The title of this blog, “Journalistic Rants and Raves,” has never actually lived up to its name.
But after recent decisions have changed the trajectory of my path (at least for a while), I will, as of this coming Monday, have more free time on my hands. In other words, I decided to take a temporary leave from the Sagebrush. And in even simpler terms, I quit.
This decision will be fully explained in a later blog post…I’m going to be good and stick to the title: blogging about journalism.
With the Sagebrush out of the picture for a while, I’m going to have a lot more time to figure out why I’m going into this business, and I plan on sharing those thoughts with the world – or rather, the two or so people who read this blog.
I read about journalism all the time. Where it’s been, where it’s going, how people in the business feel about it, how newspapers are cutting more jobs every day.
If I expect to survive in this industry, my perception has got to change. In another blog years ago, I wrote:
I’ve just read what is to become of the newspaper I work for. And that’s very understandable, seeing as how technology is advancing and changing the world as we know it. I like the idea of having daily news available online, of having something more appealing to the eye so students will pick up and read it.
I just…well, I just want to know that for the next few years of my life, I will continue to work for a NEWSPAPER, and not some sort of evolved hybrid thing-y. I lost my eloquence with that last sentence.
I know that journalism, the field that I’ve been dreaming of working in for years and years, isn’t going to truly change, because the world will always need its gatekeepers and information. But is it so naive of me to want that to continue on long pieces of broadsheet?
I love newspapers. I love the feel of the ink smearing on your skin, the excitement of seeing your byline on a printed page and not on a screen, the anticipation as you slowly open the pages and browse through what’s in front of you. I’m a romantic. I admit it.
Things have changed since then. Don’t get me wrong – I still love newspapers. I’m still a romantic. For me, it’s a love that will never die, much like a teenager’s first love.
But if there’s one thing that the last couple of years has taught me, it’s that the world is changing at a faster rate than I could have imagined. People are losing jobs, technology keeps developing and the word “media” is evolving.
While reading a 2006 article by Jack Shafer, there was one part that stood at in particular:
The newspaper guild (again, reporters, editors, publishers) can’t compete by adding a few blogs here, blogging up coverage over there, and setting up “comment” sections. If newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters don’t produce spectacular news coverage no blogger can match, they have no right to survive.
What I want to do is not only figure out how to be the best journalist I can be, but save the industry, too. It’s a lofty goal, but I know I’m not alone in it.
And how do you do that? By starting with this generation, the ones that grew up with the MySpace pages and Facebook, with AIM and Twitter. You take them, you take their tools and you figure out how they consume media. You use that to your advantage. You fix the advertising problem.
All of that will be explored later, mostly because it’s almost 2 a.m. and I have to leave for the airport in 7.5 hours.
But to sum it all up in one point – newspapers may be dying…but journalism isn’t.
And I’m glad I finally get that.