22 Mar

This blog struck a chord. I relate to a lot of it, although I never worked for a newspaper, I think the same can be said of many news organisations these days, sadly. Paragraphs 9-11 are the pertinent ones for me and one reason why I ended up leaving my job in the newsroom a few years a go. Newspapers, radio stations, TV, ‘digital content providers’, many seem to fall victim to the lure of ‘more hits, more clicks’ rather than investing in a real story.

Although, when perusing job sites, the ones that always appeal are journalism/media related, I know the reality of many of these roles. ‘Fast-paced, deadline-driven, never a nine-til-five environment’ can be translated as ‘expect to work around the clock with no extra pay in a sausage factory, churning out regurgitated press-releases and wire copy for an audience we believe has no interest in news other than what Britney Spears ate for breakfast.’

Someone who commented on this blog, described it like dating an abusive boyfriend. I think they have a point:  You love it, you keep going back for more, hoping it will love you back, but eventually, it saps the life out of you.

Sticky Valentines

Here I am interviewing a Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue official.

I get asked two questions several times a week, and I brush off both with a verbal swat.

One — because I’m in my late 20s, I suppose – is when are you getting married? And the other, because it seems like small talk, is why did you leave the newspaper?

I could answer both with a single word: Money.

But I usually deflect the marriage subject, wrongly justifying it as an acceptable passing question, with a practical reason: I’m not eager to have children. And I answer the news question with something to which my audience can nod along: “It didn’t seem like a sustainable career path.”

But that’s a cold and detached answer. I don’t feel cold and detached about news, and I only give that response under the assumption that people don’t want to hang around for the full story – ironically, the same reason newspapers aren’t really working anymore.


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