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Monday, November 24, 2008

"What's your deal?"

Reader-submitted complaint: You talk journalism, yet, you don't seem to ever discuss the issues of the day in the north.

You're partly right in two ways, but I'm not sure which you intended.

The first possibility is that you would like me to write about northern issues more often. I do some of that, but I don't consider this a "northern" blog.

It's not that I don't have opinions: I definitely do, but sometimes I don't feel like spending my evenings writing about them. Sometimes I do, and when that happens, I write about whatever the issue is. But I think this is the same blog I'd write if I lived in Red Deer or Halifax. Sure, some of the details would change -- for starters, I'd have to redefine Name of Town Withheld -- but I don't think the content would change much. I would still make fun of the Globe & Mail's columnists, defend the seal hunt and write about my son.

The second possibility is that you are pointing out that I don't report news. If that's the case, you are correct. Although I sometimes think of myself as a columnist, I don't consider myself a news reporter. That would be a fundamental shift in this blog's format. It's not a bad idea, but I don't have any plans to do that.

Bloggers often don't report news; they simply repackage it or comment on it. Considering the growth of online journalism, I'm not sure why this is. Bloggers usually restrict themselves to writing about a few topics: this is the format I use. It's not better than news reporting; it's just different. Do you mean that you'd like to see this blog become more like Bloggasm or Inside the CBC? I'm not sure that I could run a news blog in an hour a day before bed. I've never tried to do that, but I suspect it would take sustained effort, including interviews during regular working hours. That would be a problem for me, because I already have a job. Readers, if you have experience doing this, I'd love to hear how it worked out.

Thanks for your complaint.

4 comments:

The Coconut Diaries said...

Not that you aren't extremely intelligent, talented, and gorgeous; but I think I would hate it if your blog became strictly newsy. Because, really, where else would I go to get updates and games on The Hof?

Megan said...

I'm not sure what I would report on, to be honest. Inside The CBC and Bloggasm seem to be doing that pretty well. I don't think I could possibly do the same thing without quitting my day job. And I don't think I'd want to write about journalism every day.

Strike that: I KNOW I don't want to write about journalism every day.

I don't do original reporting for this blog, but I don't see that as a bad thing, either. However, I am always willing to consider suggestions for new formats. Keep sending them.

A. said...

Megan,
I'm not saying you re-vamp your blog to write about just news. That would be insane.

What I am saying is you seem to have enough experience to talk about the concepts and profession of journalism, yet, fail to talk about actual journalism, ie: the stuff journalists are reporting on.

A good journalist goes to bed happy at the end of a day knowing they sparked debate about an issue. It's our life-blood. Making people aware of what is going on and sparking public debate is, for me, the most important thing we do. I just wish to see more of that debate talked about on your blog.

You have time to sit and read the paper and find errors and mistakes, yet, in that time you spent reading, did nothing spark enough thought in you to maybe write about it?

I just find a severe imbalance in your discussion of northern media. It seems more of an attack than an actual discussion of journalism.

Andrew

Megan said...

That's a great format, but it's not something I usually do unless there is an issue that's really on my mind (see the "Schools" label, for example).

You're right: I don't write about northern issues very often. When I do, I don't usually consider them journalism posts -- you'd probably find most of them filed under "Canada". I understand why you'd want to read blog posts about the issues you report on, but I have to say you're not as likely to find that here as you are on other northern sites.

Honestly, I don't write about northern media very often. It's often not relevant to the type of writing I do about journalism. I have almost 150 posts on the topic, and I just looked at the category. It looks like almost all of them are about journalism issues, although I will admit that I was clearly cranky when writing some of them. :)