Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer fun for journalism students and grads

Mark Luckie has an inspiring list of 30 Things You Should Do This Summer for journalism school grads, most of which involve getting practice with new online journalism tools... and they are perfectly good ideas for students a year or three away from graduation.

Meanwhile, the Society of Professional Journalists has a "Journalist's Toolbox Update," with more than 30 resources for reporters, editors and teachers -- from online social network tools to background articles on swine flu and government contractors in Iraq. Exploring any of those would be a good idea, too...

As Luckie puts it, "You could spend this summer working on your killer tan... or you could use the downtime to get heads up on the thousands of other grads competing for journalism jobs."

I added a footnote to his post, suggesting that many journalism grads would also profit from the less technological activity of reading some really good journalism -- both to experience the writing and to think about how the reporting was done. I'm working on Max Frankel's autobiography, "The Times of My Life, and My Life with The Times," myself. Gay Talese's "The Kingdom and the Power" and David Halberstam's "The Powers that Be" are old favorites for J-school grads who haven't read them yet.

Here are some source lists:

Those last Pulitzer examples include stories you can read online. The book-length suggestions, on the other hand, are easier to take to the beach.

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