I recently spoke with a journalist acquaintance of mine who was laid off from their job. It was a good, if bittersweet, conversation—publications everywhere are slashing their budgets or going out of business. This means lots of very smart, hardworking, talented journalists who are suddenly out of work.
One of the big topics of our conversation is the fact that many journalists don’t realize how many skills their job involves. Here are a couple, given with my friend’s permission:
1. Journalists are highly skilled at interviewing people, conducting original research and creating original output on quick deadlines.
2. Journalism is fueled by constant multitasking and working under stressful conditions.
3. Dealing with people: Newsrooms are the island of misfit toys, readers love sending the worst hate mail and y'all deal with a wider range of people than folks in most jobs encounter.
4. Your job requires you to understand a ridiculously wide range of information and to make sense of it simply.
5. Most journalists I know pick up new skills around the newsroom/the freelance trenches at a frightening clip... only they don't realize they're learning them. (Hi researching corporate org structures on LinkedIn!)
What would you add to the list?