If I ran the media....

by Peter Marus

OK, so I was still thinking about my skills, and one thing I came up with is I seem to be at least a mediocre writer.  Part of me really wishes I went into journalism, but part of me is glad I didn't.  I had taken some journalism-related classes in college and high school, and it did fascinate me.  Thing is when I graded college, it was when the shitstorm of a transition to the web/digital media started, and it seems now, more than ever the ethics journalism taught isn't honored nearly as it should.  Plus since it's cheap to get into blogging and website content creation, that ANYONE can get into it and look like a legitimate reporter.  Most of these morons piss on what journalists of the past fought and built.  I started to think if I ran the media, I would make sure the following happened.  I think this would create a utopia of journalism.


-If you are reporting news, report and stay with the facts.  If you are editorializing, do so.  do not mix and match it like how some reporters do.  SOme will report fact, and put THEIR opinion into the story.  there's no place for it.


-Write in your "voice" and how you speak.  It will come off as genuine and the audience you want will flock to you.  Trying to sound like you are something else usually comes off wrong, and your audience will not relate or maintain interest into your work.  You are who you are, write that way.  Use the language and attitude in your writing as if you are speaking to the person.  


-Keep your work "real" and stick with the facts.  Don't want to dance the libel dance, not a fun game to play.  at the same time, write about anything or everything.  As long as it's not illegal/libelous, go for the throat of any story.  Don't ever hold back


-Don't use hyperbole like some do. Sports reporters do this a lot where a sports story they say is a medafore for society in general.  Also political reporters do this as well.  They try to make an impact this way and sound like someone important, but they really come off as douchebags.  


-Show all sides of a story. First it will show the whole story and you'll look like someone who cares about your job and the job you do.  Honestly, if you don't look at all sides and angles to a story, you are a bigot.


-If you do have an agenda, be up front and tell the reader.  More people will value the honesty and you get the audience you want.  If you try to hide your agenda, you err deceiving your reader and can lose credibility. Disclose all about you, just so people know where you are coming from


-If you are someone who reviews products, don't take the product from the manufacturer for nothing.  You should do what people like Leo Laporte does-buy the product before giving a review.  Put your money up and it will inspire and motivate you to try the product out fully.  That's right, put your money where your mouth is.


-If you are reporting on a story and just giving facts, don't make the story about you.  Don't personalize a story that is just about facts of the subject.  Let your fact findling and reporting speak for itself.


-When you receive feedback, respect what your audience is saying, but don't change so fast.  Remember people will either like you or not, that's life.  Stick with what you know and at the very least those who don't like you will respect you and your views.



If I had my way, all reporters would make money by donation.  Reporters wouldn't charge for their work, the reader would give some money as a way of going "Hey, I like your work, I consumed it and here's some compensation for the effort."  The better you do and more quality work you do, the more money you make.  it'll "thin the herd" of the garbage out there,  


I don't know about you, but this way of doing things would be amazing and satisfying.  I really should write a book about life and how one could live. I really think I could make a killing doing that.  What you think?