What I Learned From My Time Working at Newspapers

What I learned from working at newspapers michelle maskalyDuring a recent interview, someone asked me what I learned the most from my time working in newspapers. I didn’t even have to think long about my answer.

“I learned so much, but if I had to narrow it down to one general lesson, I would say it was to not be complacent, embrace change and always be proactive.”

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

Obviously, they asked me to explain.

See, I worked in newspapers before social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It was when just having a website was a big deal. And, forget sharing breaking news on the website first. When I was part of a digital team at one of my publications, asking fellow reporters and encouraging them to post something online before it went in print was like asking them to give up their first-born child.

At each newspaper and media job, I watched companies not just ignore the current consumer and business trends, but point-blank push back at them. As time went on, I watched former colleagues struggle to find jobs because they didn’t know how to use social media, or didn’t embrace the idea of video in their article.

I watched newspapers close their doors, struggle to figure out a monetization model, get bought out by other companies who did embrace the future or in some cases close up completely. It was very sad.

Change is difficult – I am the first one to admit that. But, one lesson I have always tried to adhere to professionally, is embracing the new. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert about it, but you should educate yourself on it.

For example, do I use Snaptchat? Nope. But, I have an account, I know the basic way to use it and I read article about updates. For me, and my businesses/career, it is not a wise way to spend my time. But, for some it is, and should I be working with, or for, a business that it does make sense for, I want to be able to know what I am doing.

Tell me about what you learned from working in newspapers.

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