The debt we owe we will gladly acknowledge, and in the case of the TwelveEightyTwo blog name, I give you The Sangre de Cristo Chronicle.
It was their ad in JournalismJobs.com that got my attention, since they were offering an hourly wage of $12.82 per hour (without medical benefits) for doing work on their editorial staff. I mean, it is a weird number, though I am very much a fan of weird numbers. Ask anyone who is invited to my home for dinner. It's never 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. It's like 6:12 p.m. or 7:08 p.m., because the fact is, there IS a difference between being ON THE DOT vs. a little after the dot.
But the Sangre Chronicle is not a newspaper to be lampooned, or made the eternal butt of any joke that has to do with how bad the newspaper "industry" has become. I mean, $12.82 is noteworthy, and I'm really rather grateful the fact that it inspired the name of this new blog. It's obtuse. I like that. And besides, the managing editor is a good sport. When I wrote to Jesse Chaney about HOW they came up with $12.82 per hour (without medical benefits) he wrote me right back.
The hourly amount was calculated based on a $20,000 annual salary.
Sangre de Cristo Chronicle
So, it makes sense. This unusual hourly salary number actually worked out to a round number somewhere on the spectrum. And it is also a little less than twice New Mexico's minimum hourly wage of $7.50.
Additionally, I've come to see that the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle has been notably awarded best weekly newspaper honors at the national and state level.
In September, the Chronicle placed first among U.S. newspapers with circulation of less than 3,000 in the general excellence category of the National Newspaper Association’s 2013 Better Newspaper Contest.
“It has been a good year for the Chronicle. Our community deserves a newspaper of the highest quality, and these awards demonstrate our commitment to providing that week after week,'' Chaney said.
So ... there you go. Hopefully, they will find a very talented person dying to come work in journalism for $12.82 per hour. I think they will. Because ... that's how it is. That's how we journos roll.
Sometimes, for laughs, we sit around the ol' dining room table, fire up the laptops and buzz on over to one of our favorite websites, JournalismJobs.com. Why do we do this? Because it is REALLY entertaining (she says expecting you to understand this is said dripping with macabre sarcasm) and never fails to inject a lethal dose of reality into our sometimes dreamy minds.
Why, wouldn't it be NICE to get back into the business that we so dearly love, that is the underpinning of our democracy, a profession/trade that puts you on the ground in your community, city, state, country and allows you to mediate the rough terrain between what we are told is going on and what we know is REALLY going on, once we find the smoking guns or FOIA the telling documents. Damn, journalism is a great, we say, forlornly missing the OLD days.
Then, reality bites. For proof that the state of journalism in this country is not fit for anyone expecting 1) a living wage 2) a stable employer 3) job description that does not include being able to do everything including writing code for your own mobile apps, we have gathered a SAMPLE job description culled from representative job offerings on JournalismJobs.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Front page story on JournalismJobs.com today:
Thomson-Reuters to lay off 3,000
I used to write politics, news and sports for newspapers in cities like Albany NY, Seattle, Baltimore and Harrisburg PA. Now I take a lot of Instagram photos, check Facebook, swim, read about T$$$p and cook dinner for people I really like. New York native, living in Port Washington and Greenfield Center (that's near Saratoga Springs FYI).