One of my wife's cousins, Mort Rosenblum, was a long-time AP reporter, coving wars, disasters and political news around the world. A few years ago he took a buyout from a declining AP.
At this point, he's given up on trying to be a journalist any more. Except for my friends at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, almost every journalist either of us knows has done the same.
Personally, I'm trying to get back into full-time journalism.
Mort just sent me a rant that illustrates the trend of journalism in a Twitter world. Online recruiters for the Tribune Company are creating a new TV morning news show. Is the organization looking for seasoned reporters?
As the kid sarcastically replied to the journalism professor who insisted, 'In English, two negatives make a positive, but two positives never make a negative' :
Here's what the Tribune thinks of reporters for its "morning news/Infotainment" site:
"Don't sell us on your solid newsroom experience. We don't care. Or your exclusive, breaking news coverage. We'll pass. Or your excellence at writing readable copy for plastic anchorpeople. Not interested."
What DOES the Tribune want? They want you, if...
"You're an earbud wearing, app downloading, rss reading, podcast playing, text messaging, flip-flop wearing professional . . . with a real-world education" and "'You 'Get It'." (Punctuation as written.)
Oh, and: "Your greatest communication tool is a keyboard, your writing is 'bleeding edge', and you realize that when it comes to the written word, less is more."
I always though less was less.
Mort finished his note with a quote from his forthcoming book about journalism and the ways to gain a better understanding of the world, "Little Bunch of Madmen":
"In 2010, Peter Tague tried an experiment with his Georgetown law students. He told them Chief Justice John Roberts was about to resign, but he would not reveal his source. And he asked them to keep the news confidential. By the time he explained he was messing with them to make a point, half an hour later, the story was everywhere.
"Radar Online, a gossip site, picked up a student's Twitter alert and reported an "exclusive." It gave no reason but speculated on Roberts' health. Later, instead of retracting the report, it said Roberts had changed his mind. Meantime, Fox News and other major outlets had broadcast the story."
All I can say is, "Yeah, right."