Why This Matters

Maddie McGarvey, a talented young photojournalist, was laid off two weeks ago as part of the cuts at Gannett. Her post on that and why this still matters is a must read for all young journalists.

I remember this winter being at a gathering for a teenager who died suddenly in a nearby town. Everywhere I looked there were people crying and remembering this young man. Surrounded by so much emotion I broke down. I cried the entire way home and thought about him for a long time. I remember thinking I was being a weak journalist and that I should toughen up. But he showed me how a community reacts when sad things happen, and how they can help each other get through tough times. (Emphasis mine.)

What we do matters. The industry is a bloody mess but there are still stories that need to be told.

I’m asked, often, by former colleagues who I can stand in a room full of bright, impressionable kids and talk about the glory days, knowing they will never have the career I had, that it’s a dark gloomy place full of despair and poverty.

Usually, I just blink at them. Then I admit the business model of journalism is broken, but someone WILL figure out the new one and I’m pretty sure it’ll be one of those bright, impressionable kids – problem is, I don’t know which one yet.

So I have to get them all to drink the Kool-Aid, I have to get them all to care.

It’s not a cruel act, it’s a hopeful act.

This. Matters.

Mark E. Johnson

1 Response

  1. That is absolutely perfect … it has to be a hopeful act … we have to have hope, journalism is too important for us to just give-up … so we’re going to need those students to brave this meat-grinder that is journalism today because we can’t start from scratch after this is all over, we have to continue to build!

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