Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Rick Reilly Rebuttal

Dear Mr. Reilly,

I read the commentary on the speech you delivered at your alma mater, the University of Colorado. As all your columns, I enjoy the insight, humor, and above all, the truth to your words.

This piece resonated to my core.

I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 with a degree in English Writing. Since, I have freelanced on Examiner.com and created a sports blog featured on the Yardbarker network and Bleacher report.

I agree that writers shouldn't offer their services for free, it will only lead to others taking advantage of the craft we spent four years in college and post-university working on. Not to mention the thousands spent in tuition most of us are still paying back.

However, the world has changed. The media landscape has been run over by a rotary tiller. There was a time when newspaper and magazine internships were the next logical step to begin an editorial career. Unfortunately, for my class of 2008 and beyond, those days are gone.

Twenty years ago, recent graduates would begrudgingly get coffee and work the Sunday football scores section. Our generation would kill for that opportunity to get a foot in the door. Your generation would describe this work as being a "gopher". My generation calls it a grand opportunity. Even an unpaid internship at a newspaper is nearly impossible to land.

How do you get work noticed when your a SeaMonkey in a shark tank full of limitless content?

As much as we want to stick to our ethical standards we learned in Journalism school, what choice do we have?

Getting noticed today isn't about the quality of content, but the quantity of which it is pumped out onto the web.

Speed has surpassed caliber. Gossip now outweighs fact.

The nostalgia once felt from a newspaper in between someones finger tips have been replaced by the frustration of holding one. As much as twitter, facebook, and blogging have diluted journalistic integrity and editorial aptitude, it has become a necessary evil. Turning our cheeks to this technology would only stick young journalists in deeper stagnation and professional writing quick sand.

There are thousands of us out here. A countless number of 20-somethings who pine for the days when reading the paper was part of our social fabric.

No writer wants to write for free. But, what other option do we have?

Stick to our guns, wait it out, and hope society reverts backwards?

In a 24/7 mobile media culture, what evidence suggests that will happen?

The only option for most of us is to blog with ferocity, tweet and share with intensity, and hope blind luck trips us like an uneven sidewalk.

Trust me when I say we all have pride. But, in this current economical and sociological climate, pride is going to have to take a backseat to gainful employment.

Most of your columns are dead on. On this issue however, Go Fish.

No comments:

Post a Comment