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From Robert Stacey McCain - talking about journalism and channeling his inner Hunter S. Thompson:

Journalism and Mental Health

20210407-mccain.jpg

Dear Ms. Aviles:

What you need here, ma’am, is an expert analysis, and you’ve found the right guy for the job because — ask around — I’ve always been crazy.

One spring afternoon in 1986, I put on my three-piece suit and walked into the offices of the Cobb News-Chronicle. I walked out with a $4.50-an-hour job as a staff writer and an assignment to cover that evening’s Austell City Council meeting. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was better than driving a forklift, which was what I’d been doing for the past year-and-a-half, saving up money to buy P.A. gear for my rock band.

Thirty-five years later, I’m still at it and, some would say, I still have no idea what I’m doing, but I am by God doing it, aren’t I?

My point here is that journalists have mental health problems because no genuinely sane person would ever get into this miserable racket. Some people pine for the Golden Age of Journalism, but this “profession” (if you can call it that) has always attracted more than its fair share of kooks and cranks who, if they actually became successful at journalism, were politely called “eccentric,” which is just a word for crazy people who make good money. But these were rare exceptions, and the bulk of the people in America’s newsrooms were always a mix of neurotics and drunks, supervised by sadistic sociopaths known as “editors.”

A truly wonderful rant - small taste:

Nowadays, every 23-year-old J-school grad thinks he’s qualified to be a pundit, telling us How to Save Our Democracy. They don’t want to do any actual work, so they haven’t paid their dues covering the police beat or city-council meetings or whatever, but you can find them on Twitter 24/7 snarking away about national politics and how utterly oppressed they are, because they’ve got $60,000 in student-loan debt. And then when they get axed in the latest round of layoffs, we’re expected to take seriously the wailing about the Death of American Journalism because some 26-year-old lost his/her (they/them?) job writing clickbait for HuffPo.

Spot on and he had a lot of fun writing this.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 7, 2021 7:16 AM.

Not a good career move - creature of the swamp was the previous entry in this blog.

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