Interviews and Webinars

Qwoted is committed to exploring the current state of the media by speaking to industry leaders and educating future generations of media professionals. What has social media and technological innovation brought to the table? What can we expect for the future of journalism?

John Egan

Since his school days, John Egan has had a passion for working in journalism. Upon graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in the field, he embarked on a 20-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor. In 2006 he began working as a freelance writer and in-house content marketing specialist. Today Egan writes for outlets including Experian, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report,, Bankrate, FinLedger, and CultureMap. His hope is that people pursuing careers in journalism adhere to high ethical standards, value accuracy in their work, and remain resilient.

What advice would you give to aspiring young writers and reporters?

JE: Be open to new opportunities. When I was an aspiring writer, I never would have imagined being a business journalist. But covering the business community has proven to be extremely rewarding and valuable. It feels as though I earned a mini-MBA.

Which aspects of your work do you find the most challenging? The most rewarding?

JE: The most challenging aspect of my work is keeping up with the business side of being a self-employed writer. Things such as business development, invoicing, paying taxes and so forth were not taught in journalism school! The most rewarding part of my work is the sheer variety. One minute, I may be writing about a new restaurant opening in the Texas Hill Country. The next minute, I may be covering the cancellation of a proposed corporate merger. I’m constantly learning.

What are some of the best practices from journalism’s past that you feel need to be utilized now?

JE: You’ve likely heard this before: Trust but verify. I’ve been provided with inaccurate information by CEOs and identified inaccurate information from companies’ websites. Over time, I’ve learned that it’s critical to double-check information, even if it appears to be correct. Trust your gut. If a piece of information is the slightest bit questionable, be sure it’s accurate before publishing it. In this era of “fake news,” it’s more important than ever to get your facts straight.

The profession of journalism feels more attacked today than in a long time, but also highly necessary. Do you feel that’s true, and if so, why?

JE: Folks in the news media have been attacked for decades, if not centuries. But the noise surrounding journalism these days is louder than ever, as Americans become more politically polarized. That being said, journalism is especially vital at a time when the profession experiences tremendous societal and financial pressures.

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