Here in the City Paper newsroom, it’s quiet as we work at putting out our last issue. Over the past several days, I’ve pored over CP’s archives, tweeting and posting the best of this institution’s journalism. In other words, I repeatedly saw this paper’s, and this profession’s, intrinsic value.

It’s a strange place to be, working while my heart is breaking. Thankfully, my emotions are stifled long enough to post about how folks can register to vote. I explained to my editor the strange idea of doing another blog post as we’re creeping toward oblivion.

“We have to tell people how to register to vote!” I declared. I’m admittedly somewhat delusional in this regard; I exchange feeling things for doing things regularly. And it seems to help.

Last week, a few folks told me they saw the writing on the wall by way of BuzzFeed and what they deride as “clickbait”; this new digital age is inscrutable to them. For some reason, MacBook screens cannot penetrate the lenses of their Warby Parkers, and what is clear to me — changes ought to take place so we can continue to do our duty — is obscured to them by memory of how things used to be done.

Luckily for me and my expectations, I have no such memories.

I became a journalist in this decade, so this uncertain reality, and the freneticism of the Internet Age, is all I know. Besides, I started out by writing about my personal, past experiences with homelessness and addiction. Material uncertainty and insecurity is a familiar place for me.

I’m only a writer because a gifted editor, Stephen Segal, noticed me and gave me a shot at Philadelphia Weekly. Then, Lil Swanson, one of the sharpest old-school journalists I’ve met, continued that opportunity when I moved over to City Paper. That move was strange; back then, both those publications viewed one another as rivals.

The generosity of spirit held by these two sterling editors still amazes me; I’d be a very lucky man if I internalized even a fraction of the knowledge, and more importantly the empathy, they each possess.

I can still remember my manic spitballing sessions with Stephen, or Lil looking at me, her eyes always communicating, “Is the source solid?”

After those lucky writing gigs, I worked diligently to build a real career. I made mistakes, I got screamed at a few times. I memorized the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Reading it became a Monday morning ritual. I obsessed about the history of this profession, and I overcame my paralyzing social anxiety and learned that part of the thrill of this job is being nosy – in a compassionate way.

To me, being nosy without people hating you is an art. Though, at the end of the day, the nosy part is the most important, I’ve found.

Then again, picking up the phone and calling someone asking for their side to present things fairly is vital, too. Eventually, after being fair long enough, even the Republicans would return this wayward radical’s calls.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today, I can see myself doing nothing aside from searching for the truth.

The idea that I’m paid anything to report on the truth or express a thought or feeling still tickles me, frankly. My father worked every day for 40 years, clocking in at a job he hated. Likewise, my brother’s hands are calloused from over a decade, already, of manual labor.

Though, like my brother, I have a callous: on my right index finger from nervously rubbing it when I get a scoop.

Me, I observe facts, put them into historical or cultural context, and communicate them to other human beings. I try to feel things after establishing what the facts are. The facts are what I’m focused on. My issues, my emotional baggage and trauma, influence my commentary voice, sure.

But, at the end of the day, reporting the news is just the facts. It’s an enthralling obsession of mine – this search for truth.

What unites the good journalists, I’ve found, is that shared obsession with the truth. And, it’s why, despite this being the second media purchase this year in which I’m losing my position, I’m continuing on. If we don’t have journalists, our republic itself is threatened.

I know that sounds melodramatic, but think about it. Federal investigations are launched because of news; Richard Nixon resigned the presidency because of news; satirists point out the moral bankruptcy of the nation’s leaders using the news.

And, every time I’m entrusted with someone’s story, I learn how to empathize just a little bit more. I’ve taught readers about what it’s like to live with HIV, and they’ve taught me what it’s like to realize I don’t know everything. I treasure the hate mail, the diatribes, the rightful criticism.

It’s an important endeavor — too important to abandon just because I might have to go on food stamps again for a short while. Besides, I’ve found that things always work out — just, perhaps, not following my preferred schedule.

A public relations firm emailed me with a job opportunity. It pays a lot better than the news does, and it’s consistent, stable work. I forwarded it along to someone I thought might be interested.

Me? I’m too busy with the news – and, most of all, the stories.