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By Timothy Petropoulos

The state of journalism in today’s economy has been an often discussed issue of late, especially for young journalism students looking to enter the industry.

On April 12, the St. John’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosted a panel in front of roughly 30 journalism students to discuss what it takes to break into the field. The panel consisted of four professionals — two Daily News journalists, staff reporter Irving DeJohn and staff writer Sarah Armaghan; Queens Courier co-publisher Joshua Schneps; and former New York Post writer turned Communications Director for Councilmember Peter Vallone, Tatiana Deligiannakis.

Some of the topics that the panel discussed included the importance of internships, overcoming the obstacles of entering the journalism field, what employers are looking for when interviewing, and the necessity of being well-versed in all aspects of journalism, including photography and multimedia.

“Journalism is not dead, it’s evolving” said Armaghan, the 2009 St. John’s Journalism Graduate of the Year award winner.

Throughout the roughly two-hour session, the panel fielded questions from moderator Ramiro Funez, president of the St. John’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. They also took time at the end to answer questions from the attendees and met with students one-on-one after it concluded.

“I think the panel was great,” said sophomore and journalism major Anne Marie Turton. “Getting a job after graduation is always on our minds and I think [this panel] gave us a leg up over our competitors.”

The key attribute that the panel mentioned throughout the event was persistence, stressing the importance of working hard and putting in the time necessary to break into and stay in the field in order the achieve the position desired.

“We can present them with all the information in the universe, what they choose to do with it and how they apply it will really be the test for them,” said DeJohn.

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