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Journalism jobs can be landed off beaten path

By Billy O'Keefe

By Josephine Varnier
Community manager. Entertainment producer. Cable documentary producer.
These aren’t the usual positions you go for with your journalism degree, but today’s options call for different job targets, said Michael Koretzky, who has created a job-posting Web site for journalists and was the key speaker of the “Weird Careers in Journalism” workshop on Thursday.
“Traditional journalism jobs are in untraditional places,” said Koretzky, adviser to the student-run newspaper at Florida Atlantic University and creator of the South Florida Media Jobs Web site.
Koretzky stressed the changing face of journalism and how going about finding a job must also change.
For a traditional full-time position in journalism, a journalist must freelance or become an “independent contractor,” Koretzky said. For a less traditional full-time position with a journalism degree, a journalist must look in places he or she hadn’t thought of, he said.
“You will have at least one job in your career that you never knew existed,” Koretzky said.
Jobs in public relations with specialized clients need writers. The “dark side” has several shades of gray, Koretzky said. Burger King needs video scripts. A multiple sclerosis newsletter needs articles.
“Newspapers will run like magazines, and magazines will run like radio stations,” Koretzky said.
Editors of magazines will float from publication to publication, while newspapers will become something of a niche entity.
Koretzky covered job-hunting tips, including good and bad resumes, how to read job ads and what kind of experience is necessary to get a job.
Internships aren’t important, Koretzky said.
“Internships don’t impress the way they used to,” he said.
In terms of an internship, employers know that a person spent about three months in the summer doing one specific line of work. Experience with many different tasks is more important, he said.
“Jobs where you have several tasks will make you more employable later,” Koretzky said.
Koretzky referred to the way the younger generation is usually poked fun at because of their constant Twittering and Facebook-status checking. But this multi-tasking skill is valuable for new journalism.
“You guys under 30 with a short attention span, you can use that to work for you,” he said. If all else fails, Koretzy said there are positions available in self-help books.
“Self-help books in a down economy sell like hot cakes,” he said.