Monday, August 03, 2009

A newspaperman admits he's an 'organization man'

Newspaper employees who report on baseball may appear to be celebrities, faces and voices everywhere, independent business entities who flit from place to place. Those who seek this kind of life are often found in the ESPN metro area which includes NY, NJ and Boston.
  • The survival of these individuals relies on something hidden-
  • starting with compromise and conformity. Their words, what is said, not said, and in what order, are subservient
  • to their publisher, their wish to be admired by MLB, Inc., and their maintaining fraternity with BBWAA members.
The point is they are organization men rather than independent minded spirits. Which is fine, but an important distinction for those who care about baseball. An employee determined to tell the truth wouldn't last long in the world of publishing, MLB, the BBWAA and ESPN, nor ascend in the bureaucracy where money and immortality reside. Baseball needs voices who have no need for the current hierarchy. The late Doug Pappas was such a voice.
  • A recently laid off newspaper man owns up the the fact that he's not the independent type he fancied himself to be. He admits he's an "organization man:"
WSJ.com: "And now, breathing outside the cocoon of a large company for the first time in a generation, I realized
  • I’d become what I once swore I never would be: an “organization man.”

I had seen myself as someone who embraced the uncertainty and opportunity of forces—the Internet in particular—that were changing my work. Now, confronted with having to find my way in this new world, it was much more difficult than I had imagined.

  • I call myself a “free agent.” And to be sure, I like the sound of it. Free. Agent. The kind of person I had always wanted to be. Self-reliant. Self-directed. And I’m intrigued by what may come.

Yet there is a sense of loss, and not only for my own situation.... Many won’t be able to experience the benefits of being part of an organization with a mission much larger than their own, with a history and traditions.

  • ...for those who want
  • there’s nothing quite like being able to work with other talented people with the kind of
  • backing you don’t need to think twice about....
I wanted to be the kind of person who needed no one else to help carve his fate. Now fate has placed me in a position where
  • I may well have to do just that.

...To be honest, I genuinely miss being part of a larger entity with a purpose.

from article by John Temple, "Confessions of an Organization Man--I Never Thought I would say I'm and Organization Man," WSJ.com, 7/31/09 via Poynter.org/Romenesko********

  • (My experience on the topic of independence: My main career was 20 years as a commissioned sales person for local radio stations. I drove around trying to develop new business, wrote radio copy for those without ad agencies, and also called on the most sophisticated time buyers at big agencies. My pay ranged from commission only to part draw to small salary plus commission. I was never in a union nor guaranteed a job for more than one day. If I didn't personally collect monies owed, I didn't get paid.That is the life of an independent or non-conformist person as opposed to the enmeshed one of newspaper employees who, for instance, report on baseball). sm

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