I’ve been feeling a bit voiceless lately. I don’t mean my writing voice, I mean my opinion.
As a modern journalist, we subscribe to the idea that because we have a larger platform and the natural ability to reach more people because of our occupation, we should be unbiased without opinion, presenting both sides with as much fairness and balance as possible.
Sometimes, I think it’s just not possible. We’re on the front lines. We deal with these organizations daily. We know how they’re going to treat us when we push the hard questions. We know that some organizations we have to use have clear favorites that they give “scoops” or “exclusive interviews” to and frankly it’s not right.
As someone you trust to deliver the news, shouldn’t you also want to know what I think? Assuming I’ve developed both sides for you, presented all the facts I can find and tried as best I can to get all the angles out there?
Some news orgs, like Politico, say that this is what they let their journalists do. They let them draw the lines between the dots; making connections that would otherwise merely be suggested for the reader to come to on their own.
We love to poke fun at Fox News and MSNBC, but both channels have a clear opinion. That doesn’t mean that those journalists necessarily have the same opinion but that’s part of what you sign up for, right?
We’re always so shocked when a journalist walks away from a company, like the two Russian anchors who signed off after saying they couldn’t ignore the blatant re-telling and warping of the facts. Is it really that surprising that someone whose job it is to seek truth and report it walk away when they feel the truth isn’t being sought or reported?
As a journalist, I’m still human. I still cry at every story of a soldier who made it home and it wears on me every time I write about a body found. I cheer when we report about the little league team that made it to the championships and I’m angry when I hear of yet another sexual assault.
Don’t forget, my job is never secure. I still am on edge everyday to make sure I deliver. Be it for page views or grammar or spelling or context, I’m judged against a million different standards. So I know that this is all a part of the territory of the great fourth estate.
It’s not like this voiceless issue is something unique to my profession. It’s become a professional standard for companies to tell people what they can and cannot say on social media and sometimes beyond. Countless times I’ve heard of people who gave an interview to be fired immediately after.
I’m not saying I think I have worthy opinion or one that people need to hear. It’s just sometimes I find my opinion hiding in a corner, seeking some sort of unattainable purity, as if having an opinion is wrong and dirty.
It’s what we lose as journalists, the right to have an opinion.
Adventures in retail
I recently picked up a second job working at a women’s clothing store and I absolutely love it.
It’s moments like when a woman started crying, actually crying because we found a pair of pants that she liked, fit her well and she felt confident in.
I’ve also picked up lingo like “product” that now infiltrate my thoughts about my other job as well.
Part of the perks of working in retail? My obsessiveness with things lining up perfectly is satisfied. I don’t even get mad when people pull a medium out of the middle of the stack…. I LOVE FOLDING AND I’M NOT BEING SARCASTIC.
It’s also awesome to see what styles women are actually wearing, not just the styles we promote. I feel my own style evolving, whittling away at the bad habits I’ve picked up.
#digitalcontentdrama is evolving. I think one of the biggest things I’ve realized lately is even if the industry is progressing, you need your employer to progress as well. It’s a tough balance because there are more than one force at play. What I mean is, just because “new research shows” doesn’t mean you change your strategy immediately.
Recently I braved the reddits again as an actual user, and so far it’s not terrible. I messaged my moderators to let them know I would be posting as a journalist, and they were OK with it. We’ll see what happens.
I’ve been replaying some of the choices I’ve made over the past year in my mind. There are some choices I made that were what was best at the time, but now I’m second guessing myself. Maybe it’s just right now it’s hard to remember why that was best or maybe I’m just seeing the past with rose colored glasses. No matter, you can only move forward with 20/20 vision for the past, right?
The title of this post is a bit strange but it’s what’s currently wailing through my iPod at 6:54 a.m.
I can’t go back to sleep and I’m stretching out the moments before I hit the road on a run in order to give myself maximum coolness but minimum sun.
Lately, it’s been a battle of mind and soul down here in San Antonio. At some point you examine your inner workings and what makes you tick, and you pray like the dickens you’re pleased, and more importantly that HE is please.
I had an experience recently where I had to dissect why I was where I was and what all possibilities were, including getting a phone call from the police. It was the pinnacle of a series of decisions that quickly spiraled out of control. I wish I could say I didn’t see it coming but you don’t build that rock of problems without noticing you’re losing oxygen.
In the end, I know I made the right decision and I’ve taken steps to make sure I never had to face that moment again. In doing so, I appear to have lost some acquaintances but my friends stayed true.
It also brought to my attention a series of peculiar beliefs I’m harboring. They’re things I’ve known about myself but never realized how different they were until faced with the reality that most people JUST DON’T GET IT.
The real struggle is learning how to relate to these people on a daily basis for a functional and productive relationship.
So I won’t be breaking the law for anyone any time soon, not that I did to begin with. But I will continue to be with my beliefs and convictions and if I lose a few in the process, well that’s just fine by me.
Today marks the one year anniversary of my time at KENS 5.
(That’s from when I accepted the offer, so not exactly May 20)
I’ve learned so much in my 365 days.
I learned that being professional is not a common trait and that you have to work at it everyday because some days you want to just throw decorum out the window.
I learned that work is not your life. It doesn’t give you worth or detract from your being. It is a component of who you are that should bring you joy and passion.
I learned workplace relationships are both important and fickle. You have to remember that you’re not perfect and you’ll make mistakes. These people understand that but you still have treat everyone with respect no matter. They’ll hurt your feelings, break your heart but at the end of the day they’re right there in the trenches with you.
I learned it’s perfectly fine to be goofy, to push the limits and to strive for more, but timing is everything. Let me repeat that, timing is everything.
I’m proud of the work I’ve done and excited to continue with KENS 5.
I am beyond blessed for this opportunity. Let’s do it!
Everyday I’m continually surprised by how people behave.
I can’t thank my parents enough for only telling me no when they had to, but also for educating me on decorum.
66. You start to take generic Instagram photos to reuse for your station’s page
67. Your photographers have a penchant for pointing out your spelling mistakes, even on your personal pages.
68. You’ve learned to log out of LinkedIn when snooping.
69. Your passive aggressive email skills are resume worthy.
70. You know that you have your common words you always misspell. Mine: teh (the)
71. You’ve sent in a video for a “viewer contributed” video so your coworker has material to work with
72. You have newsmares where you forgot how to code.
73. You get in arguments about news judgement with your producers and claim you always have a “pulse” no matter what the ratings say.
74. You participate in more than one weekly Twitter chat because digital
75. You know the Twitter code for a search
76. You’ve helped produce a block of content in the booth when you were just poking your head in to see what’s up
77. It annoys you that there is no good way to search Instagram online. Like, please?
78. You now know the trolls by name, FB profile image and hashtag usage.
79. You have an ongoing text that is all #inapporpriatehashtags
80. You get super pumped when you go on shoots because it means human interaction and movement.
I had a 4-day work week followed by a 6-day work week. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s in bright neon letters spelling out WEEKEND in a curly script. It’s glowing and I’m drawn to it with everything I’ve got in me.
I learned a couple of things this week, both work and personally. I thought I’d share them with you. Think of them like bite-sized pieces of a five-course meal I’ve been having to cook without a sous chef or any utensils…
No good deed goes unpunished. It doesn’t matter how much good you try to do, there will always be people who will rain on your parade.
High school never ends. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same issues you had back then or people being petty. Just give yourself a fresh slate like you did in college and it’ll get better.
Every feeling is valid but not every feeling is logical. You need your sounding board of balanced people to help.
It’s about the product. If someone tries to engage you on the personal, push past it. It’s not the easy answer by any means, but it’ll help keep the team moving toward a better product.
Ask for what you want. Don’t beg, but ask.
These might be vague but it’s up to the individual to use them.
Too often we find ourselves in the negative.
It’s the space where despair is comforting as you claw your way at the darkness. It’s where a curse word or 20 don’t seem to be enough and you call your person crying.
Melodramatic? Mmm, maybe but it’s true as well. I was reminded today how hard it is to see past that when you are at when in that moment. We want to dwell on it sometimes. We want to sulk as we wallow in our self-pity.
But in the moments of joy, where is our party?
I am a member of the millennial generation, as much as I despise that name (much to the affirmation of the term.) I’m considered to be difficult with a short attention span and needy for the consistent gold star just because of the 20-year-span I was born in. While I pride myself in the fact that’s just not true, there is a small issue in my generation I identify with.
We’re negative. Our cynicism toward love favors the detached over the passionate and our work ethic inspires parody sites instead of the next great leader.
I’m asking myself to be different. I’m asking myself to be honest with people and most importantly, to my own being. It’s OK to say “I had a great day” and actually mean it.
I’m not encouraging any more #humblebrag-gers or #blessed posts. I’m asking for self-evaluation of the positive and the negative.
So mark your calendar, tie a knot around your finger, but just don’t forget to mark the good points, too.