Am I Quitting Journalism?

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Biz, Fellows

I will not be stealing Brianne’s blog idea when i say that the business model canvas was the most useful ‘text’ to me in the first week of school. The 9 building blocks, as stated in the amazingly easy to digest “Business Model Generation” book, simplifies the cores of any new biz for an easy plan ahead.

Watch this video

It’s only been one class and i feel i’m learning a lot already about the vague world of business (thanks to the well-designed syllabi for EJP), but (and there’s always a BUT!) ….

Am i quitting journalism?

I’m learning new stuff and moving on to the next stage in my career where i run my own media organization but where is journalism in my life?

It’s been one year already since i started working on that project and today i find myself hardly working as a freelancer. I look at my archive for the past 6 months and see scattered stories that could have been done in one month altogether.

My start-up is a local news portal for Upper Egypt. And since i’m from Cairo and not from the targeted area, i will be doing everything from assigning stories to copy-writing but not producing my own stories. Hell, is that what i’m looking for?

I’ve been thinking it’s only a matter of time and when the project is up, i can still freelance. I will have a good team and good structure by then. Do you think i’m kidding myself?

Through the past year, i had to find a job with a secured fixed income that would also leave me time to work on my start-up. Apparently, this job cannot be journalism. So, i went for the other side >> PR/Media officer. Throughout the past year, I had 3 job offers declined; one at Yahoo News, another in a Japanese daily newspaper (Cairo office) and the third is at a newly rising Egyptian private news channel, considered to belong to the most independent TV network in Egypt.

I could never believe i declined this third offer. Not in a million years.

But I did .. for my project. Coz i know i wouldn’t have time for it if i join the team of a daily live talk-show.

I will be extremely happy seeing the success of my project, seeing i make a difference to this deprived area in Egypt and most of all seeing i make a difference in the lives of fresh media graduates in this marginalized region and the sense that i’m giving back to the community after all these years of opportunities and connections .. but .. where will be journalism in my life then? where is my name in a newspaper or a website?

I have no clue.. yet..!


  1. I know exactly what you mean about leaving journalism, and have had some of the same thoughts myself. I love telling stories, and I can’t help wondering if I’ll really have time for that if my own project comes fruition (freelancing is hard enough – I still miss being a regular presence on the air). And frankly, given the amount of work the course is generating, I’m already worried I won’t have time to do much reporting during these four months. The way I would try to look at it is that you’ll be heading up a valuable publication, and who knows what opportunities it may give you to report in the future? It’s hard to know now how things will work out, but you may end up doing a little of everything at your site, including reporting and writing.

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