Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Maybe I'm smarter than I thought


I left journalism for public service / PR for many reasons. They all orbit around one thing - my general disenchantment with journalism as a career, for these reasons:

1. Pitiful pay
2. Limited opportunities
3. High stress
4. Long hours
5. Extremely competitive environment where self-sacrifice is expected but not rewarded
6. Arrogant douchebags / drama queens make up 70% of the workforce

When I took my current job, I met journalists at J-school mixers who told me I had "gone to the dark side" or that I was a "traitor... ha ha." I felt bad at first for working so hard to get such great training and then veering from the chosen path.
But when I read articles like this about "Journicide", I wonder if I hadn't made the right decision all along. I took my good training and years of experience, got my contacts and then went somewhere where I can make use of them without dying of heart failure by 43.
I love journalism, newsgathering and good reporting and writing. But I am not devoted enough to this cause to enter that lion's den and end up living in my parent's basement.
In the end, I guess, I care more about quality of life than the craft.
And I'm OK with that.

7 comments:

shesthesheriff said...

The way I see it man, you've been to the top of that mountain, and you've breathed deep the victorious air of Jewish Community newspaper man success. You've drank from the cool mountain stream of the Pass of Caradhras ice sculpture while covering Steven Cohen's Lord of The Rings themed Bah Mitzvah. Well, before his mom caught you and gave you the boot, that is.

This quality of life increase needs to result in the purchase of a current generation video game console-Must it be on me to borrow Rick Pearlman's Xbox 360 every time you visit?

Jonathan Rubin said...

You maketh a good point..... like my check my coin-purse before my next visit...

shesthesheriff said...

Ha just ball busting man--I gotta get mine fixed. You do need video games though-they are good blog fodder.

Jess said...

Those are pretty much the EXACT same reasons I left journalism. And holy hell did I feel guilt over it. I thought I was going to the dark side myself. But then I realized it was nice to get a paycheck and know I could 1. pay all my bills on time 2. put a tiny bit into savings and 3. still go do something fun that weekend.

Plus, let's talk about things like telework, AWS and normal holidays and hours.

I respect almost everyone that goes out there and reports the news for us, but I guess in the end it just wasn't for me.

Jonathan Rubin said...

True that, Jess.

Dianna said...

Ugh. Thanks for the reminder!

shesthesheriff said...

Reason #459 that newspapers are going under:

The Sunday Comics. When your most culturally relevant characters are Dilbert and Hagar the horrible, and you're reprinting 'Classic' Peanuts strips on your front page, you know deep in your heart you are sucking a big D.