Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: I Would Never Write ...

Journalism. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

I worked for Associated Press for four years as an assistant and saw firsthand what a sh*t job reporting was. I worked long hours for little money until I could prove I was good enough to cut my teeth on something bigger, like a book review or art exhibition. It takes years to be able to write or edit hard news. And, news organizations want you to get your experience someplace else and then come back a “seasoned” reporter. In the end, I don’t enjoy writing on deadlines, but I have immense respect for those who do.

Also, I was amazed at how many details are left out of story. Real life can be too gruesome for the average reader. And the photos … don’t get me started on the photos.

At the time, I didn’t feel I was ready for journalism; it’s something I may try in the future, however. I still don’t like deadlines, but I’m better about meeting them. In addition to writing and editing for a living, blogging gives me the same feeling as reporting. Telling a story. Getting all the facts. Putting the words together. Communication. That’s what I enjoy the most.


For all the news (and then some) that's fit to print, check out Sunday Scribblings.

11 comments:

chiefbiscuit said...

Hi - this is a good slant from behind the lines of journalism - very interesting. I despair that we will get good journalism ever again. Our news over here seems somewhat sensationalised or trite.

leonie said...

there's probably more truth in blog postings than most journalism articles anyway right?

tinker said...

Thanks for sharing the behind-the-scenes look at journalism.
Great post!

twitches said...

I tried my hand at technical writing, once. Talk about tedious and depressing!

Autrice DelDrago said...

Journalism is a very difficult field to write in. It is up to the journalist to weed through data and details to create a story that imparts the "facts" without leaving much room for the full story. My hat is off to you for undertaking that challenge!

FatCharlatan said...

I agree with you 100 percent, January. I have immense respect for news reporters, but I much prefer writing features...yeah, you still have deadlines, but there's more flexibilty in how you write them, which I like (the creative nonfiction writer in me). BTW, Writer Bug and I are working on making a date in November when all of us bloggers/writers/MFA-ers can get together. You're at the top of our list! :)

wendy said...

Have you seen that movie about the journalist who made up his stories.. That was really very interesting... The editors ate them up..one after the other...

Good post January.

Chelle Y. said...

All types of writers impress me. I always thought it would be fun to be a sport's journalist. I could never do it, but it would be fun.

Good post!

paris parfait said...

Well you're certainly right about the long hours and little pay in the beginning. And having to leave out details because of lack of editorial space vs. advertising space. And the constant stress of deadlines, etc. Been there, done that - for way too long!

Colorsonmymind said...

I couldn't be a journalist either.

Writing itself can make me nervous, nevermind under that kind of pressure.

Great take on SS as always
XO

January said...

Thanks for the feedback as always.

I do think reporters get a bad rap--they're easy targets for politicians and celebrities who want to misdirect the public. Just one more reason why I'm not cut out for that kind of work.

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