Continuing on the topic I spoke about below... So last week was the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and the end of October marks the death of the old year for the Celts with Samhain. Most of us may wait until January to reflect on the passing of the year, but now seems an appropriate enough time, not to mention we really need to start looking to a brighter future. This past year has brought some personal and painful losses, some people have passed on far too early, others have moved away to new things, for both good and not so good reasons. But looking at this from a strictly professional viewpoint, we are not where we were last year. From a purely logistical viewpoint, we are down three people in our newsroom from last year. Positions we are not filling with additional bodies, but with compromises, altered job expectations, not to mention a wing and a prayer. We should shortly be welcoming a new addition to fill a fourth position that was briefly opened due to a reporter's moving, but that, luckily, is merely a few weeks of struggle and additional duties. The others are, at least in this economic time of crises, gone for good. Which means those of us who were already working our posteriors off during the good times to make a great product are now finding that we're expected to stretch and strain even further to make ends meet, which can be profoundly frustrating. Those of us who remain are dedicated to making things work for our readers and for ourselves, but the precarious nature of the economy, and the fact that one of us being sick, or taking a new job, is now a huge hardship rather than an inconvenience, means that we have a very different approach to our work now. We are triaging, so to speak. What's the most important? What can we live without writing? How can we say yes to as many requests as possible without also saying yes to overtime, which is nearly verboten. How, in other words, can we continue to thrive? (photo by Tiffany Brown taken in the good old days)
I'm a native Oregonian who, up until recently, has been reporting on local issues in Portland, Forest Grove and currently Corvallis. I am now an editor of an internal publication at a local university, making the transition from the newsroom to world of academia. I continue to write, photograph and explore the world of podcasting in my work, and am eager to explore my new opportunities.