Are you investigative and inquisitive by nature? Do you enjoy writing and value attention to detail? If so, then a career in journalism may be for you.

Journalism is the practice of investigating and reporting events, issues, and trends to mass audiences through print, broadcast, and online media.

Sofia Rietti ’18 interns at Late Night with Seth Meyers
Sofia Rietti ’18 interns at Late Night with Seth Meyers

Colgate Professional Networks

The Marketing, Media, and Communications Network is designed to connect students and alumni with a shared interest in the communications field. This network is for anyone who would like to get involved in creating and delivering content to a wide audience via print, electronic, and broadcast.

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News Journalism

The style is direct and precise with a focus on reporting facts, events, and information in an unbiased manner. Each story can be for print, broadcast, and online news.

Magazine Journalism

The style includes reports and articles for all types of periodicals, but fashion and celebrity features are the most popular with magazines. The story is often more conversational than news journalism.

Sports Journalism

The style is detail-oriented and factual with a focus on reporting statistics related to sporting events. Sports journalism also includes interviews with celebrity athletes.

Citizen Journalism

The style is nonprofessional reporting in which everyday people can contribute on news events by using blogs, social media, YouTube, and other online formats.

Photojournalism

The style presents news stories and events through compelling photography.

Sales and Marketing Department

Compile and analyze Nielsen ratings information, coordinate and pitch sales presentations, write and produce promotional and public service announcements, and manage web campaigns and marketing events.

Entry-level positions: Sales Assistant, Account Executive

News Department

Direct and coordinate the presentation of news programming, monitor news developments and coverage, and select assignments to broadcast.

Entry-level positions: News Reporter, Writers Production Assistant, General Production Assistant

Creative Services

Coordinate and execute social media efforts, direct advertising and promotional strategies such as graphic design, voiceovers, and post-production editing

Entry-level positions: Copywriter, Assistant Editor, Graphic Designer

Engineering Department

Manages the technical performance of a station, coordinates the scheduling of studio time, and oversees the operation and care of equipment.

Entry-level positions: Assistant Camera Operator, Tape Room Operator

Source: National Association of Broadcasters Guide to Careers in Television. View the PDF

Marketing and Promotions

Coordinate advertising, distribute marketing materials to audiences, attend and pitch promotional events and concerts.

Entry-level positions: Promotions Assistant, Remote Tech

On-Air Staff and Production

Produce radio programs and commercials, maintain media contacts, oversee program ideas and media guests. The field also involves announcers, news reporters, and on-air personalities.

Entry-level positions: Assistant Producer, Traffic Assistant, Board Operator

Operations and Programming

Responsible for the imagery and sound of a station and the management of personnel. Programming Directors are responsible for selecting music for airplay.

Entry-level positions: Radio Assistant Program Director, Assistant Music Director

Source: National Association of Broadcasters Guide to Careers in Radio. View the PDF

Find and learn from reporters covering niche areas on Twitter

Prepare for Jobs and Internships

Information, tips, and strategies to help prepare you as an undergraduate.

Prepare yourself

Get involved with on-campus or local weekly publication to learn journalism basics (design layout, writing, interviewing and advertising). Always keep samples of your writing for use when applying to future internship and entry-level positions. A helpful resource to learn more about journalism clips is Tools to Build Your Online Portfolio. *Note: Colgate’s Digital Media Services department hires student workers as Media interns and Media Monitors. To learn more, please visit the Digital Media Learning Center (DLMC) homepage.

Develop a Portfolio

The best way to demonstrate your interest in journalism is to create an online portfolio of your best work, especially if you don’t have formal training in the field. A well-rounded portfolio includes: internship or non-academic writing assignments, video, or transcripts of interviews and featured stories. There are many free websites that allow you to easily create an online portfolio including WordPress, Cuttings.me, Pressfolios, and Portfoliolounge.com.

Network

Journalism and entertainment are built on personal and professional connections. Conducting informational interviews with Colgate alumni is a great way to make connections and to learn about different career trajectories. The goal is to create a healthy network of industry professionals who are supportive of your career interests.

Focus on career highlights as opposed to a “life story,” and add a professional summary as opposed to an objective statement. In journalism, experience trumps education, so make related experience the focal point of your document. If you have ever impressed anyone in the media/broadcasting business, list them as references (typically included at the bottom of the resume). Potential supervisors would rather hear from someone in the business than someone who is not.

  • Writing and editing
  • Research and interviewing
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work under pressure with strict deadlines
  • Experience with software programs (i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro)
  • Attention to detail

Be familiar with these terms and use them in application materials and networking conversations.

Journalism Lingo

  • Byline: The name of the reporter.
  • Column: An article in which a writer expresses their opinion on a topic.
  • Editorial: An article expressing a newspaper or magazine owner's or editor's position on an issue.
  • Facts sheet: Information prepared by public relations professionals to help news media cover an event. This is one way for a business to market its products or services to other businesses.

Broadcast Media Lingo

  • Lead-in: The beginning part of a story that introduces the story or the reporter.
  • Headline: A teaser that is read at the beginning of a newscast to attract audiences.
  • Spot: An advertisement that runs during commercial breaks.
  • Nielsen: A research firm primarily used in determining television ratings.
  • Arbitron: A research firm primarily used in determining radio ratings.

Alumni Advice

Advice from alumni who work in this industry.

Alexandra Cassel ’11 on the set of the kid's TV show "Blue's Clues"

Alexandra Cassel ’11

Current Title and Organization: Producer, Out of the Blue Enterprises

Major at Colgate: Psychology

Advanced Degrees: M.A. Developmental Psychology, Columbia University

What do you currently do?

I am currently the Producer on "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood", an animated series for preschoolers on PBS Kids. I oversee the production process from scripting, to voice-over casting, design, animation, music, and final episodic delivery to the network. At all stages, in addition to integrating feedback from the show's creator, writers, and research consultants, I provide my own direction from my creative point of view, grounded in Child Development research, to ensure that all decisions are on-brand.

What was your first position out of Colgate and what did you do in that role?

I have been at the same company since graduating from Colgate, but initially started in the Writing Department, as a 'Writing Coordinator'. In that role, I was responsible for collating script notes from Network Executives and research consultants, as well as copy-editing all scripts, and finally delivering them to the Production Team.

How can students prepare themselves while at Colgate to work in your field?

I had a clear idea, early on, that I wanted to work with kids in some capacity. I was fortunate to have studied coursework at Colgate that perfectly aligns with my career — I majored in Psychology and minored in Film and Media Studies. I went on to receive my Masters in Child Development from Columbia University, and am now able to combine my educational background with my passion for television to develop engaging content for a preschool audience. As is usually the case with Producer roles, my responsibilities also include the management of series’ budgets and production schedules, ensuring that all departments meet necessary deadlines. A Colgate student, in any field of study, can (and should) be cultivating these skills, as organizational skills and attention to detail are valued in every industry.

What extracurricular activities, associated with your profession or not, were you involved with while at Colgate?

I enjoyed volunteering through "Liberty Kids" as a reading buddy in Hamilton's elementary school, something I certainly miss today. At my current job, we are less hands-on educating kids, but at the same time, we do have a wider reach. Additionally, I participated in Greek Life as a member and Treasurer of Kappa Kappa Gamma. While it may seem unrelated to Children's Television, networking continues to be a huge factor in the workplace, and it has been great re-connecting with Kappa's from Colgate or elsewhere, at lectures and events.

Find Opportunities

The recruitment cycle for journalism jobs and internships usually begins in February and ends in May. For radio and television jobs and internships, recruitment begins in March and ends in June.

Off-Campus Recruiting Consortia

CIC is a great way to connect with employers for internships and jobs during winter break. CIC events take place in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. Potential candidates are encouraged to prepare in advance of CIC deadlines by partnering with Career Services.

Past CIC Media and Communications Employers (entry-level positions and internships):

Journalism internship/job programs:

International Radio & Television Society: Offers a Summer Fellowship program on broadcasting, cable, advertising, and interactive media.

Brooklyn Workforce: Offers a two-year Production Assistant Training Program for low income, unemployed residents of NYC (six months or more).

Nielsen: Offers a rotational program “Emerging Leaders Program” for industry graduates.

NBCU: Offers several early career and leadership programs, such as the News Associates program and East Coast/West Coast Page program.

ABC News Internship: Offers internships in production, news, graphics, business, and other units.

FOX Ails Apprentice Program: A one-year program that recruits internally from Fox News Channel University but is available to external candidates, too.

Fox News Channel University: An internship program for students interested in production, news, graphic, business, and other units

Job and internship search sites:

FMST333, Documentary Film

FMST/SOCI375, Media & Politics

PCON 314, Media War: Peace and Conflict in the Digital Age

Colgate Handshake Opportunities

Check Colgate Handshake, Colgate's internship and job database, for opportunities that may interest you in this field.

Connect to Careers

Latest stories about internships, workshops, professional networks, and more.

Journalism and Broadcast Media Advisor

Career Advisor
206E Benton Hall

Vera first began her career at Colgate University in 2013 as the Associate Director of Career Development and recently transitioned into the role of Career Advisor for Creative Communications and the Arts to allow more time spent directly with students.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, a study abroad experience at Clemson University led her to the University of Mississippi, where she pursued advanced degrees in counseling and higher education. After becoming a licensed professional counselor in Mississippi, Vera served as a career planning specialist and adjunct professor at the same institution. Vera is passionate about empowering others to become the most extraordinary version of themselves— something she accomplishes through blogging and other creative ventures. Vera is joined in Hamilton by her husband, David Chapman, who currently serves as the head coach of the Colgate rugby football club, and their two young children, Grayson and Ivey.

Questions? Call 315-228-7380 for an advising appointment.