As the stapler whizzed past my head around 9 p.m. in the darkened magazine office, I couldn’t help but wonder: Was this the career I’d always dreamed of?
No doubt my stint in the music department at Time Out New York seems very romantic all these years on: I attended three or four concerts a week—for free—during the indie rock halcyon days of the late 2000s; the office was big and beautiful; most of the writers and editors were brilliant and seasoned; we partied and we partied hard.
But, then again, things weren’t always so great. The pay was awful. I witnessed, firsthand, a magazine’s slow demise as the internet took the driver’s seat and most folks decided they didn’t want to pay for content anymore. And, yeah, sometimes a crazy editor would keep us late and hurl office supplies at us.
My father was a newspaperman, so when it came time to figure out just what the hell to do with my life, I looked to his career, took an internship at Rolling Stone and moved to the Big Apple.
It’s been a wild ride ever since.
To say that the landscape of media—magazines, newspapers, cable news and social included—has shifted since I came up is an understatement. My father’s first newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, closed in 2009. It’s pretty much been a total and complete shitshow across media—and across the globe—since then.
The public’s attitude toward journalists has noticeably soured, too—fed by distrust and, often, misinformation. In my experience, most of the people who work in the field are overworked, underpaid and intelligent. But it’s never been an even playing field: It’s tough to get into the game—especially if you can’t afford to work for nothing or next to it—and the coasts dominate the scene.
For all of the reasons above, it’s been a fabulous and unique experience to work in an environment like we have at The Doe. And we’re very excited to bring you stories from all manner of laborers inside the media bubble. Go ahead and take a look behind the curtain. Just beware of flying staplers.