Think About It. Where Have All the Journalist Gone?
“…According to the blog Papercuts, newspapers laid off 12,299 journalists in the first 10 months of 2008. …What does a newspaper look like if it is no longer a newspaper? …Paper 2.0 will work with and support collections of bloggers, entrepreneurs, citizens, and communities that gather and share news…” — What Would Google Do? (page 129, 130) by Jeff Jarvis.
When I read Jeff’s book a while back, I was thinking that these journalists should look for jobs outside the newspapers and publishing industries. Their skillsets should be in great demand by companies interested in launching or strengthening their content marketing. My thoughts are echoed in this article from the Software Advice website, “Content is King and You Can Be Too: The Convergence of PR and Journalism.”
This blog argues that journalism is not dead and I agree. “The drop in traditional journalism positions coincides with the rise in PR, marketing and advertising positions for a reason: The lines between these fields are being blurred. Marketing and PR departments are starting to function like newsrooms, and journalists are being recruited to these new, “hybrid” roles. Job opportunities for traditional journalists may be dwindling in numbers. But increasingly, journalists and PR people are being reborn as content marketers – the BLS (The Bureau of Labor Statistics) just doesn’t include this job title in its reports yet. “The core to SEO, social media and online lead generation,” says Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, “is amazing storytelling.”
This blog provides advice for journalists:
- Uphold traditional journalistic principles, no matter where you work.
- Keep up with the times. Journalists must learn to adopt new technologies.
- Know your audience.
- Build your own brand.
- Do some soul-searching
This is sound advice. As a marketer working in an enterprise, I’d add two more suggestions for journalists who are looking to become content marketers:
- Have your own blog site: build your own brand by blogging. The blog can be in writing, in video or other formats if you like, but you must have your own site with your own voice. Your site is your resume. See Should Journalists blog? Ten things every journalism student should know.
- Find stories inside and outside the company: If you work for an enterprise as a content marketer or on the editorial staff, find stories by talking to manufacturing, R & D, sales, HR, Finance, product development and design. Get permission from your sales reps to talk to their covered accounts. Talk to the company’s customers directly. Reach out to others and you will find stories everywhere.
Career transitions can be challenging and exciting. Working in an enterprise or an agency can be different from working at a newspaper or on-line publishing company. Act as a bridge between your internal stakeholders and your audience. Be their voices, that way next time we won’t ask where have all the journalist gone, and add value for them. Content marketing is Journalism 2.0!