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Crappy newsrooms and crappier editors: Journalists vent their frustrations

Journalists are angry about a number of things and the transition to new media is one of them. In the tradition of Overheard in New York and True Office Confessions, journalists are having their say at AngryJournalist.com. Here are what some of them are saying (Warning: NSFW language.)

Angry Journalist #271: We are doing great things in multimedia online at our small newspaper. And it’s being done by those of us with no real journalism training whatsoever because our actual journalists turn up their noses at the web, and can’t seem to grasp the concept of adaptation and change.

Angry Journalist #276: The fact that papers look to hire journalists with online and multimedia skills, but only take paper packet applications. The fact we have to write the same amount of stories we always have AND do more multimedia on top of it.


Angry Journalist #257: We make multimedia projects, sure. But let’s make them only because we want to enter contests. Forget about storytelling, our journalistic responsibility to the public, our tools/resources and throw it all away for a CHANCE to win a contest.

Angry Journalist #126: I’m angry that my journalism department at a mid-level public university is staffed with tenured, unmovable dinosaur professors who haven’t sniffed a newsroom or written an article on deadline in more than 15 years. They don’t surf the Web for news, don’t know what an RSS feed is, have never handled a video camera and aren’t prepared to teach youngsters what they need to enter the very tight job market competitively.

Angry Journalist #277: I’m angry because on Saturday I was shooting video with my left hand and stills with my right. That, and our three-person staff is expected to produce over 700 pointless, wretched videos this year. I love multimedia, but why do we think the public will just love the crap we churn out in a couple of hours?

Angry Journalist #457: I hate hearing about new media. I don’t care.

Angry Journalist #663: The web is constantly misused by journalists. The managers think it’s a dumping ground (“oh, let’s just put it on the web”). The reporters don’t care about it. The photographers don’t know what to do with it. Promotions doesn’t know how to promote it. And when a few people try to do the right thing the right way (ie: my news manager, two of my reporters), it gets buried under the ignorance of everyone else….The web is NOT television. Just because huge fonts and bright colors work on TV doesn’t mean you should screw up my design by turning my thin lines fat and my understated fonts ginormous.

Angry Journalist #612: Why do older “managers” insist on including CLICK HERE on fucking everything on the web? If people are that fucking stupid, they shouldn’t be online. Most of the web users logging on to media sites are pretty tech savvy… is it really necessary to insult their intelligence by having a big CLICK HERE on an otherwise AWESOME graphic?

Angry Journalist #143: I am angry that the field of journalism is virtually becoming a joke because nowadays everyone with access to a blog fancies themselves a viable one.

Angry Journalist #444: People who think web sites are dumping grounds for stuff that can’t get in the paper. Also, people who have no idea how to read or interpret traffic reports but make it seem like 10 extra visits represent a huge spike.

Angry Journalist #273: I’m angry at our no talent staff of help desk workers who are recent college graduates. They’re idea of journalism is asking the online department for a blog about something very random and then they don’t treat it like a blog, because no one took the time to teach them how to blog. Then, when they do post, It’s not about their “blog topic” instead it’s about how much beer they went and consumed on the previous night.

Angry Journalist #468: I’m angry that in a paltry concession to “the new media” we have opened our online edition to anonymous reader comments, which has led inevitably to the lowest form of human communication-flamewars-and has had a chilling effect on our ability as reporters to gather sources, who say in response to our inquiries “I don’t want to end up on your website.”

Angry Journalist #53: Seeing that within the circle of my 100 or so J-school friends on facebook, there is only one – count it: ONE – newspaper-related application in widespread use. Furthermore, that single application is the WashingtonPost.com political compass. Where is the local-newspaper-sponsored “my street’s news” app? Where is the local-newspaper-sponsored “my high school team” app? Where’s the local-newspaper-sponsored “local movies” app? Where’s the local-newspaper-sponsored “my local blog” app?

Oh yeah – they’re in the empty seats at what should be the Web development desk, thanks to a hiring freeze that’s also crippled the reporting staff. They’re in the pocket of the publisher who’s still blindly grasping for the fantastic, elusive, 30-percent profit margins of the late nineties. They’re in the brain of some guy at a dot com who’s actually willing to take a risk for the next big thing.

Angry Journalist #290: I’m angry at all the old-time journalists willing to let journalism die. We need change, and the time for change is now.

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