Are you comfortably numb?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Collecting thoughts

I have now finished my week's work experience at the Sunday Mercury. It was good for me to see that side of things and it did help in defining what direction I want to take.

I found it really hard being in that writing environment where the ethos is a lot more on the sensational rather than the truth. They obviously never publish anything that is overtly untrue, but the distortion and sheer ruthlessness that goes on sits rather less than comfortably with me.

Even though I was totally incapable of writing in the style that they require (although I did my best), I found myself wincing every time I tried to. Oh how I longed to just write a sentence that was balanced and truthful, rather than aiming to hit every single one of the reader's scared/angry/prejudiced buttons.

So it did help in making me see that is one side of the media I definitely do not want to go into. As a Christian, it would be impossible to marry my faith with my job in that position, unless I let one stagnate. I found out that you can't apply for a job at the Birmingham Mail, Post or Sunday Mercury specifically - you just apply to all three and they then allocate you to one. Then you rotate around all three.

I don't know if this is the case with other newspaper groups but I suspect it is, which means that it would be potentially hard to apply to a job with no qualms whatsoever of where I'd end up. Also, even though the Sunday Mercury is perhaps more extreme, any newspaper puts a spin on things and my conscience really kicks against a lot of what goes on.

So there you go. At least I have some more direction now. A clich├ęd reason not to go into newspapers, I know. Along with the terrible pay, anti-social hours, etc... I'll pray on and would appreciate anyone doing the same.

On a side note, I noticed that one news programme interviewed Lionel Shriver about Cho after the VT massacre! What she said was spot on - that this type of killer is heady on the idea of (even posthumous) worldwide notoriety and that this fuels them. She pointed out that he's got exactly what he wanted and predicted - just look at the number of pages and internet space devoted to him, his childhood, his beliefs, his videos, plays, and thoughts. What is most chilling is that Cho's silence throughout childhood and early adulthood reflects exactly the character of 'Kevin' in you-know-which-book.

2 Comments:

  • I think i need to read that book, bring it to me this week please! I need to enter your world!

    By Blogger Aidan, at 12:27 pm  

  • Since when did your "opinions" count as the truth? Or does your philosophical background give you insight into truth that we godless heretics lack?

    By Anonymous Everyone else, at 5:46 pm  

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