How cult-think destroyed a profession. Hint: don't pay the minions very much, but tell them how important they are...


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Toronto Star severance packages accepted by 166

The Canadian Press · Posted: Dec 10, 2009 8:32 AM


Torstar cutting 160 jobs to save $12M a year

The Canadian Press 
Published Thursday, April 17, 2008 1:32PM EDT 


Torstar cuts jobs amid ad slump 



Torstar posts $211.2M Q4 loss on media property writedowns, Prichard out as CEO By: DAVID FRIEND, Canadian Press, The, Feb 26, 2009


Torstar posts loss amid advertising dip By: Lisa Wright, Toronto Star (Canada), 03190781, May 01, 2008




HONDERICH BACK AT STAR AMID HUGE LOSSES By: Sandro Contenta, Hamilton Spectator, The (ON), Feb 27, 2009


Journalism never paid well. As in, they do not pay a truly livable wage. Reading a Facebook group when someone asked why journalism doesn’t pay well, some deluded troll went on how the Star paid well a decade ago, but a decade ago the Star was slashing jobs, and their wage back then wasn’t all that at all. I knew people from that era and their salaries were a pittance in a big city then, too — and as I had been a reporter writing about the Canadian newspaper industry, I knew their paywalls back then, and it was a shitty wage back then, too.

It helps that journalists have no memories, lie through their teeth, and have too many birds on their antennae.

It is journalism’s dirty little secret: the wages of the profession sucked. That is the reason so many moonlight as teachers, freelances, PR hacks, and the like. Some got in trouble when their moonlighting turned out to be a conflict of interest.

The US national broadcast anchors don’t represent the whole — less than one percent if we are generous. It is no different than acting as a job: you have a smattering of players who make enviable salaries, but even then, it doesn’t last long.

Business reporting seems to be lucrative, but it is a sketchiest of beats.

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It is more advertising than journalism, with companies often paying reporters under the table to shill their shit, or worse, which I have recounted in two of my books. Graft and junkets ensure favourable coverage, and it is the reason why so many fraudulent companies and their huckster executives get away with so much in the first place.

When the industry thought they could get something out of Facebook, they bent over backwards sucking up to Mark Zuckerberg with their obnoxious propaganda.


When their fortunes fell despite their propagandistic fellating, their coverage changed.

This isn’t a minor conflict of interest: this is misusing the profession for personal gain.

But journalism’s relationship with money has always been a shady one. The Pre-Penny Press Era was brazenly partisan for that reason.

Yet it doesn’t answer the question of why are journalists given such poor pay.

It is a form of control. You will not have those in the profession openly admit to it, and the dissonance makes them easier to control. You want to brag, and it was once a career with prestige. Your job is a public one. You seem to have control and clout…

And yet, the pay check is shockingly low. Keep your pawns just out of reach of the prize, and you tether them, and they begin to shift their focus away from what matters.

They will obsess over celebrity. They will defer to authority. They will lobby for patronage appointments. They will worry more about keeping up appearances and a façade than re-invent the profession.

It is a form of manipulation, and it is also a form of cognitive dissonance. It is the way to break members the way a cult does: you want to move up the ranks, and you want to be superior to those unenlightened beings on the outside who aren’t in the little club. You will deny mistreatment. You will make excuses about why you are actually there. You will defend the in-group.

You will buy into your own propaganda before you spread it elsewhere because the first person a liar must deceive is himself.


It is a sucker’s game, and your suckers will take abuse of all sorts as they preach to the world.

And it is the reason the profession has an aversion to change or admit flaw.

It is the reason why journalism needs an alternative: you need fresh ideas, fresh air, and a fresh and healthy perspective that is free of cult-think, and is open to seeing the world as it is: a place that needs facts and not martyrs…