Journalism is an Ideal Stepping Stone for Career

Charles Darwin said those most responsive to change would survive. In today’s changing workplace, individuals must change to be relevant and visible.

Pam Stallsmith of Virginia Press Women shared her journey from long-time newspaper reporter to communications consultant for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond during a workshop at the 2010 NFPW Conference.

“I went from a noisy newsroom to a quiet office,” Pam says. “The first thing I realized is that I can’t use a newsroom voice.”

The biggest change for her was that journalism is reactive with lots of short-term deadlines. But “corporate communications is strategic and proactive,” she says.

She’s also learning more technology and has worked on several multimedia projects. “Interactivity is everywhere,” she notes.

Pam exemplifies why journalism is an ideal stepping stone for a career in journalism, says Lynn Hazan, who founded Lynn Hazan & Associates, which provides recruiting services for clients.

Some of the skills journalists bring to the table and, therefore, are skills that journalists should highlight when transitioning into communications, are –

  • Interview skills
  • Ability to make and see connections
  • Writing – taking the complex and making it easily understood
  • Ability to talk to many types of people
  • Creativity
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Deadline oriented
  • Multitasking
  • Critical thinking.
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