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Journalism is not an easy career in Vietnam - E.W SCRIPPS SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM/OHIO UNIVERSITY

precious_summer 1 / 4  
Dec 20, 2014   #1
Hi everyone. I'm apply to E.W Scripps school of Journalism this fall and this is my PS. Please give me some comments, thank you all very much :)

Applicants to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism are encouraged to submit an essay detailing how you want to help shape the future of journalism, advertising, or public relations.

Journalism is not an easy career in Vietnam, since my country has neither freedom of speech nor freedom of journalism. As a young citizen, I find it unacceptable that journalists are unable to bring the truth to light. For instance, according to The Guardian, there had been "cases of police brutality that resulted in the deaths of people in custody between August 2010 and July 2014" in southern cities of Vietnam. Journalists told researchers that "local authorities prevented them from approaching the families of victims for interviews."

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 20, 2014   #2
Uyen, here is a tip for this essay. Show the admissions reader the reason that you want to return to Vietnam after having completing your Journalism degree at E.W. Scripps. Rather than telling him / her what is already commonly known about the lack of freedom in Vietnam, let the reader know that you plan on trying to become a game changer in the journalism world in your country. That you want to push the envelop of journalistic integrity in Vietnam and see if you can bring about subtle but important changes to the way that journalism is used in your country. Of course it will not be an easy career but, explain that with the proper training and know how, you are convinced that you will be able to succeed as a journalist in Vietnam. All because you equipped yourself for what you deem to be the "battle of my life". or something to that dramatic effect.
OP precious_summer 1 / 4  
Dec 22, 2014   #3
Thank you very much for you comment :) I've tried to fix it based on what you said and this is the result. I'll be very glad if you could take a look and comment again. Thanks a lot!
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 22, 2014   #4
At this point, there is one important aspect of the development of your desire to become a Vietnamese journalist that is missing. How did you get your start? You already know that it is difficult to be a journalist in your country and yet you continue to persevere. Why is that?You said that your desire to become a journalist started when you were 13. What influenced you to consider that career seriously at such an early age? If you can present some information about those things, your essay will be further strengthened and the possibility of you becoming a successful journalist in your country might become even clearer :-) We don't really need to know what your early experience in journalism is at this point. What we do need to know, understand, and see, is how your foundation in journalism has led to this point in your life and how you plan to merge your past experience with your future as a successful journalist in your country. Your essay already contains some of these elements. You just need to tweak it a little more to become more relevant to the prompt. You can actually omit this part of your essay:

Being one of the best journalism school in the States..."

The reason I say you can omit this is because you are offering information that is not required in the essay. Therefore these words are wasted when it could have been used to better build your image as a future Vietnamese journalist with a desire to bring your country's journalism standards into the 21st century :-)
OP precious_summer 1 / 4  
Dec 26, 2014   #5
Hi. lastest edition, hope this is better :) Thank you very much.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 26, 2014   #6
Uyen, this version of your essay works well in the sense that it shows how you developed an idea that you can work in the field of journalism. However, you spend too much of the essay discussing your back story instead of developing your vision of how you can help to improve the state of Vietnamese journalism. The story about how you plan to launch your own magazine and the plans accompanying it totally fall in line with the prompt requirements. I suggest that you develop your short and long term career goals in terms of how you plan to revitalize and reshape the journalism landscape in Vietnam. Make it more powerful. Show us a mindset that says "I am going to be the new face of Vietnamese journalism and help the people of my country." That is the mindset that you should be in as you revise this essay. That is what the essay wants to feel and learn about.
OP precious_summer 1 / 4  
Dec 26, 2014   #7
I'm only allowed 500 words, so adding more ideas means cutting some other off. can you recommend some sentences that you think are not necessary? Thanks a lot :)
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 26, 2014   #8
I sure can make some recommendations Uyen. Let me detail the parts I believe you should delete and why below:

Five years ago..

- Since your thoughts lead you back to Vietnam anyway, let us start off the essay with an immediate idea of what to expect in the succeeding discussions. This back story just takes up unnecessary word count.

[quote=precious_summerI started to participate in media activities at 15.... [/quote]
- Your skills are not being required as a part of the discussion so you don't need to present this information. Save it for another prompt or allow the admissions officer to learn about your participation in these activities through the other documents you have submitted. It just does not have a place in this essay.
OP precious_summer 1 / 4  
Dec 28, 2014   #9
Hi. I've rewritten it, can you give comments again? Thanks a lot :)

Planning to be a game changer in Vietnam's journalism, I've set myself several goals to deal with challenges this industry is facing.
Everyday, Vietnamese people are suffering from human violation; yet journalism has done little to protect them because the truth was covered repeatedly. To contribute to a change, I'll constantly make an effort to write truthfully about these issues and get published; in order to raise social awareness and remind the government to take more serious measures. Also, it's my job to keep contact with global organizations that protect human rights and collaborate with other journalists who have the same ideal, maybe establish a group of writers on this issue. This is a long-term goal with growing effect.

Another detected challenge is social prejudice. In Vietnam, it's a strongly-held belief that the art is not worth pursuing as a choice of career, but rather as a hobby. Feeling responsible to make a change, I plan to form a team of writers, designers and photographers; then work with them to launch a Vietnamese lifestyle magazine. Each issue will teach people how to live slowly, enjoy little things, look for adventures; whether it reflects foreign or national values. By showing diversity in cultures, it'll improve our standard of living dramatically and maintain as a proof of the art's importance. Moreover, we'll plan journalism workshops occasionally as opportunities to share new ideas.

Finally, the most difficult challenge is government's overrated control in media field, which must be tackled with wisdom and sophistication. Firstly, Vietnam's human resources should be used with creativity and to the fullest extent. From there, a network of sponsors and supporters can be created for citizens to demand for freedom of speech and freedom of journalism. I want to prove that it is both our right and responsibility to be informed about national issues. The government assumes we are not educated enough, but this can be proven wrong over time as more citizens, especially teenagers, are encouraged to study the basis of law, economics and politics to develop opinions on issues which directly affect our lives . A leading magazine which has been very successful in doing this is BBC Vietnamese. However, their articles sometimes don't have the objective view needed in journalism. I want to work for this magazine and write from a slightly different, more positive and supporting perspective. If there are cases that concern sensitive exposure, I'm planning to ask for support from the Committee to Protect Journalists. To fight for freedom is not just a battle but a continual war.

My admiration for the United States is its freedom policies; which promote creativity. I'm hoping to learn as much as possible about American's journalism, then apply what I've learnt based on Vietnam's distinctive cultures and potential human resources. As Joshua Wong said: "I don't want the fight to be passed down to the next generation. This is our responsibility."
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 28, 2014   #10
Good work. You have managed to deliver an essay that totally responds to the prompt at this point and paints a clear picture of the direction that you wish to take your journalism career into once you return to Vietnam. I would like you to clarify one point though, in reference to BBC Vietnam. Clarify that they present a bias point of view when reporting about Vietnam itself and that is what you want to change when you become a journalist in your country. Point out that your main goal is to change not only the way journalism is conducted in Vietnam, but also how the world perceives Vietnam in the 21st century since most people still have a view of Vietnam as being filled with rice paddies and a closed economy policy. Which is far from how the country functions at the moment. After adding that note, your essay will be good to go :-)
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 29, 2014   #11

This should be two words, so separate them. When you write them as a single word it is an adverb that should describe a very, adverb, or another adjective.

Hey, I am impressed by the way you express a clear goal at the start of the essay. However, you can make a few examples to demonstrate what you mean. In the United States, it seems that journalism and the media all are influenced too much by money and ulterior motives, for example. Journalists perhaps report what is most sensational rather than what is most important. Does Vietnamese journalism have similar problems, or are they different? It might be a good idea to add a few sentences to the first paragraph so that this first paragraph includes at least 4 sentences. That can help it to reinforce the main idea of the essay.

So, if you type some more sentences to elaborate one what the 'game' of journalism is like now, and what most urgently needs to be changed, that will improve the whole paper. I do see that you have 3 body paragraphs that each begin with topic sentences which express excellent ideas. Let's introduce these ideas better in the introduction. Clearly, you do already express 3 distinct ideas in your body paragraphs, but I still think the introduction could more interestingly express the main idea of the whole essay. You could challenge yourself by pretending that you can only type 4 sentences, total, to express your idea to the reader. What 4 sentences would you type as the intro paragraph if you had to use only 4 sentences to capture the reader's attention and get her or him to remember (for the rest of their lives) this essay about changes that can improve Vietnamese culture by improving journalism based on your own philosophy of journalism and your observations about it's specific current shortcomings.

: )

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