The Boston College Career Center recently hosted two journalists from The Boston Globe and The New York Times to discuss careers in journalism and media.
The panel featured Paula Bouknight, assistant managing editor for hiring and development at The Globe, and Ted Kim, director of newsroom fellowships and internships for The Times and BC ’98.
Bouknight and Kim’s discussion centered around the methods students could use to break into the journalism and media industries, as well as the various college programs offered at the two newspapers.
Bouknight discussed The Globe’s six-month co-op program, aimed at teaching students the basics of journalism, and the summer internship program, meant for aspiring journalists with previous experience in the industry.
Bouknight explained the connection between the two, saying that members of the co-op often advance to the internship the following year.
Kim highlighted the year-long New York Times Fellowship as well as The Times’ two-week boot camp, the Student Journalism Institute. The latter program targets, but is not limited to, journalists of color, according to Kim. All applicants are required to be a member of a minority journalist group, such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, he explained.
Both panelists stressed the importance of college students gaining real-life experience in the industry before leaving school.
“I really suggest that you check out what is available to you [and] what’s right under your nose, like the student publications,” said Bouknight.
Kim went on to explain the importance of gaining exposure to the industry by being an avid consumer of its content.
“If you’re truly interested in these places, you have to gain exposure,” said Kim. “You have to read them and, best yet, you have to actively read them. You have to consume them, you have to understand how stories are constructed, the kinds of stories that we write, how we frame them, and that kind of leads into … start working at these places.”
Bouknight and Kim also discussed the role of graduate school in breaking into the industry. Kim described how he went to graduate school after he struggled to gain hands-on journalism experience as an undergraduate.
The panelists also outlined the many ways in which the journalism and media industries are changing—now more than ever. They urged students to stay aware of these changes and adapt as they arise.
Above all, they both emphasized the importance of having a passion and drive for the industry.
“Understanding your own consumption patterns, then beyond that is kind of being aware of what some of the opportunities are out there and how the industry is changing,” said Kim. “Because if you’re interested in journalism, I really stand by the fact that we need you. But we also need you to be smart.”
Featured Image by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor