Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - New Career for Journalists? Write for PaidContent

« Delivering an Experience | Main | How a Blog is Born »



That is an astute observation. What I have been seeing is that as individuals we are now wearing many more hats - at least we are aware of them increasingly more. We are employees and consumers and investors all at the same time.

With the advent of social media we are also increasingly both marketers and consumer advocates, part interpreters and part reporters of what we see happening in the marketplace. This is good. So while it is difficult to sit in many camps, we are already doing it - many of us are anyway. I hope I do a decent job of wearing the external hat here ;-)

Journalists are getting paid, yes? Many also admit that objectivity is a myth - they do have an angle for every story. Recruiting will be a challenge in that young professionals have learned to live with wearing different hats already. Good food for thought.

Interesting dialogue. An observation ...

It seems to me that there are really three functions/disciplines when it comes to writing (i.e., reporting, journalizing, blogging, spinning, whatever the medium) in the commercial/business ecosystem (excluding non-commerical social media for a brief moment):

> Marketers - who want to communicate value, influence behavior and drive commerce/profits

> Investigators/consumer advocates - who stand opposed to marketers and who work to debunk unfounded claims (often as journalists)

> Analyst commentators - who intermediate between the two and who opine on the interacting claims of the two (and who generally regail and entertain as the only party that is not religiously aligned in the battle for the consumer)

The question that has always been in my mind is -- again, regardless of the medium -- whether one person can do all three ... or at least more than one.

I argue it is impossible to sit in all three camps successfully and at the same time because the roles and goals are nonaligned. Even sitting in two camps at the same time is nearly impossible in my view.

This is why I believe that a former journalist does not make a good corporate PR/MARCOM person and vice versa. It is also why successful marketing professionals often cannot break out and see things as an external observer. It is also why both camps cannot necessarily become commentators. You get ingrained in a way of thinking and you cannot really ever wear the hat of the other (even if you are borrowing it for a day or two). You lose your empathatic powers outside of your realm.

I'm sure some will disagree. And I do believe there are exceptions, but I also believe that this generalization holds H2O.

So the idea of whether the world of paid content will intersect with traditional media/journalism and/or come together in terms of 'feeding the beast' ... I think it's impossible. Doing so crosses an aisle that - holistically - crosses impenetrable boundaries. Aside from altering the space-time continuum, it is just painful for either party.

Now, will roles morph and change over time? Undoubtely, but the polarities -- the roles -- outlined above are ones I don't think are going away anytime soon, and (to me) that means that each type of communication venue (e.g., marketing) will have to recruit and grow its own.


Thank you for sharing the link. I am familiar with Mark Glaser's work and I agree with your assessment. As for the consistency in teaching, that's a bigger conversation. Part of me thinks that students are not taking advantage of their teachers - they are not pushing to learn what they need, sometimes they study just for the exam. If they demanded to learn about social media, the schools would have to get with the program, so to speak.

Today it is everything but business-as-usual. Then again, it always was and those who prepare for change tend to be ahead of the pack.

"I don't see them as a threat to each other inasmuch as they might be a threat to larger tech and business focused publications, if those publications do not hire journalists who get the medium." Indeed!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


As seen on

Advisory Boards

Marketing that makes business sense


Book Reviews

  • Conversation Agent participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. It provides a means for Conversation Agent to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.

Comment Policy and Social Guidelines

  • This is my blog and not a public space. Critical discourse is welcomed. However, inappropriate comments will be deleted. See my social guidelines for reference.


  • The opinions blogged herein represent only those of Valeria Maltoni and do not reflect those of her employer, persons or companies mentioned herein, or anyone else.