Monday, April 28, 2008

We're a bitter, jaded lot.

Ok, so I'm having trouble making this writing thing a habit. But, I'm trying.

I've had some great days since my last blog. I got to go to Washington D.C. with some WWII veterans to the WWII memorial. It's a great story and there were some great characters on the flight. It's the kind of work I like to do. If I can wedge a few more of those stories between my used cars and three blue-haired ladies with a potted plant - I'll be fine.

Yesterday, I was drinking on a rooftop bar with a bunch of fellow journalists and swapping stories. I think we were all trying to top each other with our "nightmare newspaper" stories. We are a bitter jaded lot, aren't we? We are all trying to make sense of the state of the newspaper business. Some of us are all hoping to ride the beast until the bitter end, others are considering a jump to The Dark Side - marketing, public relations, or technical writing. Maybe there won't be a bitter end? Maybe, in a few years, it will be the hottest industry out there. Probably not. Later that night, I was looking at the Poynter web site and I saw these six-word journalism mottos. They made me laugh.

Top Ten Picks:

* Doing more with less since 1690 -- Ken Fuson, Des Moines Register
* We'll always have Paris ... or Britney -- Jim McPherson, Whitworth University
* It's how I change the world. -- Nick Escobar, The Elgin (Ill.) CourierNews
* Get it right, write it tight -- Margaret McDonald, McDonald Wordsmith Communications
* They'll miss us when we're gone -- Scott Powers, Patrick McGeehan, Matthew Jones, John Davenport
* Feed the watchdog, euthanize the lapdog -- Roy Peter Clark
* Who, what, when, where, why, Web -- Greg Phillips, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
* Facts, schmacts ... how is my hair? -- Kathy Sweeney, anchor/investigative reporter, Heartland News
* Dirty commie latte-sipping liberal scum -- Ryan Kelly, Christopher Newport University
* Please stop griping, now start typing -- Jeff Unger, University of Illinois

Honorable Mentions:

* We're sorry about all the trees -- Ken Fuson
* Stop the presses! Oh, you did. -- Jim McPherson
* Information you can trust until tomorrow -- Jim McPherson
* No news is not good news -- J. David Knepper and Leah Etling
* Black and white, but not green enough -- Robert Timmons
* How many inches is the truth? -- Casey Bartels
* Got stry – will txt u asap -- Lynn McMahon
* Seek the truth, not the money -- Angele' Anderfuren
* Not tonight, dear. I'm on deadline -- Christopher Ortiz
* We don't make this shit up -- Deb Sutton
* Writers' block is on Fleet Street -- Anand Raj
* Dead wood floats. So can we -- Ray Martinez
* A journalist's work is never done -- Randy Rogers
* If we go, who will know? -- Steve Riley
* History's first version, updated every minute -- Rebecca Jones
* Five Double You and One Age (Quinque Bi Tu Et Unum Aetas) -- Sebastian Moraga
* We break stuff. Like the news -- Ryan Kelly
* Critical thinking? We outsourced to India -- Dennis Alchemist
* It beats working for a living -- Jim Naughton
* Speak truth to power, or else -- Peter Gates
* Journalistic bias? There’s no stinking bias! -- Tim Owens
* Journalism lives where the truth lies -- Daneja Kirkland
* But this IS my day job! -- Mike Gruss
* We won't bore you with context -- Lois M. Collins
* News now: We'll fix it later -- Lois M. Collins
* Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy! No, seriously. Accuracy! -- Tim Schulte
* Every silver lining has a cloud -- David Vossbrink
* Must be readable on the crapper! -- Michael Sweeney
* Eye on the ball; ear on the ground -- Peter Dannenberg
* Mainstream media: We’re your grandfather’s blog -- Jim McPherson
* Filling the space between the ads -- Jim McPherson
* Write the truth between the lines -- Lynn McMahon
* Ding dong, the print is dead -- Russel Nichols
* There's a period key. Use it. -- Dan Close
* Journalism: Sizing down, so bottom's up! -- Matthew Cate
* Pyramids to blogosphere, and everywhere in between -- Bill West

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