Erik Wemple’s Cautionary Professional View

ErikWempleSlugErik Wemple is one of the nation’s most widely read media critics. He works for a newspaper that, under new owner Jeff Bezos, stands a better chance than most of successfully figuring out the shifting print media horizon. His wife, Stephanie Mencimer, is a staff writer for Mother Jones magazine as well as a board member with the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

And yet… In a Q&A with the Daily Gazette, covering the Schenectady, NY region where Wemple grew up, the Washington Post columnist’s final answer speaks cheeky, realistic volumes. Asked by reporter Mark McGuire whether he plans to encourage the couple’s young son and daughter to pursue writing, Wemple replied:

“Let’s put it this way, I haven’t yet. …My wife is also a journalist. Neither one of us are counseling them to be a journalist. If they do that, it is all on them.”

Wemple also notes that in today’s 60/24/7 news cycle, an item anchored to “a fragment, figment or little shard” often does better with readers than one that required blood, sweat and tears. Read the full Q&A here.