In the last year, of the many socials I follow of individual journalists, there’s almost 7 that left local media to switch from a journalism or a news operation to public relations, communications, or something that involves something that must be easier than reporting.
I can literally count to my hands, one the names I had almost blanked on was down in New York radio, JLo’s sister, Lynda leaving midday drive on WCBS to become the comms at the U.S. Department of Education.
I sent some really strangely written DM to a follow newsie in Boston who recently left a station that I will not identify; I admit it was bit oddly written it was suggesting to please don’t go into this field and I said something like you can’t spell propaganda without P and R. Given this individual said publicly on social over the winter time about a contract renewal late last year, if the contract wasn’t breached (because this individual is pretty professional) most likely we may not see that person on TV for maybe couple years…
I find it really sketchy that so many people are leaving news to completely be in public relations. Is journalism that hard? Is reporting fair and objective (meaning in that sense it could allow you to express your story without offending the company) or is that the actual problem the lack of freedom of expressing a story? Some of my fellow newsies who are actually in the business (again without identifying them) told me from a range the news can be depressing to the content going down in quality.
I do feel there is some mass exodus in local media there was even a blog from a head-hunter who even went so far to say it’s hard to find engineers (on the technical side.)
I also find the ones who have gone into PR/comms to go in a bit too quickly. Look at Jen Psaki, President Biden’s former Press Secretary… remember the big news she was going to provide commentary on MSNBC? Where is she? Is there a reason why there’s a gap between employers? I was concerned if switching sides too quickly would be improper, much like how President Trump handled comms, where one day a Fox News Channel exec (was it Bill Shine?), would work for the White House the next day, as if a corner office exec of a company to the White House and the Oval Office are equals.
I am writing as an outsider from looking in, and without additional insight or inside information to the biz, it seems as there’s a disconnect to management, or the news people. I have also noticed a lot of corporate interference; while it’s not as scandalous as Sinclair Broadcasting, I still think from branding to the stupid-kissups of on air people tagging the parent company as if the New York comms people really care about that anchor jumping ship from one station to a sister station. It’s not to say the corporate parent owns the station and has the rights to manage the station to what they think it should be, but the major issue for most of the large market stations or operations is the degrees a reporter may be less than 5 degrees to the corporate C-suite that’s hundreds if not thousands miles away and making calls based on watching streams or even have Slingboxes literally tied to the off air signal of the station of interest.
I’d rather die from being underinformed than from bare hunger. The way the industry is going, that could happen. It’s really sad for living on this planet for 3 plus decades and seeing all erode in real time; but was alive enough to see what it used’a be…