Monday, December 08, 2008

I weep for my (former) profession

On one of my media news feeds today, I saw an item about an essay contest:

Why I am the future of journalism.

I found myself thinking I'm a sure winner.

Because I have the horrible feeling I am the future of journalism:

A young, promising journalist who took the money and quit the profession for something more stable amid buyouts, threats of closing papers, fears management has no idea how to react to the struggling economy and changing times, and a general pessimism about the future of the industry.

I wish I didn't feel that way. I miss newspaper work almost every day. But one of my former employers filed for bankruptcy protection today, and that only serves as more evidence I did exactly what my former employers told me to do: What was best for my family.

Despite enjoying many of the challenges of my new job, I find myself struggling to adjust, struggling with whether I did the right thing, struggling with guilt, fear, anxiety.

Don't get me wrong. I have an interesting job, surrounded by good people, in what seems like a fairly stable place. Not to mention getting a free lunch and being home for dinner with the woman I love.

But I watch, with fear, as the industry I loved fights to stay out of a death spiral and I can't decide if I should feel the relief of a rat off a sinking ship, or the guilt of a survivor of a fatal train wreck.

It's not helping me adjust, I can say that much with confidence. And that may be the only confidence I have right now, in anything.