Saturday, 14 November 2009

Anonymous 2

The TSF reader who posted the original anonymous "reporter chained to his desk" comment that has generated a lot of feedback, has more to say about Bill Glisky's POVs.

From "the reporter chained to his desk like a dog in a cage . . ."

I fail to understand how Mr. Glisky or anyone else could assume that my distaste for the direction newspapers are heading is any indication of my attitude towards how I go about working a story. That is ludicrous.

I was pretty clear to point out my qualities of being a digger, hard worker, etc are not appreciated. I was also clear to point out that it's bad out there, really bad in some cases, many probably worse than mine. But I spoke out, albeit without attaching my name, but I said it and I stick by what I said.

It's funny, we're hired to ask questions and be critical of everyone but if we do it of ourselves it's blasphemy. As in, how dare a reporter question the state of his newspaper or those running it. Come on.

Moving on.

Even though I found Mr. Glisky's reply way out of bounds and illogical in the sense it missed the point I was trying to make, I still appreciate the passion for which he appears to go about being an editor. I'd take a nasty jerk for an editor with some balls over a dead body at a desk any day. We don't have that way out here. So. Go Bill Go.

However, to attack a reporter for expressing how they feel is proving my point all the more. It's the easy way out. Forget about looking at the issues at hand, let's hammer him with a bunch of nonsense and belittle him for things we assume are correct. That's a great way to go about things and says a lot about a person's intellect.

Our papers are run by editors who, for the very large part, have never been a reporter and would never know what it is like to work a story. Reporters aren't meant to always be at a desk or sifting though the Internet to find stories, they should be out and about digging, talking and meeting with people.

Technology has made the reporter nothing more than a gatherer, like a squirrel collecting nuts or pieces of discarded bread. That's a fact and can't be argued otherwise. If we can't agree with that, we're already dead.

It's a disease that not only hinders Sun Media but Canwest and others. So, say what you want about what I said, I wrote what I felt and I wrote it from the heart. Like, Mr. Glisky, I'll fight the bastards day in and day out.

I appreciate a good debate like anyone else and I'm glad what I wrote has sparked a lively one.

And as for you, Mr. Glisky, if I ever come to Belleville I'll look you up for a pint. I'm sure Belleville has a pub or two.

Long live the reporter.

Long live the newspaper.


  1. I agree that I would love to be able to work with someone like Bill who still cares about the newspaper industry and its workers.

    However, the person who wrote this blog is correct in being angry with the changes.

    There are always going to be reporters who don't have ambition, but those that do nowadays lose it quickly after realizing it's not going to take them anywhere because nobody cares.

    Right now at community papers, the only way to keep your job is to keep the number of story, photo, and breaking news counts up. No one reads our stories, the publisher just pulls out his Excel spreadsheet and calculates how many each reporter did in a week.

    We no longer can spend time researching and digging for a great story because if we do, we may actually be out of a job because although that story was something a reporter may be proud of, the publisher and managers don't care, they just look at the numbers.

    So although I wish I could be all "starry eyed" and live in the newspaper past, I have to snap back to reality and realize that the only way I can keep my job is to pump out the fluffy stories and put the award-winning articles on a bookshelf somewhere.

  2. I worked with Bill, he's a good guy with great intentions and gets the most out of his staff and it's inspiring to see him to continue to remain his positive attitude.

    But having seen what this company has done the past year and a half, it has absolutely demoralized our newsroom. No one is motivated to go the extra mile, knowing there's no benefit (aside from a pat on the back from fellow reports) and everyone is scared they will be the next to get a pink slip.

    There's not even a chance to work hard to advance to a bigger paper because if someone leaves at said paper, the position won't even be replaced. PKP saves another few pennies.

    There's no incentive to go the extra mile because as the previous poster mentioned, upper management doesn't care. If they don't care, why should we? If you dare question anything, consider your neck on the line.

    It's a horrible attitude to have but until there's a total rehaul of upper management and a desire to motivate their newsrooms, things are going to get worse.

  3. What I find interesting from Mr. Glisky's comments is the idea that reporting is a vocation, not a career. While I appreciate the sentiment, it's exactly that kind of brain-dead, asinine attitude that's contributed to this corporate culture that says "hey we're so lucky to be working as reporters that it doesn't matter that we're not paid what used to be called a "decent living wage." That's the kind of sentiment that management continues to dangle over our heads like the sword of Damocles, and too many of us are only too willing to go along with it...