Former journalist Chen Tao when he was most down and out, went to work as a delivery boy. Before making this decision, he relied on a hundred or so, and lasted a week. In the context of the decline of the paper media, his story may not be that special, but few people are so honest about it. He describes it as a time when he was in extreme mental distress, when he was lying down and couldn't do anything. He was a bit embarrassed, but there seemed to be a cathartic pleasure in saying it: he had a master's degree in philosophy from Sichuan University and had worked for China Newsweekly and Southern Weekend. Finally, like many journalists who choose to transform, he left the media industry to do PR and do operations. If the story went here, there might not be much to say, but his transition failed. Eventually, when he was 38 years old and still could not find a decent job because of his age, Chen Tao decided that it would be best if he moved back home with his parents so that they could help him out financially until he found another job or recovered from his current situation.
In the past, he lived in a forest view house of 80 square feet. Now, he has lost that kind of life and lives outside the fifth ring road in Beijing with a rent of 2,000 yuan. He thinks his conditions are certainly better compared to those of migrant workers. But when the landlord presses him to pay the rent, he also breaks down. On another broken day, he posted a video "selling his misery" - that's how he described himself - and it was an instant hit. He was hesitant when someone offered to come to his house for an interview. He did not know whether to let the reporter see his "miserable". But what if the reporter doesn't feel miserable? Then he would not be said to be "pretending to be miserable". He was always in such a tangle because of his predicament and his sensitive nature. His "misery" has its own personal reasons. He admits that he is not very good at resisting stress; when he was a journalist, he couldn't get out of retractions so couldn't do interviews for next articles; and was so confused that he couldn't say one word; even let other side remind him to ask questions..
However, it is not just personal reasons that cause people to give up on their dreams. Recently, "Transformation Media People" had a statistic that in the recruitment website of ChiNext, there were 4,826 old media people over 50 years old seeking jobs in five cities. They are magazine directors, automotive media reporters, senior editors of newspapers and want to apply for service workers, insurance adjusters and domestic cleaning jobs.
John Koopman is a former Pulitzer Prize-nominated social journalist who covered the war in Iraq but is now caught up in the odd-job economy. When asked if he still wanted to return to journalism, he said that it didn't matter if he could still be a journalist--all that matters is whether he has enough money to pay his bills.
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