By: Joseph Teagle
Washington Post senior photojournalist Whitney Shefte is sharing her insights with students and faculty today at Texas State’s SJMC Digital Media Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. The Q&A session will focus on Shefte’s photojournalism experience.
Shefte graduated college and became a professional journalist in 2006, a time when putting audio with pictures was a new concept for newsrooms, and few professionals had the necessary skills. Shefte’s understanding of new technology set her apart from other new graduates.
Shefte arrived on campus Saturday, and has been conducting workshops with faculty and students, giving participants advice on how to produce great stories and find great characters.
Shefte has lots of valuable advice for the aspiring journalists, and heavily emphasizes the importance of internships:
“I think internships are the most important thing that you can do. When I was a student i was intimidated by the prospect of approaching professionals and asking them to hire me. It goes above and beyond the experience that you get in school. It’s real life experience, it’s deadline oriented experience, it’s experience that includes working with professionals, so it’s really invaluable,” Shefte said.
Shefte also says that young journalists need to find their specialization.
“I see far too many students coming out of programs now that overemphasize the need to learn everything and therefore in the amount of time they’re in school they don’t learn how to do anything well, and they don’t stand out in any way. Ultimately, you have to stand out at something.”