Friday, 12 September 2014

A lesson Kay gets at the start of her correspondence career, after she blows the report by taking it too lightly..

(From Dread Upon Reality)

If you are going to have a critical judgment of something, you can’t go at it only like a passionate, preference oriented person. There is nothing wrong with being a passionate person with a specific taste and penchant, but as a journalist or a critic – and this is different than being a reporter, but it is a distinction you have to tailor for yourself specifically – that needs to be the spice, not the meat of the matter. The meat is a broader, better placed background people are either familiar with or it is a lesson they are willing to absorb. You can be very good at this; you are a natural born story teller. You just have to learn to learn. Facts and only facts are sacred here. If you think even just the slightest bit of untruth or bullshit or an account out of perspective for the purposes of getting attention will ever find ink in your text, you have already wasted your objective. Say something good about the land before you dis the times it is enduring now. Or say something troubling about the industry that has finally done it right for a change and set the precedent for a good new wind coming. Talk about the people, talk about the strategy, KNOW YOUR CONTEXT, appreciate the effort but challenge the money, challenge the greed, challenge the vulgarity if you find it, challenge all the sins. Put in biology if you must, put in evolution, but do not diminish human magnificence because you are a cynic. You’re not writing for (pl)ants. Plants hate newspapers, it used to be them. People like beauty and courage and rags-to-riches tales of woe; the more they live in the gutter the more so. Celebrate the ideals of readers or readers you wish you had, not the constant onslaught of mistakes and stupidity being made with good intentions. Provoke, but don’t insult. Impress, but don’t shock. Report, but don’t lead. Leave the options open, because you are not infallible, even after you’ve had an ardent opinion. Informing is your only job. Pray, have fun with it. Be proud at it. Become more famous than the stories you tell, if that’s your venom. See it as an excellent adventure. It will look so pretty on the pages. But there has to be blood and sweat and tears in the ink, yours or otherwise. It is the only thing in this trade more substantial that lead.