When Patch laid me off along with many other editors last May, I remember thinking I should have left sooner.
I received a severance but then faced tough competition from dozens of downsized journalists, all chasing after what seemed at the time like precious few journalism jobs.
Economic conditions have improved since last year. I see more listings on Poynter, JournalismJobs, Mediabistro, Gorkana and other job boards. Still, the number of opportunities won’t match the hundreds of Patch and Time Inc. workers laid off lately.
Journalists who have not sought employment recently may be shocked at how drastically the jobs landscape has changed. The market they are walking into won’t be the one that greeted them when they first got their J-school degrees.
Digital skills these long-timers told themselves they’d get around to learning are often what employers are seeking today. Beyond writing for the Web, video editing, and social media knowledge, employers want those with high level technical skills like programming, data visualization, mapping and other abilities that require concentrated study to acquire.
Patch employees accustomed to the daily demands of multimedia reporting might have an advantage in today’s job market. But I suspect they, too, may want to pick up skills that are more in demand now than even three short years ago.… Read more