A refusal to become a minion of the press

April 11, 2012 Blogs, Former Pioneer Staff Print Print
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I’m losing my voice.

Not in the way you would expect though, if you were to ask me how I’m doing, or say “wassup!?” then you could hear me clear as a bell.

I’m losing my voice because of how my job works.

You aren’t allowed to make your own news, or you can’t be in your story. That’s fine and dandy. You will never see “ROBERT BOLTON” anywhere in my stories save for the author’s name.

What’s happening to me is that I have a very particular way of writing. I will give you the news before it happens, as it happens, or after it happens. But I’m only supposed to be giving you “he said, she said” accounts.

That’s it. No frills, no turns of phrase that my interviewee says unless they themselves said it. Even the vaunted paraphrase doesn’t let you keep your “voice.” All paraphrasing means is that you are cutting down the words to be better understood or to save space.

Where’s the journalist’s flair? Where’s their “voice?” All that personality is lost under mountains of bureaucracy, rules and regulations. I think this is why so many professional journalists start blogs, so they don’t completely lose what makes them a person or at least, their personality in their writing.

Some of them are even professional bloggers and get paid for it. I could see myself in that position; kind of like Spider Jerusalem, but with less drugs and cursing.

Well, maybe more cursing, but that’s only when the situation calls for it.

I will continue with being the minion of the press, but I will try to keep a blog over my stories, so that you can continue to see my voice… provided you even care.

If you do care, give me some feedback in the form of a non-explosive note or letter.

I love my job, though: telling the news. Letting people know what’s going on.

People should know what’s going on around them, even if they seem ungrateful at times, or are just happy to ignore the situation completely. It’s not my job to make you care. That is for politicians, and magazine writers.

For now, I’m a newspaper journalist.

I love my job, but I hate what my job is doing to me, and I refuse to be degraded into a voiceless, faceless minion.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Robert Bolton and do not reflect the opinions or views of any other Pioneer employees.

To contact Robert Bolton, email communitywriter@occc.edu.

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