Rants

Why journalists hate their life, redux

A few days ago I shared why journalists hate life, namely, the sheer ineptitude of management that seems hellbent on driving papers to extinction, kicking employee morale in the face while doing it. This is an industry-wide problem that is killing newsroom after newsroom and making reporters, frankly, not really give a damn about their job anymore. Well, here’s another story, courtesy of KC Confidential: The Kansas City Star has told reporters Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann that one of them has to leave the paper, and they — not management — have to decide who goes. “Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it,” says a KCConfidential.com source. “And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn’s…
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Why journalists hate their life

It’s no secret that the world of journalism is in flux. I spent over a decade in the world of newspapers, those fussy, papery things created by ink-stained wretches, and while I can’t say I don’t have an extreme fondness for those old relics — I think they’re wonderful, actually — I can say that I don’t have an extreme fondness for the visionless people who so often run news organizations. My friends still in the news business don’t disagree. A good friend who is an investigative journalist with a fairly large regional daily has seen his office withering under layoff after layoff. Hey, that’s par for the course with the news business these days … but this story is beyond the pale. At his…
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Art does not require pain; joy is worth celebrating

I’m not much for the whole posting quotes thing, but this quote from Ursula le Guin’s award-winning ‘Those Who Walked Away From Omelas,’ which can be read in full here, strikes me as worth sharing: “The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain … But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” In the world of…
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Complaining about things I shouldn’t complain about, aka Writing can be boring

Leaning forward with a glass of bourbon and ice next to me, hair frazzled. A human drama plays itself out in the background, all loud voices and chaos, but I can’t pay attention because I’m under the spell of inspiration, and as those words hit the page each sparkles like a shiny gold coin. Each sentence is a hundred dollar bill constructed with the power of my words. The keyboard is on fire with the rush of my work. It’s invigorating. Nah. The above scene is bullshit. Writing for pay is not always interesting. In fact, sometimes it’s downright boring. Hell, it usually is. I can still remember a time when that thought would have seemed preposterous. Get paid to write? Like, money and stuff?…
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Small town nitwits try to harass writer out of teaching job

So here’s a story that got me steamed. Two “think of the children!” nitwits, Deanna Stepp and Wendy Apple, of Middleburg, PA, are raising a stink because a high school teacher there also writes romance/erotic fantasy novels. The teacher of 33 years — apparently well liked and respected by her students, according to a Facebook page in support of her — writes on her own time, and does so under a pen name. But according to these two moral crusaders: “We are not questioning Mrs. Buranich’s teaching credentials. We are not even questioning her ability as a writer … . What we’re questioning is that the two jobs are not compatible with one another.” That’s according to Stepp. Oh, and it gets better. According to…
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