PR pro: Journalism was all I knew

A journalist faced a major decision when his newspaper shuttered five years ago. Now he works in PR. Find out how he got there—and whether he misses the newsroom.

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At a recent new business pitch, a client asked me if I missed being in journalism.

I stumbled over the question before getting my footing. The short answer is yes, but it’s more complicated than that. I miss journalism from 20 years ago, when reporters had the time and resources to pursue good stories, and when our audiences expected nothing less.

Do I miss the journalism world of the last five years? No way.

When the Rocky Mountain News closed in February 2009, I was out of a job. Although I wouldn’t know it at the time, it was probably the best move for my career. It allowed me to reinvent myself in the world of crisis communication to use my skills—writing, editing, management, and strategy—honed over the past two decades. At the time of the paper’s closing, I was a business and metro editor, and had experience with about a dozen newsroom jobs.

Starting at my college newspaper, I’d been slowly working my way up the long journalism ladder, going from small paper to mid-sized paper and finally to a major metropolitan daily.

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