For some, that lifestyle may be a pro athlete, entrepreneur or retired billionaire. Surprisingly for some, the life of a journalist is one many desire. Not too long ago, I had the privilege of helping Marcus Marion break into the sports reporting side ...
There are lifestyles we all wonder what it would be like to live. For some, that lifestyle may be a pro athlete, entrepreneur or retired billionaire.
Surprisingly for some, the life of a journalist is one many desire.
Not too long ago, I had the privilege of helping Marcus Marion break into the sports reporting side of journalism.
He is off and running, and doing great as I expected when I personally appeared at his interview to vouch for him.
He recently wrote the following piece on his Facebook page about the “glamorous” life of a journalist. I felt this was worth sharing with our readers.
He wrote, “The life of a journalist is hard. Let me repeat that for effect: The life of a journalist is hard. Really hard.
“In the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and in the heyday of iconic broadcast, print and radio dynamos like Walter Cronkite, Carl Bernstein, Edward R. Murrow, Hunter S. Thompson, Barbra Walters and Bob Woodward, there was a mystique to the world of journalism.
They were heralded as the seekers and knowers of all knowledge, literary gods among mere mortals.
“With the advent of the World Wide Web, and later social media, somehow, those with "god status" fell far enough that they now can't be distinguished from real, truth-seeking reporters, and anyone with the opposable thumbs necessary to send a tweet or text a message.
“Before, no one really knew what you did as a journalist, but they knew you had the key to information. Now, no one knows what you do, or the struggles that are associated with trying to survive in a consistently changing landscape that threatens implosion at seemingly every turn.
“It's not a profession that's easily understood or translated. It's not like telling someone, ‘I'm a pipefitter.’
“On the basic level, everyone knows pipefitting is a manual labor job, and as such, requires long hours and grueling days. There is an immediate and direct connection between a career and difficulty.
“The journalist, however, is not so lucky.
“No one sees the consistently empty pockets, low pay, long hours and a little sleep the average journalist gets. There are hours and days of hard research, fact-checking interviews and photographs that don't really translate to the story people may read in their local newspaper.
“Rarely does the story detail how much of the writer's soul was left on the page, pieces sacrificed willingly in pursuit of truth and the greater good.
“The translation is difficult, because from one perspective, there's a man or a woman sitting in a comfy leather office chair staring blankly into a screen, as his fingers click away at keys on a keyboard, as he or she takes sips from his or her Mojito in a well-air-conditioned, high-rise office building.
“While that might be the view from the top, it's certainly not the same as the ones from the middle or bottom.
“Those journos are the proverbial blue-collar workers of the media world. Often, they work 10 times more hours than those well-established writers at the top, and five times more than the ones in the middle.
“They travel more miles than they care to admit, and lose more hours of sleep than they can count. They never truly "unplug" from the news cycle, and are forever caught in it's grasp like a cocaine addict in the throes of remission during a brief stay at Club Rehab.
“The art of staying above ground, despite managing the weight of the responsibility of truth and unbiased reporting, is difficult enough picture to paint for the average reporter...
“Journalists are built on hope — for ambitious careers, the environment they survive in and humanity as a whole. They are consumed by it, regardless of the tinges of pessimism that run rampant through its industry.”
Marion’s post continued for a few more paragraphs, as he promised to write a book about the life of a journalist. His plan is to write a chapter a day.
Life as a journalist can be very challenging, and the demand never stops.
We are public servants, dedicating our life to covering your community.
Chad Wilson is the editor of the Athens Daily Review.
journalist,work,internet,publishing,marcus marion,journalism,chad wilson,interview,reporter,photograph,get