Dispatches from the living amongst journalism's walking dead

That Post About the Lack of Posts

One of the challenges of working in an experimental company in a changing industry is that you yourself have to constantly learn and evolve. For the past few months, I’ve been in a new role at Digital First that forces me outside my professional comfort zone every day – I’m managing talented people and projects that are sometimes beyond my (initial) comprehension.

Some days, this is the best part of the  job, other days it is the worst – as it is both exciting and exhausting. A lot of other journalists and new managers out there know what I mean.

There are days when all I want to do is draft some tweets, push some stories through production, build a few slideshows and plan a news budget – tasks I feel very confident completing after years of doing them day in and day out. Instead, I wake up and see my to-do list includes less easy-to-check-off items like “5. Work on this giant strategy”, “11. Get these 10 editors to acknowledge this deadline” and “8. Draft 2013 budget”.

When you work at home, as I do, it’s tempting to crawl back into bed and wish those difficult tasks away to another day. It’s easy to get a little lost when you peer too long into the abyss. I think I’m finally getting a feel for why many editors of mine over the years always seemed so….crazy.

For me, blogging about journalism the past few months would be akin to a castaway on a lifeboat blogging about recreational yachting. I’m just trying to figure out how I’m staying afloat out here – so what good am I to you, dear reader?

This blog has been a lot of things over the past few years – a place for me to sound off about the issues I care about, a place to give instruction, a place to share interesting bits of news. Above all – it’s a way for me to keep writing, which is what I’d like to revisit in the coming months.

I have about a dozen half-finished blog posts in my dashboard. I’m getting back to those. I’ll never be as prolific as Buttry and I don’t have the authority of Rosen, Jarvis or Shirky. I likely won’t break news, but I have a voracious appetite for info, a decent sense of humor and some really cute cat photos.

In brief (tl;dr): I’m learning more than teaching these days. I hope you’ll still come along for the ride.


Thank you, ONA-ers


I’m Not a Robot: Engaging Local News Readers on Social Media


  1. Give yourself a break! Or throw up a bunch of posts set to publish automatically. Don’t be too hard on you!

  2. Your TL;DR actually says it all IMO.

    Blog about what you’re learning then… and one more piece of advice from someone who learned the very same thing…

    Don’t try and “be” anyone else, or like anyone else… this blog is YOUR voice, YOUR content… so be YOU.  You’ll attract the readers who want “that.”

    If I want to read Rosen, Shirky, Jarvis etc… I’ll read them.

    Don’t let this blog hit the graveyard 😉

    • Thanks Joseph. When I was still a social media editor, my job was far more exciting to other people, so I wrote about it a lot. My job now is very exciting to me, but most other journalists don’t see it as all that glamourous…so I avoided writing about it. I might just need to strike the balance here!

      •  A very wise business man once taught me…

        “Exciting is in the eye of the beholder, not the person creating the excitement.”

        I hope to see more from you Mandy… I’m NOT a journalist, but I enjoy your blog anyhow 😉

  3. Michael Roberts

    You do not need to leave your room.
    Remain sitting at the table and listen.
    Do not even listen, simply wait.
    Do not even wait, be still and solitary.
    The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice.
    It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.– Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

    Waiting for the good stuff is part of the work. 

  4. Becky Swank

    You’re incredibly inspiring! You’re constantly doing new things, stretching boundaries, and challenging yourself, and that is great. Just remember, you can’t do and be everything to everyone.

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