Friday, 8 February 2008

Blame it on the media

Everything is the media's fault. This we all know. Whether it's biased pre-election reporting or driving celebs to suicide, making teenage boys into violent killers or just getting your name spelled wrong in an article, media are held accountable for all of society's ills.

I'm a journalist, which means I'm part of the media, and while I write mainly business and tourism stuff for small publishing houses that nobody much cares about, I still find myself playing the object of wrath in day-to-day situations.

Sometimes it's the frantic PA that snaps because the journo has called 20 million times to try to get an interview out of her useless boss that his company has paid for but he's not interested in. Usually, the bright marketing spark who booked the profile for the publication forgets to inform the interviewee that (s)he will need to be interviewed, which, of course, makes everything the journo's fault.

Editors get mad when you ask for extensions to your deadlines because of your sources' availability (or should I say lack thereof), then sources get mad when you try to explain your deadlines to them because as far as they're concerned, your job revolves around what they have to say (which truth be told it does).

I love to write. I love words and the ways they can fit together and how punctuation can totally alter meaning (Compare: A woman without her man is nothing. A woman: without her, man is nothing).

What I don't love is all the stuff that gets in the way of writing - the terse phonecalls, the unpleasant following up, the threatening letters, the lawsuits... you know, the norm.

As such, I think I'm going to start a petition calling for free therapy for all media. Think about it... job creation for shrinks, happier journos that write happier news, no more violent teenage boy killers... The world would be a smiling place. What do you think?

Now if we can just fix climate change and global warming, everything will be toasty. I mean... not.


The Commentator said...

You have a better shot at fixing media bias than global warming!

Tamara said...

Point taken. You inspired my latest post with your comment :)