Niches and Newsrooms

By Finn Mennuti

Foothill College journalism class

When one thinks of the word “journalism,” generally an image straight out of the movie, “Spotlight,” comes to mind: a bustling newsroom, full of uniquely focused departments that each are engaged in researching and writing within the focus of their niche, all adhering to the strictest regulations of journalistic integrity and a hunger for the absolute truth. However, for Joshua Shields, a managing editor for the Association of Corporate Counsel’s magazine, The Docket, and other members of the trade press, which are arguably facets of journalism, this image is not entirely representative of reality.

Working for the legal trade press is a significant departure from what one might expect a traditional journalism environment to look like. “The organizations that I have been working for, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, they have stakeholders that you want to write for, and about,” Shields said. “We would not want to make a member look bad. There are situations in the business world that we report on, and compliance issues, things like that, and you can report on those, but you want to do it in a way that helps the in-house trade as a whole.”

Shields, a native of Maryland, became interested in journalism in high school. “I remember in high school, my high school would have copies of the Washington Post, and I would pick them up and would love just reading the different sections,” Shields said. “I think there is an innate curiosity to journalism that I really find appealing. There is a level of intellectual curiosity, where you can go somewhere and just ask questions and try to figure it out, and I like that.” (to be continued)

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