Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu

Defunct Web Pages are Not Dead Ends to Journalists

In my “News Writing” class, I first warned students about doxing — the troll technique of harassing people by posting personal details (which enables pranks like ordering unwanted pizza deliveries or serious crimes like reporting fake hostage situations in order to send SWAT teams to the addresses of people you want to harass). I warned them not to dox anyone. Then I showed students how to use the Internet Archive’s…

Is the Question Part of the News? (Rarely!)

When Is Asking the Question Part of the News? (Rarely.) 

We mostly only encounter the phrase “when asked about” in reporting, so when students start writing news reports, they tend to gravitate towards that phrase in order to signal to the world, “I am doing journalism now.” In truth, journalists use that phrase only in very specific circumstances, when omitting it would give a distorted impression of the truth. Usually, my students can revise so that the quote does more of the work, making…

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Employers Will Hire You For: 1) Leadership; 2) Teamwork; 3) Writing; 4) Problem-solving 5) Work Ethic (NACE 2014)

What do employers say they are looking for in new hires? Do they want drones who are good at following instructions and memorizing the “right answers,” who like working by themselves so their perfect grades aren’t threatened by the unpredictability of group work? No. Here’s what employers do look for: Leadership experience Ability to work in a team Communication skills (written) Problem-solving skills Strong work ethic A GPA above 3.0,…

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Unscheduled Disasters in Journalism: Learn to Deal

In school, we expect our professors to answer our questions, to return our emails, to invite us in for a consultation, to pay attention what we say and read carefully what we write. One of the important lessons of being a student journalist is learning how to deal with the unexpected. Unfair things happen in the real world, and part of being a professional is learning how to make the…