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August 11, 2008

Unca Warren's Whitechapel Forum: "What is Journalism?"

I learned -- and still believe -- that a journalist's duty is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. And maybe sneak the real story in between all the forced "objectivity." Whitechapel | London Zoo: How do you define Journalism
Adam: I heard a quote on the radio, regarding the tight reigns on international media output in China during the games. I'm paraphrasing, but it went along the lines of "It gives a voice to those who don't have any say. And that's the real essence of journalism." But is it, really? Its a noble sentiment certainly, and I definitely feel that its a vital part of any moral civilisation. But calling that "Journalism" just doesn't quite sit right with me. My own concept of Journalism is that it should be closer to a hard science, if anything. A direct conversion of events into language, without emotional investment, leaving the audience to make up their minds for themselves. ...
fn: Journalism in the end might be a 20th century concept since centralized communication and facts distribution was a necessity back when communication networks where hard to set up leading to restrictions in information flow. In that form it might as well be a gun. These days anyone can act as a receiver and a transmitter of information while mobile, we just don't have the social structure to have a reason to make use of this logistic capability. These days we don't need to close our televisions to stop hearing someones opinion or stop reading the paper, we can change the channel and we can become a channel. We need a new word for what we can do now that we have the capability , it's partly rendition of facts, partly organization and partly a sharing of opinions, working not so much as a weapon to direct public thought but as logistics through which people can direct their own actions and communicate.
S-854: The root of early print journalism is writing in a personal journal. ...The reporter was there, and is writing about what happened. Over time, the trade of journalism evolved to better reflect what people expected of journalism and wanted to read. ... The essence of journalism, I think, is recording events impersonally, with accountability, institutional memory and the benefit of an editor.
warrenellis: "Here's where I think I am today, and here's what I think it looks like."
1031: What I learned in Journalism school that I didn't know beforehand: Not much. I learned that big-time newspaper editors are apparently super-anal about wanting you to write in AP Style. I learned that grammar and punctuation and spelling are important, because no one will take an illiterate journalist seriously. Those are the basics, but when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, Journalism is subjective. There is no one, true Journalism. Is it a coincidence that some of our greatest (or, I should say, most revered) fiction writers started out as Journalists: Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway. I believe Journalism is anything, reporting, editorializing, blogging, as long as you can back up your thoughts and opinions with facts and sources (preferably first-hand sources, but, of course, not everyone has the resources and access to get first-hand accounts). Simply put, Journalism is Reporting the Truth As You See It. It can't be anything else, really.

Perseverance

This is why you writers have to keep writing. Ignore the fact that this old bird got it in one, though, lol. via | Debut author, 93, invites friends to live on the proceeds
LONDON (AFP) - A 93-year-old debut novelist has used the proceeds from her book to move her friends out of nursing homes and into her new country house, she said in British newspaper reports on Monday. When Lorna Page hit the jackpot with "A Dangerous Weakness", a raunchy thriller set in the Alps, she traded in her flat for a 310,000-pound (400,000-euro, 600,000-dollar) five-bedroom house in picturesque Devon, southwest England, and invited her contemporaries to move in with her.... Page had written the book -- about a woman who becomes embroiled in a bitter power struggle after receiving an seemingly innocent invitation to spend Christmas in Switzerland -- three years ago but had stored it in a suitcase. She made no attempt to have it published but her daughter-in-law found the manuscript and was instantly gripped and urged her to contact publishers.