Changing Media Landscape Means Same Job, Many Hats for Journalists
Journalism | March 14, 2010
Like many people, she loves food and hates to exercise. But on a daily basis, Kristen Browning-Blas has to blend the two in her jobs as a food writer and the fitness editor at the Denver Post. Juggling more than one job is commonplace for the 1985 CSU Technical Journalism grad, as newspapers face dwindling ad revenue and circulation numbers. “We are being asked to do more with less and to take a pay cut as well. I have always been one of the most positive people in the newsroom but I have to admit, we are at a low point.”
Like many journalists, Browning-Blas has had to adapt as the newspaper world continues to see the end of traditional media giants. “After the Rocky Mountain News closed and some layoffs here at the Post, our features editor moved to the city desk and as part of the reshuffle, I was asked to run the Fitness section,” said Browning-Blas, who notes that both morale and profits now are improving at the Post.
Browning-Blas’ journalism career started when she working as a temp in downtown Denver. It was there she noticed the Los Angeles Times had an office on the same floor. She sheepishly hung out in the hall until she was able to strike up a conversation with an editor getting on the elevator. That eventually led to her position as an assistant at the New York Times Denver bureau and a features writer for Denver magazine.
After a stint living overseas with her husband in Santiago, Chile, Browning-Blas answered an ad in the Denver Post, and she landed a job as a food feature writer. Two years later she moved up to food editor. From there she oversaw the development of the new food section–giving it more of a voice and identity within the paper. A few years ago the section won the prestigious national James Beard Foundation award for best newspaper section in their circulation group.
As for the future, Browning-Blas said, “We have a chance to save ourselves, remake our product, but we need energy and inspiration to do that.”
For Browning-Blas that inspiration is more likely to come from a good plate of pasta, than the treadmill.
Sarah Pooler, JTC Instructor and class of ‘86