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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This sudden fear has left me trembling

People have asked if I am concerned about a backlash from reporters, considering that I can be rather critical of them in posts like:

LMK-i-A joins the editorial board
A shout-out to my peeps at the NYT
I'm a Real Journalist! And don't forget it!

My standard response has been that I believe most reporters would agree with me: lazy journalism is bad, cliches are bad, and so on. But a friend has gleefully reminded me that I am a traitor to the cause and that I selfishly turned my back on my former co-workers. Therefore, it is possible that we do not feel the same way about journalism.

I will allow for this possibility, so I am opening the comments box to my readers who are current or former journalists. You know who you are. I would like to know what you think about the state of journalism today. Please tell me if you think I have been unfair.

And remember: if you don't respond before my arbitrary deadline, I will assume that you are hiding something.


Cin said...

The state of journalism today is generally abysmal, especially any story that deals with religion or health scares.

It's because most people in the business are too busy thinking about themselves and making sure they all sing the song of non-conformity.

Oh, and the glut of journalists trained at sub-standard institutions (NOT King's or Carleton, those are excellent!) Oh, and the ones who are too lazy to do thorough research. (I'm a research nut.)

And was I the one who gleefully pointed out your defection?

(Imagine Darth Vader entering the room and...) Da, da daaaa, da da daaa, da da daaaaa.

Seriously Frivolous said...

I, too, am a former journalist and am now happy as a clam on the "dark side", which is a phrase I loathe hearing. We all have personal reasons for leaving journalism, and those of us who choose to do so for our own reasons should be scoffed at and told we're on the dark side. Just remember, you may have to come to us for information at some point. Hmmm, that sounds like a thinly veiled threat, and it's not supposed to be (ftr).

I think we former journos who are now in communications can offer a fresh perspective. We know what makes a good story good, we can anticipate your questions, and we will have patience. Because unlike other "flacks" who aren't former reporters, we have been in the trenches and know that you have a million stories on the go when you call us.

As for the state of journalism? I've seen better. But at least when they make their ridiculous cliches and mistakes, I have something to laugh at.

Seriously Frivolous said...

I would like to revise... I think we should NOT be scoffed at for our personal choices for leaving journalism. NOT scoffed at. Scoff again, and I will not be held responsible for my actions...

Cin said...


(Hi, hon, how's it going?)

I pick on Megan because I know it irks her.

Media relations and journalism are careers on a continuum, and I know that.

But I get irked that so many good journos leave and I get stuck with some mediocre ones who know how to schmooze.

I used to call Megan at her old employer every day; I know how useful a good PR person is. One of my gurus runs PR for the finance department in NB.

But there's no denying that PR is about telling one person's or organization's story, ad spinning it to their advantage whenever possible. There's nothing wrong with that. It's the job. And it's not the job for me, even though Megan keeps trying to persuade me. :-)

Anonymous said...

This is a rather simplistic statement: it's about choice. We chose to leave one profession for another. Journalists who go to PR are called sellouts because of the stereotypical feud that "exists" between journos and PR folks. Do you think folks exaggerate the feud to make life in a cubical more interesting?

One to Meg's question... state of journalism. I think the quality of journalism depends where you live: how competitive is the market, what does the public demand from its media, etc...