Five years ago, this August, I pretended I was a photojournalist for 4 days. I won the right-place-right-time-right-parents lottery and got to "cover" the 2008 Democratic National Convention for a regional newspaper's blog.
Those four days were some of the most overwhelming, eye opening days of my entire life.
I cried, I barely slept, I fought and lied and sweet talked.
After those four days, I was ready to hang up this particular dream. Professional photographer had always sounded ideal but when I got down to the nitty-gritty, I realized I didn't have the patience, the stamina or the raw talent to do this day in and day out.
And if anything, it made me treasure amazing photojournalism more than ever. Not all amazing photojournalism wins Pulitzers (although, seriously? THIS). Some of it is never seen beyond the circulation of people who walk out to their driveways in the morning to pick up actual-physical-make-your-fingers-grey paper. That's fine.
Stories don't need to be widely circulated, or mass produced, or bought by AP to be well told, beautiful stories. They just need to keep existing.
Which is why this news from the Chicago Sun Times (which is actually from Gawker, because Chicago Sun Times won't cover their own story) breaks my heart and fills me with rage.
This will never work. They'll think its working but the adage about photos and thousands of words is absolutely true. Everything will be fake and shallow. Newspapers are going to die way faster if they continue to punch themselves in the face.
Seriously, what kind of dbag looks John H. White in the eye and say that he's been replaced by something teenages use to take dick pics?