William Peace University Dept. Chair and Associate Professor Dr. Lynn C. Owens Discusses Jobs Research on TWC NewsBy William Peace University on March 6, 2014 5:04 pm
William Peace University Dept. Chair and Associate Professor
Dr. Lynn C. Owens Discusses Jobs Research on TWC News
Communication Professor and Expert at Local Four-Year Baccalaureate
Shares Research Data with TWC News Anchor Marti Skold
RALEIGH, N.C., March 6, 2014 – Lynn C. Owens, Ph.D., Communication Dept. Chair and Associate Professor of Communication at William Peace University, a private four-year university located in downtown Raleigh, appeared on Time Warner Cable News on Thursday, March 6, 2014 to discuss recent findings in her jobs research.
Dr. Owens’ research, “HELP WANTED: Mobile journalism skills required by top U.S. news companies,” found that more than half of job postings in journalism required applicants to have skills in social media and/or mobile applications. Owens’ research is the latest in a series of projects she has co-authored with Prof. Deb Wenger of the University of Mississippi. Their research won third place (the only U.S. submission to win) at the World Journalism Congress in 2012.
In the interview, Owens also discussed the importance of internships for students and the need for curriculum that better prepares students for an ever-evolving job market. She also mentioned WPU’s continued documented success in regards to its students and internships, which include a 100% student internship rate for graduates and a recent No. 1 national ranking by U.S. News & World Report concerning internships.
For a look at the full interview with TWC News Anchor Marti Skold, click on the video link below:
Marti: College students looking to venture out in the work world of today need a new set of skills to get hired. Dr. Lynn Owens, a professor at William Peace University, has new research published that won an international award and joins us now with more. It’s not like when we went to college, they need new skills, what are those skills?
Dr. Owens: What we’re finding is that half the journalism job postings in 2012 wanted new hires to have social media skills, and to also be able to write news for mobile applications. So like you said, completely different from even five years ago.
Marti: But, is it because you are finding that people are getting their news in different ways?
Dr. Owens: Absolutely, more than 60% of Americans are on Facebook, and half of those get some form of news from Facebook. One in ten adults get there news from twitter, so the landscape is changing for how people are getting their news; and certainly young people, college students get most of their news from social media or from the internet.
Marti: So, for your courses that you’re teaching, are there new courses available now that have those social media skills on an interactive platform?
Dr. Owens: Yes, at William Peace University we teach interactive and social media. It’s taking the students personal experience with social media and teaching them how to use it in a professional way. So we can utilize what they already know, and use it for a company, and to their company’s advantage.
Marti: Well, we are also seeing a lot of apps. Time Warner Cable News, our company, has a new app where people can see news anytime they need it, or Weather On The Ones or whatever. Could that be the wave of the future even for your students in your class right now?
Dr. Owens: It seems like that’s where things are going certainly. So, as the news audience moves to mobile apps and social media to getting news, it’s really up to the educators to teach our students those skills.
Marti: When you talked to the employers, you talked to how many of them?
Dr. Owens: We looked at 700 job postings, and then followed up with five different employers from different journalism companies.
Marti: And all of them needed the same set of skills?
Dr. Owens: Absolutely, they all have their eye on where things are going and that’s what they need.
Marti: Okay, so when kids are going off to college, William Peace University has great social media classwork. In addition to that you guys have internships…
Dr. Owens: Absolutely, we’re ranked No. 1 by U.S News and World Report for internships. All of our students are required to have an internship, and about 50 percent of them get jobs from their internships, a job offer. And so a lot of my students have told me that their employers want them being able to use social media, and having those skills has been really marketable for them. It’s helped them out a lot.
Marti: Well thank you, we are looking forward to more research. You’re continuing to do more, so we’ll get you back when that comes out. Thank you so much, and good luck to you.
NEW MEDIA CONTENT: