I am a journalist, but for how long?

It's no secret to regular readers of my blog that I'm a journalist.
I enjoy it. I like writing. And despite my social "anxiety" (i.e. high-functioning couch potatoism) I've found that I'm a fairly aggressive reporter.
Two years ago I entered the field thinking I would make this my career.
In the past couple of weeks, however, I've seriously begun to question that.
I've seen countless colleagues -- and in many cases mentors and friends -- laid off since starting as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed reporter back in 2007.
In 2009, I've become transformed into something more akin to a jaded, 60-something curmudgeon who's got three months left before retirement. I'm 25 for chirstsakes, so that scares me.
The American Journalism Review would have you believe papers are going to be magically reborn from their own scattered ashes, but let's face the reality -- they're not.
News is universally going to syndication. Local reporting is disappearing and the days of buying the town paper at your local drug store are soon to be a thing of the past.
Bloggers like to bark about reporting news online, but there's no money in that. Sites making money like Drudge and Huffington do little, if any, original reporting and have full-time staffs of under a dozen people.
How can a local newsroom of 4 dozen reporters, all of whom are overworked and already covering more beats than they can handle, hope to compete with that?
Call me an optimist. I really do think someone will figure out how to make money and report good local news online. But will that person be me? Probably not.
Meanwhile, the layoffs continue. Great journalists are shown the door and local news disappears more and more.
And it's not fair. The papers I respected so much growing up have become empty mockeries of their former selves.
So I guess it's all the depression in the newspaper industry that's making me wonder if I want to keep being a reporter.
Newspaper executives don't care about informing readers, they care about milking papers for all the cash their worth. And when the pickings are gone? They'll pack up their investments and leave. Screw the truth. Screw the readers. Screw the news.
Papers are dying.
I am still a journalist. But for how long?

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