Let’s Talk About Endings
May 5, 2016
Tuesday, the Tampa Tribune published the final paper of its 123-year history after being purchased by the Tampa Bay Times. As the Tampa Bay community has remembered the Tribune’s legacy over the past few days via social media and other news outlets, it’s hard to not be struck by the harsh nature of the journalism industry today.
Yes, the merge represents a new era for the newspaper business in the Tampa Bay area. It’s hard to deny that the viability of a daily newspaper in 2016 becomes shakier each day, and certainly consolidating the area’s two biggest papers will help ensure at least one newspaper, if not two, will survive.
Yet it’s also hard to deny the magnitude the Tribune’s end carries. As a person who wants to enter the field, the first question I’m asked by adults is “Well, don’t you think that journalism is dying?”, along with a suggestion that I should spend my time reading Buzzfeed since those will be the only journalism jobs available to me.
Yes, jobs in journalism are becoming harder to find, as demonstrated by the 100 Tribune staffers who lost their jobs in the merger. As I read through some of the most heart-wrenching 140 characters on Twitter from these journalists, bidding their readers a farewell for now or maybe forever, doubt crept in.
How could I sit here in high school, the infancy of a journalist’s career, seeing the careers of journalists I respected and admired possibly reaching their end?
It can be hard to find hope in endings, expected or not. This month, after all, starts the beginning of many endings: sports ending, staffers departing, seniors moving on from high school.
After the end of the fifth inning at the Jesuit/Robinson game Tuesday, I stood, leaning against the edge of the dugout’s fence, thinking about the Tribune, our sports editor’s last game and all the endings I’ve experienced in the past year. I watched as the team filtered around me as they’d done all season, preparing for a next inning that, being down 5-0, they knew might be one of their last.
My eyes wandered up to the scoreboard, mentally counting the three little boxes: top of sixth, bottom of sixth, top of seventh, probably all the innings left in their season.
In twenty minutes, you’re going to want this moment back, I thought to myself. You’re going to wish you could still look up and see those three boxes blank.
I glanced back around the dugout, suddenly feeling a sense of nostalgia for a team I wasn’t on, a season that wasn’t mine and a sport I didn’t understand until this February. Then I shook it off, checking my camera setting to get ready for the next inning, focusing back on the game for one last time.
That’s the funny thing about life- sometimes the most beautiful moments are the ones we know we can never keep.
Isabel Hanewicz is a senior at Robinson High School and is the editor-in-chief of RHStoday. She was named the 2014 Emerging Young Journalist of the Year...