Long before mainstream news organizations were hemorrhaging jobs and losing billions of dollars, journalists at some of the nation’s biggest and most respected mainstream news outlets were leaving their newsrooms. Out of the News: Former Journalists Discuss a Profession in Crisis tells the stories of some of those journalists. In the process, it offers a detailed accounting of the past three decades of journalism, a time when the news industry has undergone dramatic change.
Out of the News captures the voices of the nation’s best journalists as they explain the circumstances that led them away from mainstream reporting and into new endeavors. Wexler, herself a former award-winning journalist, describes their experiences in and out of journalism and presents a fascinating group memoir of these times and their rich, exciting lives.
Their stories are good reads in and of themselves. But their experiences also offer an inside look at the structure of news organizations, and the limited power many journalists have over their own work. Out of the News focuses on the systemic and cultural obstacles embedded in our news media that discourage journalists from practicing their craft at the highest level. It is these obstacles that contribute to the growing lack of accountability and narrow focus in mainstream journalism, where opinion often trumps fact and superficial coverage fails to serve the public. Out of the News explains the larger failings of the media through the lens of personal experience. Out of the News is media criticism with a human face.
Like a CT scan, Out of the News exposes the problems of the news media from within, but it also suggests different and interesting possibilities for both journalists and journalism. Each story, and its uniquely personal twists and turns, contains lessons on surviving and thriving in challenging and uncertain times. Far from sounding a dirge for the news business, these stories offer insights into reinventing and reviving journalism for the 21st century.
These profiles offer evidence that not only is there life after journalism, journalism itself is showing signs of new life.