Pass Write On By

Or you could stick around...

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Journalists and the media somehow think their job is to spread the messages of politicians to the general public. But journalism is supposed to be about forcing transparency. The media is supposed to expose things the government or corporations or local businesses want to keep…

Amen to all of this. I’m going through a situation right now where I called one of my school boards out on a lack of transparency and received a tongue-lashing from the board VP about how he can’t believe this is the kind of relationship I want to have with them. 

He berated me for writing an article about how they did not provide contract changes that were voted on at a public meeting to the public. He could not believe I would do so after all the help the board has been, answering my questions after meetings and making sure the names of their appointees are spelled correctly.

Yes, I go to these meetings so the public knows what the decision-makers of their communities have to say. But it is also my job to make sure these boards are serving the public transparently and hold them accountable when they don’t.

I went to a work session for this board last night and received cold shoulders and “no comment”s afterward.

I love to tell the good stories in my communities. I love writing about a school, a teacher, a person, or a kid doing something awesome. But everything isn’t always awesome, and it’s my job to report the news, good or bad.

So I’ll still sit in the front row of every meeting and approach the board the second it adjourns for follow-up questions. I’ll always give people ample opportunity to comment. It’s their choice to stonewall me or have their voice heard.

Filed under journalism media life news

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Get a job at a newspaper or a website or what have you and learn to write accurately on deadline. Learn to write sentences – clear, crisp, clean – that describe both actions and emotions. Write stories that include several points of view on a complicated topic, to get used to incorporating clash and conflict. Listen to the way people speak and how to replicate it – not in dialect, but in the rhythm and pacing and word choice. And keep an eye out for characters and story lines to use in your later work. Consider it paid research. Do this until you sell your first book or two. There aren’t a lot of shortcuts, not to writing well, anyway, and if you’re going to be doing it for the next 40 or 50 years, you’ll need craftsmanship. Might as well learn it first thing.
Neely Tucker on why journalism is the best training for a writer. (via thisismybyline)

(Source: gloriamoyo, via thisismybyline)

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Amazing posters from the Australian Human Rights Commission’s “Know the Line” campaign which aims to prevent and reduce the harm of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. 

Check their page out at 

(via activistaddict)