04-11-2008, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
In these times where the media is being criticized for being too 'liberal' , too 'lap dogs', of covering all but the "real" stories or just plain making stuff up. A site gives a rare look at how journalists themselves feel about their job.
They're angry at their demanding editors. They're angry about the mushrooming workload in shrinking newsrooms. They're even angry about other angry journalists.
But these angry journalists are happy they can now vent their frustrations to the rest of the world, courtesy of angryjournalist.com, a sort of online complaint board allowing ink-stained wretches to gripe anonymously.
Ironically, their anger is partly fueled by the Internet, which has forced newspapers and television networks to reinvent themselves with painful consequences for their staffs.
There's the veterans complaining about newsrooms stretched thin by executives requiring reporters to produce stories for old and new media.
"I'm angry because my company, just like the rest of the industry, wants me to do more with less. They've said, 'To hell with quality. Let's just fill the website with as much (expletive) as possible,'" gripes Angry Journalist #241.
There's also the young guns frustrated by the culture clash.
"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.
The website contains gripes ranging from existential musings about one's career to expletive-laced diatribes that trigger heated exchanges.
Angry Journalist #2559 seems to think that his or her newspaper serves for other purposes than informing readers: "Whatever I write ulimately (sic) either ends up as cage lining or as blankets for bums."
As one would expect at any other job, bosses get the brunt of the gripes.
"Our executive editor, the man who's supposed to be leading our newsroom, wanders around the building like he forgot where he left his coffee cup," writes Angry Journalist #2570.
The website was created by a former journalist who cut short his young career in the news business to work in political communications in Illinois. But he insists his decision to change paths was not driven by anger.
Kiyoshi Martinez, 23, who worked as Web editor for Chicago area community newspapers, said he was "disappointed" in his young journalism career about the direction of the industry.
In early February, the same month he quit journalism, Martinez launched his website after reading a study on burnout among newspaper journalists, which sparked his interest in knowing what was on reporters' minds.
Since then, his website has inspired an imitator, happyjournalist.com, which has much catching up to do with only about 100 "pieces of happiness" compared to the more than 2,600 gripes so far on angryjournalist.com.
"It's kind of depressing to see an industry treat its workers so badly," Martinez told AFP.
While venting about one's job is nothing new, Scott Reinardy, the journalism professor at Ball State University whose burnout study inspired Martinez, says angryjournalist.com provides a place for discussion about the direction of the news business in the age of the Internet.
"Angryjournalist is a tremendous site to allow journalists to vent," Reinardy said in a telephone interview.
"We're in a state of real transition and it's just going to take some time, it's going to take some pain before we can do it I'm afraid," he said. "The uncertainty is scary to people."
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."
Meanwhile, Martinez, who now works as a communications specialist for the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus, is happy to have left journalism, earning more money and more vacation in a better working environment.
"I'm having a blast," he said.
Angry Journalist #856 is also happier now: "I'm not angry anymore. I quit my job."
Angry journalists vent their frustrations to the world
The website in question:
AngryJournalist.com - Why are you angry today?