Tag Archives: Journalism

as a friend & mentor

On the way to a photoshoot in Humboldt last week [which included awkwardly spilled coffee and a speeding ticket] my boss suggested “as a friend and mentor, not a boss,” that I look for another job.

Yikes.

The problem is, I love what I’m doing. Plus, the market is crazy, a job could open sometime. Maybe. When I’m 60. Not to mention that leaving the happy M family means that I’d be banned from working there for a whole year. A WHOLE YEAR. People, I’ve worked here for 3 years. And, well, I’m lazy. I don’t want to move for a fourth time in a year (if that’s what it comes down to). How much does DSM have to offer a grad school dropout with a broad knowledge of James Bond films and kitchen & bath stuff? Probably not a lot.

But am I really, truly screwing myself over if I stay with the shaky k&b group? Tell me! Don’t worry, your vote is anonymous.

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The last 24 hours

6 pm – 1 am work @ PB

1 am – 7 am shower, sleep, get ready for work

7 am – 6 pm work @ MC

Wow. Only 6 hours downtime and 18 hours working? Uff da. Good thing my addiction to PB floorsets is only sparingly (but still too frequently) satisfied. And that year-long planning sessions only happen annually and only require one month of planning. Although somewhat trained by the wear and tear of grad school, my mind is not exactly ready to process life at the moment. There’s so much happening in my head I just don’t know how to sort it out.

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We’re a Visual People

Images make the magazine. I get it. But the thing I hate about getting hired as an image collector (which is actually more like a bounty hunter, but reads “project coordinator”on my resume) is that it’s somehow my problem that things are off-schedule or not good enough.

Um, helloooooo? I’m not the photographer. I am also not the designer, his or her assistant, the PR companies, or a little elf who hops into computers and fucks with dpi. I can’t fix everything. I don’t even work in the building. Jeessus.

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Jaded Journalist

“…the uninspired writing of a jaded journalist…”

That’s what the widget thesaurus has to say about the term jaded. How funny. It’s like they knew I would decide to post about my journalistic frustrations (while at work) and I would want a different word for jaded because sometimes–just sometimes–I get sick of alliteration. But oh no, my friend, you’ve convinced me. Jaded it is.

Despite spending part of Tuesday’s lunch at Goodson’s ranting about the amazing tendency of copy editors to over-edit, I forgot how much it sucks to have your own writing changed. In an upcoming issue, I have one legitimate story that’s not based on how much you can say about a product in 20 words or less. This story was changed so much (the only things left standing are the quotes) that I don’t think my name should be on it. It’s not bad writing. But it sucks and it makes me question why I’m even doing it… because the changes have been bad before. And surely will again.

Fuck you SJMC writing classes: a magazine’s tone is created entirely by its copy editors, not by this ‘writing with a voice’ bullshit.

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WAGW: Careers

This is maybe the toughest question I have to answer, and it can’t be done today.

I am going to grad school for two reasons: I love literature, and there are no job prospects for me. I think it’s more of the latter than the former. See, if I had to choose between a magazine job and going to grad school, I would most likely pick the job. Despite my position as bitch-work-for-hire in the magazine world, I really like it. I enjoy keeping up with the PR for our mag, going on photo shoots, and of course, writing. If I could get a salary and benefits to do it? There’d be no stopping me.

But I’m not getting those jobs, and I’m not going to just sit on my ass and hope that things will change. Instead, I’m going back to the one constant in my life: school. Grad school will get me a current address outside Iowa, and force me to really live on my own for the first time in my life–which is reason enough to get my application on. But the question always is: what then? After one or two years in a master’s program, what do you want to do?

The answer: I don’t know. And damn it, I don’t have to, either! When I’m done, all I will be out is a large sum of money. But what I’m hoping to have, in return, is an idea of how to answer the question. Will I want to teach? Will I want to get a Ph.D? Will I go running back to magazines? Will I find myself at a literary journal (the best of both worlds)? Will I be selling Rosetta Stone at the mall?

I guess I’m answering a question with more questions, but I’ll have the answers eventually. For now, I’m hoping grad school will give me a little bit more of a glimpse into my future–and I’ll be crossing my fingers that, in the meantime, the freelance writing doesn’t have to end with a geographic relocation.

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R.I.P.

I wasn’t shocked when Domino was shuttered. Country Home was only a bit much because I was in the building the day it happened. I even worked on a mag that called it quits (my name made the very last masthead for Find It!).

This week, Conde Nast announced the closing of four pubs: Cookie, Elegant BrideGourmet and Modern Bride. Can’t say I’m sad about the first one. The title treatment made me hate it, and I didn’t see anything outstanding about the magazine (or the slim audience it catered to). Gourmet I know nothing about, but with the success of the CN site Epicurious I was a bit surprised by the cut. Although, CN did announce that they will be maintaing the web-presence of Gourmet. But my disbelief is almost overwhelming with the two bridal pubs. I never, NEVER, expected a bridal magazine to kick the stand. They were, to me, a staple, a sure-fire publication, a great area of the magazine world to break into. Economic turmoil, natural disaster, rising nation debt or war, there will always be people getting married. So how can a bridal mag close? I know I’m naive about this plague of the print media world, but I was really taken aback. Today at Walgreens I stopped at the magazine rack, and the only bridal pubs were Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, and Brides (the single remaining CN bridal title). It’s not just weird that the only wedding-tastic titles were from CN (uh, hello everyone else? Tap that.) but that they won’t be there next time I look. My future “Ijustgotengagedohmygod” magazine splurge just significantly decreased.

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Pomp and Circumstance

Today I walked across the stage, Summa Cum Laude, and landed myself a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. I officially completed four years of schooling at a fabulous private university and majored in Magazines and English, and minored in Sociology. I received departmental honors for both schools, and was acknowledged for my numerous other things.

I don’t have a job, I’m intimidated by the grad school requirements, and I don’t know what’s in store for the remainder of my life…

But I’m ready. I am so ready.

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