Ira Rifkin shares some wisdom on his way out the door at GetReligion:
I’ve written for GR for about four years, and as professional journalists know well, one column a week of analysis or commentary is hardly a backbreaking pace. So it’s not the deadline pressure that I need to step away from.
It’s the distraction; the uncounted hours of every day consciously and unconsciously spent scouring the news for stories worth commenting on or just absorbing in hope of discerning some larger pattern that will be of interest to journalists and news consumers. I’ve finally concluded that, after more than a half-century around the news business, that this process has now become not only psychologically grinding but corrosive at its core.
Given the amount, frequency and nastiness with which the news comes at us today, in its multiplicity of forms, surely it’s more corrosive than ever. I won’t be able to heal if I stay immersed in it. I’ll stay abreast, but I can’t let it consume me any longer.
It’s also so damn frustrating. The news is an endless cycle of the same shortsighted compounding of human error repeated ad nauseam. Frankly, I find it depressing and I do not think it will ever change.
The universe sent me a message. It’s time to take heed (emphasis added).
I hope he succeeds in merely “staying abreast,” a goal I’d do well to copy.