Sorry I haven't blogged much lately. Just haven't felt like funning.
Times have been pretty rough 'round here at the Star-T, where 130 people -- 50 in the newsroom -- have lost their jobs recently. For many, they're losing their professional identities, too.
Journalism has always been more of a mission than a job. Be a cynic if you want, but everybody I know who is in this business considers it a calling ... to tell stories, to deconstruct tough issues, to protect the public and hold leaders accountable, to uncover human interest stories, to make readers laugh (and cry), and to reflect our communities.
It isn't to make money or be famous, or even to bowl with celebrities ('cept for me).
No matter how bleak the outlook has been in our industry the last few years -- and ours certainly isn't the first newspaper company to lay people off -- journalists stick it out because we love what we do. Readers just don't love us back the way they used to. And, I'm not gonna lie, it hurts.
Helping my friends and colleagues pack their things and bid farewell to the craft we cherish has been heartbreaking. But I've been struck by just how classy their exits have been. In their hours of uncertainty, all have offered words of encouragement to those of us staying afloat for now.
They've talked about being lucky and feeling honored to do this work for 10, 15, 20 years. And about the opportunities we all still have "to share stories that matter, to shine a light in corners that need cleaning, to make noise about problems in real people’s lives."
It's inspiring, really. But also sad.
Last night, I took advantage of one of the many perks of working for the Star-Telegram -- a free ticket to see Monty Python's Spamalot at Bass Hall. And it felt great to laugh. Some of the friends who will be leaving the S-T were there, too, and when King Arthur and his dancing knights broke into "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," I smiled ... and nearly shed a tear.