I quit my job

Posted: October 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: this is personal | Tags: , | 7 Comments »

I quit my job.

I have worked in Maariv daily paper for more than 6 years, the last three and a half of them on Sofshavua (סופשבוע), the weekend magazine of the paper, as a deputy editor.

It was an exiting period. I got to deal with the stuff I like: politics, investigative articles, sports. Journalists can be obnoxious, cynical and bitter, but some of them are the most interesting people you’ll meet, and I’ve made a few of my best friends in Maariv. I also got to interview several interesting figures: I had two long meetings with philosopher Slavoy Zizek in Tel Aviv; film director Warner Herzog hosted me for lunch in his LA home and we had a very inspiring conversation; Thomas Friedman gave me 19 minutes on the phone. I even traveled to the 2008 Republican and Democratic conventions. Altogether, these were the things I dreamed to do as a journalist.

Lately, though, I started getting tired from the job. Maariv, and it is no secret, is in dire straits. It’s been years that the paper is losing millions; there have been significant manpower and salaries cuts; almost all my friends left. In three years in the weekend magazine, I’ve worked under no less than four editors. None of them managed to stay longer than 18 months on the job, let alone carry out some sort of personal vision. The paper changed its editorial line, even its design, on a yearly basis. Standards as well as working conditions declined. After a while, you get tired from working in this sort of atmosphere, were everything is about surviving, and not much more.

Let there be no misunderstanding: I have great admiration for many people in Maariv and their struggle to save the paper. One can also be very critical of Ofer Nimrodi, Maariv’s publisher, and he has defiantly had his share of mistakes, but he should also be credited for fighting to keep Maariv alive (and to pay the salaries of its hundreds of employees), which is more than what many publishers, in Israel and around the world, do. It’s only that personally, I didn’t see much of a future for me in this place.

The conventional wisdom is that you should find another job in a different media organization before resigning. I did the opposite. It’s not that things are that great in Yedioth or Haaretz, and I don’t even watch television. I decided I’ll take sometime to myself, and then see were the road takes me.

There are at least five places I must travel to – I’ve spend only 48 hours in New York, for start, and I think I’m the only Israeli who have never been to India. I want to improve my French, to run the Tiberias marathon, to become more active politically, to dedicate more time to this blog, and to finally watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Somehow, I got to be 18 without ever seeing the movie). And I want to read “Nixonland“, which I got from Amazon a year ago and didn’t even browse through. And I need to finish my Master.

I think I’ll have to work out some sort of priorities list.

7 Comments on “I quit my job”

  1. 1 Ami Kaufman said at 8:59 am on October 4th, 2009:

    Good Luck!
    And you MUST go to India… must!
    And please keep up with the blog, too :-)

  2. 2 Ori Folger said at 1:50 pm on October 4th, 2009:

    Good luck and take care.

  3. 3 rick said at 5:46 pm on October 4th, 2009:

    good luck! I think you did the right thing. I was in a situation like you, I quit, traveled, freelanced & explored new influences, other views, I´m the master of my time, I´m able to stay at a place one more night (even I never made it to NY) & I found a more stable life even it´s not that solid in a classical view anymore. so I hope you did the right thing, too. but please: dont stop blogging! wish you all the best!

  4. 4 Richard Silverstein said at 12:25 am on October 5th, 2009:

    Yes, many of us have been in a similar situation & I understand how vulnerable you feel after giving up that safety net.

    Good luck to you & enjoy this time.

    Now that you’re free you should come to Washington for the J St. conference next month & join our blogger panel. Maybe you can freelance a story for an Israeli publication.

  5. 5 Tirza BP said at 9:45 am on October 5th, 2009:

    Hey Noam! Great news, though I’m sure it won’t be the same without you at Maariv.
    I’ve been meaning to tell you – I really enjoy reading your blog (though you do write about things that can turn my stomach upside down). Keep up the good work and let me know if Helsinki is on your world traveling route…

  6. 6 Michael LeFavour said at 5:21 pm on October 15th, 2009:

    Good luck at whatever you decide to do. I am unemployed myself at the time. Perhaps Maariv will see that its hostile to Israel slant was its downfall.

  7. 7 noam said at 7:19 am on October 17th, 2009:

    Thank you Michael, though I think that Maariv losing his way (and his readers) has nothing to do with its political attitude.