With tough times for the newspaper industry - today alone, the Baltimore Sun announced it will cut about 100 jobs, Palm Beach Newspapers Inc., which owns both The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News, plans to cut 300 workers from its 1,350-person payroll, and The Hartford (Conn.) Courant announced they will be cutting both news pages and staff positions by 25% - more and more journalists are making the move to public relations.
"We are starting to see students that would rather study PR [than journalism], because they feel the opportunities will be better for them based on what's happening with print newspapers and other [media], that [journalism] might not be as feasible of a career for them right now," Monica Roberts, director of career development at Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Communications, was quoted as saying in the latest edition of PR Week. "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."
In the same PR Week article, Diane Lore, a former journalist, who is now in PR, explained, "The money is not there, and because of the constant filing for the online presence now, the pressure is so much higher." She continued, "No one goes into journalism for the money, but you do expect it to be fun. So if you're not having fun and not making money, then why do it?"
Lore has also started a "second life club" for journalists making the transition; the group has 50 to 60 people on their e-mail list and about 20 regulars at the "second life" meetings.
Will Shanley, who left his position as a business reporter at The Denver Post last summer to take a job in PR, said it's a career move he's seen a number of his former journalism colleagues make.
"Looking long-term," he explained, "[They] want to take some of those [journalism] skills and transfer them to a sector that might be growing instead of contracting."