Thursday, June 9, 2011

Myself as brand

June is certainly 'bustin out all over' with steamy hot days, which mean we've had the air on for several days straight. It has to be pretty hot for me to resort to AC all day but even the kids in Veeka's day school are kept in during the afternoons because of the temps.
These days I'm going through boxes of old files from work, realizing that I'll not be doing stories again on most of these items. It's kind of bittersweet to go through years of documents over the Episcopal/Anglican breakup, which I chronicled as much - if not more - than any other US religion reporter for the secular media. Then there are the files on sexually abusive priests; also gay priests, gay bishops who hid the activities of their gay priests and sooo much material on church officials whom I - and many other reporters - knew were corrupt but we didn't quite have enough to go on for a story. Re-reading some of those files made me sad that so many bad people got away with ruining the careers of good priests who dared to speak out against them.
It's so sad to see the evisceration of the religion beat. So many friends have fled to academia to teach or get doctorates or take refuge in fellowships that allow them to travel the globe. So few hires are happening these days and the stories are as important as ever. Many of these same bishops and cardinals remain in power. The Episcopalians and the Anglicans are still fighting it out in court.
I've been working around the house a bit, painting the stone border around the crape myrtle in the back yard. Pictured is Veeka posing atop the stones which took forever to get done. The week I applied the primer was when there was a thunderstorm every afternoon mean that my paint job would get wiped out. Am working on other stuff; just started a "social media boot camp" where you learn how to analyze traffic and demographics on various web sites. Today was my first day and it was sure interesting hearing the lecturers say you can't just have a presence on the web; you need to stand out. More sobering for my occupation; social media such as Twitter and Facebook have leveled the information-sharing play field that journalists once owned. Now everyone can and does provide information. Whether or not it's accurate is another thing altogether but the presence of so many citizen-journalists has decimated the ranks of the professionals.
I tried measuring how many people read this site and the number was so low, the counting mechanism showed nothing. Hmmm - I have signed onto a different web site host so hopefully within a new months I'll have a refurbished site that I'll have a hand in designing. Guess I'll recreate myself as a brand, right?


Tom said...

Julia, I just finished "Quitting Church." I would love to chat with you about it, but I don't know how that works. I am 63 so I have lived through the 60s and 70s just ahead of you. Your book brought back a lot of memories. My wife and I met at a Young Life Camp. I was in business for 20 years. In 99 my wife and I moved to India to teach the Bible. We returned last year and are in San Antonio, Texas. We drive past a dozen megachurches to get to a little downtown outreach rock and roll church. Not sure it is right but we're there. A friend of mine is attending a church in Waco called Antioch Christian Church. I think they are getting it right. After reading your book I would highly recommend visiting and researching them. Practicing the gifts, giving, serving, worshiping, teaching, evangelizing, humility, doing missions all over, planting churches, it is the whole gospel of God!!

Faith said...

Julia, I read your blog regularly. Unfortunately I am of no help to you in your effort to secure a job. It sounds like the field of journalism, especially religion reporting, is all but impenetrable to job-seeking efforts! Yes, the new social media allows anyone to 'publish.' Only opinion and some writing ability matter - not research or accuracy. I thought your freelance work was supporting you and I am sad to learn it is not. You and Veeka are often in my thoughts and prayers.


sje said...

I hope that you still consider yourself a formidable and knowledgeable resource and will express your knowledge in your blogs.
You have a unique view of life in the church. What areas of church life do you find most compelling to explore and share these days?