And what about that whiplash I started this column with? That's something else I teach my professional writing students. It is that we in the press, though we pride ourselves upon our maverick, independent natures, are in fact sheep to the Zeitgeist.
We all wake up one morning convinced that everything is going bad and suddenly everywhere you look are stories with a dark cast: lay-offs, corruption, hard times, bad economic news. This can be true even when the underlying labor and economic statistics haven't really changed. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether the press covers economic downturns and upturns or actually sets them off.
We journalists have been writing those bleak stories now for nearly two years. And frankly, we are all getting pretty sick of it. We're ready to make the change back to covering good stuff — hot companies, overnight tycoons, cool products. It won't take much now to flip us. The media's sunny morning is coming any day.
You'll know that morning by pain you'll feel in your neck after doing a double-take at the headlines.
Michael S. Malone, once called “the Boswell of Silicon Valley,” most recently was editor-at-large of Forbes ASAP magazine. His work as the nation’s first daily high-tech reporter at the San Jose Mercury-News sparked the writing of his critically acclaimed The Big Score: The Billion Dollar Story of Silicon Valley, which went on to become a public TV series. He has written several other highly praised business books and a novel about Silicon Valley, where he was raised. For more, go to Forbes.com.