Am I crazy?
Every time. Every. Time. I say I’m an aspiring journalist, I’m met with the same flat-pack, freeze-dried, just-add-water, asinine response:
“Huh, you sure it’s a good idea to try and join a dying industry?”
After dusting myself off and being accosted by my partner (apparently, grabbing someone by their squidgy bits until they scream out “mummy” in such a high-pitched voice that only dogs can hear it isn’t correct dinner party etiquette) I genuinely start to wonder, are they spouting drivel, or do they have a valid point?
My view of journalism growing up had such a liberally-gooey veneer of romanticism about it that even just thinking about it caused such a sense of nostalgic constipation that can only ever be recreated by budding grandparents, reminiscing about how everything in the ’50s was covered in malt and everybody drove Chevys whilst Elvis sat in the back seat whispering sweet, sweet nothings into your ear.
Huh. Where were we?
Journalists! Yes! What a bunch of complete and utter bastards they are. Vultures, near enough. Prying from the bones of tragedy something they seem to think is important.
The story. It is important, dammit. Even if I have to mow down several small children to get to it, I’m going to cover it.
I’ll tell you, those journalists, they’re almost as bad as politicians.
Or those ultimate bastards: used car salesmen.
The thing is though, journalism, to me, is so much more than reporting.
More than standing outside the house of some suspected squatter and brazenly asking him if he’s ashamed of how he’s living his life, despite the fact you’re working on A Current Affair, and honestly, in my books, I know whose shoes I’d rather be in.
Just… Listen buddy, I’ll let go of your squidgy bits as soon as you realise that (other than the fact I don’t need your validation) journalism isn’t even dying. You can’t kill a set of tools. You can’t kill a trade. Different models of cars may roll through the years, but the mechanic can still fix your pointlessly ostentatious 3 Series BMW, with the licence plate BMW because sometimes you happen to forget what you’re driving, so leave him alone and let him get on with his job of overcharging you for changing your oil because you were too busy in accounting school or whatever to bother learning any real life skills.
You can’t even change a tyre, can you?
Just like that mechanic will still be showing his pleasant crescent for years to come, fixing cars whether they be powered by gasoline, electricity, hydrogen, or the corpses of our enemies, the journalist will morph into what he needs to be. Journalism will survive the digital age, allowing each journalistic sector to specialise in one particular area.
World news. Politics. Sports. Investigative journalism. Business, finance and economics. Culture and arts. Industry. Environment. Life and style. Comment and general ramblings. Science and technology. Time-lapse videos of Kim Kardashian’s boobs over the years.
Whatever your fancy, it will be tickled. And I’ll be right there, your ankle gripped firmly in one hand and a giant novelty duster in the other, ready.
Am I crazy?
But maybe you need me to be.