Warning: This post is offensive, even to me.
Let’s talk about what journalists don’t write about.
The worst part of our profession – besides the long hours, low pay, and zero respect – is having to repeatedly write the same stories. Trying to be creative without getting abusive is a real challenge.
I’m editor of a personal finance site called Debt.com. Like all such niche sites – and niche magazines, which I’ve also edited – we must constantly dream up new angles for giving the same boring advice. Of course you shouldn’t run up your credit card bills, but how many ways can you write that?
One day recently, we brainstormed this: 5 Debt Lessons From World Dictators. It posted yesterday. Immediately, I was asked why we’d do something so tasteless.
I replied: “It’s not like we’re endorsing dictatorships. Besides, you should’ve seen the first awful idea.”
It was called “Debt Terrorists.” It’s below.
Needless to say, we disposed of the idea rather quickly. (Well, to be accurate, I proposed it and the other editors looked at me like a Great Dane looks at a barking chihuahua.)
Then I suggested we still write it up – as an example of how journalists wisely censor their own crass concepts. Too many readers assume we just write whatever pops into our crazy, lazy skulls. Here’s a (literally) graphic example of how we don’t. Journalists really do care about their readers.
I asked our illustrator to design an infographic, but she was so offended by her own results, she refused to give it to me. So I designed it on my own.
It sure would be nice if everyone who gazes upon this infographic remembers: It’s just a demonstration of how awful journalism could be if we truly didn’t give a crap about our audience.
But somehow, the Internet being what it is, I’m sure I’ll get hit hard for this – because that’s another drawback of being a journalist.
See also: 50 Shades of Pay