October 03, 2011

Small markets, big careers

"Downsizing is the new normal in journalism, whether it means going from staff to freelance or from covering a larger market to a smaller niche," writes Nicole Martinelli on IJNet.org.

She interviewed Gregg McLachlan, communications consultant and author of the 2010 book Big stories, Small towns: The essential journalism guide for working and thriving in smaller markets.

McLachlan, who runs WorkCabin Communications in Ontario, Canada, advises journalists in small towns to not get too comfortable from the lack of competition. "Try not to follow into a trap so common in smaller markets too -- getting too comfortable and going to the same sources time and again... Yes, you may be in a smaller market, but there’s still a big community of sources out there," he said in the interview.

He also echoed themes heard in COMJIG sessions during the last two AEJMC conventions, where the role of digital media in community journalism has been discussed.

"In many smaller markets, the web and social media continue to be tools that are not being used effectively," McLachlan said. "There is still that mentality that the 'newspaper comes out tomorrow, so read the whole story then.'"

Read the full interview at IJNet.org.

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