This is a message for all the suffering journalists out there, writing hate speech or misogynistic fluff and feeling bad about it, like poor Sophie Brown or Thea de Gallier’s pals: just, don’t.
Yes, you have to make rent. So do we all, but of course, your job is to demonise any of the rest of us doing things to keep roofs over our heads like being on benefits, doing sex work, working service jobs, or working in the public sector. Have you considered that there are better uses to your skills?
For example, the skills you have as a journalist can be used in a comms role. Or a copywriting role. Or writing books. Don’t you think that’s a better use of your time than, say, discussing a celebrity’s visible c-section scar in a derogatory fashion?
I understand that being a journalist was your dream job. It sounds romantic, doesn’t it? The taste of noir, the plucky intrepid journalist getting to the bottom of the story and exposing the bad guys. But let’s be honest here, shall we? That’s not what the industry is any more, and it hasn’t been for a long time. You’re unlikely to ever be doing the cool investigative stuff.
Once you start down the road of combing through a teenager’s old tweets so you can smear all trans women on the basis of it, that’s going to be the rest of your career for the rest of your life.
It might hurt your feelings when people criticise what you’re doing, but you’re doing material damage to marginalised people. That’s worse. Sorry. It sounds harsh but it’s true. You want to not feel like an arsehole, but you are.
If your dream job involves inciting hate against marginalised people, get a new dream.
Stop crying, because nobody has any sympathy for you. You are accountable. You are complicit. Your feelings are absolutely trivial compared to the active harm you’re doing.
At one point in my life, I considered moving in the direction of journalism. See, I was changing careers, and there were two options that sprang out to me immediately, because they were two things I’m reasonably competent at and quite enjoy doing: sex work and journalism. I had a think to myself. I decided against sex work, because there’s an amount of personal grooming involved which, frankly, I cannot be bothered with. I decided against journalism because the thing one sells in journalism is utterly repugnant to me: one sells ones opinions and makes them marketable to a bigoted public, and in doing so, one also sells one’s principles. In the end, I chose neither course, and I’m all the happier for it.
I have no sympathy for those who choose to incite hatred.
The job market is appalling, but anything, anything is better than working for the Daily Mail or the Sun, being assigned to write 500 words of poison.
And here’s the thing: if you conscientiously object, publicly, more will follow you. If you refuse an assignment and get sacked, you’ll be supported. Take a stand, like the tube workers or the teachers. Take that loss of income for the benefit of yourself or others.
I am, of course, assuming that you are the good person you think you are. That you don’t really believe the racist, disablist, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic drivel you’re writing. There’s a chance that you are, in fact, the piece of shit that believes that stuff.
Either way, you’re not immune to criticism or accountability.
Fuck your feelings. Take a stand, or be the abominable prepuce that we all think you are anyway.
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One thought on “Dear suffering Mail journalists: get another job”
Yeah UK journalists. You go with that defense. Worked so well at Nuremberg.