National Press Club Panel Will Help Reporters Become Flacks

Journalism: is there a future in it? Probably not, who knows? But if you're stuck in a thankless reportorial job and want to get down to the business of stacking the tall dollars, you have options -- just ask "veteran media scribe Richard Siklos," who is "joining Time Warner as a VP in corporate affairs handling external communications and advising on media strategy."

Siklos will report to Gary Ginsberg, a former top aide to Rupert Murdoch who joined Time Warner in the spring to head corporate affairs. He reports directly to CEO Jeff Bewkes.

Siklos brings to the job more than 15 years' experience chronicling the media and entertainment landscape. Most recently, he penned a column on Hollywood for the New York Observer while working on a book about Michael Jackson for Crown Publishing.


"Richard is among the very best journalists to cover the media industry over the past 15 years," Ginsberg said. "His breadth and depth of knowledge of our business, his strategic thinking and elegant writing style will be tremendous assets to Time Warner."

That's right, kids. When your dreams of making a difference have all but faded into an uncertain world in which you never know if you'll have the $75 you need to convince firefighters to extinguish your rapidly burning house, it's time to find a safe haven in the welcoming bosom of public relations. And if you feel like it's time to put your reportorial skills to work, helping someone dodge and weave their way around reporters, you're in luck! This Thursday, at the National Press Club, you can find out how to make the transition from journo to flack:

Four public affairs and communications professionals who made the transition from journalism will speak at a panel in the National Press Club's Bloomberg Room on Thursday, October 7, 2010 from 6-7:30 p.m. The former journalists will discuss how the skills they used as journalists help them in their new profession. They'll share tips about making a transition, and explain how meeting deadlines, perfecting copy, and relentlessly checking facts are skills that are as useful on one side of a story as the other. They'll also answer questions about training for outreach to former colleagues in today's new media landscape.

There will be plenty of opportunities for professionals and students to ask questions.

The panelists include:
- Jared Allen, Assistant Vice President, FD Public Affairs, formerly reporter, The Hill

- Keith Blackman, Blackman Media Solutions, formerly Director, Media Practice, Burson-Marsteller and White House producer, NBC News

- Mary O'Driscoll, Director, Division of Media Relations, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, formerly editor and reporter at E&E Publishing and The Energy Daily.

- Rob Doherty, Vice President, The Hatcher Group, formerly Washington bureau chief, Reuters, will serve as moderator

That sounds about right: a couple of Beltway refugees, a reporter who's gone from covering a beat to covering for the regulators on that beat, and some dude who used to work for Burson-Marsteller. Appropriately enough, the event is called the "Notes From The Dark Side" panel.

Operators, I guess, are standing by.

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