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Star Tribune's Gail Rosenblum: Evolution of a Journalist's Career

Sunday, April 22, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sophia Takano, student University of Minnesota
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 by Sophia Takano

Student in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota


Gail Rosenblum is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. In addition to teaching journalism students, she has a successful career as a columnist for The Star Tribune in Minneapolis. The majority of her reported content covers trends, social issues, and the complexity of human relationships.


Looking at her career now, it is difficult to think that Gail did not always want to be a journalist. As a young woman, she had always loved writing, but never realized that her passion could transpire to a paying job that would leave her ecstatic to go to work each and every day. It wasn’t until she was 18 or 19 that she finally realized journalism was the career path for her.


I always enjoyed writing as a kid, but I never connected the dots - I never realized that I could make a living writing. In college, a friend gave me a job at a newspaper. I wrote an investigative story and instantly got addicted to the thrill. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be a journalist.”


As Gail soon found out, paving out a career in journalism is no easy task. She made it a point to take any writing opportunity that arose, and attributes her successful career to the well-rounded writing experience she gained while she was young.


“The best advice I have ever received is to get experience - it will set you apart, and any opportunity you have, you should take. When I was first embarking on my career journey, I worked for political candidates, freelanced, wrote for nonprofits, and did anything I could to be a writer. Through this, I learned to be well-rounded and start small.”


Over the course of her career, Gail has seen the field change and evolve as more and more technology is introduced. Now, written work is published on websites, on social media, on radio, on television, and in the paper. All of these media channels increase the competition between journalists.


“I have seen so much change. The biggest change is the 24/7 news cycle. Journalism never sleeps - there are instant and constant updates. Young journalists now need to not only be concerned about other newspapers, but also about websites, radio, and social media. Technology brings so many competitors, which increases pressure exponentially.”


With these increased media sharing channels, the opportunity to report fake news is constantly escalating. Fake news often dissuades consumers from trusting news outlets, because it is difficult to discern what is real and what is not. Journalists work tirelessly to find “newsworthy” topics to report on. “Newsworthy” often has different meanings to each individual journalist. So how does Gail go about finding “newsworthy” topics?


“I like to go after people solving societal and personal problems. I don’t write about whiners. I love to talk about quiet heroes in society. These are the people who push against assumptions. These people are trying to make the world a better place, which is always a newsworthy topic in my book.”


These days, Gail finds herself writing more about traditional news coverage. She has been a columnist for The Star Tribune for 10 years, and feels she has reached the peak of her career as a journalist.


Becoming a columnist, everything came together. A columnist is seen as the last great job as a journalist. I love that I get to tell stories for a living. In my 10 years as a columnist, I have gained a depth of knowledge.”


In terms of keeping herself interested and excited about her job, Gail loves the opportunity to meet new people. Her career has made her more aware of what is happening in the world. To Gail, factual and ethical information is the key to good journalism, and she hopes the future generation of journalists values this as well.


“I hope the next generation of journalists keep striving to be thoughtful and respectful of the responsibility of being an ethical journalist. I hope the future journalists are not turned off by all of the noise and fake news. I hope they genuinely enjoy the profession. Most importantly, I hope they remember that being paid to tell people stories is a great way to make a living. I want them to continue to be curious.”


Gail Rosenblum’s journey is one that future journalists should aspire to follow. She was able to transform her passion for writing into a sustainable and successful career by getting as much experience she could and by taking advantage of every writing opportunity that came her way.



Editor’s Note: In support of the next generation of public relations professionals, we will feature articles written by students in our extended community. Many of you teach and have already seen the thoughtful insights offered by students. For those of you who haven’t, now’s your chance.


Students, want to learn more about the industry? Reach out to our student relations committee to learn how you can get involved in PRSSA and PRSA. Students involved in PRSSA gain access to professional development opportunities, scholarships, the opportunity to be published and more.


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