What news recruiters look for in student-journalists

14 08 2009

Many of the top U.S. news organizations attended the AAJA 2009 National Convention job fair in Boston.

Since it’s not everyday student journalists get the opportunity to talk to editors and recruiters from the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, USA Today and others, I took the liberty to ask some of them a simple question: what is the most important thing your news company looks for when a student journalist hands in an application for your internship program?

Washington Post booth

A recruiter from The Washington Post talks to a student journalist during the AAJA 2009 National Convention job fair in Boston

Here are their answers:

The knowledge to shoot and edit video, adapt and edit fast.
– Chona Camomot, multimedia producer for the Boston Globe.

At least one or two previous internship experiences.
– Xavier Williams, human resources director for the Associated Press.

Enthusiasm, passion, and knowledge in technical skills and software proficiency.
– Corinne Perkins, editor for Reuters.

At least two years of hands on experience and multiple internships. Being able to tell the news on all platforms.
– Brooke Camp, recruiter for CNN.

Balance between journalism and knowledge of the financial world. Know the finance business and be able to tell it in a interesting way.
– Felise Matlock, human resources director for CNBC.

Ability and proficiency in telling stories on multiple platforms. Being well-rounded.
– Sara Goo, web editor for the Washington Post.

Enthusiasm, passion, skills and potential.
– Catalina Camia, Washington editor for USA Today (and former AAJA president).

Skills Focus, demonstrating a focus of interest and multiple internships. A strong emphasis in multimedia.
– Brent Jones, standards and recruitment editor for USA Today.

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30 03 2011
Why I won’t be going to J-School « Digital Journalist

[…] journalism, practical skills trump academia. After talking to a few  recruiters in some of the top news organizations, all of them mentioned practical experience and a firm grasp of multimedia reporting as a top skill […]

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