Posts Tagged ‘responsibility of journalists’

After my last post, I did a lot of thinking. I’ve learned some important lessons. This is what I came up with.

1. Never post an opinion piece in the wee hours of the morning.

2. If you’re putting your opinions out there, you’d better be ready for the fallout.

3. Read, revise, read, revise. One wrong word choice can completely alter the way your piece is perceived.

4. Timing is everything.

5. Realize that many will mistakenly think you’re writing about them, even though you’re not. One event might trigger you to reflect on a bigger picture, but they won’t know that. For example, you might see a mother reprimand her child in a store. Later, you think about similar situations taken to the extreme, and you write about the verbal abuse of children. You aren’t writing about the mother, but her actions caused an idea to snowball in your head.

6. Words are power. They can build up or break down. Exercise caution.

7. On the other hand, making people stop and think about something is worth the risk of making them a little uncomfortable.

8. If I worry all day because I suspect I’ve inadvertently hurt a friend, then perhaps it wasn’t worth writing.

9. Without passion, writing falls flat. Sometimes, we must draw on personal experiences for that passion, no matter how difficult that is.

10. Even the best journalists can recall times when something they’ve written got them in hot water. It might even be said that you can’t be good if you don’t occasionally take people out of their comfort zone. Rosie DiManno at the Toronto Star immediately comes to mind. If I’ve crossed a line, then at least I’m in good company.

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