August 5, 2008

Beyond the buyout, beyond the bylines for journalists

I started this list of things to help me know others went on to new careers after the newsroom. Some left early, some left later. All are still living. Some happily every after.

Let's start with the St. Louis Magazine that took a look at 20 who left in 2005 in: They took the buyout and now some provide a community site that has moved.

Some choose to write out on their own. Here are two:
  • Mike Himowitz writes MikePluged In (Updated: In April 2009, we learned he's now deputy managing editor of MedPage Today, an online site that brings breaking medical news to doctors and medical professionals.
  • Downing's Views j are those of a journalist turned blogger. He often writes of politics, but he expands the topics sometimes.

Blog helps track ex-workers

A number of journalists from the Toronto Sun keep up with each other and the newspaper at the Toronto Sun Family blog.

Some folks move on - a film on the effects of buyouts. Update: The DVD is available now. The film description says "takes viewers inside disheartened newsrooms to document the devastation and into the community to learn what readers think of journalism’s fate."

A former newspaper photographer, Heather S. Hughes, writes about what he doesn't miss now that she's a wedding photographer.
"I don’t miss putting my heart and soul (and personal time) into a story that I thought was important to tell, only to see the photos never run in print and get posted online three days late, while getting no feedback or appreciation from anyone."
She also wrote about starting your own business, sharing what she learned in creating her photography business.

Former newspaper columnist and Hugo Award winner John Scalzi tells Eat, Sleep and PublishGood writers will always make a living Meanwhile, he's blogging at Whatever.

Find your own description

Some find different words to label the separation - hey, I've gotten used to buyout-funded sabbatical for me.
"Today begins what I call my "Katharine Weymouth Fellowship," and what the Post calls a "voluntary retirement incentive package." It was announced a scant month after the new publisher took over in February. This was her first buyout, but the paper's third in five years, owing to declining circulation and tanking ad revenue"

says Annie Groer in After the buyouts, the goodbye.
"In return for leaving, I got an adequate chunk of cash, an inadequate pension and a shot at re-invention. (Insert cheery boilerplate here...."I look forward to this new chapter of my life. I have several projects and a book to finish blah blah blah.")"

What some co-buyout-ers from the Washington Post are doing:
  • Sue Schmidt is now at the Wall Street Journal
  • Rick Weiss join the Center for American Progress.

The Huffington Post has more details, including photos.

Making your place in the world

And though Joe Grimm of the Detroit Free Press hasn't even left yet, he certainly has put together an afterlife with books on diverse topics like folk music and newspaper images, a blog on online recruiting and a visit to his first unconference. (Update: Joe left, started teaching in August 2008 at Michigan State University, among other things.)

When the paychecks stop, inspiration might come from this post on tips for being on the dole. Besides learning that beagles do not make good assistants, you'll learn about setting up your office and where to spend your time. (Hint: Networking). SB Anderson has started his own company since writing the post.

Watch out for you

Or perhaps a reminder to focus on self care when cutting the corporate cord.

Leaving the Working World? Watch Out For PISS: Post-Institutional Stress Syndrome by Elizabeth Coleman.

This post was updated Aug. 3, 2009, to update links and where some folks are today.
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