New by me in Campaign: journalists are still being culled from newsrooms, even in purely digital places such as BuzzFeed and Huffington Post, which once seemed to offer a shining path of hope. Clearly their model is broken, too.
But there is one place where opportunities are opening up daily for great feature writers and editors: company marketing departments. A search on LinkedIn reveals dozens of “Editorial Directors”, “Heads of Editorial” and “Managing Editors” in industries as diverse as banking, law, fine art and bedding.
Why? The growing need for advertisers and marketers for proper journalism to take advantage of the chance to talk all day to their audiences via their websites and social media. Companies today are in effect publishing trade magazines, curating an intelligent and entertaining conversation to build a reputation for knowing what they’re talking about.
Branded content, I say, is multi-disciplinary – and the hard part should be a job for the journalists who spent a long time learning their trade. This isn’t going to save the traditional media, but companies have understood what they need – and are saving a whole host of traditional journalists with great opportunities for work.