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Dear  You,

Kenneth Knight, multimedia coordinator for the Tampa Tribune, spoke to our editing class today about his position and experiences, giving a sobering dose of reality to graduating journalism hopefuls about the economy and the state of the news industry.

Knight, with a background in broadcast media from Alabama, if I remember correctly, worked at the Tribune in varying capacities over the past decade and a half or so, working in print, online and multimedia.

Having a firm handle on writing skills is definitely a must, Knight said, but graduating students should have working knowledge and even specialize in new media tools and social networking, too. With layoffs happening every day – literally, college grads need a skill set that will separate them from the competition, which include recently laid off, seasoned journos.

The economy is pushing news organizations to cut staff left and right, requiring more of those who are employed. This means that you’ve got to be skilled at more than writing out of necessity. News organizations are pooling resources to create a seamless product across various platforms. Pick up that extra multimedia class now while you can. It may make all the difference in what you can offer an employer and what they can offer you.

I guess news isn’t for everyone, though, because when I heard a possible starting salary of $25,000, my jaw dropped. College students in the first or second year – think about the industry you’re entering, and realize that there’s a good chance you probably won’t get rich doing it.

Journalism is one of those things you’ve got to love, and if you do, it’ll be well worth it.

MissFits

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Dear You,

I wrote about professionalism on the Internet a bit ago – reiterating that it’s important that we, as young professionals, don’t let the marvels of new technology get the best of us. Having Web presence is important and critical in some industries, but it’s important to keep it all in perspective and make sure that we put our best foot, or face, forward.

That being said, I found an interesting article about the good and bad in Facebook, tweeted on Twitter earlier today. Read it here.

This article does a great job of putting social media in perspective. Start thinking about Facebook as an interactive, in-depth resume, that almost anyone can access – your parents, employers, family members, spouses.

Your contact information, people you associate with, organizations you’ve been involved in and pictures of you and those closest to you are visible to anyone who can access your profile. What image do you portray? Are you a professional during the day and a party girl doing keg stands at night?

Think twice when posting information on Facebook. Be aware that once your info is out there – IT’S OUT THERE! Keep tabs on your friends, their notes on your wall, their statuses and pictures you may be tagged in. Facebook is a great utility, but when used inappropriately, it can and will work against you.

Find out how someone lost a job over an innocent tweet here. Discretion, people! Let’s use a little common sense, please. Ladies wouldn’t wear an immodest blouse to dinner with grandparents, so why post pictures on the Internet to the world that you wouldn’t want granny to see?

This post title talks about Facebook, but I’m cautioning you about all types of social media.

Think before you ink!

MissFits

Dear You,

As of yesterday, there’s been a HUGE change in America. We’ve got a new president,  and while we might not all agree with his policies, appointments or personal agenda, he is our Commander in Chief, our leader, “the man.”

President Barack Obama has brought hope, life and a new era to people all over the world. He’s an inspiration to some young people and a sight for the sore eyes of some of the “older.”

 I can’t help but be inspired. How great is it to mean so much to so many people? How much of a responsibility is it to be “Change in America?”

I can’t say I envy our President, but I can say that I am moved to bring about change in my own life. It’s not about how many people you think you influence, or the difference that others see you making. It’s about the intentions of your heart and your willingness to give that are important.

In reality, you don’t have to give, say or intentionally do anything. It could just be your demeanor, your steadfast diligence, your dedication to the truth, your willingness to do the right thing if only because it’s right…

I’ve learned that you can’t “fake it ’til you make it,” and still stay true to yourself. Sometimes you have to step out on a limb, your own limb, all by yourself and take time to examine all that’s going on in and around you. Take time to find out what you believe in and what you will and won’t stand for. Prioritize your life.

We’ve got a new president, and some big changes have and are about to be made. Now’s as good a time as any to clean out your closet and make some changes of you own. It will take some time, and it might hurt, but it will be worth it.

Try it. You might like it.

MissFits

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The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE.

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