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Is it worth it anymore?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mark2010, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    The struggles facing the media industry --- the print media, in particular --- have been well-documented on this board. Layoffs. Furloughs. Pay cuts. Shrinking news hole. Earlier deadlines caused by off-site printing. Severe cuts in travel.

    Given these factors, is working in the business worth it to you personally any longer?

    When I made a decision to enter the industry back 20-plus years ago as a university undergrad, it was sparked by a desire to attend and cover events, meet interesting people and tell their stories and travel. It was NOT sparked by a desire to sit an office, take dozens of phone calls each night, listen to gripping parents and occasionally cover a high school or little league game. Now, before someone rips me as being a prima donna, let me say that I have spent YEARS doing all of the above, paying my dues (with interest) many times over. Covered 8-man football and little league baseball, youth hockey camps and triathlon. Nothing wrong with any of that in and of itself. But neither was it or is it my reason for selecting a profession.

    If this is what newspaper journalism has become, is it really worth the personal sacrifices (hours, pay, etc.)?
  2. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Given the manner in which you framed the question, you already know the answer.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

  4. Maybe Mark should go work for Gallup ...
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    are they hiring? I have considered working for the census people. Make more money there than at some newspapers. Go around interviewing, collecting and sorting data. Isn't that what a lot of us do in journalism?

    Seriously, one of the things I love about SportsJournalists.com is to be able to read from brothers and sisters at papers large and small what is happening in their world, personally and professionally. We may not always agree and that's fine, but it allows us to see differing points of view, different experiences and see things in a different light.
  6. I ask myself this every day.

    This isn't the job I signed up for.

    I can't remember the last time I wrote enterprise or spent time fleshing out a story, worked my ass off to get that one extra quote I felt like I needed to make a good story great, sat around and bounced story ideas of my boss, had an interview that left me exhilarated and eager to sit down and write.

    But I still work with people who give a shit and are doing all they can to put out a section that people want to read, despite declining news hole, reduced staff and dwindling resources. And as long as I'm getting paid to cover events and write about people, I'm going to put everything I have into it. I don't know any other way.

    I still love the nuts and bolts of what we do - talking to people and trying to get interesting stuff out of them and then sitting down and writing.

    But those moments where you just read through something you just wrote and feel so fucking good about it ... I rarely get those moments anymore and it kills me. What's happening to our industry kills me.
  7. This sounds like a 'you' problem. Why is it the industry's fault that you're not writing stories you feel good about? That's what gets me through the day.
  8. like i said ... space, resources, budget ... kind of tough to spend an extended amount of time on a project, then write 350 words
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Is is worth it? Hell no.
    But it beats digging a ditch and i've done that before.
  10. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Certainly didn't think you meant the United States Census . . . decidedly part-time, intemittent (to say the least) work, with no bennies, and a position where outside workers might bring home
    $18/hour tops, before taxes.
  11. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    I worked as a census re-canvasser while in college. I came to dread it, especially when there were big Irish families on my list...
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Try big Amish families.
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