Six things I wish I’d known before I got into journalism, and maybe a few more

As promised, here’s the audio from today’s Daily Circuit roundtable on the “six things I wish I’d known before I got into journalism.”

I should set the record straight on a question late in the broadcast on bad bosses in the journalism field. I’ve actually been quite lucky to work with skilled and kindly bosses over the year (with the occasional exception), almost all of them much smarter than me. That includes the one in my hometown who always made me go cover the opening of stores because they bought advertising on the little radio station where I toiled.

I had a longer list than the six requested by Kerri Miller, including some that were suggested to me by other journos on my Facebook page:

  1. They’re not making enough smart people to sustain any journalistic business model.
  2. The news business isn’t the Washington Post and Watergate.
  3. “Just the page views” are the new “just the facts.”
  4. Wish I’d known small market media would collapse.
  5. Wish I’d interviewed the people I intended to interview when I had the chance.
  6. Lou Grant is not the model editorial process.
  7. From Lindsey Seavert at KARE: In the words of one of my favorite news directors Scott Libin, sometimes it’s a story – other times it’s a report. Also, I knew finances would be a struggle but I wish I would’ve realized how hard it was to make it on pennies in those first 5 yrs. I wish I would’ve known that not everyone wants you to succeed. Some people are hoping you fail. Last, how incredibly difficult yet addictive the lifestyle is. It would be easier to do something else. You could probably make more money. Work shorter hours. See your family more. But not much else compares to a front seat in life, and hopefully enriching lives of others for the better.
  8. Concentrate on the story of people, and the high falutin’ issues will take of themselves.
  9. Always carry a pencil.