Nearly four years and 500 posts ago, I became the newest GetReligionista.
Now, somehow, I’m the second-longest-tenured regular contributor after the illustrious Terry Mattingly himself.
As we celebrate GetReligion’s 10th anniversary, our esteemed editor tmatt has reflected on “why we are still here” — Part 1 and Part 2 — and talked about “Labels, labels, labels, labels!” He’s even recorded a podcast. George Conger and my bride Tamie Ross have shared additional insight.
Now it’s my turn.
I can’t remember exactly when I started reading GetReligion or how I came across it. But in March 2010, I jumped at the opportunity to join an all-star team that included Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Brad Greenberg. As I wrote in my introductory post:
For a faithful GetReligion reader such as myself, joining the team of contributors is like a baseball fan invited to sit in the press box and share his opinions during the World Series.
But here are five things they didn’t tell me when I signed up:
1. Writing media criticism on short deadlines is like pulling a tooth a day. Since all of us who write for GetReligion do so on a part-time basis, we’re constantly making time to post between our real jobs, our families and our other priorities (did I mention Rangers baseball?). We’re reading and analyzing stories in a hurry, then filing posts like breaking-news reporters.
2. The avalanche of email never stops. My GetReligion story possibilities folder has 5,086 items in it as of this moment. Granted, some of those items go back to when I started. But you get the point: We’re flooded with possible stories to critique, and there’s no way we can get to everything that deserves a thoughtful analysis. Thus, the guilt files that we sometimes talk about.