Exploding Egg

Lunch in the News Apocalypse

Today I got to see a few of my old Tribune buddies for a little lunchtime rehashing of our experiences in the New Apocalypse.

Mark and Steve, two Trib buddies

Any day with old Trib buddies is a good day, and this was no exception. But going through a list of our old friends and realizing how many people have been laid off more than once since the paper closed in February ’08 is a bit sobering.

I think we counted only three or four — out of 45 or so — that remain in the biz, and the threat of layoffs remains ever present.

I really hope all of us find something better out there, and soon.

Personally, though, I’m not sure I want to jump back into that industry, even though it defined me for so many years. The stress of constant deadlines and the frustration when things aren’t perfect really took a lot out of me. And it’s taken months to recover.

At the same time, it was a fun, addictive and exciting career, with no two days the same and always lots of interesting new things to learn about.

But in my future I think I want to focus more on science, my main passion, and less on trying to fill newspaper pages full of things like cop stories or politics, neither of which I’m particularly enthusiastic about.

There’s not much in the way of news jobs out there, and there probably won’t be for a long time. Pretty much every paper is shrinking, paying employees less and demanding more and more from those that remain.

Worse still, when I was hunting around for possible jobs last week, my search engine pulled one gig that was advertising $1 per 500 word story for 200 stories. That’s not just unrealistic, it’s insulting, but that seems to be the pathetic avenue that the writing business is heading toward.

My hope is that some day people will once again realize that they want to pay for professional producers of content.

I love writing, but making a career out of it seems to have turned into something ever more unrealistic.

So what’s next for me? I honestly have no idea. But at least I feel positive about heading to a part of the country where I’ll have plenty of new things to explore and do.

Plus I’ll be away from all this nasty pollen:

Just looking outside makes me want to sneeze.


March 31, 2010 - Posted by | Hopes and Realities | , ,


  1. When everyone is connected by technology that enables the rapid (and cheap) gathering and distribution of information, I suppose the demand decreases for an individual or institutional intermediary.

    Humanity’s slow transformation into the Borg ain’t pretty, but at least it hasn’t come to those side-of-the-face-metal-octopus things yet.

    Comment by Amedeo | April 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. Give it time, Deo, give it time…

    Comment by SueVo | April 1, 2010 | Reply

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