The dream would have been funny had it not seemed so ridiculously real. In this dream I had not (yet) been laid off by The Pueblo Chieftain. The staff had been broken into focus groups and called into meetings to discuss the paper’s economic situation. Everyone was given an envelope. Managers scurried about from group to group as we all opened them.
Inside the envelopes were kits, the type given to high-school students to use in fundraisers for various extracurricular activities. Management was asking employees to sell magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser to help keep the newspaper afloat, and, of course, their jobs intact.
Many ironies here . . . also, interesting that after two months away from the place I’m now having dreams about it.
But I awoke and I was still laid off. Better yet, I was not selling magazine subscriptions in order to edit the very material that is driving newspapers to extinction.
As ridiculous as this dream was, it did point to a certain truth: Newspapers, if they are to survive, need to find a viable product to sell. I’m not suggesting magazine subscriptions, but here’s a hot news tip: Yesterday’s news tomorrow doesn’t cut it anymore.
In the meantime, if you’re still working for a newspaper, relax. It was only a dream.