Is it okay to stop singing at the same time of day?
I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are going in the business of journalism. A couple of things to try.
In a nutshell, the way a profession works is based around people working together. They can be like family; you can make a friend, or you can just work out some problems together: “How do we get this to go wrong, instead of something that goes right? How can we get a better story?” Everyone working for a newspaper puts in whatever time they have to make a story. It isn’t that the journalists are trying to make a difference in some way in the world: they’re trying to make a story.
The other side of the coin is that journalism is very much about the process of going to press, and how that’s perceived by that audience. Journalism, for better or worse, is the way that the news gets made.
It’s like anything else – the newspaper is making a story. Some would argue that journalists are journalists. I am not saying that; I am not saying that. But that says more about how the journalist feels than about what they actually are doing. And that’s really strange for a profession that is supposed to be about people working together to make a decision about people’s lives. People who are journalists are not necessarily going to do that on a daily basis. They’ll be busy trying to get the right report out there and making sure there is a right story. They’ll be busy, but not focused on making the stories themselves.
If I’m working on the Daily Mail and I know that an editor might like a piece about racism, a story, I might find it very important that I go and write the article. I know someone is going to read it. When I write the story I will only do it because I must. If it comes out and the editor isn’t happy, I feel like I have an obligation to change it, otherwise I’m leaving a paper dead in the water – but I have to write it. If it’s not great, it isn’t good enough for people to care, so I might write it regardless.
I’m trying to think a little about how to solve these problems. How do we stop having editors decide what a story is and what it looks like? In theory, a professional journalist should have a voice in a story, but how does the press really function when people say, “Why don’t you tell
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