“So, you’re crossing to the dark side”.
That was the initial response from some of my former Estates Gazette colleagues when I said I was leaving my job as News Editor to join JLL as a researcher – a typical accusation of any scribe that hangs up their pen to join the corporate world.
But after a brief discussion we concluded that the fields of journalism and research are converging, particularly in the case of the business to business (B2B) media and property research.
There are several former journalists who have previously made the move to property research, including JLL’s UK Head of Research, Jon Neale, who also used to work at Estates Gazette.
It is becoming an increasingly well-trodden path.
Data journalism, meanwhile, is increasingly prevalent at B2B publications in today’s digital era. Specialist correspondents are charged with sourcing and delivering reports rich in statistics and infographics.
Journalists have always needed facts and reasoned analysis if they want their articles to be taken seriously. But now, more than ever, they need to be able to source data and exclusive research to ensure their publications offer value and insight to their readers.
News rarely holds and is quickly old. This means editors rely increasingly on investigations and research to keep their publications fresh and informative each week. They need to be three, not two-dimensional.
Meanwhile, in what is an increasingly competitive and global property market, researchers and the organisations they represent need to deliver research effectively to their clients and also to a wider audience.
This means they need strong communication skills to enable them to publish and present their data in an engaging and informative manner, as was the case with JLL’s recent Supply Conundrum report.
The way in which researchers need to deliver their work to their audience has changed and is continuing to change. It is far from a simple data collection exercise and report writing. The multi-media world has put paid to that.
They now face decisions over how they should communicate their work, what elements they should focus on for their growing audiences and how often they should communicate.
Having the ability to question and take a market wide view of what is interesting is imperative to producing the right research to win credibility and garner the interest of current and potential clients – skills that journalists typically possess.