Journalists, J-Students Turning to PR

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By: E&P Staff

The hard economic times for print journalism aren’t just forcing journalists to leave their old papers; it’s forcing some to leave the profession altogether, according to a report in this week’s edition of PR Week magazine.

The piece quotes both former journalists and public relations exectives, as well as a staff members at Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications to illustrate how journalism students, worried by reports of numerous cutbacks at newspapers nationwide, are strongly considering jumping over to public relations work.

A majority of the PR executives interviewed — the heads of firms including MS&L, Qorvis, and French/West/Vaughn — say that they have seen an increase in resumes submitted by journalists within the last 12-18 months. “While the traditional media changes … there are certainly fewer jobs for reporters, “says MGA Communications President (and CEO and chairman of the Public Relations Society of America) Jeff Julien. “[They’re] saying, ‘What do I do next?’ And a logical step for a lot of reporters is to look at PR.”

One of those who has made the transition is Diane Lore, former features project editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now a VP of digital media at GCI Group. “They money is not there, and the pressure is so much higher, “says Lore, whose father was a newspaperman. “If you’re not having fun and not making money, then why do it?”

And students are starting to get in on the trend as well. Monica Roberts, director of career development at the SI Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, is quoted, “We are starting to see students that would rather study PR, because they feel the opportunities will be better for them based on what’s happening with print newspapers … I also have a lot of young alumni who have been out [of college] for two to three years who have been switching as well.”



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