Becca Aaronson is the director of product at Chalkbeat, a nonprofit education news organization. She was the first product manager at The Texas Tribune when she graduated from Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media in 2018.
There are days when I don’t feel good at my job. Then something will remind me of the positive impact I’m having.
As the director of product at Chalkbeat, I’m fortunate to work in a supportive newsroom that is successfully finding ways to sustain local journalism. But when you’re in an untraditional newsroom role like me — product manager, engagement producer, digital editor, any other kind of “bridge role” — part of the job is driving organizational change. No matter what, it’s hard.
More of these roles are emerging as newsrooms recognize the need to change. We need to break down silos to find holistic solutions that sustain our industry.
Product managers are the original silo breakers. The field emerged in tech companies to bridge the divide between marketing and technology teams, and represent the voice of the consumer throughout product development. Ultimately, product managers are responsible for the success of a product, as it’s their job to find balance between audience needs, business objectives and technology constraints to deliver products people love.
In journalism, everything we create is technically a product — individual articles, beat coverage, podcasts, live events, the CMS — and it’s someone’s responsibility to ensure those products are successful. The job of a product manager isn’t to have
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2019/cohort13/