Welcome to the Real World

Dear Marquette Tribune Kids,

I graduated from Marquette 9 years ago. In those 9 years, I’ve gone from working a stable, full-time job, with benefits in TV News, to working a part-time job, albeit in a major television market, with unstable hours and no benefits. Why does this matter? Because everyone has had to make cutbacks. That’s the way the world is working these days. Blame it on whatever you’d like, it’s reality.

I spoke with a number of people over the last few days who had knowledge of the “#LongLiveTheTrib” Twitter campaign, as well as the online petition. Especially, after having to put a call out onto the hashtag to figure out what they were actually protesting.

The current students I heard from are saying things like: “it’s not fair”, “we spend $30k in tuition so we deserve to have a full MU Trib”, and that the Trib “helps us get jobs.” Guess what? You don’t “deserve” anything. Rule number one of life: Don’t act like you’re entitled to anything. Hate to burst your bubble, you’re not. Besides, I have it on good authority that the overall costs of printing the additional pages is only a small portion of the money budgeted to you. That the majority of it goes to pay student reporters. Hmm… Maybe that is a spot to start looking at reductions? The TV and Radio kids have always historically done the grunt work for the experience of putting on a live, local newscast, and moving up the chain to one of the more lucrative staff positions, which I hear are actually paid these days (they were not back in my day.)

And while I know you’ve published and re-tweeted a number of alumni who are supportive of the Tribune, I have chatted those who stand on the other side of the argument. The side of the argument that you have conveniently left out of your online articles, might I add.

I am not alone in thinking that you are coming off sounding like a bunch of stuck-up, spoiled brats. I have had a few fellow alumni, not just other BREC majors, who have said “thank you” to me for calling you out on this. While it’s a small percentage of the overall alumni population who have even responded to what is going on, you have to remember, you never know who is out there watching, reading and formulating opinions of your actions as journalists.

Many of you keep repeating that writing for the Marquette Tribune leads to jobs in the industry, but I want you to stop and think for a minute: “What if an alumni of power disagreed with me, how would the affect me?” Remember, the internet is forever. Now, I’m not implying anything about myself personally. But you never know who I might know. Or who might stumble on my blog.

Ok. Back one moment to the hashtag. I am no expert at online messaging, I don’t even try to play one on TV. But if I click on a hashtag on Twitter, and can’t tell you what people are upset about, then we have a big problem.


A. Chernow