Friday, August 16, 2013

Darkness & Light

As we noted on Thursday, it's been a surprisingly packed week of news, including positive news about jobs, horrifying news about Egypt (that most Americans don't understand), and some amazingly clownish news coming from the right wing, including their party's stunningly dark attempts at voter suppression. There's also been plenty of bad news throughout the media and journalism industries this week.

Even so, the bogeymen of fear that sometimes even dig around in the dreams of our staff members don't seem to be able to hold us down today. In fact, since it's Friday, we've decided to take the high road and give some well-earned kudos to some very deserving friends and colleagues in our industry, as well as some respects to some now departed members of the media.

In the area of praise, we have none higher than for those members of our media industry weathering massive changes at radio and TV networks like SiriusXM, Current, Pivot, and Al-Jazerra America.

For example, the Current TV network is ending its two-plus year run this weekend, which is sad to see in some ways. Thankfully, some of their fantastic producers and writers have been hired on at Al-Jazerra America, the news network taking over Current's channel positions. Sadly, a few amazingly talented former Current staffers are now "on the beach" professionally, including Peabody Award winner and former CNN correspondent Jacki Schechner, as well as comedian, writer, political pundit and TV star, John Fugelsang.

For all those we know who are the best, yet for one reason or another are now looking for work, on an emotional level we empathize. On a practical level, we want to point you to the story we noted in Thursday's extended edition, from CNN, that the overall number of jobs in journalism and media in now significantly up.

Now to pay our respects.

As the increasingly unstable Middle East region goes through even more turmoil with the collapse of the current interim Egyptian government, several more journalists lost their lives this week including British Sky News cameramen Mick Deane, and Dubai's XPress journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz. We also lost the great political journalist Jack Germond this week, to the ever-present opponent of every journalist, time.

We love being in the media. We wouldn't do what we do, or spend the hours poring over the tools of our trade to create great work if we didn't. Ask anyone who's worked in the media professionally for a substantive period and most will say the same thing.

There is a cost, however, borne by some of our fellow professionals who take the biggest risks, traveling into war zones to get the stories the rest of us, frankly, are too scared to cover that close-up.

So for those in our profession who made that ultimate sacrifice this week, we ask that you do something for them, and for us, this weekend.

Enjoy some paid media. Go to a theater and watch a movie with your friends. Buy a book, newspaper subscription, or a comic book from a local retailer. Turn on your local or satellite radio if you're out and about. And if you're home watching TV, flip over to a new channel like Pivot or Al Jazeera America.

While you're at it, if you could, hug your family and friends too.
And as always, thanks for reading The Daily Felltoon.