Alright, so the two posts is just added are my last two blog entries I prepared for our class. The reason I didn’t publish them before is that they could potentially have been published on our school’s news site, The Thunderbird, and I hate double-posting. Today, however, I got feedback on these last two entries, and was given the opportunity to make some suggested edits in order to have the posts published in Friday.
I will not be making those edits.
There are a few problems I have with this feedback. In general, they gave us very few guidelines on what to write and how to write it. I could be forgiven then, for thinking a blog is more of a free-writing exercise, and a way to be more personal, not just in experience but in opinion. Style can vary. But it seems my faculty editor in fact had a very clear idea in her mind of what a blog should be: and that is essentially the same as everything else we’ve written. There should be a central thesis, one idea, that is somehow current. It should be summed up at the beginning with what’s known in the business at a nut graf: a paragraph hinting at what will be expanded upon in the rest of the post. Everything in the post should be about furthering the understanding of that thesis. There is nothing extraneous.
Honestly, the two major criticisms I expected. In the ‘global warming’ one, my editor objected the the strength of the final line. She thought the title was stupid, I mean, everyone knows about global warming (obviously my irony is lost in type…). She also didn’t really get the idea, global warming has always been about science, hasn’t it? So, did I really do such a bad job making the point that we often get embroiled in the nitty gritty of climate change and it’s good sometimes to be reminded of the fundamental, basic, physical truths? My editor also constantly talks about “advancing the dialogue” – what am I adding to the conversation? Is it not clear that a head-clearing common-sense moment is good for those lost in the conversation?
Even if you don’t think it is – why does a blog always have to advance the conversation? Can’t you sometimes just write about things that are interesting? Can’t it be personal, a reflection that some might find entertaining and thoughtful? Can’t it just be… nice to read? That’s why I wrote such a lyrical opening to the second post “Look Up More”. Which, of course, my editor would have me delete entirely from the published version for being completely extraneous to the point. And what is the point in the post anyway, Hayley? The point is, the sky is awesome, we don’t look up at it enough, and those that do can even now, discover and destroy planets.
It’s something I think a lot of us in J-School struggle with. We are always told to write about something that’s news, there has to be a reason we’re writing about something now. Many of us wonder, why can’t we write about things that people should know about, that are interesting, even if they are not currently exploding?
Well, this is my blog and this is the way I choose to write in it. I choose the share my opinions, like I can’t in my news writing. I choose to me lyrical, like I can’t in my news writing. I choose to write about things that are fun and interesting and have no currency, like I can’t in my news writing.
This blog does not harm my journalistic integrity, this blog lets me be who I am, so that I can write my professional things professionally, and still have somewhere to vent my opinion and creativity.
Welcome to my blog.