Some jobs aren’t fabulous. Many don’t get praise or recognition. Folks who work in these jobs are often given nary a passing thought by most people whose lives would be dramatically different if not for the services these workers provide.

There’s lots of examples. The garbage man (and woman) is one. Honestly, how many people think about the people who collect your trash on a weekly basis — the shit (figuratively and literally) they have to deal with as they weave their mammoth trucks through small neighborhood side streets picking up your untouchables?

Another example might be those who work for your municipality’s sewage and water treatment system or those who work for portable toilet services. That hot dog you ate at the county fair was mighty tasty, but you drop it off at the portable toilet and you’re on your way happily ever after. Tell me, have you ever paused to think what a Porta-John employee’s work day is like, cleaning up after your bodily waste? I doubt most people have.

Unfortunately, journalists get a similar type of treatment. Though journalists are far from ignored — because they’re regular targets of public disdain and contempt — they do live in a world where their jobs are largely underpaid, under-appreciated and under-utilized (especially as traditional, print news-media companies continue to languish in a lack of innovation under the ever-continuing move to online news and entertainment).

Ultimately, public disdain for journalism emanates, I believe, from a collective, public ignorance that neither understands nor really much cares about the types of real, meaningful and important services journalists actually provide their local communities, states and nation.

Such is the case with a recent example from The Charlotte Observer. Continue reading this post…


Off to D.C., and the LGBT blogger conference

Hey all… Posts on InterstateQ will be coming shortly… there will be plenty to say once I get into the thick of this weekend’s 2008 national LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative conference in Washington, D.C.

By the time this post is automatically posted, I’ll (hopefully) be on my airplane headed to D.C. Regular posts might be sparse while I’m traveling, but expect plenty of info through the great and mighty Twitter. Check in here at and look at the TwitterQ sidebar or click over to

Here’s to hoping for safe travels!

Oh… and if you’re in D.C., shoot me an email (matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com). I’m already planning on meeting one of InterstateQ’s regular readers. Join us!