Saturday, January 12, 2008

Done

I've been out of the news game for nearly a year now, and I can say honestly that I really, really, really believe I'm done this time. The business doesn't want me anymore and I'm as happy as a guy who just heard his clingy ex-girlfriend is getting married and moving on with her life.

I never worked for the New York Times, Washington Post or any other newspaper of any significant circulation. I was a writer/editor for several weeklies and small dailies in Indiana and West Virginia, covering the stuff down the street rather than Capitol Hill or Madison Square Garden. I was a good writer and copy editor, but not outstanding (or connected) enough to break into the big leagues. 

By the time I got into the game in the early 90's, newspaper companies were consuming each other and squeezing the life out of their pressrooms and newsrooms. The advent of Macs, Adobe and Quark should have ushered in a Golden Age of newspaper composition, but the real effect was to allow corporate managers run all of the honest-to-God printers out of the business and shift their work to guys like me, who were paginators as much as reporters. 

Once the press room was slashed to the bone, the bosses turned to the newsroom. 

The information explosion of the mid-90s (cable, internet and the like) sucked away readers from newspapers. The lagging circulation numbers allowed them to start squeezing on guys like me in order to maintain their 20 percent margins every year. Fuller Brush men posing as news consultants told the bosses what they wanted to hear: readers want smaller news holes filled with canned crap that is much cheaper than good old fashioned news reporters. 

By the early part of this brave new millenium, the big papers were only looking for bright college kids who would not use the company's insurance or stay beyond a year or two; guys like me who have kids and wives and mortgages are likely to stay put, so we don't get interviews anymore.

I am lucky, however, as I can blog about whatever I want, whenever I want, and not have to worry about finding someone else to publish my rantings. Check back from time to time to get my questionable insights about movies, music, sports, politics and our Godforsaken national news media.

4 comments:

imwithsully said...

Let me be the first to post here! I'm glad to see that there's another blogger from Perry out there. I feel like our classmates are pretty late starters when it comes to finding anyone out there on the internet. I have added you to my blogroll. I must know what's in the head of Mr. Eads these days!!!!!! Kim (Cooper) Coles

Eads said...

You're too nice, Kim.

Anonymous said...

OK, I have to make a comment. Kim is right. I for one have not paid to much attention, actually no attention, to blogs or bloggers for that matter. However peering into the deepest recesses of Mr. Eads mind is going to be interesting. Mike, I'll keep checking to see what is on your mind. I have no plans to start blogging though. I don't believe that the general public is prepared to hear my views of the world. Besides, the internet is just a fad!

Tut

Southside Pirate said...

Mike, One more thing. I figured that I might as well register with google if I am going to make any comments. Henceforth I shall be known as Southside Pirate. Anonymous just didn't fit my image.

Tut