The Society for Professional Journalists’ Generation J committee (for journalists 22-34) has come up with a suggestion for local SPJ chapters to help young journalists get their first, second, or third jobs. (According to one survey, journalists of this age have actually been hit hardest when it comes to layoffs!)
What SPJ Generation J committee chairwoman Aiesha Little proposes is basically speed-pitching.
“It would be the same set up as a speed dating function, only you’d invite local editors-in-chief, news producers, radio producers, etc. (the ones who do the hiring) and give each Gen Jer five to seven minutes with each of them. Participants could talk to them about whatever they want: they could treat the time like an interview, pitch story ideas, talk about the future of the business.”
We think this is so neat and so needed, which is why we’re floating the idea here.
What you can do: if you happen to be on the board of your local SPJ chapter and you’re reading this, e-mail Aiesha. If you’re an SPJ member, e-mail your local chapter leaders saying how happy you’d be to attend. If you’re an editor or news director with the authority to hire or assign freelance work, maybe you could send your local leader (even if you’re not an SPJ member) a note saying you’d be willing to attend.