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Expo offers more education, jobs with online focus

By Billy O'Keefe

LAURA BURNS / The Working Press
The networking, card-gathering and pen-collecting began Thursday as journalists trickled into the Journalism Expo Trade Show to kick off the 2008 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference.
More than 20 booths are set up in the Hyatt’s Regency Room for attendees to visit through Saturday.
For undergraduates or professionals who want to head back to the books, there are six journalism or communication graduate programs with displays in the Expo. Among them is the University of Miami School of Communication, which offers master’s programs in broadcast, print, public relations and journalism in Spanish. The university also offers a Ph.D. of philosophy in communication.
Along with the universities offering various communications and journalism programs, industry sources abound at the Journalism Expo.
With its Personal Beat Web site, Marketwire Inc. signs journalists up to receive press releases and media updates tailored to their specific geographic areas or industry. It’s like having a personal research assistant condensing the day’s news.
Mitchell Davis of Broadcast Interview Source Inc. is on hand in the Expo to show journalists and media professionals how to use expertclick.com and the “Yearkbook of Experts, Authorities, and Spokespersons.”
At the United Business Media booth, the PR News Service provides free information to journalists who use the distribution wire services. And UBM’s Stacey Lisowski has just the news some Expo visitors might be looking for.
“We have jobs for people,” said Lisowski, UBM’s human resources manager. UBM is hiring for its online and print publications.
Lisowski said many industry positions have an online focus. So if you came to this year’s conference expecting to find a straight forward, turn-in-your-copy journalism job, your options may be limited.
CNN — through Turnernjobs.com — also is among the media companies offering more jobs related to online services. CNN also is at the Expo promoting an 11-month internship for recent college graduates, which was good news for University of Iowa senior Brittney Hibbs.
“It’s exactly what I want to do,” Hibbs said. She and other members of her SPJ chapter toured the CNN office Thursday morning before heading to the Expo.
Seeing students like Hibbs at the Expo is refreshing for some longtime journalists.
“Journalism students are a breath of fresh air,” said Joe Starrs, director of the Institute on Political Reporting. “There’s so much doom and gloom in the industry, but young people see opportunity and they’re excited about it.”
Besides checking out universities, source services and potential employers, Expo attendees can use the eight Macs at the standing Internet café. And, if a convention presenter has written a book, it’s probably at the Expo book table. Attendees can have their new purchase signed by the authors at different times throughout the convention.
For help improving your copy, tapes and/or query letters, stop by the Career Development Center and the Query Clinic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Expo is 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Regency Ballroom.