From BoingBoing today, a darkly humorous observation about the industry on its death bed:
BoingBoing reader Marissa Frayer writes:
Perhaps print journalism foreshadowed its fledgling future long ago with its morbid jargon. Morgue. Gutter. Beat. Deadline. Dummy. Kill. Widow. Orphan. Are journalists all being strung along like dummies, beaten and downtrodden by deadlines, desperately clutching our clips and killed ideas, en route to a future in the gutter, as we abandon our readers? Or are we just headed for the morgue where the only organization left standing will be widowed Gray Lady?
I’m not entirely serious–just thought it was curious that our profession employs some awfully depressing jargon. I once spent the better part of the day in my company’s morgue. It was the only place I could find silence and space to spread out and concentrate on the demands of a 280-page dummy. Needless the say the irony was not lost on me.
Of course, all this lingo was in use for generations before the current newspaper woes. But one of the more interesting arguments (link coming as soon as I can find it) I’ve heard recently is that one of the things making it so hard to attract advertisers back to newspapers is the depressing, woe-is-me obsession newspapers and journalists have with covering and sycophantically pontificating on their own demise. I’m sure constantly hearing about all these layoffs, cutbacks and what not does not put confidence in would-be advertisers. But it’s not like it can be ignored, either.