What ought to be the most coveted perch in Vermont journalism is once again vacant. After a mere four months on the job, Mark Johnson has relinquished the Peter Freyne Chair in Instigative Journalism, d/b/a the “Fair Game” column in Seven Days.
One could be forgiven for wondering if this position doesn’t have a curse attached to it. Johnson’s predecessor, Dave Gram, lasted only five months. The guy before him was rather spectacularly fired after 2 1/2 years on the job.
That would be me.
Really, no one has lasted more than three-plus years in What Ought To Be The Most Coveted Perch since Peter Freyne’s untimely demise. It’s been a revolving door with only one consistent thread: We’ve all been white males.
It’s time for a change, and not just in race and gender expression. Not that anyone at Seven Days is likely to heed my advice, but hey, I’ve had first-hand experience with the ups and downs of the job, and I do have some hard-earned insight.
First of all, I’d definitely keep the column. It’s the heart and soul of the paper, and it occupies a unique and valuable position in the Vermont media landscape.
Otherwise, the Powers That Be need to not only think outside the box; they need to stomp the box flat and toss it in recycling.Continue reading