Being a journalist is exhausting. We work long hours, often in odd shifts and for low pay. We see gruesome events unfold in person and hear a lot of personal anecdotes that people in other lines of work would describe as TMI. Then, we spin those issues into inches and call it a night (or early morning), and get up the next day to rinse and repeat. News doesn’t take a holiday, so neither can the people putting it out for mass consumption (and no, furloughs don’t count). So, while the beach is out of reach this spring, here are a few places journalists can get a mini-vacation from the comfort of their cubicle while waiting on calls or copy.
This Twitter account is so much better than the real thing (and way less useful than the real @APStylebook). Their approach to mocking journalism conventions is often laugh out loud funny. That’s because no journalist can deny the underlying absurdity in some tried and true rules. The posts can get a bit borderline, but it’s all in good humor.
If trolling the archives of the Twitter stream isn’t enough, they even went old-school and wrote a book “Write More Good”, it’s even available in deadwood edition (i.e. print), like newspapers and other things your grandparents used to read — only this is way, way funnier than any funnies in the paper.
A few examples to get you started:
- Print the names of all kids who win things so relatives don’t complain. Also, never print any child’s name because that’s dangerous.
- Remember what happens when you assume: you save yourself a lot of work.
- You may cite “unnamed sources” when reprinting rumors from Gawker or TMZ. Perez Hilton is still “sources close to.”
- Turns out the “Oxford” comma never even graduated high school.
- While it’s tempting to call them “baristi” because of the Italian roots, the plural of “barista” is “journalism majors.”
Overheard in the Newsroom
Newsrooms are breeding grounds for awkward mis-overheard conversation snippets that taken out-of-context — not that a journalist would ever do that — make for amusing, if often raunchy, reads. But hey, this is a newsroom, and anyone who’s spent any length of time in one knows humor and innuendo come standard. Here are few recent funnies to get your bearings (funnier ones exist in the 7,000-plus conversation archives):
- Editor: “I oughta just re-tweet the texts [reporter] sends me. I could call it ‘Shit my pain-in-the-ass reporter says.’”
- Sports Editor to Managing Editor putting more paper into the printer: “You having fun with Jimmy Hendrix over there?”
Managing Editor: “What?”
Sports Editor: “I named it Jimmy Hendrix, because it always jams.”
- Reporter after being shunned by a government employee: “I was looking to do a puff piece about that project. Now I want to know how much it costs, why they’re doing it, and who authorized it. I’ll show them who’s an asshole.”
- Reporter 1: “I have an ethical dilemma.”
Reporter 2: “Whichever choice is the least fun is the right one.”
- Copy Desk Editor: “This photo you have is kind of boring. All they are doing is standing around looking at rocks.”
Reporter: “If you think that’s boring, wait until you read the story.”
Stuff Journalists Like
So the “Stuff (group) likes” meme is probably passe by now, but that doesn’t discount the hilarity that comes from recognizing the grain of truth in these posts. Stuff Journalists Like is a compilation of items that often hits close to home. If you’re just getting started here are a few gems to start off:
- #3 Free Food – Because really, what journalist would turn away cold pizza or left-over sandwiches from the executive luncheon? Not this one.
- #40 The Grumpy Old Reporter – There’s one in every newsroom, and right now he’s probably time-sucking the cub reporters/ copy editors/ photographers/ anyone-within-earshot by regaling them with tales of how times used to be and how long their predecessors lasted in the job. Meanwhile, can someone tell him how these #$!&^@% blogs work and what the $&!@ Twitter is anyway.
- #58 Being Font Snobs – I’ll admit it: I judge your press release — and by extension the seriousness of your cause/business/pitch — in part by the font you choose.
- #101 Weather Stories – Because readers are dying to know how the rain that fell yesterday affected Man-On-The-Street-#1’s gas pumping and how much road salt the city has remaining in its stockpile to fend off the next #snowpocolypse. That’s local news people can’t get anywhere else … except, maybe by looking outside.
Did I miss your favorite humorous journalist hangout/feed? Tweet @10000words or post the link in the comments.