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Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

New Journalists Joining the Workforce

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It's generally looking like a good job market for college graduates this spring.  But what about for those who wish to be broadcast journalists?

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton believes there are plenty of jobs for entry-level journalists, whether it's in broadcasting or print.  She said opportunities are especially available for behind-the-scenes jobs in TV, such as videographer or production assistant. Crighton said she started out in a top 50 market by taking a job as a teleprompter operator.

Crighton also said it's been a good job market for WIU students -- several graduating seniors from the Department of Broadcasting & Journalism already have jobs.  

Panelist Rich Egger found that interesting because -- as noted many times on Shop Talk -- newsrooms have been shrinking in staff size.  Reporters are being asked to handle a multitude of responsibilities, especially in smaller markets.

Crighton said it's important for young broadcast journalists to develop a strong demonstration tape to show off their skills. Panelist Jonathan Ahl concurred and said this is unique to broadcasting -- accountants, for example, are not asked to submit recordings of them doing accounting.

Ahl also said it's critical for journalism students to hone their writing skills because that will boost their marketability for just about any position.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.