Journalists, more accustomed to covering news than making it, are even less used to becoming part of the beat and story they cover. Imagine someone who reports on the local sewage board being asked to lay some pipe.
But two weeks ago, I entered into my beat and its biggest story in dramatic fashion. On Wednesday, April 22, the Chicago Tribune laid me off in the midst of my writing a consumer-oriented blog, "The Recession Diaries."
I miss the Tribune, my co-workers and the rituals of daily newspaper life. (In 16 years there I amassed three Tribune hoodies, and I have no intention of getting rid of them.) That said: I believe the good work of helping those who hurt from the recession must continue, no matter what. It is vital, current and sorely needed by so many of you.
So I've moved my "Recession Diaries" blog here, to AOL's WalletPop, starting today. And now that I'm without a full-time job, I feel I can more fully enter into the hearts, minds and struggles of countless Americans struggling to make ends meet, tighten belts and look for relief in this economic quagmire. I have to figure out a lot of things now: from health insurance to job hunting to unemployment.
I also had to figure out how to break the news to my kids. Coping becomes a daily challenge now, and as I learn how, I will pass on what I learn to you. Watch this space for my first post later today.
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