editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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At a loss for words

March 30th, 2008 · 5 Comments

So a funny thing happened to me on my way to starting my new job. In addition to everyone in our household (with the exception of our cat, Boo) getting monstrously sick, I managed to lose my bloggers voice. I initially chalked up the occurrence to the toll the flu had taken on my body, mind and spirit. But the more I tried to get back into my writing and figure out what was going on, the more I realized it was more then just the lingering effects of my prolonged illness. What I discovered was that I no longer knew what I wanted to say.

The time that I had taken off from daily writing had left my mind muddied and the clarity that I once possessed regarding the myriad of issues facing newspapers was, for the most part, gone. And the more that I tried to figure out what to do, the more overwhelmed by it I became. Not one to give up, I gave it some more thought and realized that more than anything, I was actually frustrated, annoyed and even a bit dismayed.

See, I truly love this industry. And sure, like anything you love, it has it’s wrinkles and warts in addition to it’s ups and it’s downs, nevertheless you still love it. But increasingly, the industry is under attack. Disappearing print circulation, shrinking advertising and surging costs has left it fighting for its financial survival. In addition, our newsrooms and online operations are being overtly influenced by dinosaurs who are content with seeing their employer struggle and fail and by curmudgeonly young employees who have a warped sense of entitlement and the oft-mistaken belief that they alone have the insight and the answers to change this industry for the better.

Even if you don’t work in a newsroom, you can easily encounter both of these elements online, in the blogosphere.

Look around the Internet, and you’ll find all kinds of media/journalism bloggers. I would imagine (without doing any research) that there are hundreds writing just in the U.S. Some bloggers provide great insight and criticism that is sharp and useful. Other are voracious readers and collectors of data and information, their blogs share great works worthwhile to emulate at your own shop. But, and this might just be because of whom I read, the loudest are the bloggers who complain the most about the industry. These are typically young journalists with a short amount of time at any one job. Their blogs are places for them to publicly whine and throw tantrums in an effort to receive attention and obtain validation for their viewpoints. All too often their posts leave me shaking my head and wanting to grab the authors, give them a smack or two and tell them to wake up and, especially, grow up. But that’s not what this blog is about.

So that’s where I am, struggling for my place and wondering where my voice fits in among those writing about our industry. Maybe I’m over thinking it, maybe I just need to start writing again because I enjoy it. I don’t know for sure, but then again, this post is a start!

NOTE: I’m proud to be participating, along with fellow journalism bloggers from around the world in the Carnival of Journalism. In addition to reading my post please visit the Carnival host site and see what my colleagues are writing about. Not sure what a blog carnival is? Check out this entry on Wikipedia.

Tags: Blogging · Editor on the verge · Editor on the Verge · Industry · Mission

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John DM // Mar 30, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    welcome back. You know the drill for getting back in the saddle, right? Write!

    Missed your posts.

  • 2 John Robinson // Mar 31, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Don’t let them get you down. You’re in a great place at Philly.com with a great thinker, Potts, to do great things.

    We all know about the problems. We need more people inside the business helping us find our way. That’s your voice.

  • 3 Teaching Online Journalism » Chasing rainclouds away with some positive attitude // Mar 31, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    [...] So it’s kind of hard to get jazzed about writing a blog post sometimes. Yoni Greenbaum was feeling the same way, it seems: … our newsrooms and online operations are being overtly influenced by dinosaurs [...]

  • 4 Journalism is not newspapers « Jason Kristufek’s We Media blog // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:30 am

    [...] in a struggle and I think I have found a quote that sums it up. It comes from recent post by Yoni Greenbaum on his Editor On The Verge blog. . . our newsrooms and online operations are being overtly [...]

  • 5 Online journalists: Lose the smugness, win a few converts | By Daniel Victor // Apr 1, 2008 at 9:31 am

    [...] said, Yoni Greenbaum was right on yesterday in pointing out a significant problem in some of the journalists fighting the good fight online: But, and this might just be because of [...]

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