A few weeks ago, I signed up for a morning newsletter on the state of the media (https://www.mediabistro.com/). This makes fascinating reading, so fascinating that I am now putting it in my "To read later" file.
Why do I have a "To read later" file? Because if you start your morning reading the generic newsletters - Salon, Huffington Post; the writing e-mails - Media Bistro, The Morning Nudge - a newsletter for writers, ProofreadNOW; all those e-mails from literary magazines; all the political e-mails I get - Move on.org, Civic Media Center posts, BoldProgessives.org; newsletters specific to my editing experise - All Music, Real Age, Men's Health, WebMD - well, the next thing you know, there IS no morning. And if you add in all the adds I get for clothes, books, gifts, etc., I could spend all day doing nothing but checking e-mail.
Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is that reading mediabistro is similar to watching the fall of the Journalism Empire. Almost every day there are stories about layoffs, closings and changes to downsize organizations. You would think, if you were a writer, that the end of writing is nigh.
However, you would be wrong. Did you see all the newsletters I referenced above? All filled with incredibly interesting, state-of-the-art stories? Yes, journalism is changing. I have been writing (and getting paid almost nothing) many articles for specific Web sites. I don't even get a bio for these articles. They are short, they are cheap, they are quick. If I want to complain about what I'm getting paid, hey, no problem. There are a dozen young starving journalists waiting to take my place.
On the other hand, I just uploaded my first article for a larger Website. I picked my own subject (teaching recycling to children), did my own research on my own time, used my own photos, and uploaded it at my convenience. Now we'll see if it actually gets published. And whether I will get paid enough to make it worth my while.
Here's to the new journalism. It may be faster, it may be cheaper, but it connects us in a way we've never been connected before - at the speed of light. Or at least, at the speed of my wireless Internet connection - which is pretty damn fast!