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Posts Tagged ‘Drew Davis’

This continues my series on professional networking.

I credit my skills and hard work for most of the success I’ve achieved professionally. But my professional network has helped tremendously, too.

In this post, I’m going to run through the jobs I’ve landed and explain how my network helped me get most (but not all) of the jobs in my career:

Because my mother read the newspaper …

Chuck Offenburger, right, gave me my first job in journalism back in 1971.

Chuck Offenburger, right, gave me my first job in journalism back in 1971.

I was on a canoe trip in the summer of 1971, between my junior and senior years of high school, when my mother read a notice in the Evening Sentinel that Sports Editor Chuck Offenburger was looking for a sports writer. I didn’t know Chuck, and had no network connection to him. But Mom called the notice to my attention. I applied and I got the job (and Chuck and I remain friends).

But the network connection that mattered here was my mother. I’m not a fan of nepotism or family interference, which didn’t happen here. Mom didn’t even know Chuck. But she tipped me off to the first job of my journalism career. And Mimi has alerted two of our sons to opportunities that led to jobs for them. Listen to your mom. (more…)

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American Press Institute logoI have been expecting some sort of change for the American Press Institute for more than a year. But today’s news that API is merging with the Newspaper Association of America Foundation still hit me with a wave of fondness and nostalgia.

I won’t speculate on the future, except to express my hope that the new organization serves the news business as well over the next 65 years as API has for the past 65. And to hope that it continues to employ my remaining API colleagues.

And I won’t dwell on the decline of API. It serves the newspaper industry, which has been in a freefall. I don’t know what could have been done to prevent the decline of an institute tied to an industry whose primary revenue source was declining. I have noted before that the industry did not do enough to follow the advice we presented in the Newspaper Next project. But I wish some newspapers would have tried everything we advocated. I think the business and API would be doing much better. (more…)

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I offer sincere congratulations and best wishes to Drew Davis, who is retiring after eight years as president of the American Press Institute.

When Drew scheduled an interview with me in February 2005, I presumed it was just a courtesy interview: he scheduled me for only an hour.

The interview came at my initiative. I heard through a friend at API that Drew was going to be hiring someone to direct “tailored programs” (customized training and consulting for specific organizations). I had been a discussion leader for four API seminars, but had never met Drew. I started going to API seminars before he took over as president. And when I was in Reston, Va., for a seminar, he was always traveling. And one of the seminars I helped with was in Pomona, Calif.

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I have recently gained experience from both sides in job-hunting in digital journalism.

First I spent nine months looking for my next gig, landing at TBD as Director of Community Engagement. So I studied the issue from the hunter perspective. More recently I have filled five positions on my community-engagement team (hope to fill one more position before long). I have screened more than 100 applicants and interviewed more than a dozen. (more…)

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I knew a lot about journalism in 1997. I was 26 years into an exciting career, enjoying a rewarding run as a reporter following success as an editor. But I’ve redirected and rejuvenated my career twice since then. Those efforts led me to opportunities and success I could not have imagined 13 years ago.

From 1997 to 2005, I consciously developed my skills, experience, connections and reputation in the field of journalism training, eventually getting a full-time job in the field. I was always interested in innovation and took steps in the mid-1990s to learn digital skills. Starting in 2006, I made digital innovation my primary pursuit and have consciously developed my digital skills, experience, connections and reputation (I still have a lot that I need to do). That pursuit led to two new jobs, first as editor of The Gazette and gazetteonline and now I’ve left the newspaper business to join a digital local news operation in the Washington metro area. (more…)

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