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Should I put radio to bed?
February 15, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

I seem to have found myself occupying the realm of professional fundraising. I don't like it although I am outstanding cultural activist according to everyone I am a great cultural activist. I want to be a journalist and work in media as a program producer. But, I enjoy fundraising and took a career leap to learn major giving a few years ago. I am finding it very difficult to get back into radio now, even though I have offered myself for lower salaries. I feel like I will be forced into politics. Is there any hope for me?
posted by parmanparman to Work & Money (5 answers total)
 
Whoops, a little slip-up with the question. but you get my drift.
posted by parmanparman at 6:09 PM on February 15, 2011


There's always hope for changing careers.

Based on this brief bio, one creative avenue would be to see if you could put your fundraising abilities to work at a local public radio station, where, as part of your hiring pitch, you could also see if you could do double duty as a program producer.

Also, with the easy access to online radio, there's little to stop you from creating a radio program or podcast now. This may help rebuild a reel or recent credits, and also help you learn skills that may not have been needed in your earlier life in radio. (and if the show is a hit, maybe a radio station would pick it up).
posted by Unsomnambulist at 7:01 PM on February 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


What makes you think you'll be forced into politics?
posted by slidell at 7:32 PM on February 15, 2011


I assume you mean public radio, given your self-description as a cultural activist. Professionally speaking, now is a pretty tenuous time to be going into public radio as a career. NPR is struggling to keep its West Coast operation going, and the NYC office is run on a shoestring. I've seen dozens of engineers, producers, and core staff go jobless in the past few years. Producer jobs in particular are ever thinner on the ground, and now that NPR has officially entered the high-profile crosshairs of the Fox demographic with the whole Juan Williams thing (and related fallout), I am even less optimistic.

Now. All that being said... we've been in similar positions before, culturally speaking, and we all know the pendulum swingeth back and forth every few years. Now is probably not the time to get THE job in public radio... but you should continue to produce, produce, produce, because you love it and want to maintain your skill sets and your commitment to it. There will always be little pockets of opportunity for people who can show up on a moment's notice with a strong body of work. The caveat is that you may be competing against other, more experienced producers who have been slumming it in other fields and waiting for similar pickings to come around again... but that's the case in any job nowadays.

So, yeah. Not looking so great for jobs at the moment, but all is not lost. Do the work when you can, because you can. Commit to it as an investment in your future. Whether that's six months from now or six years, nobody can say, but stay at it.
posted by mykescipark at 8:45 PM on February 15, 2011


I don't think it's about going into politics, I just have been veered in that direction several times by friends and relatives who think it would be a creative and worthwhile place to work. Frankly, I was in radio because I liked to write and develop other people's writing into explorations of belief and politics. I do not know, for sure, if political work is the same. That will be my next question, I guess.
posted by parmanparman at 3:51 AM on February 16, 2011


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