Old journalist to young: Pitied, blamed or accused


I find I get mostly two responses from established reporters when they’re forced to respond to me and my generation of journalists. It’s something I’ve touched on after events before.

The first comes teary-eyed.

Some seem to offer despondent pity and sympathy for me, for the times and power and success I missed out on, for the dark, post-journalistic-apocalyptic world I’ve entered — a sentiment that often reaches a fever pitch when we discuss my attempt to freelance full-time while starting out.

The second comes with a first full of anger.

The Internet, they shout, makes everything so easy. I can’t understand how difficult it was to call, re-call and investigate through real paper.

I’m sure they’re right, really I am. But everyone did that. They didn’t know any better. They also had secure, fun, powerful jobs though, and a sense of the world. Let’s call it even.

I try not to respond when this second respond falls into the attack that the Web, its norms and patrons (myself included) are killing a major cultural force.

I don’t want to be pitied. I don’t want to be blamed for hastening the end of what once was and certainly not accused of having it easy.

I just want to work together with others to build the next generation of profitable, sustainable local news. I’m not sure pity, blame or accusations are ever the emotions given from one generation to another in any healthy industry.

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