In 2012, CareerCast listed newspaper reporter as the fifth worst job in America--slightly better than working on an oil rig, but worse than, say, waiting tables for a living. With this kind of negative publicity, one might expect that the well of talented, young publishing professionals would be drying up as recent graduates seek out careers in software or healthcare instead. Not so.
Perhaps more than ever, it is the younger generation that is leading newspapers to embrace sustainable business models, challenge conventional ways of thinking, and make this industry an exciting place to work again. Digital redesigns, paywall strategies, niche coverage opportunities, and unique advertiser partnerships are just a few of the ways this year's 25 Under 35 are leaving their mark on the business of selling news.
The 25 young men and women featured on the following pages do their work with a level of passion and excitement that exists in few other industries. Their commitment to their craft is what keeps the lights on at many newspapers, and the communities they serve are better for it. As always, we received more nominations than we could possibly include in one feature. And while each nominee had an inspiring story to tell, these 25 are representative of the type of talent this industry needs in order to thrive.
Maria Alejandra Bastidas has worked at Mundo Hispanico for nine years. She started as a reporter and was promoted to associate editor four years ago. She is responsible for news assignments and works with a team of four reporters covering local news of the Hispanic community in Atlanta. She also is an active writer for the finance, health, fitness, and education sections and was recently awarded second place in the 2012 McGraw-Hill Markets Reporting Program from the International Center for Journalists for her investigative reporting.
Bastidas is also responsible for the monthly parenting magazine Padres Hijos, a legal guide (Mundo Legal) a health guide (Mundo Salud), and a housing guide (Mundo Hogar). She appears on television channel Univision34 promoting the content of the paper and in a monthly interview with specialists discussing articles related to parenting.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY?
Be open to change and become a multimedia journalist. Since I started working, I have seen and lived firsthand the changes in the newspaper industry. Now, in addition to being a writer, reporters and editors need to be able to take photos, produce multimedia, edit videos, and adapt the content they produce to any platform (print, Web, mobile). I also believe that as leaders of newspaper companies, we need to be open to change and embrace new technologies and new ways of doing business.
WHERE DO YOU SEE ETHNIC MEDIA IN FIVE YEARS?
I see ethnic media growing and focusing en local content more than any other platform. Being a trusted media in the community we serve is what has made Mundo Hispanico a successful newspaper, I believe this relationship with our community will continue and become stronger as we reach more readers with websites and social media. I believe my readers will continue to read in Spanish and that a large portion of them will do so in a mobile platform, se we are preparing for that time.
MARIA ALEJANDRA BASTIDAS, 35
Associate editor, Mundo Hispanico, a division of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta
Education: Universidad Catolica Andres Bello (Caracas, Venezuela), mass communication
BROCK ENFIELD BERRY, 33 Vice president, AdTaxi Networks, Digital First Media Denver
Education: Indiana University, political science, minor in business and sociology
Brock Enfield Berry was named vice president of AdTaxi in October 2011. He has since led account base growth from 70 to 1,000 in 12 months, seen digital revenue grow, conducted digital AdTaxi training across multiple markets in the Digital First Media Network, developed an in-house social media team that manages 240 monthly accounts, developed a search advertising department that manages 200-plus accounts monthly, and helped DFM land outside affiliates for AdTaxi, including The Dallas Morning News. …