Reflections On the Evolution of a Career in Journalism
Late last year, when I was getting mentally ready to take the plunge into ArtsandCraftsCollector.com, I often worried about whether or not I could generate enough material to fill four feature slots: In the News, Collector’s Guide, Around the House and, this, my Little Journeys editorial.
[Note: I’m still not ready to call myself a blogger.]
I knew that to keep your attention I not only had to have interesting articles for you, I also had to keep them coming at a steady pace. Having an opinion has never been a challenge for me, but making sure my opinions were built on solid ground poses a challenge each week – not to mention taking a little time in research.
Regardless of my occupation, over the years I have always been a journalist: high school newspaper and yearbook, the weekly West Branch Times and the daily Iowa City Press-Citizen, syndicated newspaper columnist, features writer for Country Living magazine and columnist for Style 1900.
My career in antiques was honed reading Maine Antique Digest and the writings of publisher and editor Sam Pennington. I fear many of you have not heard of M.A.D., as its loyal readers call it, for it has always concentrated on the antiques scene up and down the Eastern Seaboard and New England. Even so, its reporters have covered many Arts & Crafts auctions and have even ventured down to Asheville, NC to report on the Arts & Crafts Conference and Antiques Show at the Grove Park Inn.
M.A.D. has always had a reputation for its in-depth reporting. An auction review would often cover three pages, abundantly laced with photographs. Lengthy descriptions of items, plus their selling price, kept readers entertained and informed, myself included.
When I started ArtsandCraftsCollector.com, I knew I could never duplicate the style of writing in M.A.D., for readers of websites have demonstrated that you want the message clear and concise. And its for that reason that I believe websites will never replace newspapers and magazines. Websites have a swiftness printed material cannot match, but magazines make up in depth what they sacrifice in speed.
For that reason I have decided that my auction reports in this website would not follow journalistic tradition by listing scores of items and sales results. You already know you can find that just a click away at each auction house website.
Instead, I plan to study auction results looking for lessons I can learn and can share with you. What trends are developing, what forms or makers have fallen out of favor, which ones are hot, which ones have saturated the market, and how are collectors responding to various conditions, i.e. refinished, repaired, recoated, repatinated.
I hope I am hitting the mark for you – and just as importantly hope that you will tell me if I am.
I know I will make mistakes, jump to a hasty conclusion here and there, miss an obvious sign and will upset more than a few of you.
But I hope you will hang in there with me, send me emails to set me straight and, most important, will share this website with your friends.
If we are to create a national Arts & Crafts community, we need them – so, please, take a moment to send this website along to one of them before you now head over to eBay….