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Home » An introverted journalist created a researched guide for other introverts in the industry

An introverted journalist created a researched guide for other introverts in the industry

“There’s always this notion, especially in journalism,” said Courtney Bublé, “that you have to be the loudest person in the room.”

Loud, Bublé is not. The Washington, D.C.-based staff correspondent for Government Executive (a publication covering daily government business) describes herself as an introvert, which for many in journalism seems to go against the image of a hard-charging, question-shouting press. It can be energy draining for introverts to engage in lots of social events, whether personally or for work, without breaks to decompress, and being the center of attention when asking questions at press conferences can require more thought or effort than for extroverts. But it turns out introverts can still be very effective, and at times, even more suited to the job.

Courtney Bublé, a Washington, D.C.-based reporter, created an online guide for journalists who are introverts. The guide was an innovation project as part of the 2022-2023 Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship. (Courtesy: Courtney Bublé)

When Bublé considered working on an innovation project as a 2022-2023 fellow in the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship, she knew she wanted to research how introverted journalists thrive in their careers. Early during the fellowship last fall she decided to work on a guide for working introvert journalists that focuses on insights as well as tips. The result, published just before the fellowship’s early-May closing summit is a web presentation called, “Saying the Quiet Part Loud: Introverts Can Be Journalists” at

Bublé began the project with some research she was already familiar with: Susan Cain’s 2012 book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” “the holy grail of works about introversion. She said (in the book) that there can be an overlap with being shy and quiet with introversion, but it doesn’t have to be those things.”

She also interviewed experts including McGill University professor Karl Moore, a researcher on the subject, and former Online News Association deputy director Irving Washington, who self-describes as an introvert and who’d previously delivered presentations about the topic.

The project also benefited from Bublé polling self-identifying introverted journalists via a Google Form, which provided additional information for the guide. “Talking to the experts and getting the survey results back really brought to the surface things like, oh yeah, I am a really good listener and it does make (journalism) easier.”

One respondent pointed out that introverts sometimes skip social events to focus on work like poring over documents or getting more work done at their desk. “That’s something I do sometimes,” Bublé said, “I never thought there’s a connection with being an introvert.”

The guide offers some strategies from experts, including the simple act of holding a notebook or focusing on the importance of a story when asking questions at a press conference. It also features a section for extroverts who might be reading up on ways to help introverts succeed at their work.

One extrovert who’s read the guide, Bublé says, was her mother, who gained some understanding of her daughter’s work. “She said she learned a few things about being a better listener and letting other people talk.”

The process of working on the guide, she says, was therapeutic. She hopes other introverts in the industry will embrace the information. “It’s really great to be able to help people with it and to let people know they’re less alone.”

This story is part of a series profiling innovation projects from the 2022-2023 Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship. The projects were presented at a May summit in Washington, D.C.

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