Three Things I Learned as a Journalism Student

Being a recent grad, I can’t help but look back at the years I spent at the Metropolitan State University of Denver as a news/editorial journalism major and what I can take from them.

It’s certainly an interesting time to go to school for journalism, or any field that’s constantly battling to stay relevant in the semi-recent world of digital everything.

The following insights I’ve taken away from my BA in Journalism were echoed across a few years and by different people — people who are or were involved in the Society of Professional Journalists, for example. And especially by my professors who were heavily seasoned in the field and had nothing but (mostly) good advice to give.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Your GPA will only come up if you plan on going to graduate school.
  2. Watch/listen to the likes of Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert/John Oliver and not “the news.”
  3. No one has really discovered how to save “the news,” but we know that something has to be done.

Bonus: Know how to use a freaking blog, too.

Now is the time that news outlets can test the waters and see what works and what doesn’t, but that time is running short. You’re taught to have good media ethos in school, too, but then most of us end up getting jobs at places that are run by media companies and only want those page views to go up, regardless of the quality (or usefulness) of the content.

Are pay walls the answer? Maybe.

Are new monetization models outside of ads the answer? Probably, but who’s doing them well enough to not eventually fail?

(This post originally appeared on Medium.com