Friday, February 29, 2008

Public relations internships

I’ve created a public relations internship guide for college students.

http://PRinternship.org

It’s very much a work-in-progress (feel free to send feedback), and nowhere near matching my journalism internship website in its depth and breadth. But it’s a start, and there doesn’t seem to be too many good PR internship websites.

It may seem odd to be talking about PR on a journalism blog. After all, many journalists view PR as “the Dark Side.” It’s all about “spin” and misinforming the public, they believe.

Guess what? Many PR people are equally wary of journalists, believing that the media is out to get them. They frequently accuse reporters of “spinning” stories.

As someone who’s worked on both sides of the fence, I know that both viewpoints are silly. When practiced ethically – as the vast majority of professionals in both journalism and PR do – both fields have similar goals. Basically, inform the public and tell the truth. Unfortunately, a few bad apples have given both fields an inaccurate reputation.

The reality is that there’s a lot of crossover between journalism and PR.

At many media outlets, for better or worse, we’re seeing a blurring of the lines between journalism and public relations. Many journalists eventually switch careers to public relations. At the university where I teach, public relations and journalism are combined into one major. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be. I’m just saying, that’s the way it is these days.

So, that’s why I’m writing about public relations on a journalism website. Because I know many of my site’s visitors may also be interested in careers in public relations.

-Mark Grabowski

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