Chrys Wu Q&A

I e-mailed Chrys Wu a couple of weeks ago to ask her some questions I didn’t get to ask in class and here are the responses:

>I am the student that is applying to law school and you said that was a smart move, I was wondering why you said that.I remember you mentioned that you took the LSAT’s as well, did you want to pursue a law career?What skills do you find the most useful?What do journalism jobs look for when it comes to skills?<

A little bit of everything, really, and a lot depends on the job. Here’s a roundup of places that list journalism jobs:

Most hiring editors I know say the skill most important to them is newswriting ability, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, articles, multimedia features, or video/audio scripts.

If you’re going to work online, you’ll need to at least know some HTML and CSS, and basic Photoshop editing (cropping, color correction, sharpening, exporting a Web-optimized jpeg).

If you’re looking to become a video journalist, you’ll have to develop skills in recording and editing sound and video. If you want to really get into it, you might want to learn motion graphics software too.

If your interest is data visualization and information graphics, you’ll want to have a solid grounding in statistics, and know how to really use Excel. Also helpful, if you want to go that way: knowledge of Javascript, ActionScript 3 and Flash, or R (it’s statistical analysis software used by mathematicians, but also used by newsroom specialists to make really interesting static and interactive graphics — search for Amanda Cox on some time to see examples).

>My last question is do you love what you do and why do you love it?<

I like turning ideas into reality. I like helping people feel like they’ve done something good for their organization and for the people who depend on them for information. I like thinking about big questions and seeing what kinds of answers I can come up with. (For example: What are the coming trends in information consumption? How does any company meet the needs of its various constituents and make money at the same time?) I like the technical part of the job as well. And I like that I’m always finding new things to learn and really interesting people to talk to.

I’m glad I’m taking the opportunity to go to law school because I think that it is a great experience to have and it’ll give me some time for the economy to get better. If I decide that journalism is my route then I’ll pursue it, but until then I’ll gain some more knowledge and skills so I can keep my options open.


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