Lindsey works in art design in the deadwood business. She has written one of the best posts I’ve seen on her love of being in the newspaper business and her fears as she watches the ongoing bad news of her chosen profession.
Things are bad. Real, real bad. And they’re not going to get better. Things are changing, slowly but getting faster and faster, and it’s going to be painful for people who are used to the traditional way things have been, people who lived through the heyday of newspapers when there was such a thing as a news cycle. We are drenched in free information now, and there is no putting that cap back on the toothpaste tube now. Nor should there be. I love the internet and its capacity for not only entertaining but for getting more people up to speed on more things than ever before. I want newspapers to embrace the potential of the web and get out in front of trends and bring their hefty institutional weight to the online newsgathering process. I want newspapers — printed or no — to continue to be the publications of record. It’s a civic duty that I take seriously, despite my irreverent, profane blatherings to the contrary. I want us to be useful. No, not useful: indipensible. Aggressive and badass. Telling and showing. All that. I have high hopes for the types of journalism that will survive and thrive once the immediacy of the web is fully embraced. I want to see how much more careful and meticulous and accountable reporters and editors will have to be once they understand that their words carry fast and far on these tubes.
I’m in a weird spot because my job — the person who arranges stories and art on the page that will be printed — isn’t going to exist forever. My friends’ and co-workers’ jobs aren’t going to exist forever. What we can actively hope for is that we can grow and change and withstand the labor pains and find a niche for ourselves in the emerging media landscape. Learn how to do web design. Learn how to edit videos and audio and photos. Learn how to create content. How to aggregate content. All that and more.
If those aren’t words of wisdom, I don’t know what is. Lindsey is like a lot of us right now. We are waiting for the other shoe to drop and these are anxious times.
I did a bit of code yesterday under the tutelage of Sadcox. It was easier than I thought it would be and I grinned like a maniac. Lindsey and I are both are learning new things because we want to remain relevant because we love news.
As she said, the news cycle has changed.
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