#Muckedup chat Tuesday: what's wrong with journalism?
Staggering daily quotas. Low wages. Downsizing.
I don't want to be a downer, I really don't, but our business has a lot of problems. A few months ago, folks were excited about what seemed like an uptick in hiring, and of late, news of expansion at places like The Verge, the new Glenn Greenwald venture, and journalism endeavors like the Knight-Mozilla Open News project are all good signs. They truly are.
But what's not as pleasant are the day-to-day wars journalists fight everyday. And those problems are engrained much deeper in the very make up of what the press has become. Every day journalists fight battles that the general public will never know about: the stress and pressure to pump out content under challenging conditions, break news, and even find stories. And for editors, dealing with the production of posting, filtering copy and running a website can feel like running a daily gauntlet.
To be a success today, "you have to want to be jacked into the Internet all day long, every day," The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal said earlier this year. He's right, but it's that in and of itself is what's in part wrong with the setup. When you spend all over your life online, how much of a life can you have offline?
Now I'm not advocating for less work, because I know it's unrealistic. And I don't have an answer how to change things, revolutionize advertising or bring us back to an age where there wasn't so much competition. I'm here to point attention to what I see as a problem and stir some debate. To get smart people talking is the first step to change, although in this respect, there can't be a more daunting uphill battle than changing the culture of an industry.
I consider myself to be a hard worker. Part of me gets off on the output and production of writing, and I definitely have an ego when it comes to publishing. But recent personal events have made me do some serious reflecting on my own life — and sometimes I find myself neglecting other parts that are just as important, if not more, than my career. Can't we have it both? Shouldn't we? How do we strike a balance when we work in a field that demands so much of our time and attention? I want to have a serious conversation about what's wrong with journalism and how we deal. Please join me this Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 8 EST to talk about the darkside of this business. See you then.