Are Journalists Averted to Entrepreneurship by Default?

I love journalism.

Journalists clearly love their craft and their business (or what’s left of it). The problem is that most journalists are stubborn. For instance, they have to know that in a global sense, there is a need for their skills. Heck, this is the argument of most print-journalists who rally against the internet. So how does that make them stubborn? Well, there’s plenty of opportunities to pursue that utilize the same skills they covet so much. But they don’t pursue these opportunities.

Every day, I hear journalism industry outsiders advocate for our skill-set and things we could be doing. Even today, Dan Gregory of Northeastern’s Entrepreneurship faculty advocated for the skills journalists bring to the table in entrepreneurial ventures. He gave a bunch of case studies that show that journalists have skills in the workforce that place them in the upper percentile of desired labor.

Here’s an easy one: Familiarity with use of a communications mediums can land you a job in a marketing department.

It’s tough though, because many journalists just want to be writers. They want to report and chase the story, and all these “side hustles” just divert from that. Maybe it’s not the answer journalists are looking for, but it’s the only lead anyone has right now.

Who knows, maybe people are pursuing these opportunities and they don’t pan out. It’s a desperate economy with desperate people.

If I may make a plea to all the intelligent, thoughtful people who label themselves journalists: can we get a little less of this “self help” mentality as it relates to journalism? Sometimes I feel like all you guys do anymore is tell me how to save the industry.

The discussion is a valuable one, but if some of you split your time a wee bit more, and embraced the tactics of a WikiLeaks, maybe you would have gotten the scoop before them.

All this self-help talk of how to save journalism is really the biggest turn-off about journalism to me these days. I’ll be damned if this blog ends up as one of them…


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