Tag Archive: why journalists hate their life

Someone shot up my friend’s workplace – and it should scare you as much as it scared him

On Sunday morning, someone took aim at the offices of the Lexington Herald-Leader, a major newspaper in Kentucky, and apparently shot the place up. Several windows were shattered and what appear to be bullet holes were found in other spots on the building, including in some windows on the press room. This was accompanied by a bomb threat at a newspaper processing plant down the road owned by another newspaper. It may have been a random act of violent vandalism, but I’m not so sure. A friend of mind works there. For obvious reasons I won’t name him. He’s shaken. He should be. He’s gotten threatening phone calls before — as a former small town journalist, I can say from experience that irrationally angry readers are…
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John Oliver, journalism, and why the Newspaper Association of America are morons

John Oliver, the Daily Show alum who has since moved to HBO and is winning fans across the ‘Net for his self-deprecating, funny, and sometimes insightful investigative pieces, recently did a segment on journalism in America today. Most of what he discusses is old hat to those who have been in the business for a while — I remember having these discussions with colleagues more than a decade ago and spending many years struggling (and failing) to convince a former employer to move into the 21th Century — but it remains a relevant and worthwhile discussion even today. Hell, even more today than ever. The stories I hear from friends still in the business are enough to make a grown man cry. Things are only made…
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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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Campaign season is the worst thing ever

Brutha, there is no more awful time of the year than campaign season. As many of you know, in my day job I’m a newspaper guy. I do the kind of things newspaper guys do. Right now, that means managing the coverage of two fierce mayoral elections. And let me tell you, my hatred for campaign season is the kind of hatred usually reserved for famine, pestilence, genocide, and Barbra Streisand. Not in that order. I’d go into details, but not in a public forum. Suffice to say that after 11 years of covering local politics, I’m more than a little jaded at the process and the people and all the little insanities that go into it. I aim to do a good job because…
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Do not pester the editor!

As some of you may know, I am an editor in my day job. That means I get plenty of letters, emails, faxes and calls from people who want to see their stuff in print. Press releases from marketing firms, mostly (I work in local newspapers), but other items, too. Let me share with you my least favorite call in the world: “I’m calling to confirm that you got my email?” Do not do this. I could go on a bitter tirade about why it’s irritating and why it’s unnecessary and why it defeats half the purpose of email, but I’m not feeling curmudgeonly today. Or at least, only mildly so. I don’t feel like ranting. So instead I will simply say: Do not do…
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