That’s MY story!

Erasing1_360hJournalists are often frustrated with the way their editors decide to print their stories.  After spending hours or possibly even days researching and editing their OWN pieces, journalists must submit their work to their editor for approval.  One may think the editor’s job is to get the column to those who do the printing.  Not so.

A journalist’s piece of work is almost never run as free and unfettered as when it was turned in to the editor.  Often times a great deal of the article is cut for ad-space, content or, in more unsavory establishments, to make sure the senior editor has enough space for THEIR article.

“The romantic vision of journalism” is gone according to University of Iowa’s John Soloski, a writer for Media, Culture and Society.  The days of exposing injustice and illuminating the corrupt are now more hampered by the publication’s own self interest.  This is,  of course, decided by the senior editors and producers (when referring to a TV publication).  If they decide an article, TV interview or story is not in the best interest of the station, then it doesn’t see the light of day.

A perfect example of how this went on and continues to occur in the nightly news is “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism“.  This film shows the hypocrisy and conservative bias of FOX News.  Of course no self-respecting journalist would walk into FOX expecting their story on socialized health care or the injustice in Iraq to run.  It’s simply not their image.

I feel like young journalism students such as ourselves should be made aware of the dangers that face us upon entering the journalism world.  If we assume that the written word is what we make it, we are dead wrong.  It’s what the editor makes it.  It may be as simple as fitting in the ad for khaki slacks at your local department store, or it may not.

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One response to “That’s MY story!

  1. Content: 4 You raise valid points, although your argument jumps about a little. The first leap comes when you move from the content of individual articles to Soloski. The second when you move to Outfoxed (which I have seen several times. Did you watch it in a Media Study class? They sometimes show it, I know. I was considering showing it to our class as well.)
    The biggest problem with your arguments are that you don’t support your statements. SHOW me examples of editors who have ruined copy. Certainly it happens. Let’s see the goods.

    I don’t agree with you about editors. In most cases great editors improve rather than destroy pieces. There is nothing more valuable than a great editor. Steve Liesman, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and UB alum, told students that if you get an editor who doesn’t tear up your copy and make you work more, then find yourself a new editor. You are never as good as you think you are.

    Include more keywords in headline. Here the word edit or editor should appear.
    Links: 1 These links don’t carry much value for me as a reader. The Media, Society, Culture page wouldn’t let me open it because I am not a subscriber. Including a link like that insures angry readers who won’t come back. Don’t waste my time on a link I can’t open. The Outfoxed link is good, but how about some more media sites where journalists are bemoaning/ranting about/dissecting this problem.
    Grammar: 3 Watch cliches — dead wrong, free and unfettered, self-respecting journalist.

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