As we pass another anniversary of the death of the Rocky Mountain News, I was reminded of a blog post I wrote for the Denver Business Journal detailing what I learned transitioning from a journalist to a communications professional.
Over the past dozen years (yes, it has been that long) since the Rocky unceremoniously stopped publishing after a 120-year run, most of my former Rocky colleagues have left journalism. They moved on to other careers when the paper closed, and those who tried to hang on in journalism were eventually bounced out of the profession due to layoffs, low pay or other lifestyle challenges. One former copy editor at the Rocky has been at a half-dozen papers over the past 12 years.
Of those who remain in journalism, only a couple work in print journalism and others work on the digital side, pumping out news stories on websites. Some use their journalism skills for specialized industries, which still has an audience and market for readers. A handful of my team on the business desk work for Marijuana-focused publications (a rare growth genre in journalism), and others work health care publications.
Many of those who left journalism work as teachers, professors, investigators, spokespersons, elected officials and even bus drivers. And some simply retired.
For the DBJ piece, I offered a list of myths that journalists have of PR professionals, including:
- PR pros don’t work hard
- There are no deadlines in PR
- The is no stress in the PR industry
- PR people don’t know how to write well
- PR pros couldn’t make it as journalists
- PR is just spin