On Campus: The online journalist

moorhead_matsuura.jpg It was fitting that I talked to Mark Matsuura of Burnsville on a day when San Francisco was about to become the first major American city not to have one daily newspaper.

I sat up straight when Matsuura told me about his career track: Online journalism. He is the first journalism student I’ve encountered in 35+ of doing this who told me he wanted to be an online journalist.

That in itself is a lesson in the economy. Whose job will he get when he graduates from Minnesota State University Moorhead in a couple of years? Probably a journalist who doesn’t want to do online journalism. “It has more future than print,” he said. In other words: It has a future. Adaptability is a plus.

During my stop at the school at part of the News Cut on Campus listening tour to gauge the effect the economy is having on students, Matsuura said he’d like to write about technology issues.

He says he hasn’t found the economy to be much of “a challenge” paying for school. “I pay for half and my parents pay for half,” he said. “I’m not too worried about loans; I’ll deal with it later. You make a choice to go to school and you can’t just stop because you don’t have the money right now.”

Some students I’ve encountered during this two-month project have said they’re somewhat worried about their parents’ jobs, and the possibility a layoff might disrupt their own schooling. Matsuura says he has no such worries. His dad is a big cog for a small company; his mother just survived the latest round of layoffs at her business.

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