Last week's Gannett newspaper layoffs were upsetting in many ways. It was tangible evidence of an evaporating career field, not to mention a blow to the quality and depth of the local news in nearly 100 U.S. cities. I began to wonder what will happen to all the journalists, left free-falling without an abundance of desirable career options. (And always in the back of my mind is the idea that book publishing is not far behind on the continuum.)
But along comes David Meerman Scott, writing for EconentMag.com, with an idea of how to use your journalism skills at private corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies (see the article here). Although media relations has always been a good tangential option, that's not what he's talking about. He's talking about using your storytelling skills to create internal and web content that educates and informs various audiences. And he says your skills are badly needed now.
Scott admits that many journalists will see working for a corporation as selling out, but argues that it doesn't have to be like that if you adjust your thinking and align things correctly.
He doesn't go into great detail about how to get these types of jobs, however. But for now, maybe it's enough just to open the door a crack and get people thinking in that direction. Work your extensive networks and try to set up meetings with people in charge of corporate communications and web content at companies you admire in your area. Be open to the idea of working as a contractor for more than one company. Open your mind and explore your options.
Meanwhile, if you're feeling cynical about journalism, enjoy this modest proposal, from Richard Sine in the Huffington Post, who says we need to close the journalism schools and stop cranking out more gullible media hopefuls into a dying industry.