As social media and mobile devices reinvent how the masses get their news, mid-career journalists and seasoned reporters are scrambling to stay ahead of the technological changes in order to keep their jobs.

One Journalism Club Addresses Professional Development
Three years ago, the position of professional development was only a part time job at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. To stay current, the club switched the job to full-time and hired Beth Shankle for her expertise in social media. She was given the task to expand the journalism club’s offering to address the changing media landscape and to be the trainer for journalists. Today, the historical club has a long list of offerings including: how to use Facebook for reporting, Google Reader, blogger and foursquare. The club also offers Photoshop and final cut express classes. Shankle says the most popular program for journalists is Twitter for several reasons.

A Mid-Career Learns New Tools are for Branding
One journalist, Jen Haley, spent 12 years at CNN in New York City, mostly as a business news producer, before quitting her job last year after being selected for the prestigious Knight-Bagehot Fellowship at Columbia University. The all-expense paid one year master’s program for business journalists, puts fellows side-by-side MBA students and graduate level journalism majors. Haley, a 30-something, is surprise to discovery the 20-somethings she talks to want to be their own journalism brand.

Haley’s fellowship is over in May. While she has no student loans to pay, she does have a mortgage. She is looking to find a position with an established media company.

As younger journalists with their savvy social media and technology skills move into the shrinking journalism job market, demand for new professional development classes in particular, mobile device continue. Even Shankle, the social media guru at NPC, admits to only having a blackberry and says she needs to train herself before helping journalists at the club.

The bottom line is professional development is critical as the field of journalism is at a crossroad. If you don’t have the skills and abilities to use social media platforms or mobile devices, you can’t brand yourself to stand out from the clutter where the end product is being delivered, either on the web or by app.