Who Are We Writing For?

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I think that Matt made an excellent point in his blog on editorials.  He elaborated on the importance of not going on an angry tirade in one’s editorial.  He asked why preach to the choir?  As he commented, “Like all news writing, I think it's important to remember that the writing shouldn't be about the writer, but about the subject being covered.”  If we chose to angrily rant, we are probably either doing it (a) for attention, or (b) to makes ourselves feel good and to get reaffirmation that our “side” is right.  What Matt said really points out why these things are erred in news writing.  News writing is meant to inform and should not be about the author.  I think this is a reason why conflict of interest is important.  Granted, editorials are not the same as a regular article in the paper, but I still think that if you are so passionately involved with something that you can’t see other sides of the issue, you shouldn’t be writing about it (even if it is an editorial).  Everyone needs to release stem sometimes, but a newspaper is not the place.  As he suggests, “save it for the blogs!”  The goal should be to get others to see things in a more complex way, to think about other “sides,” even if they don’t join in believing them.  Matt’s blog helps remind us who we are writing for.  Journalists write for an audience and not for themselves.       

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