Monday, March 17, 2008

Saving your j-job

There are times you find yourself reading another blog post about the industry and going so true, but soooo depressing.

Thus it is with great recommendation -- and regret -- that I point journalists, especially young journalists, to a post by former San Bernadino Sun sports columnist Paul Oberjuerge.

In his Tips on Keeping Your Print Journalism Job, Oberjuerge has 10 verities that everyone would do well to heed. But oh are they depressing. A sampling:

1. Embrace the web. It’s going to be extra work, and you’re going to be on your own 24-hour news/opinion cycle. But that’s how it is; you can rest up when you’re dead. Management is keenly aware of the foot-draggers on this front. Don’t wait to be ordered to “serve other platforms” of the paper. Volunteer. Blog. Post photos. Consider video. Offer podcasts. Do web-only quick-and-dirty news stories. You’re a multi-media machine now!

2. Get a meat-and-potatoes job. This is an awful time to be an enterprise or general assignment reporter, or a graphics artist or just-another-copy editor. Those were important jobs, a decade ago; now, they’re fluff. ... (Emphasis Doug's)

4. Stop whining. Journalism is a business notorious for its contrary and crabby people, for second-guessers and “that’s not how we’ve done it before” grousers. Five years ago you might have been overlooked as the Charming Curmudgeon. Now, you’re the Negative Nellie. ...

5. Produce. This is no time to coast. This is no time to insist you have more time to work on a story. Even at the metros. Get your byline in the newspaper at every opportunity. Like, daily. If your beat doesn’t lend itself to 3-4 bylines (at the least) per week … it’s time to switch beats.

Read the rest.

I'm sure some will dismiss this as the somewhat bitter fruit of a laid-off journalist. Some of it is pretty brutal. It's also decidedly true in too many cases.

(Thanks to Steve Yelvington for the pointer ... and he got it from Martin Stabe. It's the Web, baby, the Web, and there's nothing you can do about it ...)

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