SJMC Days Connect Students with Journalism Professionals

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications’s annual JMC Days connected Drake students with journalism professionals last week. In classes and events throughout the week, students took the opportunities to meet with professionals and industry veterans to learn how journalism is evolving.


On Monday night, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and author Leonard Pitts spoke about his new book, “Freeman.” He discussed his inspiration for the book, explained the characters and their relationships, and read part of the book for those in attendance. He also visited a J70 editing class and a J54 reporting class where he answered questions about his writing and editing processes.

Mock interviews were available for students to sit down and practice interviewing skills with journalists in Des Moines. Following the mock interviews, students at in on an internship panel, where experienced JMC students told how they found internships and made the most of their experience.

LinkedIn sessions on Thursday and Friday trained students to use the social media platform to connect with potential employers, sources, and more.


On Thursday, expert journalists gathered to discuss the changes in journalism at “Old News/New News: 220 Years of Journalistic Wisdom.” SJMC Dean Kathleen Richardson moderated the discussion, and Rekha Basu (Des Moines Register), Dave Busiek (KCCI),Larry Cotlar (Cumulus Media), Rob Dillard (Iowa Public Radio), andJanette Larkin (Business Publications Corporation) explained how their roles in journalism have changed and the importance of keeping journalism relevant.

Thanks to all of the SJMC faculty and staff for organizing the successful week, and a huge thanks to the professionals who came to share wisdom with Drake journalism students.