Yesterday, I wrote with regard to Jim Romenesko’s soon-to-be reduced role at Poynter.org that losing superstar bloggers is just something that happens and that everyone will fall victim to it at some point.
But what happens when one of those bloggers is the main source of news for an entire geographic region?
Replacing a Romenesko is one thing, but finding someone to take over your local neighborhood blog is something else altogether. You don’t just hire someone. We’re talking about a position that’s not just not-for-everyone; it’s almost not for anyone: Self employed. No health care. No benefits. Low pay. Crap hours. Sick days and vacation days? Ha.
It’s often said that journalism is a lifestyle, not a career, and that goes double for people who strike out on their own.
Sadly, I don’t really have an answer for this problem, either, other than that’s how it is. One day, your neighborhood blogger will leave. Maybe they’ll have groomed someone to take over for them, maybe not.
I hate to see it happen, but everyone knows it will, and I’m curious to see it happen for the first time (if it hasn’t already) to see if, in the case of a particularly popular neighborhood blog, there’s enough demand to spur someone to action to fill the void.