The blurring of journalist career paths


So much change but new models are emerging – hyperlocal blogs, for example.

And all would-be journalists have no barriers to entry for publishing – it is so easy and cheap (well, free) to set up a blog and to share and recommend content. The problem is getting paid.

But let’s face it, that has always been a problem – entry level jobs on local papers for £6K a year. Why would you?

Changes in our industry mean career paths are less clear. You don’t start at one point, junior reporter say, and follow a linear path to another more senior role such as an editor or desk head.

This means that all journalists need to:

  • Track changes in how our industry is changing – load up your RSS reader now
  • Have a plan – focus on what you enjoy doing, area of expertise etc and work out how to publish around that and start doing it
  • Develop a profile and promote it
  • Start to think in a more entreprenurial way – there are opportunities but they may not sit in the traditional publishing/journalism space
  • Take opportunities to learn new skills and try out new (and free) online tools

I do wonder whether journalism courses are equipping students in this way. And I wonder whether we – journalists – are engaging properly with the way our industry is changing.

I feel as if this has been said a thousand times before, but I still see and hear journalists who are not engaging with this and that terrifies me.

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