list? I also secretly video-tapped it, but apparently I have just enough shame not to post the video. Later, two reporters sat down with us in the board room for half an hour to answer questions.


Leslie Kwoh, the woman on the left with dark hair, applied to the Journal ELEVEN times (all for different positions) before finally being hired. She said by the time she was hired she knew everyone and was embarrassed that when she passed them in hallways they would say “Leslie! Glad you finally got hired.”


View from the board room.

Although I don’t really have a ton of interest in business journalism, it was exciting to see a real journalism work environment. Especially one filled with so many friendly and interesting people. Thanks for letting me pretend I was a journalist for you for two hours, Wall Street Journal!

– Kelsey Thomas


Casually hanging out by the hub waiting for breaking news and stuff.


Read Full Post »

Good morning New York from the Times Square Sheraton.

Good morning New York from the Times Square Sheraton.

About fifteen minutes into a session about working with faculty and administration at private schools, I noticed that all fifteen blazer-clad students around me were leaning forward in their seats, nodding and compulsively scribbling notes.

I think I found my people.


Who says print is dead?

Being surrounded by hundreds of college journalists with similar interests and passions, not to mention facing similar problems daily in their newsrooms, and attending lectures by people who have “made it,” all in the amazing setting of New York City has been an indescribable experience. The End.


Walking the streets.

Just kidding – I will do my best to describe it but please know it is better than I convey. Here are a few of my top lessons from day 1:

 The media is still a great place to be:

Keynote speaker William Geist talked about how journalism is such a dynamic industry that, despite what we are told, has many opportunities for us if we work hard enough. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • Yes you are hearing that newspapers are dead, but there are so many exciting opportunities. Get in the door. Keep your head down. Work heard. Show a work ethic and a willingness to do what it takes.

  • Anybody you talk to who has made it in media has some version of the story where they felt stuck and under appreciated.

  • If you stop being hungry and curious and you just want to hang out with all the cool people and get invited to cocktail parties, then maybe it’s time to start thinking about doing something else.

Me covering "Occupy Wall Street." A wee bit late.

Me covering “Occupy Wall Street.” A wee bit late.

I love design  / design is a writers best friend / if you make it hard for a reader to read your paper, they probably wont:

I couldn’t decide between the three titles so I didn’t. I promise no stories in The Beacon next year will have three titles. But all three are true – GO DESIGN. As primarily a writer, I was excited to immerse myself in design during the first day of the conference. The following notes are a compilation of ideas from the session “Chicken Noodle Soup 1” and a private Beacon critique Joey and I attended with the very experienced Gary Metzker.

  • White space is your friend. It makes your paper look more professional and easier to read.
  • Keep the headline and the deck together in news articles. In living, it is okay to split them up. Put fillers and ads towards the bottom and right. Avoid using more than one pull quote per story or page unless it is a very long story.
  • Photography is not just about getting the right shot. Where and how you place the photo is very important. The best photo and story always go on the front page. Always. The front page picture should also feature students. Apparently students won’t be fighting over the newspaper stands when old white guys shaking hands or sitting in a cubicle are on the front. Who knew? If the front page photo is good enough, it alone can carry the page. Always put the caption and byline below the photo, not in it. Avoid using multiple photos of the same size on the same page or putting photos by ads.

When all else fails (even technology), doodle the pope.

Private schools like UP are required to post a variety of forms online.

    • Clery Act: includes a crime log and statistical report for the last three years of crime.
    • IRS 9-90: searchable data about financial details about the school
    • Ed.gov: by searching “Equity in Athletics” and reading the form UP filled out as required by the NCAA, we discovered that coaches of women sports teams make significantly less than coaches of male sports teams at UP. There’s a story idea right there!

    Don't tell me you didn't rush to the Public Library first thing when getting into town too.

    Don’t tell me you didn’t rush to the Public Library first thing when getting into town too.

  • We don’t suck!
  • Although this is pretty obvious (cough *Columbia Awards* cough), this conference definitely confirmed that we are doing a lot of things right.  Improving writing and design is a continual process, but I am lucky to be joining Ed Board next year on such a thriving, successful paper.
  • And that is only day one.
  • IMG_3363
  • Cheers!
  • Kelsey Thomas

Read Full Post »