21st Century Life

Journalistic musings

When I was little, I imagined journalists as a cross between Erin Brokovitch and Anna Wintour. They were fabulous, mean when they had to, they never let the truth be buried: they were super pretty bulldogs unearthing facts, and telling the world what the hell they thought of everything. And the world had to listen. It was like being Zorro, Indiana Jones and Yoda all at once!

As a journalist who actually makes a living out of the trade, my life could not be farther from my beautiful dream. The idea that a journalist deals with the truth, with, at least, facts, and if not, with opinions is, well, a Teletubbies version of what is actually happening.

Not only do your opinions mean squat, but facts are relative. Being a glorified PR (everything is LOVELY!) with a tendency to overuse punctuation is what people want.

“There is a way of saying thing” is my least favourite sentence EVER. And believe me when I say I hear it A LOT. What it means, really, is that if you want to say that something is shit, YOU DON’T (exclamation mark).

Not only is everything great, you also have to back it up with facts. And so, just to be on the safe side, your new favourite words are maybe, possibly; your favourite expressions “it might have been said”, “it has been reported” (don’t ask us by whom, who cares, we didn’t say it first, no law suit here), “it seems”… Should I go on?

Do I hate it all? Of course not. But it would be great, sometimes, maybe, possibly, to be able to either say what you want, or to be able to type a sentence that does not include as many trouble buffers as possible.

And that, dear everyone, is my opinion! Who knew I even had one…

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6 thoughts on “Journalistic musings

  1. It’s time to unleash your inner Lois Lane… Who knows? Perhaps Superman will swoop in to save you from the rabid readers.

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  2. I work as a community journalist, and I’ve come to find we all editorialize with story choice. I recently wrote a piece about a big mansion being built next to a bunch of tiny houses, a problem many in the community call “mansionization”.

    One of my best tools? “So and so couldn’t be reached for comment,” but only if you give them a fair chance to reply.

    One thing I realized: making enemies is part of being a good journalist. Don’t be afraid to break a couple eggs. Now, real estate developers don’t like me 😉

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      1. Nice reporting. And yes, I agree, less is sometimes more. I never understood why people would refuse to comment. It actually speaks volumes. Or maybe it’s just me reading between the lines…

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