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Some things to tie you over

This past week has been interesting. Stressful at times, several times, and awesome at others. And I can hardly believe it was a single week at all, as the amount of “stuff” packed in makes it seem like a month at least.

The biggest of the “stuff” is that I moved into a new apartment in Lafayette, about a half mile away from the J&C. (I had been living with students in West Lafayette since I moved here. That was a bad idea on my part.) That’s where I’ve been most of the week, first desparately trying to find an apartment I didn’t hate — I am apparently very picky because every place I looked at had some deal-breaker — and then packing and actually moving my stuff across the river. It probably would have been easier to, uh, take a day off work or enlist the help of friends, but I decided to take the project on myself, waking up early and staying up until the wee hours of the morning.

Though I now need more furniture because my apartment is huge and most of what furniture I did have stayed in Akron because I was subleasing a room down here, I am moved. I never again have to come home from work after 10 hours to a house full of strangers playing beer pong or wake up at 3 a.m. to sirens because my roommate or her friend had to be rushed to the hospital with alcohol poisoning. The sad thing is, both of those situations happened on more than one occasion and are merely the tip of the iceberg, hence my eagerness to find an apartment far away from Purdue.

On the downside, I haven’t yet set up Internet at my new place. So, uh, I’m at Panera right now taking advantage of the free wi-fi and trying to remember where I saved that map I made of free wi-fi in Greater Lafayette region.

Since I don’t access the blog from work, updates will probably be infrequent this week until everything is squared away at home. ‘Til then, here’s a sampling of things I’m looking at, reading or thinking about:

  • 10 obvious things about the future of newspapers you need to get through your head, especially this point:

    Okay, here comes the big one: THE GLASS IS HALF FULL. There is excellent work being done in the new world of online journalism and it’s being done at newspapers like the Washington Post and the Lawrence Journal-World and the San Jose Mercury News and the St. Petersburg Times and the Bakersfield Californian and all sorts of papers of all sizes. You don’t need millions of dollars or HD cameras or years of training to make it happen; all you need is the right frame of mind. So let’s stop writing and groaning about how things used to be different, and let’s start building our own piece of the new world of newspapers brick by brick, story by story.

  • A confusing time to be a young journalist… An interesting read, including or perhaps especially the comments at the end. This reflection from Kathleen Nye Flynn, 25, reporter, Los Angeles Downtown News struck a chord with me:

    “I have wanted to be a newspaper journalist since I was 12 — my goal has never wavered — and ever since then I have worked for some sort of publication. Now I am a reporter for a local paper, paying my dues quietly while others my age have zoomed to the top. It’s worth it, I tell myself, because, after all, I’m in this for the long haul.

    “Now, they tell me, it looks like there won’t be a long haul — newspapers are dying, and the LA Times, every little local journalist’s paper to aspire to, is shedding all the reporters that I have waited for so long to work with. Well, hell. If only I could tell my 12-year-old self to go into advertising, right?

    “But I hold out hope — I have to. Try to tell me that journalism is a thing of the past, that now bloggers do it for free and I’ll never make enough money to support my future family, that if I do end up working for a big-boy paper one day I’ll just be spewing corporate jargon a la Fox News — and I won’t believe you.

    “I can’t. Call me blind or stupid, but I can’t give up on something that I have so much invested in. At 12-years-old, I wanted to be a journalist so I could dig up the facts, spread the word and effect some sort of change. So, as long as there are facts to dig, people to tell, and words to use, I have a purpose.

    “Whether or not I will have a paycheck, I’ll have to see.”

  • My Times — So I’m not sure if it’ll work for any of you, but I received an e-mail Friday telling me to personalize my My Times homepage. This is basically like the Google personalized homepage only not. It’s like, all the news that’s fit to print and then much of everything else I need to know from the mainstream media (including WSJ, BBC, Washington Post, etc. headlines.) Seriously, I’m not sure how I lucked into being one of the beta testers. I figured the service had gone “live” when I got my e-mail, but apparently not everybody’s feeling the love from the NYTimes just yet. Sign up to be notified when it launches, because apparently, that’s how I got included in this round of beta testing.
  • One Last Summer — The J&C’s newest community blogger. A senior who just graduated from one of the county high school’s and is headed to Notre Dame this fall where she plans to major in … journalism. She’ll spend the last summer at home blogging about the time between high school and college. Her first post talks about the ridiculous number of graduation parties she attended — 23 last weekend! and more this and the next few — and getting her wisdom teeth pulled. This is a great example of having someone in the community tell their story as a snapshot of a time in life. I’m looking forward to reading it this summer.
  • Multimedia Reporter — Speaking of new blogs, this is a few weeks old and has been in my RSS reader since I first stumbled on it. I admire any reporter/editor/journalist/anyone willing to take a leap of faith and build their wings on the way down, as it were. Ron Sylvester is not only building his wings as a long-time newspaper reporting jumping into new media, he’s letting us all in on the ride.

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