20 buyout offers; minimum of 4 to take offer

Dateline: Thu 03 May 2012

at the Indianapolis Star.

There was some speculation that veteran op-ed columnist/pisser-in-the-wind/poetic soul writer Dan Carpenter would take the bait, but he will stay. Or so it seems, based on his poignant Facebook posting:

"Sad, deserted Star
Your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then, they know
It's time for them to go
But I will still be here
Though I had thoughts of leaving
I do not count the time
Who knows how my love grows . . .
Who knows where the time goes . . ."

Of course, he's getting comments like, "The Star left me, I didn't leave it," and "Parting is such #%&* sorrow."

Anyhow, I'm happy for some continuity. Dan knows the culture of the paper and its history as well as anyone; someday, I hope to have a conversation with him about his decision to stay the course. I can't decide if he's brave or mad. Or both.

Certainly, splendidly subversive.



Tell The Truth [Member] said:

"We're all a little daffy save me and thee, and I'm a little concerned about thee."

Carpenter leaves, I leave. It would be the last straw.

A frustrating time in North Alabama. We'll find out just how poignant that right-shift is next Tuesday.

The rebirth of the John Birch Society. Right before mine eyes. For that, we need Carpenter's continuing snarks.

And gin.

2012-05-03 08:53:35

hendy [Member] said:

There's a lot to be said for simple survival in the midst of change. A new editor will need an experienced hand or two around. You can do much worse than Dan Carpenter. It's tough to do much better, although he's not the wizard of prose that his poetry would betray. Instead, he has the grace of a gifted thinker, and the tenacity (maybe bravery) to sit not far away from people that absolutely do not think like him. I'm not sure how long my steam engine would last before I blew a gasket. For the rest: the very best of luck in your new positions-- I'm a freelancer that survived, and thrived. You can, too.

2012-05-03 09:57:16

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Hendy, I am glad you have been able to make a living as a freelancer. As I have written before, you have specific "niche" technical knowledge and expertise.

But you are one in a thousand of freelancers who can make a living doing it. I USED to be able to make something of a living as a freelancer, but that was before all the print publications started folding. Now, most print publications and websites offer $20-$100 or even nothing for a piece that that takes hours to research and write.

(I recently got "offered" a regular weekly column slot for a daily newspaper and was told the pay is zero and not even a free subscription).

I worked full-time in journalism for 25 years and very few (a miniscule percentage) of the scores of people I worked with during all of those years have ever found significant regular freelance opportunities.

I've written two books for well-known and respected international publishing companies and, if I add up the compensation, it would probably come to less than minimum wage per hour.

At least Carpenter has a regular paycheck he can count on, health insurance, and benefits.

I'd stick with it, too.

I like Carpenter's work and I don't like it. Most of the older folks here will remember that when we were young journalists we were told by professors (and then editors) to aim our prose at a level to be understood by teenagers. The idea was "accessibility."

I agree with Carpenter's positions most of the time, if I can ever wade through all of the intellectual introspection to figure out what they are.

2012-05-03 12:36:43

hendy [Member] said:

WB: there are guilds. The Internet Press Guild (netpress.org) is one; the SPJ is another. Contently.com is another place to go. There is work, and work with better pay than what you're finding.

Either one, along with several other websites, are the source of steady stuff that just takes journeyman skills. Yes, I make a wad, but I also work like a dog. It can be done. Send a direct query to thenderson at extremelabs.com. I'll do what I can to help.

2012-05-03 20:43:03

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2012-05-04 14:21:19

Terry [unverified] said:

I am not as poetic as my predecessors on this page, Dan, so I don't have a compelling missive. I remember you telling me when I was a copy editor at the Star that you gave the print newspaper five years. Well, the five years aren't quite up -- and neither are you. If I could have lunch w/ Karen C., I would tell her you are one of the reasons I -- and many others -- read the paper. As if she doesn't already know.

2012-05-05 03:43:45

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2012-05-09 08:19:14

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