In December 2008 — the week before Christmas — I was laid off along with six other staffers from a local newspaper. Looking out over the bleak economic landscape, it was hard not to feel an impending sense of doom.
To be sure, the future is not looking so bright, especially in the field of journalism. Media outlets across the country are hemorrhaging, laying off hundreds and filing for bankruptcy. Longtime reporters, whose stories have changed public opinion and policy, suddenly find themselves out of a job with no other prospects.
This isn’t just a problem for those reporters. These trends in journalism deprive the citizenry of a chief aspect of democracy. After all, the media is the Fourth Estate, government watchdog, voice of the voiceless.
I can’t pin all of those high ideals on my work — I once covered midget wrestling for God’s sake — but when U.S. newsrooms lay off reporters like me, the community loses some of its own voice.
But then, sitting on my porch during a beautiful 70-degree day, I had my moment of Zen.
I would join the millions of other people who have bypassed the media to create their own space on the Interwebs. So, I launched “Will Report for Food: Tales of an Unemployed Journalist” in an attempt to continue my love of journalism while waiting for that next opportunity.
I found a job a year later and expanded the scope of this blog to include my portfolio, musings and adventures.
Copyright 2009 – 2012
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