I am a magazine junkie, an addict in the true sense of the word. I have many subscriptions in addition to 'needing' to purchase at least one or two magazines when food shopping or on a trip to Walgreens. My addiction to fashion magazines started when I was around five years old and my grandpa put my first copy of Glamour magazine in my hot little hands. He was a commercial photographer and he had just finished a project with Conde Nast, the magazine's publisher. It was love at first sight and all the subsequent titles that have been added over the years have fulfilled some kind of need from style issues to a longing for celebrity information to my love of houses and interior design. While my first love is the fashion magazine and I eschew the real tabloids (is anything at all true in the STAR?), I have been known to poke around in such banal reads such as First and AllYou. That said, last night I read an article in one such magazine that I annoyed me so much I actually wrote a letter to the editor which is something I have never done before.
The article was about...drum roll, please...finding a job online and while the article included a nice variety of potential positions from which to choose, I feel the writer was missing a major element to her discussion, namely facts or, shall I say, accurate facts. Now, anyone who has read even a few of my posts knows that I know a little something about unemployment and trying to find a job. To say that I have become a pseudo-job coach to my husband over the past five years is probably not understating a fact and my ability to navigate and query on job sites is somewhat legendary in these parts (OK, that might be a slight overstatement of the facts but not much) so to read an article stating facts that I could so quickly dispute was really frustrating. The author claimed to have gotten the information straight off the same job sites I search daily but let me tell you, I would love to be looking through her eyes instead of mine as her salaries were far higher and her list of required experience far shorter for the same types of jobs to which i am applying. I don't know if her information was outdated or guesstimated but it certainly is not the reality I see when checking the job boards.
So, how did an article like this make it through the editing and fat-checking process and into the magazine in the first place? Is fact-checking at that magazine merely on the honor system? The editor asks if the information is true, the writer says yes and BAM, the article gets published? I hope not, but clearly something fell through the cracks this time. I will say that it probably bothers me more than the typical reader because I am so embroiled in the whole job search process and have truly become sickened by it so seeing misinformation spread like this is upsetting. I suppose it bugs me so much because the article makes it all seem so easy but that is not the experience we are having at all. If I did not know how hard we were trying, reading the article in its simplistic form with its erroneous information would make me feel like such a loser. How could we not get a job if doing so is as easy as the author states it to be?
While I can only assume this writer set out to write a nice, simple piece with some helpful job search suggestions, making no guarantees about finding a job after reading her article, I wish she would have checked her facts and accuracy or at least talked to me as I would have set her straight had she asked.