Never Mind the Lofty Journalism Aspirations

Inc. executive editor Jon Fine is going on a brief book tour.

YourBandSucks_CoverThe reviews for Your Band Sucks, Jon Fine’s look back at his days as a guitarist with punk rock band Bitch Magnet, have been solid. Ahead of a one-week book tour starting this weekend, the Inc. executive editor chatted with The Observer staff writer Matthew Kassel.

At the end of the Q&A, there is this exchange:

Do you think there’s something about having been in a punk band — having absorbed that kind of anti-establishment spirit — that lends itself to becoming a journalist?

Well, I mean, journalists have to be comfortable asking people questions they probably don’t want to hear, pursuing stories they don’t want you to pursue, hearing from people after you write about them. I’m not at a breaking news place anymore, but the definition of news is something that someone doesn’t want someone else to know, basically, so you need to come at it with a certain level of aggression and a certain level of assurance. You have to understand that you’re basically going to be despised. It’s good practice to be in an unpopular band before becoming a journalist, because journalism isn’t a popular profession with the human race.

In many ways, what Fine is saying to the J-school crowd and beyond is, Your Career Choice Sucks. And in so doing, he is also echoing that wonky annual CareerCast ranking.

Thanks to the punk analogy, we’ve been busy this morning humming modified old school choruses like “God Save the Newsroom” and “Anarchy in the TK.” Fine’s Twitter feed is fun to follow right now, as he is linking to various interviews and tidbits connected to his forthcoming tour.
[Jacket cover courtesy: Viking Press]