Me? A journalist?

Apart from the interesting thoughts the comment on my last post provoked, I was caught by the part which said that I, as a journalist, have a responsibility to report, not to comment. I definitely agree with this point. In fact, in our news-writing module at my course here, we are drilled on how to keep comments out of the news piece. Any adjective, any word that might give away our personal thoughts are slashed out mercilessly from our copy. So I think that was a fair assessment on the commenter’s part.

However, it made me want to express where I see myself a few years from now career-wise (whether, of course, I end up there is another matter altogether, n’est-il pas?).

I do not plan to enter the world of news-writing. I do not plan to work in a newspaper (unless it’s a supplement part of said newspaper). I do not plan to cover world events. I do not plan to report. It has been so far, not my cup of tea. (Please note that I keep saying ‘plan’!!!)

Right, so now you must be wondering: ‘What the hell does she want to do???’

This: I want to work in magazines. I want to be able to write news but spin it into a feature. I want to interview people, not necessarily “celebs”, but PEOPLE. Real people. I want to comment on things. I want to write features of all kinds, I want to write real-life features. I want to write human interest stories. I want to share my views on the world. I want to write things that would ordinarily not end up in a newspaper. I’d like to write over 2,000 words of text for an elaborate feature. I want to be a journalist. Working for magazines.

I love magazines. I love their look, their feel and their ability to communicate with their readers. I love how loyal readers can be to their magazines, for indeed, once that connection is made…a magazine is ‘yours’. I have a few magazines that I feel a personal relationship with and that’s what I want to do with my career: write for a magazine and have readers relate to what I’m writing.

I know many people think that writing soft-copy (a.k.a. features in magazines and supplements) is not worthy of notice, or perhaps not as prestigious as writing in a newspaper. I say (and pardon my French): BALLS TO YOU.

It is just as hard in some cases, and perhaps harder to spin out features and to make it catch reader’s interest. You don’t only have the ‘What? When? Why? How? Where? Who?’ to think about. There’s more. Intros. Stand-firsts. Heads. Sells. Audience. So much more.

Magazines… wow. That’s where I see myself in the future. I sure hope I get there.

Quote of the post: A harsh reality of newspaper editing is that the deadlines don’t allow for the polish that you expect in books or even magazines. – Bill Walsh

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2 thoughts on “Me? A journalist?

  1. Dev,agree wholeheartedly.

    But two things – most (all?) newspapers have quite blatant biases to contend with, and even the preliminary 5 Ws can be spun- rather too well in fact. Second, with the Web turning every one into a publisher du jour, fact and opinion are harder to distinguish and extricate from the other on the online world; the same world that is now our number one newsource for breaking news. Remember when Twitter & facebook ran away with the Iran protests before mainstream media was done with morning coffee?

    Yet, bravo! Newspaper writing is noble but, by definition, impersonal. Magazines offer a nice quirky mix of comment, confabulation, and facts. You go girl. I think you’ll fit right in.

  2. I skip newspaper headlines for opinion columns or features. I have to read letters to the editor. I cannot spend Friday without ‘Friday’! And I borrow ‘Weekend’ from my neighbors on weekends. I love blogs! (you would know. I think I’ve read all of yours.) Love, love, love people’s perspectives, more than newspaper reports.

    Reports may be necessary (seemingly), but that did not stop the media from turning to personal blogs by Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka during the post-tsunami days.

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