On our first day in New York City we toured The Wall Street Journal and it was unbelievably fantastic and informative.
The Journal is located in the News Corp. building, which also houses other news organizations such as Fox News. Sarah Rabil, a recruiter for the Journal, showed us around and first took us to the newsroom, where we saw different reporters working. I was actually asked to not take any pictures of computer screens in case there was sensitive material on someone’s laptop.
We learned that different news teams sit in sections together, which I thought was really cool. For example, sports reporters will sit in a section together as will people who write for WSJ Pro. WSP Pro is the highest subscription one can get for the Journal. We then went up to the hub, which Sarah referred to as the “central nervous system of the newsroom.” The hub is where chiefs of different departments meet together and coordinate. In the middle of the hub there is a giant screen that shows the exact web and mobile traffic each article has.
We also learned that the Journal has won 38 Pulitzer prizes and got to take a group picture in front of the awards!
We then met with a panel of four employees of the Journal. One of the employees is the senior director of communications, and he was a communications major in college. His position is a corporate one of Dow Jones and includes duties such as product launches and dealing with reputation issues. He also worked with Apple’s team to launch Apple News +.
The second employee we met with is senior video journalist. On a day-to-day basis, she told us that she may be working on animation, video editing, script writing or teaming with a reporter on a story.
The third employee we met with is a markets reporter. A markets reporter writes about anything that people can make money on.
The last employee on the panel is a video editor for the corporate news. He is graphics editor who interestingly enough was a biology major in college. One of the things that I thought was really interesting that they emphasized was that as long as you are hardworking and can get the job done, you don’t necessarily have to have studied a specific major for the career you want.
The senior director of communications also encouraged us to try different things career-wise and find what was the best fit for us. I found that really inspiring because I currently feel a little lost in terms of what I want to do when I graduate. He told us that he originally worked in the newsroom for CNN and had to leave because it wasn’t the right fit for him.
One thing I learned in addition was the importance of reporters and visual teams collaborating together on a story from the start. The best stories are ones in which the reporter comes to graphics before they even start writing. The senior video journalist told us that the Journal is one of the most collaborative organizations, which I think is awesome.
It was fantastic to be able to see such an esteemed organization in action.