In the 1976 classic Network, journalist Howard Beale shouted the now famous, line “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Well, it seems the sentiment still rings true today.
I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about blogger credibility, traditional media jobs changing or disappearing altogether, and the art of PR/MARCOM strategy stepping up with the web, but I haven’t really lent a voice to the genuine frustrations of today’s traditional journalist. Well, never fear, according to the worldwide news agency AFP, there is a new web site, which allows disgruntled, frustrated, and even enraged reporters to blow off a little steam anonymously. (Warning, some of the posts contain profanity.)
The site, which is really just a giant message board, is a terrific glimpse into the real annoyances, resentments and disappointments of traditional journalists today.
“I hate the fact that print and online can’t work together! Come on, online is the future, so please have some respect for the webeditors!” says Angry Journalist #700.
“I’m angry I got plagiarized by a blogger, and that other bloggers picked up ‘his’ story … Why do readers think that some guy in his boxers sitting on his mom’s couch can give them better news? It must come back to the fact that news organizations have done such a poor job, due to layoffs, mismanagement, and outsourcing customer service, that the average reader really can’t tell the difference anymore,” says Angry Journalist #2927.
Angry Journalist #2914 reflects a different perspective: “As a blogger who became a professional journalist, I’m still angry at publications using blogs for research and never giving credit where it’s due.”
“I’m not angry, I refuse to be angry,” said # 2900. “I am however disappointed that our noble profession has become a joke and real journalists are pushed aside. Why didn’t we catch Hillary’s Bosnia lie the moment it was spoken? Why didn’t we find Obama’s racist mentor first? Why didn’t we question the campaign finances of McCain? Why not challenge Al Gore’s hypocrisy? Or give equal time to legit scientists who challenge him? Why not look into who gave CBS a forged a memo? Why not challenge George Bush on his pre-war claims? I’m disappointed that the media has become lazy and nobody investigates anymore. The internet and bloggers are better at uncovering information than media. We’ve lost the respect of the people, and will have to regain it.”
AFP scored an interview with AngryJournalist.com’s creator, Kiyoshi Martinez, 23, who worked as web editor for Chicago area community newspapers. He told them he was disappointed about the direction of the industry and launched his website after reading a study on burnout among newspaper journalists.
Steve Outing, a columnist for the trade publication Editor and Publisher, said news executives should pay attention to angryjournalist.com. “Things get said on this website that otherwise would not get said — other than perhaps at the neighborhood bar to co-workers or at home with a spouse,” he wrote in his column last month. “I can’t help but think that this is a good thing for the news industry.”
I think PR pros should also pay attention. So often we forget, it’s our job to make journalists’ jobs easier. Reading about the things that most frustrate them will only help us to do that.
Meanwhile, in keeping with my previous post about journalists moving to the “dark side” of marketing/communications, Martinez now works as a communications specialist for the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus, and is reportedly happy to have left journalism, earning more money and more vacation in a better working environment.
“I’m having a blast,” he said.
Credit to: AFP, worldwide news agency and Brietbart.com