Because I have a dream, I work lots of extra hours every week as a freelance writer. Some would call it moonlighting. Freelance writing is supposed to be one of the gateways by which you can get a steady, healthy job somewhere as a writer and/or reporter. But there is a paradigm shift happening in the world of media, where no one -- literally no one -- seems to fully understand or is capable of accurately predicting what things like "journalism", "reporting", "media" and so on actually mean going forward. The things that a reporter learned in a School of Journalism in 1992 are hardly true today. The things I learned in Media Communications -- a field of study designed specifically to combine the tents of journalism with the future of "new media" are out dated now, even though I set out on that venture less than ten years ago.
Everybody is mostly just a stick in the wind.
I was inspired to write this because of Heather B.'s excellent piece on this site about the quality of our discourse with the "legacy" media, because of an excellent piece on Salon about the convergence of old and new media at the Final Four, and because I've found that, when I count it all out, my favorite sportswriters in this country all come from different backgrounds with different beginnings. It's left me feeling like there was no-one-way to get to the place I want to be.
Still, in some circles of the old media, people like myself and like others who choose to contribute to sites like this are looked down upon as uninformed wannabes, journalist troglodytes -- jealous and pithy and lacking credibility.
Those feelings have brought out the worst in all of us. I'm disappointed in some or many of these things. Not in the central point of them (I do believe that the thesis of everything I've written stands up), but rather in how I'd chosen to communicate them. Somewhere along the line, I'd decided that in the 14th months or so I've spent on Twitter, I wasn't going to be better than the lowest common denominator of both the fans and media who choose to bicker with one another. I spent a few moments feeling bad about that, and then I decided I wanted to start changing it.