Help my transition from politics / public affairs to the media / digital media / information industry.
August 14, 2012 8:44 AM Subscribe
Looking for practical advice and fresh perspectives on how to get a (non-journalism) job in the Australian media / digital media / information industry.
posted by rockpaperdynamite to work & money (1 answer total)
Early 30's, 10 years experience happily working in public affairs (politics/policy/pr), currently in-house. A recent journalism Masters taught me a bunch of useful skills; and that I don’t want to be a journalist. But it energized my undergrad fascination with the economics /regulation of the media and information, and emerging practices like curation, crowdsourcing and data journalism.
I want to be part of the new media landscape, but I’m finding it tough to figure out what sort of role would best suit me and how I would go about making that transition, partly because the industry's in so much flux.
Education wise I also have a masters in public policy, marketing qualifications and am currently studying media law /regulation. I’ve done a bunch of media production courses (I don’t think further study will help!) Work wise, I’m good at problem solving, negotiation, stakeholder and people management. I’m happy to work in a commercial organisation and have some BD experience. Life wise, I have some financial flexibility to work at a lower level than I currently am to transition, if need be.
Most managers at big media organisations seem to have a sales or journalism background or were hired as a lawyer/accountant. Public affairs roles are thin on the ground. And at least some industry experience seems to be required for an academic career (both casual teaching or eventual PhD) or a start up.
So here come the questions: Should I cast my net wide or go niche? Can I parlay the skills I have, or do I go for an entry level job that gives me “industry” experience? How else can I handle the credibility gap? Is there value in getting involved in running a community media organization or putting on events or writing a blog or online opinion? And what sort of work do I prioritize in the meantime - get more management experience? Finance? Business development?
Final special extra complicating factor: Other eventual life goals: Kids plus living and working overseas (most likely in Asia). Do I get the travel out of the way now, or do I put my energy into the career transition with the hope that it will lead to OS opportunities down the track?
tl;dr What’s the best way for someone to break into the media / digital / information industry (Not as a journalist)