Falling in love with journalism despite the haters

Posted On March 14, 2024

Why would anyone want to go into journalism these days? It’s a consolidating industry where the jobs are decreasing, and the public seems increasingly hostile toward the profession.

But people are still going into journalism, whether they be college students or others joining the trade later in life. Our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” is someone who transitioned into the field from the financial industry, and considers herself lucky for having done so.

Jill Schlesinger is a certified financial planner who moved into media and is now a business analyst at CBS News. She is a multi-platform journalist who also has a radio show, a podcast and a website, jillonmoney.com. And while the inevitable haters have led her to avoid social media, she’s glad to be where she is.

“I walked into the CBS broadcast center this morning, and for all the negative news about media, about news people and about journalism, I walk in that building and I can’t believe how lucky I am,” she said.

Attracting haters comes with the job, she said, recalling that she was once called a “capitalist pig” and a “socialist tool” over the same segment. But for her, the benefits still outweigh the negatives. She sees people making a difference in the industry every day.

The bigger challenge facing journalism, she said, is how difficult it has become for most people to make a living at it.

“It used to be you could have a pretty comfortable middle-class to upper middle-class lifestyle working at a newspaper, whether it was a local or a national; working at a TV station, locally or at a network; working at a radio station,” she said. “And there’s just far fewer jobs. And the pay has essentially gone down.”

Schlesinger, who also has a new book titled “The Great Money Reset,” advised anyone looking to make a mid-life career shift, whether it be into journalism or anything else, to run the numbers and make sure you can afford to do it. It may be more practical to try it as a side hustle first, to see if you can make it work – and if you like it.

“Give yourself permission to experiment and see what you like,” she said.

It’s also OK, she said, to give yourself a break for occasionally doing something irrational with your money.

“Really the dumbest thing is to think this is just math,” she said. “It’s not a math problem, because everything in your life is emotional. … We have to make a lot of decisions in our lives that touch our money, and we tend to be kind of mean to ourselves.”

Categories: Blog, Financial Services, Wealth, What's Working with Cam Marston