It’s been a busy week at work, with some changes, some people making a decision to leave, others facing some uncertainty. There are many newspapers going through similar changes to mine — figuring out how to better serve a world gone digital with smaller staffs and less revenue, so our changes are not so surprising.
I’ve now been working as a journalist since the late 1970s — my first paying gig as a reporter was for a weekly during the summer of 1978. I remember being told that you didn’t see many “old” newspaper people, because the profession chased off many with long hours and low pay. (By old, back then, we meant people in their 40s!) Much has changed — the hours remain long, and we wish we could make more, but by comparison we do OK, many of us do well. I almost left the profession a couple of times — 1985 when some friends went to work at AT&T but I moved to Florida to work at the St. Pete Times, then again in 1998 when I left the Times to freelance and, I thought, perhaps switch into an academic or policy wonk in aging and health.
One thing that covered aging for a decade showed me is that you can re-invent yourself and have many careers. I feel that way now, switching from a traditional print journalist to someone who edits a web site. It’s tough to watch friends go, even the ones that want to, but unlike when I turned 25 and was upset I wasn’t at the New York Times, I’m OK turning 50 and being where I am.