The Curmudgeon Class

Last Friday I sat in on some presentations by some weekly newspaper editors on the challenges that digital presented to them. Commenting on the internal issues that they needed to think about the thorny issue of staff came up.

In trying to identify the different challenges one team of editors came up with a number of newsroom types.

  • The Fearful
  • The Cummudgeon
  • The hand holders
  • Young and keen

Just to clarify, a hand holder was someone who needed constant support and reassurance.

I liked the definitions and the discussion around them highlighted many issues that create constant debate around J-blogs. Great that these discussions are being had in the newsroom.

So it was nice to come across the Cummudgeon in a post by Jay Rosen at Press Think – Twilight of the Curmudgeon Class

It’s a reasoned article that concludes in Jay’s view that :

…we’re at the twilight of the curmudgeon class in newsrooms and J-schools. (Though they can still do a lot of damage.) You know they’re giving up when they no longer bother to inform themselves about what they themselves say is happening. And if their “who lost journalism?” call-for-justice op-ed disappears behind a pay wall so the search engines can’t find it, silencing that call online, the beautiful thing is they won’t know it happened, and they won’t understand why it matters because they never got how Google works in the first place.

I agree with a lot of that but it’s a shame that we are just waiting for these guys to drop off the end of the conveyer belt. Journalistically they have a lot to offer.

I would rather give them a purpose in their twilight years.