Posted at 2:23 pm , on September 24, 2015
Or at least not with substance or grammatical structure, according to a Washington Post opinion piece. It bashes the Common Core structure and wants to focus more on sentence structure. A turn back to basics, they say. I can’t argue. That is a step. Trying to teach students who to write sentences with style is difficult when they are making mistakes I learned in grammar school. Maybe there is a need to have the old fashioned elderly English teacher with glasses and a ruler hovering over every sentence. There is too much writing distraction today – Americans have certainly let text style infiltrate basic writing skills.
But this is just the start. More reading, which is easier said than done. It is the best approach, in my opinion, and one that is impossible to see followed through at home unless parents are willing to put in the effort with their children.
There is also that pesky five-paragraph essay, which too may teachers and professors feel is gospel. In fact, they have lost the whole point of what that structure was supposed to represent, and is not taught properly in most cases, in my opinion. Regardless, that is another blog post for another day.
Why Americans Can’t Write
Posted at 8:26 pm , on January 17, 2015
So maybe you like the world of TMZ or the absurdity of political pundits being the most recognized journalists in the world. But for those “in the know,” we are fully aware that some of the most recognizable, and sadly profitable forms of journalism, is not really journalism at all.
Good journalism costs. It’s takes time. And it comes with a sacrifice. It rarely sales as many papers as a Kardashian, But it creates awareness for the socially aware and brings about real change.
Which is why many are hoping to be funded by grants and foundations which still have a conscious. Great journalism, plus innovated websites, no longer can rely on advertising due to high circulation numbers or our bread and better of classified ads. The public is yet to realize how important it is to pay for its news. So we turn to others for help.
Here is one of the examples that the NY Times wrote about a year ago. Innovation in Journalism Goes Begging For Support
Posted at 8:43 pm , on August 26, 2014
An interesting read, some of which I agree with. Yes, journalism is not failing, it’s financial structure is, but we don’t help ourselves. Most readers don’t really care for good journalism – they want sensationalism and short reads. Which is just horrible for good writers, because so much good work is dismissed because it is too “complicated” for the audience, which essentially means it the readership has to “think” about what is written.
As for the business side, I’ve said it for years. Paywalls need to go up, print publications and online subscriptions need to be folded into one, (hard copies need to be sent regardless, because it will boost circulation, which will boost advertising revenue) and more of an effort needs to be taken to fight these search engines that steal original content so often that it largely goes ignored.
The dollars are out there. So let’s stop giving the content away for free.
Here is Matthew Ingram’s take on it for Gigaom. Journalism Is Doing Fine, Thanks – It’s Mass Media Business Models That Are Ailing
Posted at 1:34 am , on May 8, 2014
It’s very difficult trying to teach traditional journalism in a modern world. Shortcuts, social media and search engines let this generation’s up-and-coming journalists forget about ethics and the art of story telling
Don’t be worried about getting it first. Be worried about getting it right.
Because in this age, there is no getting it first. You’ve already been beaten to the punch. Someone on Twitter typed two sentences and they want credit for breaking a story. There is no reward for speed. Yet their are penalties for being misleading and wrong.
So if you’re on a site, clicked on a headline that was not accurately reflected in the article, you’ve been Clickbaited. Check out the BBC’s story on the topic, and how it is an extremely dangerous business model.
Posted at 11:57 pm , on May 1, 2014
One of the hardest parts of writing is knowing what goes and knowing what stays. And often, it isn’t you that makes the decision. And often you get irritated – as I do – but eventually you realize that the editor made the write decision in regard to the flow of the narrative.
I really enjoyed interviewing Evelyn, and was disappointed to have her section cut from my latest article. So here is her story.
Brooke’s parents were Buddhist, as were most from her region. Yet considering all the assistance shown by the local Christian churches in the refugee camp, they began attending mass. Brooke converted when she was nine, and eventually, so did all her siblings. Her parents had no objection.
She remembers her first Christmas that winter in New Jersey. She found it very strange to have a tree indoors. There were pictures of a large man in a red suit everywhere.
“I thought it was completely bizarre,” she reflects. “Until one day when someone burst into our house and just starting handing us presents. That changed my opinion quickly.”