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Get your master’s – plus a nine-month paid journalism fellowship

By Career Opportunities, News

Military veterans interested in earning a master’s degree at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY may be eligible for a nine-month paid fellowship upon completion of the degree. The fellowship will provide two students with the opportunity to go into a reporting job immediately after graduation. Sign up here to speak with advisors from Newmark J-School and take the first step.

The selected candidates will work at a nine-month fellowship in one of these innovative non-profit newsrooms, receiving a monthly salary of $4,000 and healthcare benefits.

Students must meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify for the fellowship:

  • Apply, be admitted, and enroll in the Newmark J-School
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 during all three semesters

The fellowship participants will be selected during the third semester at the J-School. Veterans who complete their degree requirements but are not selected for the fellowship will still receive their master’s degree in journalism with the experience of reporting as a CUNY student in New York City, the largest media market in the country.

As CUNY is a state school, the Post-9/11 GI Bill may cover tuition and provide generous assistance for housing in New York City. Check your VA eligibility to ensure you have three semesters of coverage remaining. 

How to Apply to the Newmark J-School: Students must submit a complete application by March 1, 2022 for scholarship consideration. Applications completed after March 1, 2022 will be reviewed on a space-available, rolling basis. The application fee is waived for veterans. Refer to the How to Apply page to learn more about the application checklist. If you are interested in participating in this program, please fill out this form to schedule a one-on-one application session with advisors from Newmark J-School.

MVJ Hits 2 Year Mark

By News

Dear MVJ Members,

Military Veterans in Journalism recently turned two years old, and it has been an honor to advocate for you in our industry all this time. I’m writing today to personally thank you for being a member in our community and encourage you to go forth and do great journalism.

We founded this organization because we believe journalism is a service to the nation and we want to empower worthy citizens to carry it out. You have proved your commitment to the American people, and you deserve to follow your dreams to great achievement in news reporting.

The news needs us right now. Journalists are struggling in today’s combative public space to reach ever-growing communities who don’t trust “the media,” and your reputation for service and hard work makes you uniquely qualified to restore trust in this necessary institution. Democracy cannot survive without good reporters who have the skill and will to inform the people.

MVJ is in a strong position to advocate for veterans’ voices contributing to the local and national dialogue. I urge you to take full advantage of the career opportunities we have fought to bring you. Apply for our fellowships before the applications expire, join our private Facebook group, check out the skill-building videos and podcasts on our YouTube Page, and participate in our Mentorship Program. Keep reading our newsletters to sign up for great future opportunities, like our upcoming workshops and journeys through America’s newsrooms.

Now, I’d like to hear from you, if you don’t mind. Please reply to this email by telling me where you get your news. What is your favorite publication, digital outlet, or broadcast program? Also, in a few sentences, tell me if you have any ideas for what we can do to help you in your journalism journey.

Respectfully,
Russell Midori
MVJ President
917-588-4926

Six Ways to Succeed on LinkedIn

By Resources

By David Bruce

A lot of people become jaded with LinkedIn when they first get started. They think because they opened a profile job offers will just start rolling in. But when has anything been that easy in life? With a little bit of effort and consistency LinkedIn can help you get a job, get freelance work, or put you in contact with an expert for your next article. Here is how to set yourself up for success on LinkedIn.

1.) Profile: You want people to get a sense of who you are when they look at your profile. You are allowed 120-characters to accomplish that. Do not use seeking opportunities in your headline. Recruiters are searching by job titles. If you are looking for writer jobs, use writer. Or be more specific and use, Adventure Writer or Travel Writer; use whatever is in your writing niche.

Have a picture. You know how alarm bells go off when people try to connect with you on social media and they don’t have a photo? The same alarm bells go off for recruiters when you don’t have a photo on your profile. The photo should be a straight on shot of your face, sans sunglasses and without your cat. Unless you’re writing about cats.

2.) Summary Section: Time to sell yourself. The Summary section is where you can define yourself in the first person, in 2000 characters. Opportunity is knocking here. Make the most out of this section.

Example: My dream has always been to chase adventure and write engaging articles about my experiences. It seems like an appropriate dream given my experience serving in the military and my BA in Journalism… You get my point. Tell them what you are passionate about and what you do, or want to do.

Most important on this list is to have a completed profile. LinkedIn will let you know when you are 100% complete. LinkedIn members are 40 times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter when their profile is complete. Only 50% of the 760 million members on LinkedIn have a completed profile.

3.) Display your work: Not long ago, a recruiter contacted me via LinkedIn and we set up a phone call to discuss an opportunity. The job wasn’t a good fit due to location, but it gave me an opportunity to find the holes in my LinkedIn game. I asked the recruiter if there is anything that I should be doing differently with my profile. She was hesitant at first, but then told me.

She said, your profile says ‘Writer’, but I had to search through your posts to find any of your writing; there was nothing in your ‘Featured’ section. She sounded almost frustrated. You have to understand, they are scanning a lot of profiles and if you don’t give it to them up front they will move on to a profile that does. I immediately moved my posted articles to the Featured Section and now my published work comes up as soon as someone opens my profile.

4.) Listen to podcasts and then connect: Whatever your niche is listen to podcasts to find experts in this area. I like to write about terrorism. I often listen to podcasts on my commute into work. When people go on podcasts they are often coming off the heels of something timely, like writing a book about a current situation. I listen to the podcast and then send a connection request to that person. I also send along a note saying, I heard your podcast today and found this point interesting, and then I thank them for connecting. This has been a good formula that has led to work. Sometimes later I’ll interview them or have them give me an expert quote for an article I am reading. What I don’t do is cold pitch them in an introductory message; no one likes that. I don’t sell myself to them or ask for anything. That happens somewhere else, typically their email inbox, after some time.

5.) Join LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn has a group for whatever it is that you like to write about. People exchange ideas there and they also ask questions that you might be able to answer. Many times, in these groups people will reach out to you for internships and freelance opportunities. Don’t overlook the opportunities that these groups can provide you.

6.) Stay Active: LinkedIn is an interactive platform. You should post your original content, which is simple because they have a template for you to write articles in. You can also repost other articles with your own commentary. My recommendation is to stay away from political, or divisive posts. When people look at your profile they see what your comments and posts are, remember this is a career platform, not Facebook. We want to avoid anything that comes off as negative and could potentially turn off a recruiter or someone looking to do business with you.

I hear a lot of people that are critical of LinkedIn, particularly when it comes to getting employment on the platform. In reality, it’s like anything else, with a little bit of effort, strategy and consistency it is a great tool that can bring opportunities into your life.

Hearst Television Career Opportunities

By Career Opportunities, Resources

Building a career at Hearst Television isn’t only about successfully transferring from military to civilian life. It’s much bigger than that – it’s an opportunity to build on your military experience, learn new skills, and succeed in a supportive environment where you’ll feel valued.  Hearst has an average of 10 open positions at any given time that are geographically dispersed.  The real kicker is, Hearst is prioritizing hiring US veterans!

If you decide to pursue one of these gigs, please email Zack at [email protected] with this information: a) link to the job post; b) title of the job & location & c) your resume.  We ask that you do this so we can reach out to our partners like Hearst to let them know one of our members has applied.

Marine Corps Veteran Dustin Jones Selected For MVJ/NPR’s First Internship

By News

Earlier this year, Military Veterans in Journalism partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) to offer a paid, remote Fall internship to one military veteran. NPR chose Dustin Jones, who served in the United States Marine Corps.

Dustin provided an update on what he has been working on since September.

“I have focused on the wildfires in California, tracking down and interviewing sources for the Weekend edition All Things Considered,” Dustin writes. “One story was about former incarcerated persons who hope to become fire fighters after serving their sentences. Another story was about the wildfires near Santa Rosa, CA and how the increasing intensity of wildfire season is making residents reconsider their choice to live in California.”

“NPR has long been a beacon in broadcast journalism, and their work to expand the diversity of their staff shows they will lead and innovate within our beloved field for generations to come,” MVJ President Russell Midori said. “Dustin’s work will inform you, inspire you, and break your heart. People trust him with their stories – stories they might never tell anyone else.”

Dustin spent four years in the Marine Corps from 2007-2011. He served on two combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in the First Battalion Third Marine Regiment. Within that time, he exemplified strong leadership while selecting and training new platoon members. He also has won multiple awards, including two meritorious promotions and was selected as Marine of the Quarter.

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010, journalists from The New York Times were at his small patrol base. Marine Corps veteran turned journalist CJ Chivers and Photographer Tyler Hicks wrote several stories about Dustin’s unit and his friends. His passion and purpose for journalism flourished from the stories they covered.

“I realized that was what I wanted to do when I left the military, share people’s stories,” Dustin said. “So after leaving the Marines in 2011, I attended the University of Colorado, where I studied journalism and photography. I worked as a reporter and news manager for a small Montana paper for a year and a half before attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I received my masters in journalism with a focus in documentary production.

Despite his accomplishments and familiarity with weapon systems, land navigation survival tactics, and training, the military did not fully prepare him for a career in journalism.  Dustin spoke candidly about obstacles in getting his big break.

“I didn’t have much help after leaving the military, which definitely made the transition harder than expected. Classes were not particularly hard because of the work ethic I developed in the Marines, but I didn’t have many networking opportunities. When I graduated in 2015, it took me over a year to find a journalism job, which brought me to Montana in January of 2017,” Dustin said.

Dustin is now a well-rounded storyteller with skills in photography, writing, editing, and video production. He is currently producing a film about a Marine struggling with PTSD and suicidal tendencies in a VA inpatient program.

He is grateful that Military Veterans in Journalism secured an opportunity like this to help shape his professional growth further in journalism.

“My chances for landing the internship went up drastically because of the efforts of MVJ. I am also working with mentors to try and map out a career path and finding a home for some of my other work,” Dustin said.

Kristin Van Meerbeke has worked as the Talent Operations and Intern Program Manager at NPR for over two years.  She assists with on-boarding new employees, works with our temporary employee population, and manages the intern program at NPR.

“We canceled our summer 2020 program because of COVID as we weren’t ready to pivot to a remote program so quickly and we wanted to make sure we were not only providing a rich experience for our interns; but also supporting our staff,” Kristin said. “We didn’t think we could do that so soon; but we brought our program back this fall in a fully remote capacity. We limited the number of positions from our typical 60+ to about 34 interns anticipating there would be some new and unique challenges offering our program remotely for the first time.”

An internship is a great way to get started in journalism. It allows for networking and getting hands-on experience, positioning one for a full time role. With NPR, interns will gain exposure to training, its daily operations, and work alongside world-class journalism professionals.

MVJ and Video Consortium Collaboration

By News

Calling all MVJ members in photojournalism and video journalism: Do you want to feature some of your best work for Veterans Day?

MVJ is proud to be teaming up with Video Consortium, a global nonprofit creative community committed to supporting and uniting today’s top emerging voices in documentary film and video journalism.

This is a chance to screen your nonfiction films and photography next month, and we’re asking for submissions. We would love to showcase your hard work and skills. From covering disaster relief efforts, to Black Lives Matter protests, to what is happening within our current news climate, this is an event you certainly don’t want to miss. This is an opportunity for you to connect with other veterans in the business while promoting your strongest work.

When deciding which films, videos or photos to submit, please keep in mind that it must be nonfiction and relevant. So if your film or video is a year old, ask why it must be shown today. Moreover, look at the visual and technical precision.

Here’s how it will work:

1) If your film or video is a long piece, then an excerpt will be shown.

2) Space is limited, so you have until Friday, October 30th at 4pm ET to submit. *Please note that in order to successfully submit your work, you must become a member of MVJ first. If you haven’t purchased a membership yet, click here.

3) If your film or video is chosen, you will also get the chance to do a virtual Q&A with Video Consortium and the audience later in November.

4) Submit your films to Video Consortium at [email protected] with “MVJ VC Submission” in the subject line.

5) We plan to publish a short teaser video that features all submissions on our social media channels before the Veterans Day screening. More details TBD.

6) Once we provide updates about our screening, feel free to post your work with our hashtags “#MVJVCEvent, #MVJVCFilms, or #VetsinPhotoJournalism.”

To learn more about Video Consortium, visit here.

Activate Your Membership In Our New System

By News

Over a year ago, MVJ formally launched as just an idea and a little website. We’ve grown a lot since then and in order to maximize our full potential to support our community, we are implementing some new changes in membership here:

Let me explain.

MVJ started small — without a full realization of just how much we as a community can do to support our fellow vets in journalism. We are now more than 300 members. We have an all-volunteer team of about 10. We have created multiple ongoing (paid) internship programs and have several more in the pipeline. We have more than 20 active mentorships pairing members like you with seasoned journalism pros. We have held a range of events (mostly digital, thanks COVID), including an amazing career fair.

Here’s a breakdown of what we did in the first year.

And so, Military Veterans in Journalism needs to grow as an organization. Aside from many internal efforts that I won’t bore you with, we need to diversify our revenue streams (in non-profit / business speak). We’ve been speaking with leaders of other organizations like the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to learn how they sustain and grow. (Our new membership structure shares some similarities with theirs. Interesting how that happened. Nowhere near as pricey as others.)

So the big question: what are we going to do with your money? It’s an important one and we will always be transparent about that. We have some minor backend costs like website fees, but the bulk of our budget is dedicated to real programmatic costs like paying for Adobe Premiere subscriptions for our upcoming workshop on video journalism, held in partnership with the University of Mississippi and FUJIFILM.

MVJ is never going to be a massive veterans organization bringing in millions of dollars every year. We have programmatic needs within our community but they are finite. We have big dreams (and if you know someone who can give us millions of dollars, hit me up). Point is: we are nimble and budget conscious. Every dollar we spend is carefully spent. 

Next question: What do I get out of this? First of all, you’ll have bragging rights about being a member of MVJ. That’s pretty cool. But more importantly, we are offering you a range of unique programs and opportunities tailored specifically to vets in journalism. For example, our mentorship program pairs you with seasoned professionals. We offer (paid) internships through our media partners. (NPR received 20,520 applications for 27 internship spots this fall. One MVJ member was guaranteed a spot in the program.) We are developing year-long (paid) fellowships and we have some really exciting opportunities in the works that I can’t wait to share with you, once the details are hammered out.

As you’ll see, we have multiple membership levels with varying levels of annual fees:

  • The vast majority of you will be Professional members with $30 due each year.
  • Some of you will be Student members at $25 annually.
  • Active duty service members dues are $20 per year.

Important: We want everyone to remain a member of MVJ. We are issuing no-questions-asked financial waivers each year. (Details on membership are included within the hyperlink of the first sentence.)

I know this is a lot but we want to be open with you about where we’re coming from and why these changes are necessary. You are always welcome to email me with ideas, thoughts, criticisms, whatever you want.

Sincerely,

Zack Baddorf
Executive Director, MVJ

Army National Guard Officer and Freelancer Gets Published Thanks to MVJ Mentorship Program

By News

Pictured are Army National Guard Officer Davis Winkie, a mentee in the MVJ mentorship program and his mentor, an award-winning journalist named Erin Siegal McIntyre.

NEW JERSEY- Military Veterans in Journalism highlights the benefits from its mentorship program with a recent testimonial from Award-Winning Journalist Erin Siegal McIntyre and Army National Guard Officer Davis Winkie.

Mentorship plays a key role in shaping professional and personal development in both the military and civilian sector. One of the main resources offered by Military Veterans in Journalism is its mentorship program, where a newly-transitioned veteran is paired up with an experienced media professional. Mentors and mentees have the opportunity to learn from one another within the program.

Director of Digital Strategy and Content Babee Garcia understands the value and importance of having a mentor in journalism.

“Networking is crucial in journalism,” said Babee Garcia. “This mentorship program helps build confidence and credibility for our mentees. Few of them earn success on their own, and need someone with insight to advance them in their careers. From personal experience, I am lucky to have great mentors, to include college professors and MVJ President Russell Midori.”

Davis Winkie, a Human Resources Officer (42B) in the Army National Guard, has many accomplishments under his belt, including a tour as an Administrative Officer for an engineering task force that planned field hospitals in North Carolina during COVID-19. Prior to his military service, he was a historian with a desire to research and write. He noticed the similarities between historians and journalists as both work to find the truth within storytelling. Determined to combine his skills and experiences, Winkie found his purpose —reporting with immediacy and a sense of urgency.

Since being a part of Military Veterans in Journalism’s mentorship program, Winkie has had a byline in The New Republic, Task & Purpose, VICE, and other national news publications. Winkie encourages veterans, who are pursuing a career in journalism, to take advantage of the tools and opportunities offered at MVJ.

“Programs like MVJ’s mentorship are extremely important to folks like me without traditional journalism backgrounds who have potential, but just need a little guidance,” said Davis Winkie.

He is currently still training in the U.S. Army National Guard while working as a freelancer and a contract job with the Digital Library of Georgia. He is building a digital exhibit about the history of racial violence in his hometown of Forsyth County, GA.

Erin Siegal McIntyre is an accomplished investigative journalist and author. In 2012, Beacon Press published her award-winning book “Finding Fernanda”- the basis for an hour-long CBS special investigation that was awarded a 2015 News Emmy. Throughout most of her career, she has been a freelancer, who published stories in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Latino USA, and various other media outlets.

For McIntyre, this has been her first time providing guidance for her mentee. She speaks highly about Winkie’s work ethic and how the experience has been both instructive and inspiring.

“I’ve been impressed with his high level of organization, his excellent and prompt communication, his wit and humor, and his ability to consider immediate and long-term career options simultaneously—not to mention drafting and publishing pieces while on duty,” said Erin Siegal McIntyre. “Who wouldn’t be impressed? Vets have a skillset that lends itself well to both collecting and organizing information, which is basically the core of what journalists do. He’s also ambitious, which is a quality any journalist needs in today’s market. When I was starting out, many of my opportunities arose from the kindness of others. It’s really satisfying for me now to be able to open doors and help the next generation.”

McIntyre recalls a long phone conversation with Winkie, where they shared insight on professional networking, strategic planning, resumes, cover letters, planning a career trajectory, and other important building blocks to sustain a successful journey into journalism. They spoke about one of Winkie’s stories, brainstorming how to approach certain sources, and how to acquire certain kinds of information.

“I was so surprised to hear how fluent he is in public records requests; that’s a quality of utmost importance and he’s already very experienced,” said Erin Siegal McIntyre.

In some instances, McIntyre became the student, as Winkie taught her about his area of expertise.

“Davis was recently a PhD student in history at UNC-Chapel Hill, immersed in academic writing, research, and classroom instruction, and so our conversation ended with the tables being flipped: he gave me some advice on university culture and provided an insider’s on-the-ground perspective on the institution’s more recent history related to Confederate monuments on campus,” said Erin Siegal McIntyre.

She also spoke positively about giving back through mentorship and how it helps other journalists, saying “It’s nearly impossible to get anywhere in journalism without a robust network and a few people guiding you, at least a little. Even informal mentorship can be of outsize value; my fellow journalists are almost entirely accessible, generous, and kind…Those of us already working in the field consider it a privilege to help and pass along what we’ve learned.”

Potential volunteers can sign-up on MVJ’s website to participate in the mentorship program.

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5 Military Traits That Will Make You A Great Journalist

By Resources

At first, it may seem there are few greater professional jumps than hanging up the body armor and rifle with picking up pen and paper (or in the digital age – a laptop and recorder). However, your military background has given you a lot of skills journalism and media employers greatly value – including many you may not initially expect to be translatable – and can help you succeed in making your mark on the journalism world.

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The team from Montclair State University accepted a student Edward R. Murrow award for "Montclair News Lab: Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico." Photo credit: David Nicholas Photography

Celebrating Excellence in Journalism

By News

For the past 48 years, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has recognized important contributions in broadcast and digital journalism. Amongst this year’s student Edward R. Murrow award recipients were my team and I for “Montclair News Lab: Hurricane Recovery In Puerto Rico” in the Excellence in Video Reporting category.

In March 2018, I joined a team of student and faculty journalists to document aid and recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria struck the island. Within a week’s time, our team explored areas that were impacted including education, tourism, businesses, destruction of homes, food distribution, and agriculture. We also formed friendships, overcame challenges, and created memories that will last a lifetime along the way- all while understanding the purpose and power behind journalism.

To have earned a Murrow award in the same room full of talented journalists, who have worked in the industry for years from various news organizations, was truly an honor. As I reunited with peers and faculty from my alma matter, I embraced this moment of recognition. I reflected on how valuable this trip was for our professional growth and development as the next generation of storytellers.

10/14/2019 NEW YORK, NY: The team from Montclair News Lab: Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico spoke to CBS National Lead Correspondent David Begnaud at the 2019 Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala. Photo Credit: Laura Galarza

MVJ Social Media Coordinator and Marine Corps veteran Babee Garcia poses with her team’s Edward R. Murrow award at Gotham Hall for their team project “Montclair News Lab: Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico.” Photo credit: Alfredo Garcia Rodriguez

It was a great opportunity to not only celebrate our achievements, but to network amongst other media professionals. CBS National Lead Correspondent David Begnaud took some time to congratulate my team. He also gave us great advice on continuing to spread awareness with our storytelling efforts, “Make sure you are promoting it [your work] as much as you can cause that’s how we serve a purpose.”

As a fan of David’s reporting in Puerto Rico, it was personally one of the best highlights of the night. It seemed as if our encounter had come full-circle since we had all told important stories from the island. As we walked on to accept our award, I acknowledged David was clapping and cheering for us backstage. Later that evening, we had also met Senator Bill Bradley, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky, and many others.

I felt proud that our work has been highly recognized by the Television Academy Foundation in California and RTDNA this year. However, our greatest reward throughout our journey had been having our stories being visible, shared and heard.

Our expectations in Puerto Rico were simple- to share stories with the intent to understand and capture the destruction of Hurricane Maria. It took a village, including the extraordinary leadership of our professors, to shape us into the skilled journalists we are today.

This entire experience has made me appreciate the value of journalism across all levels. Whether it is contributing to college journalism or a news organization with a large market, our voices matter. We, as journalists, work hard to highlight injustice and people serving their communities in hopes of getting others to listen.

If we are exercising the ethics, putting in the time, and sharing content, then we are all winners. With and without the awards, we continue to make a difference in bringing local and national attention on stories that need an active voice.

I am humbled by all of the amazing people I met and who have encouraged me thus far. After transitioning from the Marine Corps in 2016, I received the best college education from Montclair State University. Working with the students and faculty convinced me to seize every opportunity I could to be a versatile journalist, including traveling to Puerto Rico. I would like to thank everyone there, who helped foster my creativity and fuel my passion in journalism.

I would also like to thank Military Veterans in Journalism, a non-profit organization that serves others through impactful storytelling, for their continuous support. I am grateful to be a part of their team as Social Media Coordinator.

10/14/2019 NEW YORK, NY: From left to Right: Mariano Arocho, Krystal Acosta, Genesis Obando, Madj Traore, Laura Galarza, Babee Garcia, David Sanders, Kathleen Reddington, and Steve McCarthy at the 2019 Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala in Gotham Hall. (Not pictured: Thomas E. Franklin, Natalie De La Rosa, and Madison Glassman) Photo credit: Alfredo Garcia Rodriguez