A time to give thanks that a thankless job is now history

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In this season of Thanksgiving, I'd like to thank God that I am no longer a journalist.

I am thankful that I do not have to assimilate complex information from multiple sources, reconcile the contradictions and deliver an analysis-all on a daily deadline.

I am thankful that I no longer have to spend Christmas, or July 4 or Memorial Day away from my family, in a dingy office, waiting for a war to break out, a major merger to be announced or an ex-president to die-with only three hours to file.

I am thankful I do not have to challenge the chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies about the veracity of their information, and have them threaten to call their friend, my publisher, unless I tell the story their way.

I am thankful that I no longer have to explain the entire history of consumer behavior in two paragraphs (and accurately).

I am thankful that I do not have "the desk" calling me up at 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon to double check Ed McCabe's middle initial-and correct it, when it turns out I got it wrong.

I am thankful I don't have to worry about the difference between opinion and fact, and guard against the unintentional biases that can distort even the simplest of arguments.

I'm glad I'm not a sports reporter covering a baseball playoff game when an earthquake hits, and all of a sudden I've got to write the definitive Page One story on the devastation in a major American city, because no one else is around to cover it.

I'm ecstatic I have a job that keeps me in my place, instead of tempting me to stretch my skills, my experience and my writing across umpteen occasions, some of which I can rise to, and against some of which I will falter.

I'm thrilled I have a position where I don't have to reinvent myself every day.

I thank the Lord I don't have to expose my ignorance of particle physics, American history, interior design or media economics in pages read by millions of influential-or merely interested-people every day of the week.

I'm happy I know the difference between a blog (with links) and a report (with facts).

I'm grateful I do not have to allow my curiosity freedom to roam across the landscape of our politics, economics or culture, but can keep it reined to the specific challenges of my particular job in my unique company.

I'm very happy that I do not have to keep a fickle audience engaged.

I am delighted that I no longer have to spar with editors who correct my malapropisms, adjust my vibrant prose to house style, know my beat better than I do and force me to find a second or third or fourth source to verify.

I'm thankful beyond measure that a copy editor no longer repairs my split infinitives.

I'm joyful that I'm not being attacked, day in and day out, by advocates for a cause, a position, a party or a company because my reportage conflicts with the way they'd prefer to be portrayed.

I'm thankful I no longer have to get it right, in public, all the time.

I am relieved I no longer have to file five advertising columns a week.

I'm fortunate I'm not surrounded by people who get depressed when they get it wrong.

I'm glad I'm now allowed to have opinions.

I thank God I no longer have to report.

I'm thrilled I don't have to ferret out scoops.

I am happy I don't have to try to be objective.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I am happy I am no longer a journalist.

Randall Rothenberg, an author and longtime journalist, is director of intellectual capital at consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton

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