What DC programs are best for Journalism and volunteering?
October 21, 2008 4:37 PM   Subscribe

DC Masters in Journalism/volunteer work with students: Am I missing anything?

The plan is to move to DC to get my masters in Journalism. While there, I'd like to volunteer in an AmeriCorps program as well.

I'm considering the following programs:
-Masters of Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University
-Masters of Arts in Interactive Journalism at American University
-Heads Up AmeriCorps
-City Year AmeriCorps

Looking for any advice about applying to these programs or others like them. Would love DC specific, but any pointers are welcome!

Thanks so much!
posted by ginagina to Education (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Depending on what you want out of the program, consider the University of Maryland (it's in the DC suburbs). I know several working journalists with a master's (or bachelor's) from there. I don't think I know any from the other two programs.
posted by Airhen at 5:50 PM on October 21, 2008

Maryland is the best in the business out here because of its networking and employment connections. I work at GW and previously as a journalist and salute UMD for the quality of its graduates. AU has a good program in broadcasting and television but is expensive and less well-known. Georgetown is a Professional Studies degree, there's very little research and most of the students are older, second career types. The employment options are slim.

I don't know how you plan to balance Americorps with a graduate degree. If you manage it, maybe you can write a book when you graduate!
posted by parmanparman at 7:04 PM on October 21, 2008

OK, I graduated from the AU program. What interests you about IJ? About the AU program? Have you been to an open house at AU? Talked to any graduates? Scoped out Facebook or LinkedIn for them? We're there!

Do you have journo/PR experience? Do you prefer the *journalism* or the *interactive*? This is a very important thing to consider, IMO.

You won't have to take the GRE for AU IJ; Maryland will require it.

AU IJ has little investigative or public policy takeaway. Software and platforms for IJ change constantly and that makes it tough for ANY IJ program, anywhere. Digital Storytelling is a *wonderful* class.

Are you wedded to DC? CUNY's IJ program (Jeff Jarvis runs it) is young, but looks more urban-issue-reporting oriented than AU's. Your interest in volunteer work might fit there very well, I think. YMMV. Depending on what work experience you have, you might try the Columbia one-year program. No time for volunteering there!

AU is **very** Gannett/USAT-centric! AU's facilities are not the best at present. At Maryland, students check out a video camera for the *semester*. Not so at AU.

Another school that I can't remember the name of that has an IJ masters (more and more schools do, it seems) requires a "boot camp" for the students completely new to journalism before the formal IJ program starts.

I **really** wish AU had done that for the IJ program. There can be some stark distinctions and those should be evened out. (They require boot camp for everyone in the graduate print program, maybe broadcast as well.)

Americorps would work with AU's program, since you go to class on Saturdays only. Great fodder for story ideas, although there's an ethical issue with reporting on what you do.

MeMail me if you like.
posted by jgirl at 8:22 PM on October 21, 2008

Oh, and AU's Prof. John Watson is the greatest!
posted by jgirl at 8:34 PM on October 21, 2008

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