While the New York Times boasts of increasing subscriptions, other smaller newspapers are having yet another round of job cuts.
What is happening in the world of newspapers is what happened to my grandmother after she became immobilized after the paramedics dropped her.
Because she couldn’t move and was confined to bed, her body slowly started to break down.
Mom and I pretty much spent 24/7 moving her from side to side with pillows to prevent bed sores and to keep her system going, every fifteen minutes. Mom slept on a sofa in grandma’s room. Technically, there are beds that move you automatically, but they do not work like they should in theory. When grandma landed in ICU and was on such a bed, she got bed sores, and it took us quite a bit to heal them.
You absolutely have to keep active or your body stops functioning.
The arteries start dying, but not right away. The smaller ones start to atrophy first, and it puts more pressure on the big ones to function.
But eventually, everything shuts down.
And the person expires.
I witnessed this up close with someone I knew since the day I was born.
But I recognized a lot of what I witnessed with her with something I witnessed exploring journalism.
Smaller properties atrophying slowly before starting to cannibalize the big ones. Overall numbers continue to drop. That’s reality, and it has been for the last couple of decades.
The insanity of the journalistic groupthink is mystifying. You go to the doctor who tells you that you have cancer, but with surgery, chemo, and radical lifestyle changes, you’ll be healthy again, and she even shows you your tests results, x-rays, ultrasound, scans, blood tests, everything. You have all of the signs and symptoms. The doctor even goes so far as to encourage you to get a second, third, and fourth opinion, and runs all of the tests, and it all comes back the same. There is no debate that you are in danger.
What would you do?
(A) Go for treatment ASAP, change your lifestyle, and resume your life.
(B) Deny that you are sick, say all those tests results prove that you are healthy as you were in your youth, attack anyone who says you are sick, and go about the same way you did before.
Journalists opted for B.
You may have been young, healthy and strong, swaggering around, bossing and bullying kids on the playground, and come off the victor of bar brawl after bar brawl, but now you are sick.
Denying your weakness isn’t going to turn your fortunes around.
That’s at the heart of the profession’s collapse.
I could see that because I went in to study it. It is the difference between joining a cult because you believe their twaddle, and going in to study it because you see the twaddle for what it is.
Yet you still do the same things, but finding out why this cult believes in what it does — how do they talk themselves into believing something clearly not aligned with reality.
Where did it go so horribly wrong?
And what are the excuses this cult is using to keep reality away from them?
I saw the decay up close. I also walked miles and miles in their shoes. I was a journalist, but I wasn’t a member of the cult. That’s how Method Research works.
And even though I was a journalist, I was also an Actrivist. I questioned myself, and my motives: why did I interview someone a certain way? Why did I pitch this article? Why did I use this source before another one?
That’s how you see the flaws and how you improve the methods.
That’s what you are supposed to do: not statically cling on to an old rule and think that the world evolves and changes, but you got a Get Out Of Reality Free Card.
Being an Actrivist means being flexible and always refining and evolving. It is woven into the mandate and definition. Activist/Actress.
You keep moving, stopping to reflect and refine, but then you keep moving again.
So that you are not left behind, but chasing out in front.
You are future-focussed.
You see all around you as you keep moving, walking in another’s shoes in order to understand their place in the evolving world.’
So that you don’t start to rot and lose your lifelines one by one.
Because I have seen that up close.
And no one should ever have to go through that.
But when a profession willingly chooses it, is appalling.
My grandmother didn’t choose it. It was imposed upon her by careless hands.
Journalism has no excuse for it, but they thinking up news one every day as they rot in place…