On Friday, journalists from the Associated Press protested across the country. Their beef? Higher health care premiums and retirement benefits tossed.
While I agree with their plight, I’m also a bit miffed. My premiums kept going up and up when I worked at newspapers. Retirement benefits? I never knew there was such a thing.
But journalists have been underappreciated and overworked since I’ve been in the business. Once the union shops went away? The abuse came. They all knew how much we loved our jobs.
As newsrooms shrink and new media figures out how to make money, well, we need the AP. There’s not a single daily that doesn't depend on the AP, now more than ever.
Without the AP? The web goes silent. Where do you think all those bloggers get their news? They look at the local daily’s website and read the AP feed.
No AP? And all we’ll have is Facebook and Twitter to spoon-feed us opinions. If the AP goes away, well the local daily newspapers will have nothing to post. We’ll be stuck with hyperlocal sites that will tell us when the next pancake breakfast is. And maybe what happened at the local zoning board (zzz) -- word for word. No investigation.
We need the AP and they deserve the benefits. Yes, higher premiums are a fact of life thanks to the control health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have over US healthcare.
But cut these reporters a break. We need them and I’m sure – like all journalists – are woefully underpaid.
Doubtful the protests will do anything. The AP will just find interns and eager writers willing to work for minimum wage. They – like all papers and new media – know people who want to report and write and will do it for free.
We already are ….