This past week I finally saw Eric Alterman speak about his new book, Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama. I had attempted to see Alterman in January but the event was cancelled because of bad weather on the east coast. So this last Wednesday I finally gave him a piece of my mind. Not really. But, you see, Kabuki Democracy started off as an article for The Nation. I know this because when the other web intern left for Germany, I picked up where she left off in fact-checking this beheamouth of an article. Not only was the article inordinately long (roughly 30 pages and growing) it was also incredibly...what's the word? That's right. Annoying. And I'm sure Alterman knows this. In fact, I couldn't even finish the fact-checking in my last two weeks there and I had to pass it off to the next intern.
Anyway, I saw Alterman and told him I knew the article would turn into a book at the time. I also asked him what he thought younger journalists should do to improve the future media landscape. The Wall Street Journal, he reminded us, is doing 140 percent of work with only 30 to 40 percent of its original workforce.
I specifcally asked him what us young journalists were doing wrong (if anything). I realize his answer lended itself to the usual cop-out, but I asked him anyway to see if he'd say anything interesting like, "Young journalists don't know how to report worth a damn!" or "Back in my day, if we were wrong, we'd get docked two week's pay!" Instead, he said to find your niche—oh, and maybe I should look into marrying a rich guy from Microsoft. Here is his answer in totality. Thanks Eric!