Once a Reporter, Always a Reporter

Once I was a straight reporter. Then my husband became a politician. That made me a political spouse with bad habits, some of which are exposed here. Others are located at www.VIKIVOLK.com

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Location: St. George Island, Maryland

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Gene Weingarten Is Not My Friend. Yet.

That's what the inestimable Southern Maryland journalist Michael Gray would say when a story's subject didn't like the story line.
Boohoo, Gene Weingarten with your promiscuity and too many friends on Facebook. Come on, man, you are a journalist. You are the only columnist left standing at The Washington Post Magazine. What exactly did you think would happen making blind liaisons with people you didn't know, who held motives you couldn't divine? I suspect you thought -- what a wealth of story ideas.
Or maybe you were just not thinking, Gene. Well, think now. Take a breath and listen to your tech people. They are breaking you in slowly. And you need to be broken in if you're boohooing about 1,400 friends.
The woman trying to market my blogs would scoff at your tech people's suggestion of fans -- she wants followers. Do you know what she would see in 1,400 friends? A toe in the door of the long shot opportunity to make money on blogging.
I don't mean to frighten you, Gene, but this is in some shape your future.
Your column came to me via e-mail from one of my semi-gainfully employed journalist friends. That's professionally better standing than about half of us who have lost our gainful toeholds in the biz. We're print refugees, Gene. We have seen the future. And for most of us it looks more like Facebook than The Washington Post Magazine.
Trust me on this too. No matter how much your tech people pimp you out, you aren't going to ever feel like Justin Bieber. You're a writer. Albeit you write for one of the best newspapers in the world, probably might not even know the names of the ad reps hawking you, but consider, this might be the best paying gig you'll ever get by written word.
Indeed. Only 1,400 friends? You're the columnist for The Washington Post Magazine! If that meant what it used to mean maybe you could feel like Justin Bieber. But as it stands, newspaper readers are disappearing faster than the dinosaurs split.
So "boohoo."
Un-friend who you want -- though your suspicions are correct, it is not pretty. Turn them into fans to make your tech team happy. Whatever. But if the problem is simply that your choice of friends are boring, maybe you need to pep up your own postings to attract a more fascinating crowd.
And I further suggest, whatever you do with your friends, keep in mind that one of these days you and your ad rep might have the same social security number. And when that happens, you're gonna want every friend you can get.

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