International Journalism Students: Is U.S. Uni the Answer?

Journalism recruiter extraordinaire Joe Grimm recently tackled a question on his Poynter advice column from an international j-student curious about the proper path to take to break into American journalism.  Grimm’s prognosis: Employers are more interested in an aspiring journo’s professional experience than the reputation of the j-school from which they earn their degree.

Grimm also mentions: “I have heard from many international students who have gone to great expense and trouble to study in the United States, only to find out later how difficult it can be to find a sponsoring employer who will help them get through the work visa ordeal. Many have had to return to their home countries, heartbroken over their careers.”

My add-on: Why return heartbroken?  If America is the sole goal, certainly sadness can ensue, but from my vantage point here in Southeast Asia, a U.S. j-education can be a very sexy leg-up on the locally-trained competition when attempting to land a job in one’s home country.  So strive for an American j-job, but don’t be remiss about returning home as a conquering j-hero.


On a side-note, the questioner’s end goal is a point of continued intrigue for me.  The guy/gal wanted to know how to break into the newspaper biz, something we all know is dying.  It is a sentiment that I’ve read/heard regarding a number of current j-students.  Do they not know any better?  Do they not care?  Are they in denial about the future?  Or maybe, just maybe, do they know something the doomsayers don’t?

One Response to “International Journalism Students: Is U.S. Uni the Answer?”
  1. vadim says:

    Unfortunately, international aspect of American journalism is limited to the NY Times international section and occasional reports on CNN. It looks to me that we need more global journalism reporting in the era of the flat world.
    For many international journalism students the U.S. is the best country to study the concept of the freedom of speech and media democracy.
    It is OK is a student is about to return to South Korea or Poland after spending 4 years of studying in the U.S. Those countries provide enough opportunities for young journalists with American education.
    But what about returning back to one of the worst dictatorships like Turkmenistan where following the principles of democracy and freedom of speech will lead to life-time imprisonment (if one is lucky) or even death?