Questions. Answers.

I’m always surprised when people don’t understand what journalists do.

A different breed of writer to be sure. As Words North approaches - a profile if you will, of a type and kind of writer.  The journalist/reporter. 

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Not a writer, not a blogger, not a cut and paste monkey in front of a PC. I was a journalist once. Tough racket, my friend David wrote once. Swig.

I say the “tough racket” part not from any hard personal experience,  rather observations of others. Lo the last couple decades; the attrition rate of the ‘reporter’ is less than two years in most communities and many don’t get off the starting line. They die at the gun going off to start the race. Heart attacks. Heads freeze.

J School doesn’t teach you how to live in the real world. It’s okay, neither does doctor school. From what I understand, it teaches you doctor skills. J-School, arguably, teaches people how to write. But not to relate. Not to communicate. No craft, no theme, no flow on the profession of journalism. If you’re not writing long before you hit the high school, the road is longer with so many, many less turns left or right. Keep pedaling; keep rowing, Ben-Hur. Keep walking my friend Stephen’s long walk. Sorry, my friend Richard’s Long Walk.

I’ve been quoted as saying a sheriff, publisher, teacher, and banker fall off a train together and you got yourself a community. True story. That was then.

Now it can also be noted that “reporters” these days desk sit and “write” about best credit cards to get; by cutting and pasting credit card application words from their email or off a website. What? Yes.

Sick and bottle-feeding. I mean bottom feeding. Can’t drain any more out of the pool. Swamp is thick. With something.

But that’s J-School. Training should be, beyond the all kinds of the written business on the written word; should be in drama and psychology.  And now in 2018, psychiatry. How to lie and check liars. Logic. Game theories.  Makes utter sense to me.

So, I’m always surprised when people don’t understand what journalists do.

For example, when I read things like this; it makes me wonder.

Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source?

The writer here accuses in air quotes existence of a person, then drops a failing on the New York Times, and accuses it of having a phony source.

Kool + the Gang. If that is what is cast on this 144-character roll, away we go. Let’s play.  But wait, there’s more. The second half of that tweet.

If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

In the same tweet.  Citing national security purposes, demands the turned over of what they’ve just called a phony source. Something so-called.

Well, which one is it?  It’s either a national-national-NATIONAL security risk, or phony, so-called.

The blinding inconsistency screams. Drips from it. Sometimes in less than 144 characters, you know. 

Now imagine every day with parsed words, people playing pronoun games. Ticks, shifts, tells. 

Especially when some sit across the desk already knowing what they want and watching the personal tells (of truth or fiction) spill out across their face and actions, words, everything they do.

Some of us see liars coming country miles away.  I’ve never met the writer quoted here. If I’d never heard another line from him/her beyond this one. If there was no audio or video of the writer, anywhere else in the entire world. If I never sat across from him or her, or actually conversed with him. I do meet these people in the day to day too. Usually does take more than 144 characters.  Sometimes less.

Take care of yourselves, and each other, as my friend Bob says.

Rob Brown, managing editor

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