Tag Archives: Journalism

The Mommy Myth

Most people don’t get (or want) to look at old news footage, but we looked at thirty years of stories relating to motherhood. In the 1970s, with the exception of various welfare reform proposals, there was almost nothing in the network news about motherhood, working mothers, or childcare. And when you go back and watch news footage from 1972, for example, all you see is John Chancellor at NBC in black and white reading the news with no illustrating graphics, or Walter Cronkite sitting in front of a map of the world that one of the Rugrats could have drawn–that’s it.

But by the 1980s, the explosion in the number of working mothers, the desperate need for day care, sci-fi level reproductive technologies, the discovery of how widespread child abuse was–all this was newsworthy. At the same time, the network news shows were becoming more flashy and sensationalistic in their efforts to compete with tabloid TV offerings like A Current Affair and America’s Most Wanted. NBC, for example introduced a story about day care centers in 1984 with a beat-up Raggedy Ann doll lying limp next to a chair with the huge words Child Abuse scrawled next to her in what appeared to be Charles Manson’s handwriting. So stories that were titillating, that could be really tarted up, that were about children and sex, or children and violence–well, they just got more coverage than why Senator Rope-a-Dope refused to vote for decent day care. From the McMartin day-care scandal and missing children to Susan Smith and murdering nannies, the barrage of kids-in-jeopardy, ‘innocence corrupted’ stories made mothers feel they had to guard their kids with the same intensity as the secret service guys watching POTUS.

Having discovered in the summer of 2001 that one missing Congressional intern and some shark attacks could fill the twenty-four-hour news hold, the cable channels the following year gave us the summer of abducted girls (rather than, say, in-depth probes of widespread corporate wrongdoing that robbed millions of people of millions of dollars). Even though FBI figures showed a decline in missing persons and child abductions, such stories were, as Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter put it, ‘inexpensive’ and got ‘boffo ratings.’ It goes without saying that such crimes are horrific and, understandably, bereft parents wanted to use the media to help locate their kidnapped children. But the incessant coverage of the abductions of Samantha Runnion (whose mother, the media repeatedly reminded us, was at work), Elizabeth Smart, Tamara Brooks, Jacqueline Marris, and Danielle van Dam terrified parents across the country all out of proportion to the risks their children faced. (To put things in perspective, in a country of nearly three hundred million people, estimates were that only 115 children were taken by strangers in way that were dangerous to the child.) Unlike mothers in the 1950s, then, we were never to let our children out of our sight at carnivals, shopping malls, or playgrounds, and it was up to us to protect them from failing schools, environmental pollution, molesters, drugs, priests, Alar, the Internet, amusement parks, air bags, jungle gyms, South Park, trampolines, rottweilers, gangs and HBO specials about lap dancers and masturbation clubs. It’s a wonder any women had children and, once they did, ever let them out of their sight.

Then there were the magazines. Beginning in the 1980s, and exploding with a vengeance in the ’90s, celebrity journalism brought us a feature that spread like head lice through women’s magazines, as well as the more recent celebrity and ‘lifestyle’ glossies: the celebrity mom profile. If any media form has played a central role in convincing young women without children that having a baby is akin to ascending to heaven and seeing God, it is the celebrity mom profile. ‘Happiness is having a baby,’ gushed Marie Osmond on a 1983 cover of Good Housekeeping, and Linda Evans, at the peak of her success in Dynasty, added in Ladies Home Journal, ‘All I want is a husband and baby.’ Barbara Mandrell proclaimed, ‘Now my children come first,’ Valerie Harper confessed, ‘I finally have a child to love,’ and Cybill Shepard announced, ‘I’ll have a fourth baby or adopt!’ Assaulting us from every supermarket checkout line and doctor’s or dentist’s offices, celebrity moms like Kathie Lee Gifford, Joan Lunden, Jaclyn Smith, Kirstie Alley, and Christie Brinkley (to name just a few) beamed from the comfy serenity and perfection of their lives as they gave multiple interviews about their ‘miracle babies,’ how much they loved their kids, what an unadulterated joy motherhood was, and about all the things they did with their kids to ensure they would be perfectly normal Nobel laureates by the age of twelve. By the summer of 1999, one of People’s biggest summer stories, featuring the huge cover headlines ‘BOY, OH BOY,” was the birth of Cindy Crawford’s baby. The following summer, under the headline “PREGNANT AT LAST!” we had the pleasure of reading about the sperm motility rate of Celine Dion’s husband, information that some of us, at least, could have lived without. In 2003, Angelina Jolie claimed that her adopted baby ‘saved my life.’ The media message was that celebrity moms work on the set for twelve hours a day, yet somehow manage to do somersaults with their kids in the park, read to them every day, take them out for ice cream whenever they wanted, get up with them at 3:00 a.m., and, of course, buy them toys, animals, and furniture previously reserved for the offspring of the Shah of Iran. These were supposed to be our new role models.

The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it has Undermined Women by Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels

Just some stuff I’m reading right now and contemplating. Good to know other people don’t have it all together. Also this books combines media analysis with continuing cultural norms/beliefs. Kinda something I’m into. I think if I ever went back to work I’d probably want to be a media critic or analyst instead of a journalist. Not sure there is a huge market for that kind of job, but you know, a girl can dream.

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Faith versus modern medicine

This morning Stephen ran across this article on MSNBC. For those of you that don’t follow my links, this is my synopsis of the case… Couple thought their daughter had the flu and instead of taking her to the doctor they invited people from their Bible study over to pray for her. In actuality, she had diabetes and was having a diabetic attack. And, unfortunately she died. Now they are being tried for second degree murder in her death.

My husband brought the story up as a conversation starter and something to ponder: When as Christians do we trust God or modern medicine or both? Of course this whole faith thing is what the media is clinging to in the case and making a big deal about.

In the middle of his telling of the story though, I could hardly contain myself and not interupt him because as a journalist I had done a story with nearly similar circumstances, minus the prayer part. The article I did is here, but a lot of the family’s story got cut due to space and the fact that we were really doing a story about the JDRF walk and not just about the family. So the part that is missing from the story is that the mom took her son to the doctor/ER a bunch of times in that 10 day period and he was misdiagnosed each time with the flu. It was flu season and the news reports were all about how overcrowded the ER was and how if you thought you had the flu you should stay home. She was basically told by the on-call doctors in her previous visits that there was nothing they could do for him, that she should go home and make sure he got plenty of rest and fluids.

Her mother-instinct told her something wasn’t right though so she persisted and went back to the ER again. Finally, an on-call doctor recognized the symptoms as a diabetic attack and not the flu and immediately gave him insulin. The on-call doctor said her son was just hours from death and that it was a good thing she brought him in.

So anyway, faith debate aside, if doctors who are professionally trained to treat sickness and disease have a problem misdiagnosing diabetes as the flu, why should we expect lay people to be any different? Is it so wrong that this couple decided to stay home and turn to prayer as a cure? I mean for all they know had they taken their daughter to the hospital they may have been turned away with the prescription for rest and fluids. They may have even been told they should have just stayed home because she had the flu just like the mom in my story.

Isn’t the death of their daughter enough pain? Do they really need to be charged with second degree murder too? What do you think?

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Thoughts of a recovering journalist

The last couple of days I’ve been (as usual) watching the news business. Quite a few discussions have popped up between friends, family and former coworkers about the floundering news industry.

The initial prompt for the discussion happened last week during a conversation with my dad about my youngest sister’s decision to join the marines. Part of her reasoning to do so is rooted in our country’s current economic woes. While she’s taken a little longer to get through her college education, she has several friends who have buckled down and gotten it done. They’ve graduated over the past couple months and are being sent out into the workforce. Except that nobody is hiring. Even friends that had secured internships and job placement promises are being told that the company in question is no longer able to fulfill their promise because of the economy.

My sister saw all this happening and felt like what the heck is the point in spending a bunch of money, time and brain power on a degree if you can’t get a job using it afterwards? Now, this is just one of many reasons she gave me for her decision, so don’t think she just jumped into it on this one idea alone.

Anyway, back to the conversation I had with my dad. I told my dad that I completely understood her reasoning on this issue. Ever since I stopped working I’ve been watching my former industry collapse on itself. The news industry in general (and no Dad, I’m not just talking about the “old typewriter,” as you put it, newspapers, I’m talking about EVERYONE… TV, magazines, newspapers, etc.) has been laying off people left and right. I’ve watched round after round both in my former local newsmarket and in the big cities and corporations.

I have to say that I’ve never understood the whole process to layoff people in the newsroom. When you layoff people in the newsroom that means you are going to have less people to cover the news. Which means you won’t have as much news to report on. Which means that you will start seeing less readers because you aren’t covering everything they want to know about. Which means you will have lower audience/circulation/etc numbers. Which means less ad revenue. Which means more layoffs. It really is a vicious and unending circle.

So to me there has to be a way to cut people in other departments, cut salaries or something that doesn’t impact the quality of your product.

But that again is a whole other tangent. As I said to my dad, I’ve been watching this go on for quite some time now. Because of the number of journalists I know without work, I know that even if I wanted to go back to work right now (which I don’t), that finding a job would be very, very difficult in my industry.

In response to this my dad said my attitude was that of a “defeatist” and that I just needed some gumption like he had when he got into the tire industry. I am sure that in some ways he is right. I could apply what I know to other industries like PR/marketing, internal manual writing and other internal publications, HR, etc. But I would hate it every single day. I know this is true of both me and many of my colleagues out of work right now. Once the news bug bites you, you are never the same.

So I still firmly believe, whether it is “defeatist” or not, that if I wanted to find a job in the news industry right now I would have slim pickings, if at all. That’s just the way it is when industry giants are folding all over the place.

Some of my former employers have put all their eggs into the basket of technology and the Internet as the future and savior of the industry. One of my former colleagues just posted a link to an article about this yesterday from TIME and called it, “interesting thoughts on the future of our industry.” In said article, the author highlights several J-Schools that are integrating computer programing classes into their programs and calls the graduates from these programs the future of the industry and suggests that they are going to revolutionize things and make the news new and innovative.

My university wasn’t one of the big programs talked about in the article and I graduated from there a few years ago. It was funny reading about these big programs just now getting it, when my little program has been doing the same thing for years. The communications program at CSUB is very diversified. I not only took classes in journalism, but PR/marketing, business, politics, web design, graphic design, rhetoric, communication theory and speech giving. When I graduated from that program I really felt like I was ready to tackle any field I wanted to because I had received such a well rounded education. The journalism bug bit me my last year of school so that was where I chose to use my knowledge.

I was the first person in my newsroom to text in court proceedings from my Blackberry as they were happening. I helped organize the workflow so that we gathered background information more efficiently and so we stopped loosing track of stories by letting them slip through the cracks of more important and busy news days. I created spreadsheets. I dedicated tons of my off and free time to studying the ins and outs of ENPS, the computer program that basically ran our newsroom, so that we could begin to use it much more efficiently and so that we could use all of the really great features that were already built into the program. I helped write breaking news stories for the web and send out mobile alerts to our viewers.

One thing that really would annoy me is when the anchors or reporters would say at the end of their story, “for more information about this story go to our website and click on __________.” Only problems was, there really wasn’t more information about the story on the website. I remember fielding a phone call once from a viewer that had seen a story about some innovative medical technology that was helping cancer patients or something. The reporter on the story said the line from above. All that was on the website was a web friendly version (IE not TV speak) of the story. There were no additional links to get more information about the technology, no medical reports or anything else. All things this person, who happened to have the disease, was desperately searching for information on. When I tried to talk to the reporter about it she really didn’t have anything for me to refer the person to either because she had merely revoiced a national package from our affiliate. So I was left telling our viewer that she would probably have more luck with a Google search on her own. It was really disappointing.

One of the things about online news sites that I think is really great is the ability to have more content for those that want it. Whether it is additional video footage, pictures, scans of court documents, etc. In the past couple years I’ve been pleased to see that this company has made better use out of their site, at least when it comes to what they deem as the “big” stories. They make all of these things available for those stories now, for the most part, but it took them a very long time to start doing that and it really is just the tip of the iceberg of what they could be doing with their website.

Anyway, I was constantly met with resistance about all of the changes I was suggesting. In my defense, I really was only trying to make things better and more efficient. I like to organize things. This resistence, coupled with some overwhelming things about the behind the scenes stuff that goes into the news business (everything from coworker affairs, to seeing raw footage of really awful things, to emotionally demanding and long hours, to crazy shifts) really took its toll on me. So I wrote about it on my blog. One of the coworkers that did not like the changes I was pushing for in the newsroom because it was getting me noticed and praised by the higher ups, e-mailed a copy of the blog to the higher ups. I got fired. It was more than deserved. I knew better and I should have handled the situation completely different.

I moved on though. A few months later I found a job at different company that seemed like it was embracing technology and for the most part they were. I was encouraged to blog on our publication sites. I started an online newscast for our publications. I came up with tons of ideas to get our readers going to the web. There were a couple of problems though. Often times when we had more online content to refer readers to we didn’t do a very good job of promoting it in the publication in a way that was eye catching and got them to go click. Hardly any sales people were selling online ad spots so no money was being made there, and as such no one really thought our emphasis should be there. Then, what I think was the sites’ biggest downfall, is the excrutiatingly slow loading of the homepage, individual stories, pictures and most importantly the interactive content that we were sending people to the web for. I think about 80% of the complaints I got from readers had to do with website problems. I was constantly nagging our “interactive team” about the slowness of the site and other problems that it had only to be told that the site loaded great and fast for them or that I needed to make sure my readers had the latest version of IE or Firefox installed on their computer for an optimal viewing experience.

Anyway, after both of those experiences I would say that in general I felt like a fish swimming upstream when it came to getting the news industry to embrace technology both in the news gathering and presentation. So it is fine and dandy that these J-Schools are embracing technology, but I feel bad for those first few kids that are going to be sent into the big stream to fight and make changes. They are facing a tough road ahead of them. I’ve often heard older members of the newsroom referred to as “dinosaurs”, but in my experience the industry in general is a dinosaur and trying to get it to evolve is quite the challenge.

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Happy holidays means 4 Christmas celebrations, 2 birthday parties, 1 New Year’s Eve party and 1 baby shower

OK so all the festivities are pretty much finished now so I’ll just get this taken care of with one big post. I didn’t take quite as many pictures this year as I have in years past. I usually don’t take many pictures when we are with Stephen’s side of the family because there are just SO many photographers that I don’t want to add to the picture request list and the thousands of clicks/flashes/fake smiles/posing etc. So you’ll notice as the post goes on that pictures taper off.

Christmas Eve my family came over to celebrate and open presents. Paula didn’t come down, but Cherie and Andrea were there as well as my parents. I baked a ham with a yummy molasses and brandy based glaze and we also had mashed potatoes, wild rice stuffing, green beans with soy nuts and bacon bits, and glazed carrots. Then we opened presents and took some pictures.

Bean of course got the most presents because I’m the first one to have kids on my side.

That day was actually a pretty rough day for us. Bean was having a REALLY hard time with the teething and being around extra people. She had two huge meltdowns where I just couldn’t get her to stop crying. I tried everything. Finally, the second time around I had Stephen run to the store and get some Tylenol Infant Drops and we gave her some of those. She was so much happier after that. I’m not one to get into the habit of drugging up my baby, but her teeth were really causing her pain and the other remedies we tried just weren’t cutting it.

After things were wrapped up with my family Stephen and I packed up the car and headed to Ruth & Eric’s for more celebrating. Eric’s family always does this big Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. We weren’t sure if they’d be finished by the time we got there. We got to their house and they still weren’t home. We’d been to Eric’s parents’ a few times before, but we usually followed another driver or rode with someone. So we went on a little adventure to try and find their house. We made a couple wrong turns, but eventually we found it. I was pretty apprehensive after the day we’d experienced bringing Bean into a house packed full of boistrous Italians, but she actually did really great. We didn’t have any melt downs at all. Things finished up there about an hour or so later and we headed back to Ruth & Eric’s house.

All of our girls went down for bed and then we stayed up for a little longer to chat, help Santa eat rum cake and make sure he left a note for the girls to read the next morning. The next morning it was time for presents. Stephen’s family does one-by-one present opening so we FINALLY finished that up around noon. Luckily Santa left us some sustanence in our stockings in the form of fruit roll ups, Odwalla bars, and Teddy Grahams because I think we would have been famished otherwise.


“Lizzie” helping to pass out presents.

Santa brought “Half-pint” her very own princess castle tent, which she very much enjoyed:

 

I think we all spent the whole day in our pajamas.

Some of Eric’s family came over and we had Christmas Dinner before Stephen’s parents headed back to Bakersfield.

The next day Ruth and I braved the post-Christmas crowds at their mall. I bought a couple cute shirts for Bean at Nordstrom, I found my bridesmaid dress for Paula’s wedding, and I got some cute jeans. We also had lunch at Tacone (I’m so sad ours closed!) where I enjoyed the United Steak of America sandwich (their Rosemary Chipotle mayo is the best) and some sweet potato fries. After the mall we headed over to Borders to spend some gift cards. We found some really great deals in the bargain bins to beef up our growing libraries. I seriously could have spent hours and thousands of dollars there, but I managed to walk away with $12 still on my card.

Saturday Ruth and I took Bean to check out a new yarn shop and a baby store in T.O. before heading to Target to pick out a present for Morgan’s baby shower. Stephen and I headed back to Bakersfield later that afternoon. When we got home we then hit up every Target in town to see if we could find a fake 7 1/2 ft Douglas Blue Fir because all the Christmas stuff was 50% off. We had no luck so we bought clothes and Disney movies instead.

This really doesn’t have anything to do with the holidays, but that Sunday we left Bean in the nursery for the first time ever and she did great. I didn’t get paged the whole time and she fell asleep right before we picked her up. She really is one of the best babies ever.

Monday and Tuesday were spent cleaning up the house and washing all the laundry from our trip. Tuesday night our friends Grant and Megan came over for dinner. I finally got to see her engagement ring and we all hung out for quite awhile. I made yummy split pea soup with some of the left over ham.

Wednesday Andrea came over for most of the day. I’m not sure if I’ve said it here yet, but I absolutely love that I get to see my sister once a week now. She is such a HUGE help with Bean on the days that she is here. It’s like the only time I get a break. Basically on the days she is here all I have to do is feed Bean. Andrea will hold her, calm her down if she’s a little fussy, change diapers, etc. So I took complete advantage of Andrea being here so I could do some errands with an extra set of hands to help. We went to Macy’s to take back something I got for Christmas which was quite bulky and I would have had a hard time getting it and Bean into the store. Then she hung out with Bean while I tried on some clothes and helped me find the perfect jeans in a “short” length. After that we went to Target to get some more wrapping supplies and then to Albertsons to get stuff to make my contribution to that night’s festivities. The line at Albertsons was ridiculous. We were standing there for 30-40 minutes.

I was texting Ruth throughout our day because they were stuck on I5 in traffic and fog. The original plan was for them to get to our house around 1pm, but between leaving late and all the traffic mess they didn’t get to Bakersfield until much later and wound up going straight to my in-law’s house instead. Stephen got home from work and we packed up all of Bean’s stuff, the spinach artichoke dip for the New Year’s Eve party, fed the dogs and then headed over.

My mother-in-law wanted to do a very small and exclusive family party for their dad’s birthday apart from the slight chaos of the extended family. So we had a very quiet 3rd Christmas and birthday with Ruth & Eric’s family, Jim, Della and Jim’s parents.


Bean got to meet her Great Grandma Cay for the first time.


Happy Birthday Jim!


Della accidentally bought those trick candles. “Lizzie” and “Half-pint” tried to help grandpa blow them out, but eventually some water was necessary.


Ruth is sporting a pair of the wristwarmers I made for Christmas presents. One of only three knitted gifts I actually managed to get done this year.

After the birthday festivities were finished, we went to Stephen’s Aunt Nancy’s house for some New Year’s Eve partying. My spinach artichoke dip was a big hit. So here’s the recipe for those of you that missed the conversation:

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Ingredients
-8oz container of sour cream
-16oz cream cheese, softened
-16oz shredded parmesan cheese
-1 small bag/box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
-1 small bag/box frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted or 2 cans of artichoke hearts in water (not the marinated kind)

Directions
Preheat oven to 400. Dice artichoke hearts or place them in a food processor. Mix with remaining ingredients and then place in a baking dish. Cover and bake 25 minutes, removing cover for the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve with sliced baguettes, tortilla chips or veggies.

Sorry I don’t have a picture, but I’m sure you’ve all seen this dish enough at restaurants and such that it really isn’t necessary. I’ve tried a few other versions of this dip and then came up with this one which combines a couple of them without including mayonaise which tends to make it really oily.

Anyway, after we rang in the New Year we headed back to our house with Ruth & Eric’s family for the night. Thursday we went back over for chilli and college football.

Friday Ruth and I ran some errands together and then the boys went to the music store for a bit. Then we went back to Aunt Nancy’s for another round of Christmas and birthdays.

Saturday morning I made Stephen do chores with me which he wasn’t too excited about. Things brightened up though when “Lizzie” and “Half-pint” joined in on the laundry folding action. Every time we came across a pair of “undies” during the folding process “Lizzie” got quite the kick out of it. At one point when she dived into our laundry pile she found one of my nursing bras and swung it around her head rodeo style while giggling.

After that we had a shower for Morgan and the babe. I won baby present bingo which means I get Starbucks a couple times this week. Bean was such a good baby and had fun hanging out with all the ladies. We can’t wait till Morgan’s babe gets here. They are going to have so much fun at Mammoth together this year.

After the shower Ruth & I went to Barnes and Noble for more book shopping. I got a really nice version of a compilation of Jane Austen’s works. I pined over more books, but managed to resist most of the temptation.

Then we went home so they could pack up and head back home. Stephen and I hung out at home for a couple hours before one last visit to Aunt Nancy’s for a little more time with the family. Today we still haven’t gotten out of our jammies and I’m planning to keep it that way unless Megan calls to say that she won the dream wedding package at the Bridal Show in which case there will be much celebrating at Rosemary’s later.

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Tamale Night

I’ll have another post as soon as we get home about Ravioli night, but I wanted to write about last night before I forget.

So last night we went to the annual Barrios Family Tamale Night. I love this event. Love this family. It is the best. It is so good to catch up with old friends and faces we don’t often see. People come from all over to hang out on this very special night and enjoy the yummy tamales.

I think one of the things I love the most about it is that we always feel so comfortable just opening up and talking about anything while we are there.

There were several news people there because Henry is a photog at TBC. It was good catching up and seeing them. But jeeze the news industry is really going through hard times, especially here locally. There have been so many layoffs. Everyone kept commenting on the fact that I was lucky to get out of the business when I did. They’re all afraid of losing their jobs. Things are changing every single day.

Many of the talented journalists I know are having to figure out ways that they can diversify and try to do other things.

I think one of the frustrating things, at least from my perspective, has to do with what I last did in the industry: citizen journalism. For those of you not familiar, citizen journalism is where average people basically are the reporters.

More and more news organizations, from CNN to our local paper are relying on this type of “journalism”, if you can even call it that. My last job was to edit citizen journalism stories for two entire publications dedicated to it.

After dealing with citizen journalists from the perspective of editor, I definitely have some thoughts on the subject.

As a professional writer, I can say it is really frustrating to see news organizations basically get this stuff for free. Citizen journalists are not paid. And often they are all too happy to give up their writing for free for the 15 minutes of fame, a byline, etc. The two papers that I edited really didn’t have much of a staff. I edited the stories as did a part time copy editor and we had a graphical artist that layed out pages. The bulk of the staff was sales people. So rather than pay a staff of writers and reporters to report on things going on in various neighborhoods, you get that information for free. I don’t like it from that perspective.

Also, I noticed that at times the papers were becoming free PR for various events, businesses, etc. There were many times we published straight press releases as stories, giving the PR person the byline. I think the potential for abuse here is so huge.

Then, from the perspective of someone that had to deal with these “volunteers,” it definitely wasn’t my favorite experience. It’s like once you give these people a “voice” and platform, for the most part they do let it go to their heads. I can’t even begin to tell you how rude people were to me over dumb things like comma placement. Like suddenly because you’ve had stories in the last three issues it makes you an expert on AP style, reporting, etc.

But I think in general, what people are consuming and deeming news just isn’t what it used to be. Too many people take what Keith Oberman, Rachel Maddow, Bill O’Reily and others say as “news” when it is really commentary. Things that used to be major offenses in the journalism world, things you could lose your job over, we now let slide.

Sensationalism is huge, as is “getting the story” before anyone else. Even if that means not verifying sources first and just taking “analysis” from Joe Blow on the street.

Watching from the sidelines the past year has been interesting to say the least. I’m just so frustrated to see where the industry is going, what is being given priority, what is getting covered, what is slipping, and what is getting funding.

I know I’m going to want to write again. I have a few stories that I’ve been simmering, actually. But I also know that I won’t do these stories for free. I didn’t get my degree in journalism so I could do that.

My fear though is that even trying to pitch these story ideas I’ll just be directed to the citizen journalism section. Like the saying goes, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

I guess that just like my former colleagues, I have serious concerns about the future of the industry and I don’t think that current news consumers are doing much to help the situation. They should be demanding better information and more from journalists. Why else give the press first ammendment protection?

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