I'm shamelessly robbing this cartoon I saw on Sheena Goodyear's blog, who in turn robbed it from the Shortpacked web cartoon.
I ceased being a print reporter in 2005 and it was a hard decision at the time. I was burnt out, but I hated the notion of giving up. It felt like I was quitting. But 18 months later it looked like a stroke of genius once the Express folded. People asked me if that was why I quit....if I knew what was going to happen to the paper. I'd like to take credit and say that, yes, I'm exactly that clever and that I could see it coming. And while I certainly knew the new management seemed to have an ambivalent attitude towards the long-term survival of the paper, I never would have dreamed they would kill it so quickly after I left.
Just like in much the same way I knew the future of print journalism was going to be shaky as the internet grew to be a more popular way to read news, I never dreamed 3.5 years after I quit being a reporter I'd be watching major US daily newspapers threatened with folding. That I'd be reading stories about how much trouble The New York Times is in. It's thoroughly surreal.
So I do feel bad for print reporters, especially ones like Sheena who are just starting out. Granted they're lucky in some ways that they're young enough and familiar enough with technology that they can adapt. Still, it's a sucky world to be heading out into looking for a reporting job, especially if want to focus on writing as oppose to radio or TV.
I suspect reporting is going to look a lot different in five years time than it does now. I'm not certain what it's going to look like, but as long as it's still good journalism, I'll be happy.
1. The glory of the 80s - Tori Amos
2. It takes one to know one - The Donnas
3. Blue happiness - Andrew LeDrew
4. 40 (live) - U2
5. Lovers in a dangerous time - Bruce Cockburn*