Thursday, December 18, 2008

Scully's Tips

For those of you wondering about all of the amazing advice that Michael Scully presented SPJ members here are some notes from Secretary Samantha Allen breaking down Scully's tips for job hunting.

Michael Scully, 1987 Ithaca Graduate:

In the news industry, it helps to “MOVE AROUND!”

Young person’s game ~ get to where you want to be at 35, not 40

Newspaper is dying, but the News Industry is not.

No longer can a student define himself or herself as print or TV ~ you are Multimedia!
Multimedia Expert:

Learn how to write features, edit and shoot video.
Television is exploding, everywhere!

You are multimedia expert with an expertise in AP Style, Feature Writing (Wall Street Journal Style)
~ Before leaving college you should learn how to write TV copy, Radio Copy

The magazine industry is based in NYC within 10 blocks of the Rockefeller; they are all there! (BusinessWeek, Rolling Stone, Life)

Be as creative as possible!
Ask upperclassmen for ideas for internship, where they interned first
The further from NYC, the more TV interns / NYC is magazine.

(“If you’re out of a job, your job is to look for one.”)

Word to the Wise: Non one hires in the summer, starts in Sept. 1st (the summer after college you either become an intern or a lifeguard!)

The intern culture has exploded!
Boston Globe is coming up, the Wall Street Journal is already done.

Electronic or Email Submissions/ suggest SNAIL MAIL (and never go cheap!)
Your resume package should be well-crafted:
Clips (print)
Video Clips (on DVD)
Cover Letter (opportunity specific)
There may be references
Resume (not exceeding one page)

THE COVER LETTER: 4 paragraphs.
It is a writing sample, be meticulous, no spelling errors! Check every word.

1. I am applying for…IN BOLD.
2. Why I want to work for you, been reading you my whole life.
3. Why you should hire me (At IC, they taught me how to…) (Check out my clips!)
4. Saying goodbye ( thanks for your interest, I will call you in 1 week to demonstrate my interest).

CALL THEM! Call at 7 a.m., last call of the cycle, the last one they will receive when checking their voice mail.

WHAT TO SAY: Interest in…, sent you a resume package, should be on your desk, call me at this number (90 seconds tops!)
Make them know who you are, if they call, they will try to get you off the phone as soon as possible.

Writings from class in your clip package.

Samples, Ithacan – use online version, no clip files from newspaper
References – with three names, tell your contacts first!
Resume – it will look flat, you haven’t done a lot!
Done something cool? Put it on there!; have them talk to you in the interview – lifeguarding? Running bed and breakfast?


greeting cards in the package – with Monet, classy, painting
“thanks for looking at this, here is my name and phone number.”
They may post it on your wall and never forget you, journalists typically don’t decorate their office!


Fedex, UPS packages go on top (overnight packages)
Postal Service saves you money! 2 day delivery service (cheaper, $4.50 vs. $15).
Mail boys put them on top!
Send on a Monday, received Weds, call Thurs 7 a.m.

If they call you back, make your voice mail professional.
~ be as professional as you can, out of the gate

Clothing: Professional, but neat, Washington Post, dress like the editor, but nicer!

Women: blouse, skirt
Men: slacks, blazer

TV is picky… print wanted by TV

semi–daily basis: Write once a week!
– talk to a mass audience.

If they like you, it will last 90 minutes.
If they don’t, only 15 minutes.

APPLICATION TESTS: especially for the wires (like AP !)
Collect business cards throughout the interview, send thank you notes always!

Know the language!
B–Roll, VO, SOT, middy shot, jump cut

Send 2 resumes per week, or 1 day, 25 by the end of the month (75 end of summer)
Meet your quota so you can earn your weekend!
You’re entitled to enjoy the weekend.


If it says “do not call,” DO NOT CALL.
You can be “blacklisted!”

PUT YOUR STUFF ONLINE: have a business card, “check out my site!”

HOW MANY CLIPS SHOULD WE SEND? 7 to 10, 5 not good
Resume? 1 page, TV Resumes, don’t be boring, make it look good!

NO more than 10 paragraphs per entry
1 video, picture per entry

Topics? Write what you know! Pick what interests you.

1 phone call, if it’s your home paper, try harder!

Weeklies are more fun than dailies.

DON’T JUMP AT YOUR FIRST OFFER! Take a few days, say you need to talk to your family.
Consider cost of living? Shift? Healthcare benefits?

Ask softball stuff – show interest that demonstrates knowledge of organization
How many exporters do you have? How long has your city editor worked there?

Posting resume on ?
Never that beneficial but worth a shot.
Check out MEDIABISTRO.COM – for magazines in NYC

COVER LETTER? Make sure you send it to the right person!
No typos/ spelling errors
12 sentences tops!
Write your number in person, let them know there’s a human at the end.

Cover Letter should read like a writing sample!
You understand the organization. “I’m a fan of bruins, red sox,” make sure you don’t forget to say the Celtics!

Writing about yourself: Be creative and fun, don’t lie.

Check out these at IC:
Buzzsaw haircut
Ithaca Journal
Ithaca Times

Take advantage of Scully's advice!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Semester Wrap-Up

Last night former Ithaca College professor, Michael Scully, joined SPJ via Skype for the final event of the semester. The theme of Scully's presentation was job hunting and he provided students with advice on putting together resume packages, how to handle and what to do at interviews, and on internships. I hope that everyone enjoyed his presentation and was able to take a lot out of it.

Following Scully's presentation SPJ held elections and voted in the new Executive Board for spring and fall semesters of 2009. Congratulations to President Allie Musante, Vice President Samantha Allen, Secretary Andrew Buraczenski and Treasurer Jackie Palochko who will take over when we return in the spring.

I hope everyone enjoyed the past semester and looks forward to another great semester when we return after winter break!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

IC Grad Gives Insight On Life After Graduation

Anna Uhls, IC graduate of 2007, spoke Monday night to SPJ members on what she is doing now following her career at Ithaca College. Uhls was hired for the Washington Post online and is the Video News Reporter in the video department. Uhls shared with students how her time here at Ithaca College working for Newswatch as well as The Ithacan helped prepare her for a career in journalism. Uhls also gave students a run through of a typical day of her job at the Post as well as the steps she had to go through to get where she is today, working at such a prestigious newspaper at such a young age. It was a good experience to listen to a recent graduate share her story and accomplishments as a young journalist.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Upcoming Event!

The next SPJ event will be held Monday evening, November 3 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in Textor Hall, room 103 and is a campus-wide event so invite all of your friends to come and join you! (*Please note the change in location!)

SPJ welcomes Robert Freeman to Ithaca College. Mr. Freeman spent more than 30 years as executive director to the Committee on Open Government in New York state. Some call him the "face of access to public records" and he has done work in the United States, Canada, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Far East. His speech will be a great opportunity for students so be sure to attend!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

No Meeting Tomorrow

Just to let everyone know there will be no SPJ meeting tomorrow, Monday, October 13th.

I hope everyone enjoyed Journalism Week and thank you to everyone who participated!

Have a good fall break!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Final Event!

I hope everyone has been able to take advantage of and enjoy the programs SPJ hosted throughout its first ever Journalism Week. Just a reminder to everyone that tomorrow will be the final event! Tomorrow SPJ will host a barbecue 12-3 p.m. in Emerson B. Remember to bring the cards your received throughout the week to get into the event! Hope to see everyone there!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Building Online Communities: Making Journalism a Two-Way Conversation"

Journalism Week continued today first with a lunch with Jeff Selingo, an Ithaca College graduate from 1995 who is currently the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. The discussion was titled "From Classroom to Career: Thoughts on the Future of Journalism Education" and he spoke with students about how he advanced through his career following his education here at Ithaca College.

Then this evening Vanessa Schneider, Ithaca alumnus from 2007, along with Wes Siler shared with students how they got to where they are today in their early careers as journalists. Both Schneider and Siler have print backgrounds and are both now working in online journalism. Schneider currently works as a content moderator for the New York Times online and Siler is the Road Test Editor for as well as the editor and co-founder of Hell For Leather Magazine online. It was encouraging to hear the amazing accomplishments of these two young journalists.

Thanks to Selingo, Schneider and Siler!

Don't forget to attend lunch tomorrow with Dianne Lynch, Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications for a discussion on the Future of American Journalism in Park 220 from noon to 1.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Internation Journalism Kicks off Journalism Week

"International Journalism: Reporting Across Borders" was the topic for the opening event of the first ever Journalism Week here at Ithaca College. Tonight Dr. Matt Mogekwu, associate professor and Chair of the Journalism Department, and Vadim Isakov, a Scholar-in-Residence, shared their first hand experience and knowledge to the Ithaca community about reporting over seas with a focus on Nigeria and Uzbekistan.

Dr. Mogekwu has taught at universities in Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland. He has also taught at Bowie State University in Maryland before he came to Ithaca College.

Isakov worked for the Agence France Press in his home country of Uzbekistan and has also worked for the United States Agency for International Development, The Herald Sun, as well as The Daily Tar Heel in North Carolina.

Mogekwu and Isakov shared the difficulties that journalists face while reporting in foreign countries in relation to the freedoms that journalists in the United States may take for granted. It was a great experience to hear stories of Mogekwu and Isakov's journalism careers over seas and learn about the challenges journalists face in terms of the ability to get information and the ability to write the truth without facing consequences.

Thanks to both Mogekwu and Isakov for taking the time to come share a little bit about international journalism with us!

Don't forget to attend a brown bag lunch tomorrow with Jeffrey Selingo, editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, at 12:15 p.m. in Park 220. Then there will be a presentation entitled "Building Online Communities: Making Journalism a Two-Way Conversation" with Vanessa Schneider '07 and Wes Siler Tuesday evening.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Journalism Week

Next week Ithaca College will host its first ever Journalism Week in the Park School of Communications. It is a great opportunity to meet experts in the field of journalism and expand your knowledge. The first event will be held Monday, October 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Park 220. Dr. Matt Mogekwu, Chair of the Journalism Department, and Vadim Isakov, Scholar-In-Residence from Uzbekistan will give a presentation entitled "International Journalism: Reporting Across Borders." This event is open to the campus community so make sure to friend your friends along.

Then don't forget to attend a brown bag lunch with Jeffrey Selingo '95, Editor of The Chronicle of Higher Eduction Tuesday, October 7 at 12:15 p.m. in Park 220. *This event is for SPJ members only.

Following the lunch at 7:30 p.m. in Park 220 Vanessa Schneider '07, content moderator at The New York Times and Wes Siler, an editor at will give a presentation entitled Building Online Communities: Making Journalism a Two-Way Conversation.

Hope to see everyone next week!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Twenty tips your editor won't tell you

Tonight we had the pleasure of chatting with Lane DeGregory of the St. Petersburg Times (all the way in Florida!) about how she finds her stories -- and where we can find ours.

Lane's stories have appeared in the "Best Newspaper Writing"editions of 2000, 2004 and 2006. She has been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard and has won more than a dozen national awards, including the 2008 Winner of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for non-deadline writing and the 2007 winner of the Ernie Pyle Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation for human interest writing.

It was our chapter's first skype conference -- and Lane's, too. It was great to see and hear her talk about her stories while we looked at pictures of the people and places she's covered.

You can access the presentation with her tips and pictures from her stories here.

She said she was happy to answer questions at any time -- e-mail her at . If you click here, you can also keep track of her articles!

Thanks again, Lane! (And to her son, who helped set up our skype conference!)

-- Erica

Applications update

We were a bit ambitious in hoping to put people in place for our new positions by tonight!

New Officers and Journalism Week Coordinators will be announced tomorrow night. We aren't extending the deadline on this one!

Mentors and Mentees will be matched up by Friday. We won't accept applications after tomorrow night!

Send everything to


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I know, your inboxes are flooded already ...

... but consider joining the Benton Communications listserv.

I had to subscribe last semester for Nancy Cornwell's government and media class and I haven't stopped using it since. It aggregates major headlines from major news sources that cover journalism, tv and virtually any industry related to communications. You could find some good program ideas, but more importantly, stay up on whats happening out there in the "real,"
nitty-gritty world of journalism. (Yes, I just wanted to use the phrase nitty-gritty).

To subscribe,send an email to: In the body of the message, type only:
subscribe benton-compolicy YourFirstName YourLastName.

If you have problems, e-mail

Happy headline hunting!


And we're off.

We kicked off our year with one of the all-time greatest turnouts at a rush night -- more than 50 people!

To recap, we talked about some important new initiatives, including a mentoring program, journalism week and this blog.

But more important are some of the ideas you all came up with for programming. They include:

- Multimedia Workshop (most likely in the spring)
- Resume and internship workshops
- An election event
- Freelance workshops
-Final Cut Pro and Avid training
- Travel writing
- Magazine Writing
-Compiling clips for a portfolio
- On-air performance seminars

If you have more, leave a comment and we'll add it to the list.

Last call for positions -- if you're interested, e-mail by Thursday at noon!

We won't have a meeting this Monday -- but check back here, because we're hoping to set up a great meeting for the 25th! Remember that SPJ is what you make it. If we keep getting great turnout we'll be able to do so much more, and you'll reap more benefits, too.

Liiiiive from the Park School ... ( I couldn't resist the sign-off opportunity) ... ,