Blogs by Shirley Ann Parker
To report or to comment
5/25/2006 9:29:42 PM
It's interesting how so many people expect writers to chronicle events, but not comment on them. In other words, we are to write, not editorialize. Depending on one's occupation, that can be a legitimate expectation. A journalist, for example, is trained to write just the facts and not use inflammatory words. (Such trained professionals may not be easy to find in a volatile world.)
Opinions are traditionally the realm of the Editor, who may also include an Op-Ed page for readers to share their insights and views on everyday events, especially political issues. However, too often, those pages are reserved for the professional columnist with "credentials" in a given field. After all, a "name" pulls in readers without offending advertisers.
That leaves the rest of us, who have to report and comment somewhere every day, or go crazy in between. Since so many of us switch hats every few days, or even every few hours, talents sprout and grow in many directions.
Always we have to remember our audience. That's the first rule of writing, after having something to say. Yet sometimes we also have to stop and pat the top of our heads to remember which hat we're wearing, before we lift off.
Are we Mary Poppins before lunch, or is today Peter Pan after lunch? Are we explaining the software behind web hosting, or trying to get through to a boss whose receiver batteries are dead? Are we editing a co-worker's manual tonight, or researching an expose on the denial of insurance claims?
To report or to comment is a delicate path to tread.
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Time to Move Forward - Friday, December 10, 2010
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