Reporter’s Notebook: Bloggers Stop Whining, You ARE Reporters!

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Newspapers B&W (3)

Newspapers B&W (3) (Photo credit: NS Newsflash)

Face it, with the impending demise of print, bloggers are the new wave of columnists: reporters with opinions. You have a responsibility to check your facts, substantiate your opinions, and present it all in an understandable manner. Stop whining that you don’t have to do that.

Far from wanting to be Patrolman Pat of the Punctuation Police, my hope is to draw upon over 40 years in print & broadcast media to curate some tips on writing. And occasionally take a jab at media issues.

Too often I’ve trudged through blogs and articles which are mangled grammatically; they are weighed down with words misspelled or misused because authors lazily relied on a spell check crutch rather than a working knowledge of the tools of their craft.

If you’re going to write, please know the difference between “it’s” and “its”  or the value to rhythm/readability when choosing among simple, compound and complex sentences.

I’m not perfect. Neither is my writing. But I care. Let me pass on something a journalism professor once told me.

“There are hundreds of people out there than can write better than you ever will. The difference is you care. That’s what sets you apart. That’s what makes you a journalist. You care about the words you select and the thoughts expressed. You write not just for the sake of writing or to hear your literary voice, but to share information with a community of readers that you care about. Don’t let them down.”

When you, as a writer, as a reporter, don’t care enough to check the simple things like spelling, how can anyone trust that you properly researched your facts? You insult your readers’ intelligence. The internet is vast. Readers can oh so easily go elsewhere.

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