Archive for April 26th, 2012

“I need to find the joy and excitement I once experienced as a journalist,” an editor told me in a recent comment on my blog. “I just don’t feel it right now. I pray it will return.”

This editor, Emily Olson, managing editor of the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn., is not one of the curmudgeons I addressed recently, resisting change in newsrooms. She is leading change in her newsroom. She was described by her publisher at the time (and now her group editor), Matt DeRienzo as an “unsung hero” of the Journal Register Co. turnaround. In the video below, Emily discusses the Register Citizen’s Newsroom Café , recognized by the Associated Press Media Editors as Innovator of the Year for 2011.

So why and how has someone who shared in the innovation of the year lost her joy and excitement for journalism? And how can she regain it? Let’s start by reading Emily’s comment:

It’s been more than 15 years since I decided to leave my job delivering flowers and planting trees at a nursery, go back to school and become a newspaper reporter. Since then (1997) I have built a career as a writer and editor and watched the world change and move under my feet – first with digital cameras and jpgs, which replaced film and contact sheets, then digital layout, web postings once a week, and in the last three years have observed and taken part in – to some extent – the skyrocketing changes that our industry has embraced. I have a title that has the word “managing” and “editor” in it, but they don’t go hand in hand right now because in spite of the massive changes and rolling waves that crash on our desks, we still have to read email, copy and paste, process in photoshop, built unending queues of pages and try, in the midst of it all, to become a ninja.

Well, I pray that my bosses over the years are doing OK. Most of them have moved on, some of them stayed behind, and some of them, like me, are trying to keep up. Am I a curmudgeon? Probably, and that’s pretty sad, to be labeled as such, but I also believe that what I am doing is often so contrary to what is happening around me that I feel like giving up.


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