I’m looking at brochures for area colleges for different programs, some of which are in the medical field. There’s one I really like. One plan is to take the basic classes and then go from there.
No, I don’t necessarily plan on being the next Michael Crichton (who, by the way, was a genius at taking complicated scientific concepts and making them readable). And if someone needs a full-time reporter, columnist, copy writer, web content writer, public affairs specialist, I’m still very much available. I see this possible jaunt into a medical career as a backup, an insurance policy to protect me against an unstable industry.
Truth is, the journalism industry is drying up. There are great newspapers, magazines and websites out there, but the industry also has management who wouldn’t know a news story from an editorial. Some might not even be able to distinguish straight news from satire. Instead of addressing the issues at hand and getting to the bottom, they’re getting rid of the great workers, keeping the clueless ones and trying silly concepts like citizen journalism.
Call me frustrated, call me bitter, but to me citizen journalism a ridiculous copout. I know some newspapers do it to save money by having people write for free, but why stop at journalism? Why shouldn’t hospitals trim their budgets by having citizen surgeons? How about auto shops employing citizen mechanics to replace blown head gaskets? How much money could we save on AIDS research by employing citizen scientists to do free research?
Look, writing’s not the world’s toughest job, but it’s definitely not the easiest, either. I’ve seen far too many abysmal attempts at writing to believe that citizen journalism will be a smashing success. In the end, these newspapers will get what they pay for.
Currently, my only outlet for writing may be the blogs I maintain, simply because there are no openings in my industry.