In today's media world, we have all become publishers as well as writers. This is a good thing in moving to the next, inevitable level...a level where we do more of our own thing and maintain more control of our artistic product.

However, many still aspire to and work within the corporate, publishing business. FOLIO magazine has done an excellent piece on ten of the new, young and upcoming publishing media stars (there are many others).

I'm posting this piece because it gives a neat insight into the positions and functions of the trending, corporate, publishing needs. It also explores where these young people came from and how they gained experience and what that experience consists of.

By Matt Kinsman, Jill Ambroz and Jason Fell of FOLIO magazine

While it’s natural to worry about how the publishing industry is going to attract the next generation of media leaders, the fact is the industry is already seeing a demographic shift, with younger people taking on more leadership roles.

FOLIO:’s 10 Under 30 looks at just a few of the emerging leaders in our industry. Some are the faces of their companies; others are toiling in the background but are redefining their organizations just the same. We’re impressed and we think you will be, too.

Jean Ellen Cowgill
Head of Strategy and Business Development, National Journal Group

Late last month the National Journal Group relaunched its content model, focusing on an aggressive daily digital business with 24/7 news, video and analysis, as well as a redesigned print magazine featuring an exclusive interview with President Obama.

Helping drive that strategy is 24-year-old Jean Ellen Cowgill, who joined National Journal Group about six months ago from consultancy McKinsey & Company in the new position of head of strategy and business development.

"I’ve worked across several areas—public and private and not-for-profit—I’ve been involved with account management and growth acquisition and I was also looking to sink my teeth into something longer term," says Cowgill. "I had conversations with [owner] David Bradley and [Atlantic Media president] Justin Smith and they developed an interesting role for me where I get to work on both strategy and business development and can get involved across different pieces of the business to figure out how those link together, particularly as National Journal embarks on its new strategy."

Cowgill led many conversations and planning sessions over the summer to coordinate strengths between print and digital (and to make sure no balls got dropped in the process). As National Journal becomes "digital-first," it’s going from putting out a couple pieces of online-only content per day to more than 100 pieces per day. "That has huge implications for the newsroom," says Cowgill. "Now it starts at 6am, rather than 9am or 10am for a print publication."

Next up, Cowgill and the staff will look at strengthening business development opportunities for The Atlantic and National Journal. That includes working more closely with partners like the Nuclear Threat Initiative to create a custom project called World Security Newswire.

"In an industry with a lot of rapid change, sometimes companies get pushed into that change," says Cowgill. "It’s happening to some extent in media, but here, people are really embracing it. Younger people in media look at it as a chance to think about things in new ways and create new platforms to reach people."

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