Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The journalist's lament

Journalists are an angry lot these days and now there's a Web site,, where you can read their grievances. It's no secret that the business of journalism is in a most distressful state. Publishers scramble madly to slant their publications to a population that has no interest in reading anything longer than fifteen words. At the same time, the mags and papers treat their older readership with dismissive contempt, refusing to keep features that the reading generation cherishes. I frequently counsel bright, wordy youngsters against going into journalism ... Why buy poverty when you can have it for nothing? Freelance writing pays about the same as it was paying 20 years ago, when I last did much of it. Starting reporters in our part of the world earn about 60% of first-year teacher salaries, yet everyone goes on endlessly about how badly teachers are paid.

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