Disposable Journalists

I’ve found more failure than success at writing jobs, at this point in my life.

I’ve had pitches rejected and ignored. Publications have told me they don’t have room for contributors or that they do not have a fit for me on their staff.

Further, websites have cut me for various reasons. Sometimes, I missed posting or page views quotas. Other times, it was my own laziness which caused me to make editorial mistakes. Otherwise, I was not a fit for that editor or website.

This does not make me salty. I understand a writer needs credibility and an audience. I also understand that a writer sometimes clashes with the person who criticizes their heart-filled work.

Nonetheless, it seems like they forgot the hundreds of times I got it right. They disregard hundreds of thousands of reads and engagements I registered for these publications. They fail to empathize with the time and effort that I put into each article.

Forget the fact that everyone makes a mistake. Especially, the common person who acts like they’ve never had a comma space or used the wrong form of there.

Forget the fact that publications used to have dedicated staffs to edit and catch errors. They still expect me to write and catch my own errors.

Forget the fact that I am only paid pennies per page view, if anything for my contribution. They still expect top-notch material

For these publications, it was easier to cut me than to train me. It was easier to replace me than to help me.

Granted, anyone can be a writer. Anyone can be a journalist. That has always been the case.

To write, you only need a pen or a computer. To be a journalist, you just need to write and talk to people. You do not need a degree for either.

Nonetheless, writers and journalists must constantly prove themselves. The self-publication era has made it even easier for everyone to write and report. We are all connected via the internet. We also have access to a ton of platforms.

This has also made it easier for publications to replace their contributors and/or writers.

We are constantly in competition with each other for jobs and stories. We are constantly competing for the attention of readers and affirmation of publications.

This is not a bad thing. It ensures that journalists and writers consistently serve the public and their audiences.

Journalists are supposed to be the fourth branch of government, which should hold the branches accountable. Further, we are more accountable for entertaining our readers. They have millions of options.

Added, the on-demand generation has created a pressure to entertain and inform faster. Hence, our job is getting harder and more competitive.

So what do we do about this?

We could cry on our blogs like I am. However, there is enough crap on the web.

We could unionize. However, see the above vague description of a journalist and writer. Does the person with a blog deserve the same rights as someone on a major platform?

The only answer is to keep writing. Regardless of the platform, publish when and where you can.

When you feel like quitting, remember that other people are going through the same thing.

When you feel like no one is reading, remember the people your dedicated readers like your family and friends.

Don’t let these publications win. Our audiences outlast these publications.

Our passion outlasts these publications.

So keep writing. Write on big platforms. Write on small platforms. Write for a lot of people. Write for no one.

Keep perfecting your craft and building your audience.

I know I will.


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