Is Journalism The Right Career For Me – Who am I? Theola DeBose. I used to be a reporter for the Washington Post. I went to community meetings and asked for a second edition. I interviewed grieving mothers after their children were killed. I covered the earthquake in Haiti when I was five months pregnant. I wrote about the East African slave trade in the Middle East while reporting from Iraq. I went to journalism school. I’m ALL IN.
Until I didn’t. Until I want to do more than just watch, observe and write about other people in action. I want to do the work. I left the newsroom and defended choice in education. I then served in the Obama administration promoting public funding for arts and culture.
Is Journalism The Right Career For Me
The long version is that my successful transition from journalism has had many ups and downs. I learned a lot. I don’t want to keep these lessons to myself. I’ve had coffee with career-changing writers and spoken on panels. Meanwhile, the need to know how to make the transition seems to be growing.
The Media’s Role As Watchdogs
That’s why I created the Life After Journalism online course so that journalists can be supported on how to design the life and career change they want.
I love journalism. I like not being a journalist. Because of both, I love helping journalists get out of journalism. I am very happy to do this because no one is publicly talking about leaving journalism. (And that’s why I’m attracted to things that no one is looking at.)
What I mean by this is that no one is talking publicly about the individual steps you want or need to take on a personal level to leave journalism and start a new career.
In private, of course. Support and advice can be found in coffee or phone chats where you can find advice, career change discussions at once-a-year press conferences (Search: Life After Live Shot), and even in Facebook groups. They are all good. But no one is talking publicly about how to get out of journalism and what it takes to do it (Spoiler alert: Me!). And I believe it didn’t for some reason.
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Because there are so many headlines in the US and around the world right now about layoffs and job buyouts. And everywhere you turn, there seems to be another report full of job cuts in the media industry.
Dismissed journalists face a particular challenge in leaving journalism when it is not their choice. Moving on to something else is doubly difficult in these cases.
In the face of it, the reporters who remain do what they do best – cover the news, share the resulting headlines, take comfort when it happens to someone they know, and MOVE ON. Their time is limited and they are more diligent because the news comes from many sources and they have to do the work of their colleagues who are no longer there, so they focus on the next task and the quiet and private hope that they will be okay. . a bit more. Work looks like a shelter and a yoke.
And if the core value of journalism is that you are a “neutral observer”—trained to always think about and be interested in what other people are doing—how can your country recognize or support you? of work to find what is best for yourself?
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If this is the case when your editor sends you to cover, say, an incoming hurricane, you’ll hear something like, “(High.) It’s probably not in your best interest because it could be threatening to life, but I.” really need you to get out there and take the most compelling and interesting storm photos for us to post please? no editor said. I did not say that news organizations have never sent an employee into a dangerous situation without such “Precautions.” Of course they have. But the gallows mood of this profession perfectly describes a long time
Also, don’t be silly. If you are injured or killed, we will not be able to receive your items online or in paper.
In other words, stay safe because, stay safe, AND because otherwise, this whole journalism exercise is pointless because no one will see your work.
This is me (second from right) reporting from Karbala, Iraq, for The Washington Post in 2003, where I had to stay safe.
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I think now is the right time, in true journalistic fashion, to introduce the other side. Is career change really the responsibility of the organization or the individual? Journalists aren’t that unique, just look at other industries like taxis, coal mining, hell, manufacturing in the US where older workers are also being pushed out by seismic industry forces they can’t compete with or control.
First, I say yes, I agree, of course, take responsibility for your career; and I’m not talking about industry, I’m talking about journalism. Second, the main difference is that in journalism, expressing any desire to leave the newsroom can still be a dirty secret.
That’s part of what I think is a little weird about helping journalists get out of journalism. You don’t want to leave, do you? Because…
This is very important for our democracy. It’s exciting and unpredictable to be found in any other experience. It is very special because of the passing of people and places where ordinary people cannot go. The information we share is very important to people and the decisions they make about how to live their lives. People with disabilities need our speech to give them a voice. We are an unrivaled club. No one else understands us better than we do. When we get it right, we feel like a superpower to right wrongs by gathering information and bringing it to light. All these reasons are a million percent true. It is also true that they disappear as soon as you quit your job. These reasons are also completely irrelevant if you feel in your bones that there is something more to you and that there is something to live for in a life after journalism.
Who Is A Journalist?
I created and taught a six-week course to teach journalists how to make the transition (image link)
You know what i’m talking about. So you’ve been calling me for the last six years and asking me: How did you do it? You asked for advice over coffee on how I increased my earning power after journalism and asked me to speak on career change panels about moving from
Talk to me about all the ways to leave journalism, because there are many ways – to become a psychotherapist, to work in a university library, to start a company or whatever else you decide to do the moment you start asking yourself what you want.
I see the ambivalence journalists feel about thinking or talking about leaving journalism starting to change a bit because job cuts will continue for the foreseeable future. And there are so many incredibly talented, kind-hearted, passionate journalists who are eager to make an impact beyond the newsroom, who want to know how it’s possible. Because after journalism, you may still have a superpower to make the world a better place.
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That’s why I’m so excited about Life After Journalism. From one reporter to another, you’ll learn how to break a rut, prepare for a change, how to read job descriptions, techniques to position your journalistic skills in a new career, and how to remix your resume and cover letter to get others to support you. (Join the mailing list).
Don’t think about it yourself. Access to a network of journalists who are developing new careers.
I love helping journalists get out of journalism because I know what to do and I do it well. I believe in your power to make amazing career changes and transform your life.
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