Hirt named one of ten must-know writers in media

Hirt named one of ten must-know writers in media

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 3:00pm
Jane Hirt
Jane Hirt, a CoJMC alumna, worked as the managing editor for The Chicago Tribune before taking a sabbatical and starting her own consulting business.

by Savanah Baker

Jane Hirt, a 1989 University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications alumna, was selected by LinkedIn Top Voices 2016 as one of the 10 must-know writers in media. The award is based on multiple factors including engagement, such as comments and shares, and follower growth.

Hirt is the former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune and is most proud of her piece “A radical sabbatical survival guide,” which has been read by more than 260,000 people.

“The Radical Sabbatical post started as my holiday letter to friends,” Hirt said. “People were curious about what I’d done since I left the Chicago Tribune, so I wrote an update. One of my friends who’d received it encouraged me to post it on Medium or LinkedIn, so I rewrote it to take out some of the personal things and posted it.”

The response to her piece was initially overwhelming, Hirt said, as it was the first time she’d gone viral.

“I know from professional experience about what happens when something goes viral, but when it involves you personally, it’s a little scary,” Hirt said. “I was lucky, though, that I was going viral for something positive. I enjoyed reading the comments, and eventually I read all 1,061 of them and responded to most.”

Hirt wrote the article not only to inform people of what she had been doing since leaving the Chicago Tribune, but also to record her thoughts about the year of experience she had while they were still fresh in her mind. It also helped her move on from her sabbatical.

She currently works as a consultant, assisting clients on a wide variety of projects including writing, strategic planning, communications and leadership development.