Economic turbulence has hit most everyone hard, but journalists have had to deal with a double whammy - the financial crisis and a technologically-driven revamp of the media industry.
Jobs are in short supply. A survey by online job website CareerBuilder.com revealed that only 43 percent of employers intended to hire new graduate this year, down from 56 percent in 2008 and 79 percent in 2007.
Everyone around seems to be doing unpaid internships – some while waiting tables on the side - while others blog about their woes. A slightly luckier crew is making some money through freelance work. Still, at the SAJA job fair there still was a glimmer of hope.
Pracheta Sharma who is finishing up her main project for television at the Columbia Journalism School came with a teammate to pitch media outlets a story on South Asian maids in the NYC.
Charlotte Purin made the trek from Los Angeles. Having worked in Hollywood as a location scout manager for movies and commercials, she was unfettered by the dismal job market as she makes a mid-career change to journalism. “Everything is under the water as you might as well pick what you love,” she said.
A benefit for Purin: the concept of evolving media is not foreign to her. “We used 35 mm film and then we had to digitize the whole thing,” she said about her time in Hollywood. “You just adapt and ingest.”
Purin also was at the job fair to pitch a story on the festival known as Kumbhmela(http://www.divinerevelation.org/KumbhMela.html). “This is a place to plant seeds,” she said unfazed by the mixed reception her idea received. “You never know where it’s going to lead.
-- By Betwa Sharma, a recent graduate from Columbia University.