Friday, September 18, 2009

Reality or Fiction?

by G. Parker

I'm of a more serious frame of mind lately, due to the political climate of our country. The media makes me wonder what has happened to journalist and think fondly of the days gone by when the reporters searched for truth -- not just whatever story they could come up with.

Today, The media and journalists (for the most part) are mostly driven by money. I don't know if you remember the Superman movies series with Christopher Reeves, but Lois Lane was after a Nobel Prize. Not money -- though I'm sure that was a motivation it wasn't what drove her. She wanted the perfect story, thirsted for the truth and felt it was her duty as a reporter to tell it.

Nowadays, I'm not aware of too many reporters like that, but I have read newspapers that I feel are more honest than most -- where you can feel assured the reporter has done his/her homework and has written the truth.

There are many journalists who slide through with whatever gets them by. There are also those who taint their story according to their perspective. Recently, my boss was interviewed by a newspaper in the northern part of Utah and the story that came out was totally slanted to the negative. Our office was amazed and dismayed that the journalist would write things in that light.

As writers, there are many who write fiction and those that write non-fiction. Journalism is pretty much under the non-fiction genre, but it's also a category of its own. A journalist has to have sharper spelling and grammar skills because newspapers don't usually have the money to retain lots of editors to catch errors. Journalists have to be able to write quickly, with most beginning writers struggling with daily deadlines, or just the chance to cover a prime story. Those articles created from facts and figures, interviews and information are turned into something interesting and catchy to read. (sounds familiar, huh?) Those fortunate enough to have a weekly column, have a little more time, but a week isn't much of a time frame either when you have a topic to cover. I know -- blogging is similar in style and I've been there.

I would encourage those who are deciding what kind of writer they want to be to delve into all the facets of the art. Good journalists are few and far between in today's world. The media is getting a bad rap because of this, and a good writer could make quite a difference. No kidding!

Just think how the viewpoint of the average citizen is shaped through reading the local newspaper and watching the local news. You could be the one to get the news out there.

You could make the difference.

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