From Journalist to Journalist again!
I’m a journalist…again! I’m saying that with a bit of joy in my voice. After working in mainstream newspaper and magazine publishing for the last couple of decades I’ve finally found where I want to be…writing proper news again. Not the car crash rubbish of the local and national press, not the lifestyle garbage of the various magazines I have written for and edited.
How has this change come about?
Over the last few months, I’ve discovered some amazing citizen journalists, both voluntary and professional, trained and self-trained, and they’ve been inspiring. For the record, I don’t always agree with them, but the healthy thing is they are doing what the so-called fourth estate should be doing i.e. pointing out where those with power are going wrong, whether deliberately or unintentionally. They shine a light on the BS that many powerful people and organizations would have us swallow in order for them to make their profits and manipulate the rest of us.
Sadly, most of the mainstream news media, from the local press which is mainly owned by huge multi-nationals, to the national press, which is mostly owned by the same multinationals, all have the same agenda and motives.
I’m set in my ways, so how am I going to deal with this change?
There is a ton of stuff online about how to work as a citizen journalist and by studying the way great writers, like those listed at the bottom of this piece who have inspired me, go about producing their writing and videos etc
I’ll have to unlearn some bad habits.
In my former life as a mainstream journalist, it was often the case that I would be given a story line before a story was written. For example, the paper I was working at might have a certain agenda or line on a local story about wind farms. So the story would be written with that particular agenda in mind. We journalists would only publish information, quotes etc that supported that agenda. This happened with all the publications I worked at or for. It might have been OK if they were supporting the general population or community, but that was rarely the case. It was nearly always written in support of those with money. Other points of view were mainly ignored or only used when they were deemed harmless to the agenda.
So for this change to take place I am going to work a little harder and develop or should I say redevelop my spidey senses (Spiderman reference…wow).
The inspiring writers/citizens journalists:
Caitlin Johnstone — Whose work can be found on medium.com
Vanessa Beeley — Whose work can be cound at www.21stcenturywire.com
Patrick Hennigsen — Also to be found at www.21stcenturywire.com
Eva Bartlett — ingaza.wordpress.com
Tom Duggan — www.facebook.com/tom.duggan.940
For those in the UK check out the Media on Trial event taking place on the 11 June in Frome. Great writers like Vanessa Beeley and Patrick Henningsen will be taking part.