THE explosion of online publishing has seen a breed that knows little or nothing about journalism assume posts as editors, writers, and so on.
But when one comes to such positions without understanding the finer points of the craft – as those who have either worked for, or been trained in, full-time publishing ventures do – the danger of overstepping one’s bounds is very real.
Writing is a tricky business: English is a highly ambiguous language. That is just the beginning of the area where one can sink.
Continue reading “Writing the occasional article doesn’t make one a journalist”
MEMBERS of the public are quite famous for lambasting journalists for not covering stories accurately or seemingly withholding facts from them.
If any form of corruption comes to light, the media is always blamed for not having exposed it earlier. The mainstream media, especially, takes an awful beating in this regard. Any little mistake — and they do make many — is leapt upon by righteous souls from the among the masses who make it their mission to blame each and every ill in society on the media.
But does this same public really want to know the truth? And when the truth is revealed, does the public act on it?
Continue reading “Does the public really want to know the truth?”
WHEN journalists criticise something repeatedly, those who read their offerings tend to conclude that the journalist in question has a dislike of the person or people at the heart of that issue – and that is the reason for the criticism.
But that is often not the case.
Irish journalist David Walsh was probably the only one of his tribe to be critical of Lance Armstrong when the American, on his return to professional racing after recovering from testicular cancer, won the Tour de France in 1999.
Walsh took the stand he did because he loved the sport. And he hated the idea that it was being ruined by people ingesting this drug or that and winning without deserving it.
Continue reading “Pursuing Armstrong: a journo’s tale of triumph”
THE story is told of a young man and his father who set out one morning for the fair, in a bid to sell their donkey. Funds were low, the rains had not come for a long time, and they needed some way of putting food on the table for the next month or so.
When they set out, the old man rode on the donkey and his son walked alongside the beast. But they had gone just a few miles, when they came upon a number of women who stopped and stared, and then started to shout at them.
“How can you ride on the beast when you have a boy of such a tender age? You are forcing him to walk while you have a nice restful journey. Shame on you,” they yelled.
Continue reading “You can’t please everyone”
WHAT does one call a writer who pretends that the life experiences of others are his own, and passes them off as such? A fraud? A poser? A plagiarist? I have not been able to find le mot juste.
Lest there is any mystery over whom one is referring to, I am talking about the diplomatic editor of the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman.
Friedman has been ridiculed by journalists like Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald, and rightly so, for his ridiculous use of language and his incoherent writings which appear in what is apparently the greatest newspaper in the US. (That tells us why newspapers are closing down rapidly in that country.)
Continue reading “Thomas Friedman, fraud supreme”
NEWSPAPERS are dying.Circulations are dropping and owners are desperately trying to find new business models to keep their companies afloat.
One of the reasons that people in the US despise the written word is because of the amount of spin that is transmitted by journalists.
And here is an excellent example of the kind of garbage that makes people ask whether journalists are in possession of their senses.
Continue reading “Why journalists are treated with contempt”