Ask a journalist about the state of the media, and chances are you’ll get an answer full of doom and gloom. Circulation is down. Ratings are down. Advertising revenue is falling. Editorial staffs across the country are being cut. As journalists, we like to blame profit-hungry corporations for the decline in jobs.
Before you begin reading this, take a few seconds to flip through this issue of Quill – if you haven’t already done so. Notice anything different? The drab black and white pages, and the static layout that often accompanied them, are gone.
A former editor once told me that news is what people are talking about. The older I get, the more I understand it. And that’s unfortunate. People talk about Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart. They talk about Scott Peterson and the BTK killer.
Sometimes I question the usefulness of journalism schools. Being a former newspaper manager, I know I’m not alone. It’s a common concern. My experience is that more and more students are graduating without the basic journalism skills needed to succeed in their first job.
June 30th, 2005 • Quill Archives
Judges knew my future all along, but I didn’t listen
I was at my desk, working on a sports feature, when the scanner silence broke. A worker was trapped in a ditch. There were only two of us in the office, and at a small weekly newspaper, beats don’t really matter that much.
May 2nd, 2005 • Quill Archives
Journalism gives us freedom to pursue our passions
We’re pretty lucky to be journalists. Yeah, I know. We are so lucky that most new journalists earn just above the poverty level, often working nights and weekends, no less. And how much luckier can you get than that 2 a.m.
April 1st, 2005 • Quill Archives
For many journalists, life is a conflict of interest
The toughest lesson I learned during my eight years in newspapers was a simple one: Life is a conflict of interest. As a member of the local media, I couldn’t openly support a presidential candidate. I couldn’t run for my local school board.