April 23rd

If anyone’s going to get rich here, it’s not you

That’s the rather depressing message to digital journalists from financial blogger/journalist/whatever, Felix Salmon, speaking at the International Journalism Festival in Italy earlier this month.

If you’re… a young journalist coming into digital journalism in particular, your earning prospects are very low. And more to the point you don’t have hope for… a career.

Feeling hopeless yet?

Journalism experience, he argues, will no longer be valued because the profession is in constant, disruptive flux. It’s the young who will always get preference in the digital newsrooms of the future because they’re better at doing all the new things coming to the digital space, whatever they might be (and young folk are cheap — a rather important factor for a new media company with limited cash).

It’s an odd opinion coming from a not-young journalist who is now a key contributor at a new pop-culture digital publication. Clearly his experience was valued.

The inherent contradiction in Salmon’s argument is laid bare by David Cohn, himself a veteran of countless journalism-related digital startups.

I would also agree that being a journalist isn’t going to make you rich – but that’s nothing new. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a multi-decade career path. You can become more valuable over time.

Journalists who want to make use of their skills and earn more money have certainly discovered one particularly rewarding career path — the dark side, otherwise known as PR.