Monday, March 21, 2016

Veteran Older Reporters Are Being Forced From the Profession — Wahhh!


From Robert Stacy McCain, at the Other McCain, "Fear and Loathing: ‘Kazika the Mad Jap’ Could Not Be Reached for Comment":

Wahhh! photo waaaah_zpszmc43gid.png
Here’s a headline:
What Happens to Journalists When No One Wants to Print Their Words Anymore? As newsrooms disappear, veteran older reporters are being forced from the profession. That’s bad for journalism — and democracy.
Please shut up. Nobody feels sorry for you, and probably nobody should. The idea that people are entitled to be employed in whatever field they choose to pursue, and that once they get hired, they then have a “right” to keep that job — that is what’s bad for democracy.

Newspapers were my life for more than 20 years. Deadline after deadline after deadline — from 1986 to 2008, that’s what it was about. From the day I talked myself into a job as a $4.50-an-hour staff writer at a tiny weekly in Austell, Georgia, until the day I quit the Washington Times after a decade as assistant national editor and Culture page editor, my life was all about deadlines. It was a job I loved except for when I hated it, but one scam I never bought into was the lofty illusion cherished by the Professional Journalism types who insisted that the rotten pay and miserable working conditions of the typical newspaper reporter were justified because we were doing What’s Good For Democracy.

Bovine excrement.

We were doing what was good for the advertisers and the publisher, and any benefit to Democracy was strictly incidental. Long before the Internet made it possible to have “metrics,” as they say, of reader interest, I realized that there was a disconnect between (a) the average journalist’s conception of his job, and (b) what most readers actually wanted to read. Two or three decades ago, there was a lot of puffy nonsense — the kind of stuff you’d read in Columbia Journalism Review or the monthly American Society of News Editors (ASNE) bulletin — about “community service” and “investigative journalism” and so forth, all of which amounted to your mother telling you to eat your broccoli.

Every major metro daily in the country was piling manpower into the kind of five-part “investigative” series (or “enterprise journalism”) cynics used to call “Pulitzer bait.” This always seemed to involve a pet liberal crusade — racism, environmentalism, homelessness, etc. — that would appeal to the sensibilities of the Professional Journalism types who think of their jobs as What’s Good For Democracy: “Eat your broccoli.”
Keep reading for "‘Kazika the Mad Jap’."