Thursday, October 23, 2008

Irony Is A Bitch!

Take it from someone who has been looking for a media job for the past eight months... There are not a lot of jobs out there to be had - at least not fulltime, benefits-paying, secure jobs. So how ironic is it that, even as the number of jobs in the business is shrinking, the availability of media is BOOMING! You can now find news and stocks and sports and weather forecasts anywhere you go... from a screen on your cel phone to a screen in a bathroom stall!

I filled up my gas tank this morning at the Sunoco in Aspen Hill. Back in the day, it used to be a Mobil station, and it was the site of one of the first DC sniper shootings, but I digress... Anyway, during the three minutes that I was filling my tank, I was treated to an ESPN Sports update, a CBS News Entertainment minute, and the latest Accuweather forecast... all completely up to date, and all on the 17-inch flatscreen mounted on top of the gas pump. The reports were interspersed with ads for Sunoco, urging me to stop into the station's convenience mart for a soda, or to get an oil change.

You would think that with this explosion of media everywhere that companies would be clamoring for people to write and edit this content... But alas, rather than investing in deeper content, companies are instead s t r e t c h i n g their content to the point that it is all a mile wide and an inch deep. So the sports report I see this morning at the Sunoco, may be seen later in the toilet at Applebee's.

The phrase for this is "repurposing material." Unfortunately for me, the catchphrase is not "repurposing old news directors"! I may be underemployed, but sometimes I think I'm the lucky one. The four people still working in the news business all seem to have about ten jobs as they try to cover the news.. and the gas station beat!

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