Anonymous blog gathers the gripes of journalists

byNicole Martinelli
Feb 9, 2012 in Miscellaneous

At a time when many journalists have more access to a virtual water cooler to sound off than a real one, an anonymous site collects everyday gripes and musings on the profession.

Called -30-, after an old journalism convention for the "end of the story," it's addictive reading.

Submissions range from the funny ("Bald man stealing Rogaine. That sells itself.") to the insightful ("You know you work in community journalism when the local church's directory is more useful than the phone book.") and the angry ("Thanks for telling me halfway through through our interview that you aren't talking to me on the record.)

Fittingly, the person behind the project is also anonymous. We do know is that he is a former journalist who now watches the profession from the safety of a public relations job. Here's IJNet's email interview with him.

IJNet: What "end of story" does the name refer to - journalism?

It's more of a reference to the end of my journalism career. But I also use it to symbolize 'signing off' likes a reporter's exclamation point to the day.

IJNet: What's the most surprising contribution?

The reporter talking about the "little lady" comment surprised me, but only because I've heard it before from women reporters. I don't think male sources realize how sexist and patronizing that is for someone who is a professional journalist working hard to do their job.

IJNet: The one that angered you the most?

Probably the comment from a reporter who was accused of 'talking to the cops' (by a public figure). It always irks me when people act as if reporters are out to get them when they're just trying to confirm something, or deny it.

IJNet: What's the value of sharing these universal gripes for journalists now?

I'm hoping my site provides some catharsis for the frustrated journalists, especially those who work for community newspapers...

I want reporters to share about their jobs so hopefully others can see what it takes to make the news. They do such an important service to their communities and their audiences.

IJNet: You retired from journalism after eight years - what are you up to now?

I now work as a public relations representative for a college. So I do still work with journalists and that was an attractive part of the job.

'Retiring' also opened the door for me to do this blog. I was hesitant to do it while still working in newspapers.

IJNet: What's next for -30-?

Right now, I'm hoping I can get more contributions. It's hard to get journalists to speak out. I've taken a good number of my comments from Twitter but I'd like to see more people submitting them directly to me.

Eventually, I'd like to set up something where I can mix in longer essay-type entries about life in the world of journalism and newsrooms.

You can read more about the complaints and everyday conundrums of journalists on the website, contribute anonymously via email at newsman.commentATgmail.com or follow Newsman 16 on Twitter.