Go Mobile

  • Bookmark the mobile version of First Draft HERE!


to First Draft

Tip Jar



Ad Network

  • advertise_liberally

Paying the Bills

Blog powered by Typepad

First Draft Krewe in NOLA

  • Click above image for our Hurricane Katrina coverage, including photos and stories from our recent First Draft New Orleans trip.

Lower 9th Ward: March 2006

  • 23
    These are stills captured from video shot March 2006 in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans specifically the area between N. Claiborne, Florida Ave, Tupelo and Tennessee.

Lower 9th Ward: August 2006

  • 9th_marking_side
    These are photos and stills captured from video taken August 2006 of the Lower 9th Ward specifically the area between N. Claiborne, Florida Ave, Tupelo and Tennessee.

Paying The Bills

« Today on Tommy T's Obsession With The Freeperati - "Still playing catch-up" edition | Main | Get Out of the Argument Free »

July 27, 2009


So the reporter of tomorrow is Joe the not-a-Plumber ?

In a much more serious vein, reporters are covering complicated topics. I want them to be educated so they can ask educated questions. Otherwise, we're restricted to glamour shots of Michael Jackson.

If the reporter covering the got and economy doesn't have at least a rudimentary understanding of both, they can't call the person on their attempts to spread false information.

there's this bizarre belief that Police are underpaid. At an average of 50k a year, they make almost twice the average income in America. It's far more than your average soldier gets paid, and they have a much less dangerous job.

Lets be honest though, there's more to class than simple income. If your family had the money for you to be getting an advanced degreem, then you're probably at the upper end of the middle-class spectrum if not well above it. There are a few cases where this isn't true, but by-enlarge, normal people can't afford to be idle that long.

Far more journalistic sins have been committed through too much identification with the source than through too little.

Objectivity is now, more often than not, a sin.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud the grand tradition of muckraking and consciousness-raising. I love watching Maddow, I still enjoy Olbermann, but they aren't journalists.

I wish there was more straight ahead prime time news:
"This happened today. Make up your own mind about it."

The idea that cost-cutting at newspapers is new is pretty laughable, as well.

Nearly 20 years ago, the Newhouse-owned Oregonian shuttered its Sunday magazine insert as part of a series of cutbacks and layoffs. I know, because like a lot of other Sunday mags that was where the book review section and other arts coverage was, and I was in the process of putting together an independent book review quarterly. So not too many months after Northwest closes, my own review shows up in bookstores, and gets a lot more attention than it probably deserved because we were seen as suddenly filling a major gap in the local literary landscape. From what I was told by insiders at the time, the Oregonian editors were sort of shamed into starting up a smallish review section in the regular pages. I don't know. Maybe that was their plan all along, but there was a significant gap between the magazine's demise and the startup of the new section that pretty much coincided with the brief life of my magazine (which died for entirely unrelated reasons).

But that was a generation ago. It wasn't the first round of cost-cutting at newspapers by any means. I'd heard about it, and I didn't even work in the industry.

Hi A. Did you know she's married to Senator Sherrod Brown? It's not relevant to her piece but it's an interesting part of her biography.

Ah, where to begin.

I regularly address authors of online comments by their made-up names and pretend this doesn't feel like junior high school all over again.
Those junior high schoolers can also be called your readers, and some of that rabble you haughtily dismiss may in fact comprise a portion of the "underdog" types you celebrate about 250 words later. And if you'd like to demonstrate how you "believe reporting and attribution must precede publication" then how about INCLUDING A COUPLE GODDAMN HYPERLINKS TO THOSE HORRIBLE BLOGGERS WHO ARE RUNNING YOU DOWN? AND BY THE WAY AN ARIANNA HUFFINGTON WANNABE WHO'S BEEN AN EDITOR OF VANITY FAIR AND THE NEW YORKER AND WON FOUR POLK AWARDS IS NOT A BLOGGER. Bloggers say things like motherfucker and blowjob and "Jesus Garden Weasel Christ" and mixed in with their torrent of profanities and uncivil rantings are some points about the shape of things that might challenge you drop your lazy assumptions about what blogging is IF YOU WOULD FUCKING PAY ATTENTION TO THEM. Would you write about the impact of unemployment without interviewing someone who was unemployed?

A few weeks back you wrote something like "5 years ago I thought the trouble with newspapers was that they didn't know anything about the Internet. Now I realize the trouble with newspapers is that they don't know anything about newspapers." Connie Schultz is today's exhibit A.

Huh. I see that Ms. Schultz has a college degree and attended law school.

Yeah, it'd be great if newsrooms were open to talented people without college degrees.

You jump first.

...oh, wait, I see: thanks to the economy, she's now real as the streets. How convenient.

You know, I can't tell you how often I got turned down for newspaper jobs because I didn't have a degree - and I was a damned good reporter, sometimes even a great one.

At one place, it was the third interview, the people who interviewed me loved me, thought I had great clips and wanted me to meet the rest of the staff before they hired me. The first thing, the editor-in-chief asked me what my degree was in; I told him I didn't have one. He stood up, thanked me for coming in and the interview was over.

If more people like me were allowed into journalism's Magic Kingdom, the economic collapse wouldn't have been such a shocked.

She's a lawyer, and she runs a newspaper?
Says a lot about both problems: a lawyer should be in court or in research for court. A newspaper should be run by somebody from the community with a stake in making sure the community isn't left deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid prey ... for, among other things, lawyers.

Evidently, Connie's never spent the last 3-4 days of any given payperiod eating generic macs and cheese and bulk oatmeal because her newspaper paid reporters just enough to keep them ineligible for food stamps.

The desire to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable might start with righteous progressivism in college/high school, but every reporter I've known has had much more in common, socioeconomically, with the afflicted than with the comfortable.

Susie, that's the kind of thing that'll make you want to publish a few books, just so you can send them to the editor-in-chief with nice little fuck-you note, ain't it?

While I was job-hunting, I got a call-back from a newspaper -- not a particularly big one, but still a daily -- that wanted to pay me minimum wage.

Newspapers insist on reporters with degrees, but they want to pay 'em like fry cooks.

"P.S. Deploring college graduate journalists? Fucking passé. The Front Page is from 1931, and there's a line in there in which a crusty old reporter admonishes a young eager beaver, dumb as rocks, with "I bet you went to college, didn't you?" The world did not begin when you noticed it, honey."

Oh, snap!!!

Sort of OT... I have made the Daily News a "second read" and folks, I'm loving it. I have noticed that it actually has ads-- from local businesses and supermarkets and pool installers. I remember when the Times had bra ads and supermarket ads and now it has no ads. Going national seems to have been one of the nails the Times has pounded into its own coffin.

I saw that and I got kind of pissed off about it too. I have a fucking Master's degree and I'm, by any reasonable definition, working class, in that I have no supervisory authority in my job, and I answer to about six people. I also make about $23 000/year. I'm hardly some ivory-tower intellectual type who wouldn't know the real world if it bit me on the ass.

Granted, I'm also from Soviet Canuckistan, and it's possible to get a postgraduate degree here without being rich, but I'm also downwardly mobile, compared to my parents, who actually are reasonably wealthy. On the other hand, my father was a pilot for a regional airline, and my mother was a teacher and then a tax preparer, so we're none of us exactly in the kind of professional jobs everyone thinks of when they say that sort of thing...


The comments to this entry are closed.

Contact Info

  • Adrastos
    adrastos at bellsouth.net
  • Athenae - Allison Hantschel
    athenae25 at yahoo.com
  • Jude
    jude_t at live.com

Athenae's Books