Moving into the terrifying new something

It’s been my experience that every now and then, you have to be terrified to really feel like you’re challenging yourself professionally. I haven’t felt terrified in a long time – until today.

I’m leaving the Huffington Post – my home for the last 10 months – to take on a challenge that’s so different from anything I’ve ever done, I want to start breathing into a paper bag just thinking about it.

I’ll be rejoining my old bosses from TBD – Jim Brady and Steve Buttry – at Digital First Media as a player-to-be-titled later. I’m excited to be “getting the band back together” – I felt that TBD had an excellent group of journalists that just never got the time to finish what we started. Maybe this is my chance to do complete some of those goals.

If you aren’t familiar with Digital First, it’s an exciting new company joining together Journal Register and Media News properties. The company includes papers from the likes of the Denver Post and Los Angeles Daily News to the Trentonian (in New Jersey) the (Lorain, OH) Morning Journal and tons of small dailies and weeklies all over the place.

I’m getting out of the business of running social media accounts and getting back to my local journalism roots. I’ll be working with local journalists all over DFM’s many daily and weekly papers to help them learn new digital practices and social media skills. I’ll also get the chance to be a part of local news again by working on special projects, digital strategy and breaking news at local properties and company-wide. It’s a change that’s a long time coming – and one I hope can get me back into learning as much as I’m teaching.

I also plan to still be writing here (hopefully more often) about what I’m learning, what’s going on in social/digital media and the occasional rant about Things on the Internet.

It isn’t a glamour move – I’m sure all of my Facebook subscribers will no longer find me exciting when I leave HuffPost – but I know I can’t stand still. I’m scared to death but also kind of relieved to get out of the social media editor game (more on that later). I still need to grow as a journalist – and the only way to learn to swim is jump right in. I hope you guys will be there to learn with me.

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  • http://www.greglinch.com greglinch

    Congrats! Glad to see on the twitters that you’ll still be based in DC.

  • Suzanne Yada

    Congrats Mandy! Sounds like an amazing new venture!

  • http://joeflood.com Joe Flood

    Good luck with the reunion! I talked to you briefly at What’s Next DC about TBD. I always thought it had a lot of potential which never got realized. Maybe now you’ll have the chance to do it right :)

  • http://twitter.com/AndyStettler AndyStettler

    This is great news! Glad to have your talents in the company. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to meet our digital first team here in Lansdale, Pa.

  • No

    oh dear… you really should rethink this decision. what a loser company this is…. I know, I worked there

    • http://zombiejournalism.com/ Mandy Jenkins

      I think I’ll take my chances, Mr. No (or is it Dr.?). But thanks. I like the people I’ll be working with and I trust them. If something doesn’t work out, well, at least I tried it. 

  • http://zombiejournalism.com/ Mandy Jenkins

    Thanks, guys!

  • http://twitter.com/brianbutts Brian Butts

    Congratulations Mandy and best of luck.

  • Tasha

    Congratulations!!!

  • Chris Graves

    What a wonderful opportunity. You are nobody’s scaredy-cat! You will, as you always have, knock them dead!!! 

  • http://twitter.com/jghellum Jennifer Gaie Hellum

    Very exciting news, Mandy! I know how highly Steve thinks of you and your journalistic instincts, so I’m happy for you that you’ll get to put that talent to new and creative uses. You and I talked at ONA/Boston about balancing an interest in social media with a need to still tell stories, so I’ll be interested to see what this opportunity brings for you. Best of luck!

  • http://twitter.com/MikeBoehmer57 MikeBoehmer57

    Congrats, Mandy!

  • Dlm2nd

    Congrats….your generation is one of “no fear” movement…I admire you for it and hope to see grat growth in your future!

  • http://twitter.com/TeachCoachCraig Craig Stone

    “I like the people I’ll be working with and I trust them. If something doesn’t work out, well, at least I tried it.”  — Hard to find fault with this Mandy. Go for it, and best of luck

  • Shane

    Congrats…

  • Cynthia Cotte Griffiths

    Congratulations! As someone who experienced the start up of TBD, I’m glad to know more of the gang is getting back together to do great things!

  • http://twitter.com/dailybreezeME Toni Sciacqua

    Welcome to DFM, Mandy! We’ll definitely put your knowledge to good use. Come out to LA and help us first!

  • http://www.spot.us digidave

    That’s awesome. I think it’ll be great to see that TBD band back together AND for you to do some crazy cool shit with Digital First.

  • http://twitter.com/earleyedition Dave Earley

    Digital First continue to gather the dream team! Good luck, and I’ll continue to look forward to the new business models they’re having a crack at. Go digital :)

  • Amy

    Mandy that is great. forge your own path, congrats

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