You’re damn right.
As I mentioned in the previous entry, I’ve been out of the writing for a while, but not totally out of the loop.
There are two main things to worry about, which I will just touch on briefly now and write in more depth at a future date.
The first is the continuing pattern of Trump coming out against the media: fake news, the enemy of the people, calling for violence against reporters, if not overtly. Just look at and talk like that. More on this anon.
The second is the continuing pattern of newspapers laying off staff writers. About two weeks ago, the New York Daily News dismissed half its staff. I was surprised to learn just how few :newsroom employees” they had there in the first place — just 85.
Yes, we always hear about declining ad revenues because people aren’t reading print anymore (blame the young people; I don’t know if my daughter has ever read a newspaper if she didn’t have to for a school assignment). A number of newspapers and magazines went through this purging process.
It certainly was different “in the old days” in which newsrooms were always overcrowded and bustling. Just look at this list of movies about the industry, some of which were based on fact, others fictionalized. Here’s another list. And one more from IMBD.
- All the President’s Men
- Citizen Kane
- State of Play
- It Happened One Night (there were a lot of newspaper-based movies during the Depression)
- His Girl Friday (A different take on The Front Page, which had several iterations)
- The Paper
- Absence of Malice
- Ace in the Hole (a number of newspaper films have to do with phony or embellished stories to make the writer look good)
- Deadline USA
- The Front Page (see above)
- While the City Sleeps
- Call Northside-777
Of course, you know my personal situation. If you don’t here’s a brief recap: started as a freelance writer with the NJ Jewish News. Looking for something more regular, I went in for what turned out to be an interview in the spring of 2006 and wound up leaving with a reporter’s position even though I had never done that sort of work before. After a few years as a writer, I was promoted to Arts and Features Editor during which time I established my eponymous blog, Kaplan’s Korner (which was selected as Blog of the Year for 2014 by the New Jersey Press Association).
I thought working for such a niche publication that I would be immune from the scourge that was plaguing the print journalism community but alas I was too naive. Sure enough, the paper was bought out and I was considered to have a redundant position. Not even the sports angle could save me.
Looking for work in the traditional world was pointless. A lot of my colleagues, who are far more talented than I, were in the same sinking boat. All I could find was freelance offerings that paid next to nothing and offered no benefits. Which is how I came to be at Trader Joe’s (and more on that later as well).