When you hear that 80 percent of Americans say the economy is a significant source of stress, don’t you think the other 20 percent must be in serious denial? Of those surveyed, only 48 percent report being depressed or sad?
I’m depressed about the economy, and in particular the decline of The Newspaper, even though I’m “safe.” I got out of the newspaper business 3 years ago to work for a state university. Good thing I got out of that business 10 months later, since they’ve got money problems too. I have many, many years before retirement, so there’s time for my retirement accounts to bounce back to their former glory.
There’s been no sign that my business will have layoffs, or that I would be on the chopping block if there were. Meanwhile, my peers at newspapers are getting laid off or having their salaries reduced by 5 -10 percent.
One of my duties at my current job is to pitch stories to these newspapers. But they have fewer reporters than ever, so I’m guessing they’re struggling to cover breaking news and city council meetings.
We’ve kept up with this evolving world of journalism by updating our website. (I don’t actually know if that’s why we changed it, but it’s a fortunate side effect.) Our homepage is like our newsletter. With “press releases” that read more like news stories that happen to tell only the stories we want to tell. We might be biased, but we’re still journalists.
This is actually good for my career. Our quarterly newsletter is a 16-page magazine that comes out (as the name suggests) four times a year. So I went from writing between one and three stories a day at a newspaper to having four to seven printed in a magazine every three months. Slowed my work flow significantly.
Now, my stories can be published online as soon as I write them and have them approved. And there are no limitations on space. I can include photos, audio, video at my discretion. So this should motivate me to find more stories, write more stories, be more productive!
Except I’m too depressed about the economy.