The "We Are the 99 Percent" ripoff Tumblr craze is spreading, and naturally disgruntled editors and reporters are joining the trend. "We Are Journalists" is a nearly a carbon-copy of "We Are the 99 Percent," the blog that started the notion of people taking pictures of themselves holding pieces of paper with their sad stories written on them. In this one journalists write about what they love (being heard, telling stories, witnessing news) and hate (the pay, increasing workloads) about their jobs in a blog post and submit them for consideration. St. Petersburg Times reporter Emily Nipps launched the site last week with a few posts from her coworkers, but she expressed bigger ambitions for the blog in an interview with Poynter's Steve Myers on Wednesday. "[It's] for all journalists to feel like it's theirs to use and somewhat anonymous," Nipps said, "much like the 'We Are The 99 Percent' blog."
Much like its inspiration, the blog is equal parts uplifting and disconcerting. There's definitely a lot of griping about being poorly paid but having fun adventures in the line of duty that sort of makes up for it. The latest post from a self-identified "blogger and online editor" is actually pretty inspiring:
I have known what I wanted to do with my life since I was 13 years old. I've interned, freelanced, and worked for free to keep myself sane and in practice because I couldn't find a full-time gig. I recently up and moved my life on one month's notice to do what I love. I have become bolder, braver, more outgoing, and more knowledgeable — a better person — because of the people I've met, experiences I've had, and things I've done to pursue and practice journalism. Thanks, 13-year-old me, for making one of the best decisions I've ever made.
But this one from a "newspaper reporter" (insert joke about the death of print) is pretty horrifying:
I pay for my journalism degree $95.87 each month. I've written checks for gas. I've overdrawn my account on coffee more than once. Total strangers call me names I wouldn't call a baby killer. I used to cry over it, but not anymore. Once, a relative pointed to a TV anchor and said, "Maybe you'll get there one day." I've run through a hostage standoff, stood at a burning house swarmed with bees, watched someone die.
Yikes! We'll be the first to admit that the blog is an especially compelling read if you're a journalist in search of empathy. It's at least better than the other 99 percent ripoff, the conservative-angled "We Are the 53 Percent" blog — which amounts to pictures of people complaining about people complaining.