The Pest of (CU)NY

November 7th, 2010 by An Phung

Well, maybe it’s not the “pest” of CUNY, but it is certainly a hot topic that is weighing on the minds of first semester students at the Graduate School of Journalism. I’m talking about the impending November 19 deadline for declaring your subject concentration. Some came to CUNY knowing exactly what they wanted to study. The rest are flip-flopping between the following four very enticing options:

International Reporting
Urban Reporting
Arts & Culture

As if these choices weren’t hard enough to resist, CUNY now offers an exciting Health & Science concentration to further fuel (or confuse) the naturally curious minds of budding journalists.

In an effort to understand the subject concentration make-up of my school, I created a survey asking first and third semester students where their interests lie. While this should not serve as the impetus for your own personal decision (hopefully your choice is driven by your own journalistic passions and goals), it’s helpful to see how your own journalistic interests and pursuits are aligned with the rest of the student body.

58 students responded to the survey with 45% of those students belonging to the 2011 graduating class and the rest in the 2010 class. The majority, or 36%, of those surveyed picked International Reporting as their subject concentration, with Urban Reporting trailing behind at 24%. What came as a surprise were the amount of students who were said their preferred medium of storytelling is print. At 33%, that is almost tied with interactive. This challenged my notion that print is a dying medium.

What this surveyed communicated to me was the diversity and breadth of interest that exists at this school. Malcolm Gladwell says that diversity and variety creates happiness. It is evident in the vibrant community at CUNY that the academic options we’re presented with is churning out a group of pretty diverse (and hopefully happy) journalists.

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