And those that are left behind do two things: they adapt and equip themselves for the future, or they shrivel up and wonder what the hell happened. They spend their days licking their wounds. They whine and whine about how injust their "separation" with their former gig was, and they spend what seems like all of their energy in a desperate attempt to put the blame on everyone else.
As a board member and former president of the OC Press Club, I hear over and over again how hard it is for "old school" journalists to adapt to the new world. Take, for example, a recent blog post about how one media company is utilizing interns. One upset former journalist sees that as unthinkable, saying that an intern can't possibly provide the kind of perspective as someone who actually lived the experience they are writing about. No one is arguing that. The argument is that when a publication has shrinking revenues, they either fold or they figure out a way to stay alive until things change. In the case of one particular media company, interns have made an enormous contribution. They are keeping that company above water. In fact, when a company is profitable for 10 of the last 12 months of this past year - they must be doing something right.
Bitter laid-off staffers could learn a lesson from today's enthusiastic interns. Their positive what-can-I-learn attitude is a lesson for everyone. They are experiencing life in a media company, getting guidance from veteran editors, compiling a thick portfolio of writing clips and prepping for THEIR future. And, in most cases today, doing it without pay. Former staffers need to determine what is going to make them "valuable" as companies today continue to do more with less.
My recommendation: Take a hard look in the mirror and stop pointing fingers. Maybe it isn't the industry that's gone sour.
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