Emily Nipps has been a journalist with the St. Petersburg Times for a decade. But many in her field haven’t been so lucky. Over the years she’s watched her paycheck shrink and the newsroom cubicles grow empty after layoffs took away more and more of her coworkers.
So for her ten year anniversary, Nipps set up We Are Journalists, a Tumblr blog that lets journalists do what they do best: share their stories.
“As journalists, we spend so much time letting others tell their stories, I think it’s a nice release for us to finally tell our own,” Nipps told the Daily Dot in an email.
The blog originally began as a post on Nipps’ Facebook wall. Inspired by the 99% protesters, she put up a picture of herself at a typewriter with a caption about her life as a journalist. This same post eventually became the first submission on the blog.
“People loved it,” she said. “Some of my co-workers called for a series. So I got the idea to create a blog and let people post their own little stories about how they feel, what they love, what they hate and why it matters.”
Nipps’ blog went public on Tuesday. Now, she has 600 followers, thousands of hits and mentions in the news. She said she is getting a steady stream of submissions from journalists all over the world.
“I read these things and feel very touched and sad and proud at the same time,” she said. “There has been a some criticism, which I expected. I think some people feel it’s whiny or that it makes a mockery of the 99 Percent folks.”
In fact, Nipps intentionally designed the blog to resemble the We are the 99% Tumblr blog. She said she wanted to capture the same enduring spirit. Plus, she thought submissions where journalists speak about their poor job prospects and poverty might seem familiar to those who would call the media “elitist.”
“I wanted people to ‘get it’ right away,” she said. “I also thought it was a nice counter to criticism journalists have gotten from the Occupy Wall Streeters. I understand why they’re not happy with some of the coverage. But they need to understand that we’re not as elitist as the perception seems to be.”