Journalists on leaving the newsroom and trying something new

Milwaukee media writer Erik Gunn read “Out of the News,” a book about journalists “who found themselves forced by conscience or circumstance to leave the profession,” and decided to track down some local journalists who changed careers,outnews including Anne E. Schwartz, the first reporter inside of Jeffrey Dahmer‘s apartment after his arrest.

Schwartz, who left the police beat to become the police department’s spokeswoman, says her reporting background “helped me predict how certain issues would be covered and helped me design a response strategy” and gave her the skills “to analyze the problem without emotion and to provide strategic solutions.” (Her job was defunded effective Tuesday.)

At The Awl, Bethlehem Shoals tells how he decided last year “to give up freelance writing for an honest job in the world of advertising” after becoming a father.

bethIt’s not like I surrendered my soul for a cubicle in the nearest accounting firm. I still get to think up weird shit for a living and the place I work is hardly a button-down police state. Plus, I was never an ace with reporting and frankly, coming up with laudatory campaigns for athletes is probably closer to my strengths than that all-elusive “features writer” status was.

* Bye, bye byline (
* I broke up with writing (and it feels OK) (