Another reminder that the world is changing
I received a surprising email this week from a great editor saying “my position was eliminated” and that this was “due to due to a change in the way content will be delivered, declining ad revenues and cost savings through outsourcing”. Our long working association had proved to me that he was a skilled and efficient editor; I have no doubt among the best in the business. Yet the change apparently caught him by surprise. We were on the phone together only a few days earlier. But now here he was, without a job and soon to be pounding the pavement at mid-career looking for another opportunity.
This caused me to reflect on the other editors that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years and I quickly realized that corporate restructuring poses a high risk in this occupation. It has happened several times to my other editors in the past. Print media continues to struggle for a business model that allows it to succeed. Certainly the risk is not limited to print media. I can recall at least two online publications, once great, that exist no more. As a writer, I know that the elimination of an editor’s position takes me one more step away from connection to a world that I know and have come to trust. It is a reminder that my own sense of stability within the industry is little more than an illusion.
En editor is a coach, a mentor, an accountability partner, an inspiration. Saying goodbye, good luck is bound to raise some hairs. I have no trouble pouring words out in production. Yet when it comes to this, I don’t know what to say.