Real World DC: The Rough Lives of Political Bloggers

This article is from the archive of our partner .

A New York Times profile paints a dismal picture of the "burnout" many young media professionals experience as they grapple with producing tons of content for long hours on tight deadlines in mostly "frantic and fatigued" atmospheres. But as large media companies rely more and more on increasing page views and keeping abreast of the 24/7 news cycle, could this become the new norm for entry-level journalists and bloggers?

The Times--which highlights Politico, The Huffington Post, and the rapidly expanding Atlantic Media Company (including The Atlantic Wire) in the article--is careful to note that these conditions aren't "physically exhausting assemblylines." Yet, entry-level blogging jobs seem to have become more pervasive as companies have bulked up their news coverage and cut back on news reporting positions. To no surprise, the article touched off a frenzy of reactions from other publications within hours:

  • It's Hard Work To Blog offers Zeke Turner at The New York Observer. But look on the bright side: "how many young people have jobs that allow them to read all day, think and write? And if those jobs come at the expense of sleeping late, so be it. Are there really people who dreamed of being foreign correspondents working at Gawker and Politico? If so, that seems terribly hopeless — they should be learning Arabic or interning at the International Herald Tribune. Or maybe that's the plan after bootcamp."
  • It's A Page-Views Obsessed Industry writes Josh Duboff at New York magazine. It's as if this profile is saying:"We [The New York Times] still don't really get what it is you guys do ("Young journalists ... shackled to their computers, where they try to eke out a fresh thought") but, uh, good luck making it in this rat race for more than a year, kids (you'll need it)."
  • Produce Or Find Another Line Of Work declares Robert Stacy McCain at The American Spectator. "The rise of online news is slowly driving such dinosaur journalism out of business, thank God. While the pay-per-click mentality has some clear disadvantages (fewer book reviews, less in-depth reporting, more sensational quick-draw attitudinizing), at least journalists are now forced to recognize that they must write with the aim of attracting readers."

Recommended Reading

  • The Times Will Never Burn Out of Blogger Burnout quips Foster Kamer at The Village Voice. "What this demonstrates is the New York Times -- and so many "older" reporters -- fearing the fast and furious pace of blogging with terrified fascination, and every article like this about bloggers holds the same "scare journalism" tacit that's often employed by, say, the local news station who wants to warn you about a new plastic your child could eat that could melt him or her from the inside! Bloggers! They must slow down!"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.