What’s up with Journalism

It’s been a while since I’ve just written a story,,, Bible Beatings was the last fiction short story I wrote,,, and I’m proud of it.

I know that it’s not necessarily good that I’m writing about writing,, but considering that I’m on a course to do this for my life’s work,, it tends to be something that I heavily try to weigh if I have the ability to do… And it’s just that I’ve come across some of my mistakes ya know,? I’m not sure how to feel about it. It seems that in trying to achieve whatever small truth I could attempt to describe in nature, or a persons thoughts or feelings, I end up failing to achieve any kid of overall subtly, surrealism, or masterful structure that seems to make stories truly great.

When I write on here, I’m attempting to express all the thoughts that I have on a single subject. My words and elongated explaining comes from the fact that every time I think about something, all of my associations are brought up with it, everything relevant comes up and I believe that it has an equal part,, an equal importance, to how I reached my current thoughts or state of mind, and I choose to explain each facet so that I build my point and so I can express why something is important to me and how.

This is a blog, and it’s supposed to be a space where I can express whatever I choose. That’s a great thing. I hope in explaining some things that I think about I can see how I feel about things I’m uncertain about, and maybe make up my mind in that process when I review everything important.

But there are different kinds of writing. There are different ways of framing information and stories through the wide category that falls under the sometimes vague term that is “writing.”

Journalism is different. It’s not an attempt at being fancy or delicate. It’s the most straightforward kind of writing you can get. I thought it would be a fun profession for the simple fact that I wanted to learn. I want to learn as diversely and widely as I can, and I thought that journalism could help with that somehow,, but this is what I’ve learned:

Journalistic Associated Press writing/reporting is straight forward, consistent, fact heavy, and truthful. A journalists purpose is to inform and be the watchdog of society, and its been essentially a philosophical question of how else they take their roles- how much interjection of bias will be put in what you write,? How will you frame the story in a way that does or doesn’t have bias towards any one side,? Will you be greedy with your role as an informant and attempt to make change by making up facts, and freely predicting outcomes,? in absence of fact searching and true analysis? Will you try to be respectful of who you’re reporting on by writing of them in a way that doesn’t make you responsible for any kind of libel, slander, or misleading information? The more important the story is, the scarier it can become: extensive stories take a lot of research, interviews you have to write the questions for, interviews that you may come to realize don’t give you as many of the answers that you need when you start writing, and choices of placement of your information that can sometimes be hard to make transitions for. Every news outlet writes in their own way, they like to have their own “unique” way of doing introductions or certain stories or abbreviations or structure that you can’t catch on to unless you’re a frequent reader or you work with them all the time.

So since journalism is also a business that has the ability to run 24/7, and it should,, it demands the compliance of a very specific, assembly line production of news. The work is constant, you’re always reporting and writing in the same way for a few (if not only one) news outlets that require you stay on only a couple of the same topics, without much deviation, and you hope for the chances to stick yourself into a position where you can work on a story that has some significance- wherein you become more credited and more likely to work on higher profile stories when they come along (which isn’t always often). Usually getting stuck with a specific kind of beat and may not be able to deviate from that and work on something else of importance because you’re just the writer at a low level. And when you get to work on more important stories that may or may not have actual significance that you’re writing it, the work becomes long, truly investigative, but also stressful and extremely deep rooted,, all for reports that may end up being only the most laymens form of what you found.

Not to sound like I’m complaining about that journalism role; it’s hugely important for our society and needs intelligent people working on learning about every aspect of life and being the watchdog. There’s just a lot of shit when it comes to being one- And at this current moment, the training I’m receiving is not essential towards my understanding of what it means to be deep in the craft. It’s basic concepts as a journalist that should be rather blatant and common sense by this point… Maybe that means I’m impatient and I haven’t worked on any important kind of stories,, but I think it also means that down the line there’s going to be a lot of the same when it comes to a lot of journalism jobs.. A lot of the same writing, a lot of the same kind of stories, a lot of the same people, a lot of the same literal time frame that I’m working in… And it just doesn’t seem worth it to me if that means that the fallback job is the Lexington Herald Leader writer that has to wake up at 5 a.m. and do a shitty story that I don’t care about.

It’s a lifestyle of doing the same, in a mostly ineffective form of communication and showcase, learning and doing things for often not the best cause, and often making life hard on yourself because your work demands extraneous hours.It’s ineffective, hard, and often unsatisfying being a writing-focused journalist. So I think I’m going to move on to something else.

I want to move on to a form of developing messages that have the ability to be both artistic and informative. So that’s what I’m doing.

Sometime soon I’m going to change my class focus from Journalism to a kind of Digital Media major. I still haven’t learned all that I need to do,,, I may need to take a couple of years of digital art classes, classes in photography and shooting, directing and storyboarding,,, I’m not sure about everything I need to do to get to where I’m going on this track or what’s even the best way for me on that track, but I know I have my starting point. I have the starting point for a track that will allow me to make things that can be whatever I want.

Let the track begin.


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