I’m not going to go so far as to change the title of this blog, which by the way, has nothing to do with a certain baseball team to the south of Boston that has a guy who just got his 3,000th hit.
But I am changing a lot of other things. Friday, after almost seven years, I packed up my boxes and left NECN for the last time as a full-time, daily employee. There are a lot of reasons for my decision to leave NECN, where I arrived the day after the Democratic National Convention in 2004. It’s not appropriate for me to say all I might otherwise, but I can say a few things. The business of media has changed since I unpacked my Mazda 323, sans air conditioning, at a small apartment in Tallahassee, Florida in August of 1995.
Back then, there was no internet. We had one computer in the newsroom, on which we put together the show rundown, but everywhere else there were electric typewriters. We ripped the carbon paper out from between the layers of the scripts, divided them up, and the prompter operator scotch-taped the pages together (or just laid them out carefully) on a conveyor belt attached to a camera, which displayed the scripts to the anchors in their teleprompters.
The technology, and that thing called the Internet, is the most obvious change, but a lot of other things have changed in 16 years, including me. And it finally got to the point where I had to make a break. Someday, I’ll sit down and write my longer piece on the way media works today – there is good and bad, as well as what the audience expects and gets. I’m not ready to do that yet. But I will say this, since I have already said it for years.
If you don’t like the “crappy media,” stop watching the crap. If people stopped being mesmerized by Casey Anthony, Will and Kate, and all the like, media companies would pay them less mind.
But while you’re choosing to avoid the garbage, back to me. As I said, it is time for a change for me – and I enter this next phase of my career with two goals:
1) I want to stay connected in the world of media and communications. (Heck, it’s all I really know, so I better.)
2) I want to work with ‘content’ that really matters. The stuff that’s actually important. Issues of relevance. The things that have an impact on our lives and communities while we are looking at the latest plan for Charlie Sheen to return to Hollywood.
There is a 3), as well. I plan on staying in the Boston area, if I can at all make that happen.
I have some ideas – and will share those on this site along with a lot of other items. One of the things I am hoping my time between gigs gives me is the luxury of time. Time is a commodity I want to spend with family, with friends, and with myself. It’s what I need to get a sense of what is out there in the world outside of TV stations and major media in general. (It’s hard to see the full landscape when you’re really focused on nuts-and-bolts work for 10 hours a day, and in a car commuting for a couple of hours around that.) And it will give me a chance to blog again, to exchange ideas with anyone out there who actually reads this blog.
Where I’ll end up is unclear. But I’m looking forward to taking some time at the start of this new journey, and sharing it with you.
Apparently, I’m not alone in making a change. Kai Nagata, the young Quebec City bureau chief for CTV, has posted a lengthy explanation of why he walked away from his job last week. It’s a great read, and I think there is a lot in it that has been discussed a ton among journalists as they go about their work. Give it a read by clicking here.