Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Isn't It

I produce newscasts for a living.

It's exhilarating and provides a huge adrenaline rush at times. You're always in the loop, usually ahead of the loop.

You know things before the rest of the world and it's amazing being at the center of what's happening and being able to deliver that first-hand account.

People ask me if I have power... I usually say no.

However, nightly I hand-pick what will air live at 11pm. I craft the mood, and tone in which our news is delivered operating under the guidelines and standards of our station/company.

Thousands of people watch. Thousands of people trust what we have to say and some of them, they watch every single night.

If they don't like it, they'll usually call and let us know about it. Usually in a completely rude manner.

But sometimes we get the kinder caller, who just wants to pass along a comment or concern.

It all comes down to money. Businesses won't advertise, unless the station can prove A LOT of people watch. That comes down to ratings. We have to get people to watch. And the managers who are my bosses will stop at nothing to make people watch. Which means new demands, new policies, and a whole lot of extra pressure.

Aye, the pressure.

My gynecologist said it best: Every job comes with it's stressors.

I can only imagine her vents at cocktail hour.

I guess what I'm getting at is... news is special. There is a special bond between those who have shed blood, sweat and tears in a newsroom. There is certain closeness between those who know what a VOSOT is.

News has made me an incredibly strong person. It takes a lot more for me to cry now. I have much thicker skin. I've met some of my best friends in the world in news. I wouldn't take any of my 7 years in news back.

But...

With all the pressure, and crying... (if you work in news, and try to tell me you haven't cried -- you are a big fat, fatty-fat liar. I used to have a favorite "cry stall" in the bathroom of my last station.) I just wonder... do I still love it, and is it still worth it?

I just don't know.

I'll be working at my current station for two more years, so I have some time to figure out what to do.

I think I'm starting to need a little more from what I do. I spend so much time and energy there. I deserve something other than wrinkles.

Maybe I'm just supposed to be doing something more.

But WHAT is it?

Dang.

Someone tell me.

3 comments:

  1. A wife and then a momma! :-D

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  2. Ahh yes, the crossroads. Been there as you know. It's a confusing time for sure. Stay with news? Move on? What to do?

    Coincidentally I just found the aircheck from my final show. Seems like a long time ago. I remember how much I struggled with the decision to leave the biz. Brutal. I remember starting the new job and feeling mad at myself because I was bummed, even though I had this great new gig. Couldn't get out of 'news' mode for that first stretch of months.

    Funny thing happened though. I moved on - as in, internally not just in the sense of taking the new job. It took awhile and I know I didn't deal with the transition well...but it still happened eventually. The moving on part, that is.

    Dating Sarah has provided me the 'opportunity' to have this discussion quite a bit over the past year or so. She's a die-hard newsie, just like you. I tell her what I felt during that time, why I left, how I struggled with it, and how I am as close to being 100% at peace with not being a part of the biz anymore now. I cherished my time in news but I can honestly say I don't miss it. More specifically I don't miss the 'other stuff' part of it - the consultants, ownership issues, work hours/schedule, etc, etc, etc. I miss what I did and the people I worked with but I don't miss the BS.

    All that being said as I've told Sarah, despite the fact that it would make 'our' lives together a lot easier if she wasn't in news anymore...just because people get out of news and move on and don't look back doesn't mean people who truly love it should feel that it has to be the same way for them. If news is what you feel you are called to do - do it. You do it well. Nothing wrong with that. It's a fun job.

    If for some reason you decide to move on, just know that it's just fine here on the other side. Takes a bit of getting used to, but life most definitely goes on.

    Good luck, Jaim. In the end you'll do what's best...and it will be the right choice, whatever that is.

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  3. Jaimie such a heartfelt post. Really enjoyed it.

    Brian got me to thinking isn't it too bad we can't create NEW news companies that lack the BS that takes the JOY of WHAT WE DO out of our jobs.

    It's not any one company, it's most of the existing operations.

    But look outside our industry at the growing number of companies that cherish their workers. That value them. The new age companies.

    Eventually we'll have some new age media companies that will change the game.

    Jaimie you are super talented you can certainly stay - gravitate to one of the new emerging companies - create your own - and by the way have a baby along the way. Makes the world so much easier to take - especially the news world.

    You'll get clarity. You'll know what to do, when the times right.

    Thanks for the post. YOU are a great writer :) Perhaps a book?

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