“Many believe student newspapers, more than journalism degree programs, are the best way to launch a career in the field. The clips and experience you get at your college paper can pave the way to internships and jobs.” - Ch. 1, The Student Newspaper Survival Guide by Rachele Kanigel, p. 8

I agree with this quote. The Setonian is really the only way to get practical writing experience at Seton Hill University. Internships are another way, but those can be difficult to find depending on where you live. The University only offers one course of Newswriting. Writing for the campus newspaper is the only other way to discover a little bit about what it is like to be a journalist.


That's right, Kayla -- the internship and working on the paper are really the best training for a journalism career.

What with "Magazine Writing," "Special Topics in Journalism," "Publications Workshop" and "Writing for the Internet," I do think journalism students have a pretty good set of opportunities for developing their talents as writers. (The only reason we can offer so many writing courses is that other people who aren't journalism majors will take them. Most of the students in "News Writing" are not planning to be journalists, and I have to keep that course at a level that's not too difficult for freshmen who are right out of high school, which limits the amount of in-your-face-editor-with-no-time-to-help-you realism the course can offer.)

And, of course, EL200 does ask for regular lab reports, written in the style of a news article. You had no trouble mastering that skill, Kayla, but for students who are just learning it now, the lab report assignment is useful practice.

I remember a year or so ago, you said you liked the 1200-word news feature that was part of EL200 that term, and since then I've kept the focus of ending EL200 with a long news article.

Thanks for sharing the perspective you've gained after two internships.

I think that working on the newspaper is more effective than reading a book on how to write for a school newspaper. Trial by error. I would rather use a hands on approach. That gains the experience necessary to work in the field. Carpenters don't read books on how to build homes, they cut wood and nail it together, why should we be any different?

I remember a comment that Dr Jerz made at the start of EL 336, something along the lines of there only being about 2 writing intensive courses in the major (Newswriting and Topics in Media and Culture). Because of this reason, I threw myslef hard into the class. I knew that even though I was only a sophmore at the time, that this was my last chance to have my writing really criticized.

A couple of days ago in one my other classes, a professor basically summed up how we were all going to feel about the course:

you will be cursing the writing to hell, but at the end, you will be so glad you did all that work.

Though I immensely detested EL 336, I am so glad I took the class as seriously as I did. I am a better writer for it.

Do not just write to complete an assignment. Write because you want to be better.

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