I applied for my first internship by turning in some high school essays. No one else applied, so I got the job. I was on academic probation twice in college. I’ve peed in the trash can of a rickety, old press box so I wouldn’t miss deadline. I got stumped on a story, went out to the bars, got re-inspired and passed out on my keyboard. Dennis Miller saw what I was eating at an event and made fun of me. It was hot dogs and cheesecake — free for working reporters. Bad grammar? I’ll probably hold it against you. Some weekends I don’t read a thing. I know I could make a mint doing something else but would it make the same difference? My father worked at a newspaper. He was a blue collar guy who worked graveyard shifts. It made him proud when he showed off my first byline to his friends in the press room.
I am a newspaper reporter.
Here’s a “We are the 99 percent” for the journalists out there: “We are journalists. We are proud of what we do. We are tired of bad press about the press. We are trying to be “team players.” We are terrified of more layoffs and paycuts. We would like to produce quality work without ‘obamasux99’ posting some non-sequitur rant at the end of it. We complain because we want things to be better. We would like some respect, plz. We are journalists.”