Conversation with a Colleague or Unemployment Week Three Interesting trade article on this very subject.

I was surprised with a phone call from a former colleague the other day. Over the span of… (let’s just say a long time) this person and I have worked in more than one city, together, or as competitors. Like any two people who have known each other for that long we do not always see eye to eye. With the comfort long term friendship brings, we can enjoy spending time trying to get the other person to see things correctly. It can be very difficult when I feel I need to show my friend the light because he uses six dollar words with the speed of a carnival barker to make his point. I tend to rely on “the look” to make my point which puts me at a huge disadvantage since we usually debate over the phone. I get very little practice using my verbal skills to spar with him because my colleague is one of the smartest men in the business

My friend called to see how I was doing as I move into week three of unemployment. He apparently thought I have been a little quiet on the subject, a cause for concern having experienced my Irish temper. We began to discuss the sorry state of affairs with so many television, newspaper, and radio professionals being out of work. We agreed on the multi layers of how the business got to this point. I doubt you can find a person out there who doesn’t agree the business model needs to change. Which one of the many ideas floating around will eventually work remains to be seen. We concurred on the long term repercussions on society without quality journalism. Every day journalists are being forced to compromise because there is not enough time or money to do the story as it needs to be told and must be told. Investigative journalism is taking the biggest hit and we as citizens, have never had a greater need for quality investigative reporting. When Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has to give media companies lessons on journalism we need to take note. A comedy show or a fake news show as it is commonly called, teaching the class tells me it is time to utter the classic line from Network, “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!”

It used to be a good part of the work day to debate the minutia of our business and look for ways to become better at what we do. With more hours of news to program and shrinking staff levels, hardly anyone “debates” the minutia in the workplace. The days of the entire newsroom gathering after a newscast daily to talk about the product are long gone in most newsrooms. This only happens off site, on line, in class, or informal groups because most media professionals are still passionate about the work they do.

My friend and I disagreed somewhat on the future of media. But most of all, I was surprised at how much we could agree on since we are sitting on very different sides of the fence. You see my friend has been forced to lay off much of the staff he has trained, nurtured or hired. Nurturing old friendships, the real upside of unemployment.

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