Welcome to the new incarnation of #Realtalk from your editor!
This weekly column was inspired by my now-defunct Tumblr blog, but it’s going to be more than one-liners and animated gifs (though there will be plenty of those). It’s going to be a place for super practical conversation about working in media.
#RealTalk isn’t advice so much as a reality check for the modern journalist. Sometimes I’ll field questions—from ethical quandaries to matters of opinion to pleas for technical help.
And sometimes I’ll ignore you all and devote a column to whatever feels timely. I’m not an expert; I just work a lot. So depending on the topic at hand, I’ll be soliciting input from whip-smart journalists in other corners of the business. (Oh, you thought journalism was a public service? Nope, it’s business, folks! There’s your first bit of #realtalk.)
Now, you may have heard something about how our industry is “in flux” due to all this “new media” and the “changing landscape.” You know, “the Internet.”
If you are employed as a journalist, you know why I put these terms in scare quotes. “New media” is just media. “In flux” is a permanent state. How should a publication’s Tumblr presence differ from its Twitter presence? Why are publishers still obsessed with paywalls when clearly the model only works for the New York Times? When and where should journalists agree to write for free—and how do editors deal with the guilt induced by dismal online pay rates? Is HuffPo really the worst when it comes to repackaging content that other outlets have paid to create, or is it just an easy scapegoat? How come only male journalists won National Magazine Awards this year?
I’ll attempt to answer questions like these with YouTube clips and animated gifs and emoji and, yes, good old-fashioned words. I promise to be tough and judgy as hell, but never unnecessarily mean.
Send your queries and conundrums to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m excited! Let’s do this thing.