10 things I learned about newspaper journalism after watching Batman v Superman

Your editor will probably be a crusty, salt-and-pepper-haired but ultimately benign 55-year-old man The horrifying truth is that he’s really only 35 … but has been prematurely aged, reverse Benjamin Button style, by the stress of journalism.
He will occasionally deliver soul-crushing wisdom in front of the entire staff Like “no one buys newspapers any more”.
He will ask you to suddenly write stories that aren’t your specialty Written about nothing else but politics and world affairs for the last 10 years? Your crusty but benign editor will come in one day and ask you to write about sports, despite the paper having a full-time sports desk complete with experienced sports reporters. Because, hey, we’re wacky that way in journalism.
He will go through “your personal Dropbox” to see what stories (hopefully sports related) you have filed Even though Dropbox is mostly used for downloading and exchanging photos and that you are far more likely to file any stories to a central server for the sub-editors to work on. (Is he also going through your email, you wonder? Probably.)
He even wants to put your “sports” story on page one Superpowered aliens are flying around the city, things are blowing up left and right and a mysterious vigilante has enacted his own version of martial law in Gotham, but your editor believes the tale of some overpaid, overmuscled jock deserves the front page over these earth-shattering stories. (Maybe he’s right. He’s the one who sees the daily sales figures, not you.)
When he finds out that you blew off the “sports” story to cover a high-class party featuring an eccentric billionaire – Bruce Wayne, the owner of the newspaper, no less – there will, oddly, be no repercussions He’ll just be grateful for any copy to fill the holes in the paper … because, hey, “no one buys newspapers any more”.
Despite the fact that no one buys newspapers any more and he has the budget of a school tuck shop, he will occasionally be outrageously magnanimous Such as allowing you to hire a helicopter for PERSONAL REASONS … even though such an expense just wiped out that entire week’s profits.
He’ll also be cool with all your regular, mysterious absences With rolling deadlines and a constant barrage of information to somehow cram into each daily edition, every second counts on a newspaper.  Yet your crusty, salt-and-pepper-haired but ultimately benign 55-year-old editor will be OK with your frequent, unexplained absences, which seem to occur at the same time that Superman is busy rescuing orphans or cats or bats or something. It’s the last days of Rome here. Go nuts.
(Years later, you will learn that your crusty, beloved editor developed ulcers from holding in all the grief you were giving him.)
He will grab the first edition featuring your non-sports story straight off the printing press Even though the actual printing presses will be located dozens, if not hundreds of kilometres, from your office.
He’ll back you when the owner of the paper complains you keep writing “puff pieces” about Superman Despite his inability to identify and cover the major news stories of the day, spot imposters hiding in plain sight behind spectacles or even discipline his reporters, your crusty but benign editor is big into maintaining the editorial independence of the newspaper, even to the point of refusing to soften the paper’s line against the “Bat vigilante in Gotham”.
He will fight for your right to file what you want, whenever you want until the day he is eventually escorted from the building at Bruce Wayne’s orders, clutching his Walkleys and his cactus on the way out.

Hey, check out my ebook military thriller The Spartan on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s