KTTV news reporter John Schwada blogs on Facebook that so few people have spoken up about his firing: “But really what disturbs me most is the silence from my union, AFTRA, and from the journalism academy. When a veteran reporter for no good journalistic reason is dismissed, where are their independent voices? Some of these folks are even protected by tenure? Their silence is particularly disappointing.”
I don’t know John Schwada’s work because I rarely watch local TV news. I hear he is a great reporter but TV is inherently shallow and I don’t watch much of it.
What gets me about John’s Facebook post is how universal it is. We are all disappointed when people don’t care about us. When they don’t speak up for us. When they don’t take our side.
However, as a great economic professor of mine (Russell Roberts) once said at UCLA, “Other people don’t think about you as much as you do.”
Isn’t it obvious that the reason John Schwada lost his job is the same reason that tens of thousands of other journalists have lost theirs over the past decade? That the news business as a business is in dramatic decline. Its business model is broken. Most news businesses are having a hard time staying afloat.
I’ve had a hard time staying afloat financially. So I’ve retrained myself to do something other than write. John might have to retrain himself too.