Journalism scholarships help in a shrinking field

Newspapers are fading from the media, and journalism scholarships for print-focused students are slowly heading down the same road. The evolving field forces students to no longer specialize in just writing.

"The one-position journalist is dying, if not dead. Today's journalist must be able to report, write, shoot still photos and video, design and have knowledge of website technology," said senior Rod Guajardo, editor of Auburn University's The Auburn Plainsman. With the development of this journalism jack-of-all-trades, the competition is getting tougher and the pay is still minimal.

Many publications are switching to freelanced work, making it even harder for recent graduates to find a reporting job that will help pay off the college debt. The average starting salary for a newspaper journalist is only $20,000, with a career average of $35,000. Journalism scholarships are one way to help lessen the financial burden.

Universities, private foundations and press associations offer a variety of journalism scholarships, but most of them don't help too much when a four-year education costs tens of thousands of dollars. International students and those who are interested in foreign journalism have a plethora of options for journalism scholarships. Photojournalists and broadcast journalists are also in luck. For the standard print journalist, though, very few journalism scholarships cover more than $1,000.