I helped out with a small aspect of Campus Progress‘s student journalism training thing over the weekend, and it reminded me that I’m always surprised-anew to discover how focused on print student publications still are. When you think about it for five minutes it makes sense—these publications are largely insulated from conventional economic pressures, and that matters more than lazy stereotypes about how the kids these days love the internet.
It makes sense, but it’s foolish. If you’re in school today and think you might want to be a writer some day, you need to really focus on the fact that future labor market opportunities in the realm of writing are going to be overwhelmingly focused on hypertext. That doesn’t mean everyone will be writing blogs like mine. There are lots of different things on the Web, including some stuff that’s a bit newspaperesque in its use of hard news ledes and the rest. But even online formats that somewhat resemble print formats are different, and involve different skills and different kinds of deadline pressures.