Winner of – Best Family Blog – from VUE Weekly 2017

Journalism

b593f7f34f89d25ed7551a26d4fa5448

Taken during lunch in the old Sun Media building parking lot. 

Today sucked for many reasons.

A lot of my journalist friends lost their jobs. An industry I worked for (and still sort of do) really showed its age. A city lost a great dearth of its intellectual soldiery. And all in the matter of hours.

Act 1

When I started my parental leave from the Edmonton Examiner (which at the time shared a room with the Edmonton Sun) in 2015, I had an inkling I wouldn’t be back. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure (because I could have totally sucked at being a stay at home parent), but I had an inkling.

I knew the newspaper industry wasn’t doing well. Shit, it wasn’t doing well when I graduated from journalism at Grant MacEwan College in 2004 (which was a main reason why I went into the arts and didn’t jump into the the strict journalism world). So, after keeping Little Hell alive during my leave, I went with my gut and put in my resignation*.

Act 2

I want to make something clear: Journalism isn’t an easily transferrable job. You can’t just go ‘journalist’ somewhere else. The knowledge that is accrued by reporters, not only of a city, but of the vernacular of a city, is a specialization. It’s equal parts linguist and nature interpreter.

You don’t get into journalism for the money. You get into it because is fulfills an informative need. A really weird and freaky informative need. It’s a lifestyle that you get paid really shittily for. It’s filling the empty page space around advertising with your heart and soul and nobody cares about is as much as you do. But, like usual, I’m digressing.

Act 3

When I decided to stay at home, one of the things Elizabeth talked about would be my ability to freelance write. And so far I’ve made a humble go at it. But after today, the amount of talented writers looking for work will have made this income doubly as hard to find.

But you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. No, I don’t mean I’m glad that people have lost their jobs, I don’t mean that at all. I mean it more altruistically.

If all these talented writers keep writing, if they remember why they love doing it and continue in whatever form they can, then maybe the writing world will be better for it. Maybe it is a necessary step in the evolution of journalistic expression. To tell stories  for the sake of community, of culture. To bring weight back to words.

Final Act

But, what the fuck do I know? In my opinion, the newspaper industry is an old business model trying to catch up to the present. I had a solution and I was only half joking.

Anyway. I’m lucky to have this blog. To have my wife and child. In all honesty, I’d pump gas for a living and still look forward to getting home to see my family and writing a little.

Adversity as it is an integral ingredient of quality. I’m not a very smart person, but I know this to be true.

Epilogue

*This wasn’t an easy decision. I started with Sun Media (now Post Media) in 2012 as a reporter with the Sherwood Park News. Then, jumped up the road to Fort Saskatchewan as the interim editor of the Fort Saskatchewan Record. After that, I booked it an hour away to Camrose to be the editor of the Camrose Canadian, Then spent a day writing for the Mayerthorpe Freelancer and finally ended up at the Examiner in 2014 when Elizabeth and I decided it would be better to be closer to home when Toddlercop was gestating. I learned a lot and fast. My writing became stronger. I racked up Gladwell’s recently debunked 10 thousand hour rule. I miss parts of it daily.  

 

Tagged as: , ,

2 Responses »

  1. You say you’d pump had for a living, but that’s a field that’s all but deceased, too.

Trackbacks

  1. Edmonton blog roundup: Jan. 26, 2016 – Seen and Heard in Edmonton

Leave a Reply

@TheUnDad

RSS The UnDad Podcast

  • Thus far in review with producer Andrew Paul
    Having Andrew Paul as a producer is like having a wizard/scientist friend that, no matter how under the influence you are, supports your crazy ideas and helps bring them to life. So, yeah, of course I was going to pick his brain. Jesus. This episode is powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta Podcast […]
  • Never use it as an excuse
    Mr. Owen Brierley is a delight to talk to. Join us as we chat about what it is like growing up being legally deaf, what a lawnmower parent is, and how everyone should have their own personal version of 'It's All Gone Pete Tong'. This episode is powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta […]
  • I have a ghost in my head and I call it Garglemax
    I got an implant that connects to a wizard class synthetic user interface. It's like 'Alexa' that only I can hear. It's for science. Everything is fine.
  • Who would win in a fight, Mr. Rogers or Jesus?
    Scott C. Bourgeois and I talk about our respective adoptions, what part of your body you should eat first if you were trapped on an island, all the effing podcasts he is involved with, and the best of kid lit.
  • Jana O'Connor PT 2
    The second of two parts of our Jana O'Connor interview (please listen to the first one if you already haven't). To get to the point: Jana is a jewel in the crown of the Canadian arts scene. She is triple H (not the goddamn wrestler): humble, humorous, and ensconced with humanity. We talk about working […]
  • Jana O'Connor PT 1
    As the Etruscans put it, this one was a doozy. Join me and Jana O'Connor as we cover everything from antiquated idioms to how to butt in line at the dentist (and everything in between). We talked so long that I had to cut it in two. I had to cut it in two because […]
  • I think the Jedi have it all wrong
    There is some rampant nerdery as Darren Pleavin and I talk horror movies, horror feelings, invisible motorcycles, family horror, and some scary stuff that left us holding each other, cerebrally. This episode is powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta Podcast Network. Thank you to Andrew Paul and the Edmonton Community Foundation for the […]
  • His Dumbledore is Shit
    Garglemax handles the heavy lifting while I talk shop with Dave Breakenridge, the Managing Editor of the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun, and Edmonton Examiner. Topics covered: Helicopter parents, swearing, ADHD, Harry Potter readings in character, the 10/3 Podcast, columnists as journalists, and where not to get a tattoo.
  • I'm still doing comedy
    Ken Valgardson answers the phone for a content over audio quality interview. We chat comedy, teaching, parenting, and child bowels. It truly is a magical time to be alive. Powered by ATB and the Alberta Podcast Network with help from the Edmonton Community Foundation.
  • We're heroes
    A rousing conversation with Elena Porter where we talk about being an actor and parent, the great Arlington Apartment fire of 2005, murder, and buying a horse. Powered by ATB and sponsored by the Alberta Podcast Network.

Follow The Undad via Email

Enter your email address to follow The Undad and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 39 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: