July 28, 2009

Ouch! That was one mean set of words

Who says you need sticks or stones to hurt?

"So you're the one who took Frank's place" draws the ire of a new reporter at a Michigan newspaper.

"How are you liking your retirement?
still hurts Hal Tarleton nine months after a layoff that followed 29 years of employment at the same newspaper.

A simple "So you’re the new Frank” would work better for Holly Setter, now working at the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, not "So you're the one who took Frank's place."'
"Perhaps I’m being touchy, but that seems to imply that he left it unwillingly, that I was cheaper labor that the paper hired to cut costs. Which isn’t remotely true — Frank opted to leave for a number of reasons (so I’ve been told, from Frank himself among others) but in large part because he wanted to explore another career and life in Texas."
Holly, who got the job one day before graduation, is one of two full-time reporters at the daily. She did not steal the job.

Time to move on

Frank Konkel says he started at the small daily in the Gatehouse Media Group in September 2007, but knew it was time to leave in May 2009. His original plan was to use the job as a stepping stone and then move on to for a better wage. He had expected to stay longer.
"I was initially grateful for the opportunity, even if I was making less than $10/hour."
He left determined to figure out if he wanted to continue a career in journalism in another location or pursue other interests, including fitness training, government work and freelance writing. Nothing's settled yet and the 2006 Michigan State University graduate is still in Michigan.
"I do miss the people and relationships I made along the way. Those things are, in my opinion, the best aspects of being a journalist."

Told to move on

Hal Tarleton also found much to like about journalism, did he not retire and he's back in the crowded job market - just not in journalism. these days. He wrote:
"My wife brought me back to reality: It's bad enough that I have to start over; it would be even worse if both of us had to start over."

He wrote back in March that the odds of finding something are poor. and not much has changed.

He is getting tired of community members thinking he had something to do with his former newspaper's new look and news emphasis.
"Everyone I've talked to has expressed disgust or exasperation with the redesign. And, unfortunately, I still run into people who think I'm still working there. For them, let me make it clear: I had nothing to do with it!"
The Erstwhile Editor recognizes that perhaps some do so because the announcement of his leaving was " one sentence at the end of a long and rambling "editor's note" without a headline or any real point."
"I have repeatedly had to tell people that, no, I have not retired; I did not want to leave gainful employment. I'm convinced that the newspaper encouraged the misconception that I had retired early. ... I've been gratified by the many people, some of them strangers, who have expressed their disappointment and even anger at my departure from the newspaper. But what's done is done. I'm moving on."
He's moving on in the job search, not moving into retirement.


  1. there's alot of good info on your blog but the formatting of the posts is so difficult to read i often can't make it through a whole article.

    some suggestions: consider putting images above text, with the text starting on a new line. also consider making the font slightly smaller so that it's still readable but easier to differentiate from the titles and sidebar info.

  2. Thanks for the advice. I keep forgetting to check how it looks on different browsers so I will revise and test. Looks like the header image suffered in a crash, too.

    Ah, how I miss artists and tech people and even editors.