This is funny and sadly true, from rockmycar.net, written by San Diego journo Tom Chambers:
1) We can figure things out...We don’t take shit from anyone, so don’t lie to us or give a load of bullshit. We spend all day separating fact from fiction, listening to PR cronies and dealing with slimy politicians. If you make us do the same with you, you’re just gonna piss us off…
2) At some point, you will be a topic. Either through a feature story or an opinion column, something you do or say will be a subject. Get over it. Consider it a compliment, even if we’re arguing against you in print.
Think about it: we live our lives writing about life. If you’re a part of our life, we’re going to write about you, your thoughts or a subject springing from one of the two.
3) Yes, we think we’re smarter than you. In fact, we know it. Does that smack of ego? Absolutely — but that confidence is what makes your heart go pitter-patter…
Don’t be surprised if we’re not impressed when you say, “I’m a writer, too.” No, you are not. The fact that you sit in a coffee shop wearing black while scribbling in your journal does not make you a writer. Nor does the fact that you “wrote some poems in high school” or that one day you want to pen “the great American novel.”
Look, we’re paid to write. Every day…
4) You’re not less important than the job — the job is just more important than anything else. One doesn’t become a journalist to sit in an office from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.
We do take our work home. If news is happening, we’ll drop whatever we’re doing — even if it’s with you — to cover it. We’re always looking for stories, so yes, we’ll stop on the street to write something down, interview a passer-by or gather information for a lead.
5) You won’t be disappointed. Journalists are intense, driven, passionate folk. We carry those same attributes into our relationships, making it an extremely fun ride well worth the price.
Can’t say I’d argue with any of that.
My partner, like me, is a driven career journo. We started selling our work to national outlets while we were college freshmen, routinely wrecking dates and relationships by disappearing on assignment or into the darkroom. He’s slept under his newsroom desk. I’ve covered stories, in the winter, on crutches.”Gotta go!” means “Hang up now” and we don’t take it the least bit personally. When bombs go off in places like Islamabad or Baghdad, we sometimes worry about our friends and colleagues who, on their own adrenaline highs wearing Kevlar, are just doing their jobs.
You’re either crazy about this stuff or you get out pretty quickly.
These days, at night, a little light will flash at 1:43 a.m. or 3:26 a.m. on our respective bedside tables. It’s our Itouches blasting an AP news bulletin, which we then read and look at the photos and wonder who will cover it best.
And then we’ll go back to sleep. And, then, get up — eagerly still — and head off to make sense of it all, yet again.