In a popular article entitled “Dying Careers You Should Avoid,” Yahoo News reporter Terence Loose lists five occupations that a changing economy will leave in the dust. It’s not all gloom: Loose, who knows a bit about transitions, happily suggests substitutes for each. Desktop Publishers should become Graphic Designers, Insurance Underwriters might consider Accounting. It’s one of those articles designed specifically to get fear-clicks–people to take a quick look to make sure they’re not on the wrong side of the future.
Loose must have scared himself with his story. Because Dying Career #2 is “Reporter.” What should old hacks transition into? The article recommends that they become “Public Relations Specialists.” Labor Department figures support the recommendation, but it’s disturbing to read. A reporter actually does the opposite of what a PR person does. A good reporter tries to uncover important facts and stories, inform the public, and help ensure that people have the information they need to make intelligent decisions about everything from their elected officials to the products they buy. A PR specialist does this: “evaluate advertising programs, write press releases, and communicate with the media and public to promote a company’s public image” (description: Department of Labor).