Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What SHOULD be taught in Journalism School

I'm reading some blurbs from today's news about what's happening in the Middle East. And I have this reaction:- a sudden lurching of my stomach lining, followed by a rush of stomach acid and ending in a sour pain.

This should be taught to new journalists: Leave the Hyperbole to the Marketing and Advertising Specialists.

[throws in a seemingly non-sequitur]

I'm reminded of a time when I met a Shakespearean actor. She owned a company in the mid-west and she and her husband were visiting friends of mine. That was about a year or so after Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet came out. I asked her opinion of it and she told me that tho she has tons of respect for Kenneth Branagh, he doesn't know how to use his women. Ophelia should've started off smaller, then grew larger as the madness took over, so that the audience could appreciate the disparity or the distance from where she started to where she ended. I'm not sure I can see another Kenneth Branagh shakespearan play now that I have this interesting lens to look through.

Why did I bring that up? Reporters, Journalists all seem to graduate from the Enquirer school of headlines. I don't know if it's the reporters or the editors, but CUT IT OUT!

You are part of the problem. By using words as "earth-shattering" or "unprecedented" or "[put in your favorite hyperbole here]" you actually DIMINISH the impact of the story.

Those are bleep words. When one reads that, one AUTOMATICALLY THINKS "BULLSHIT!"

When all words you see claim "Number 1" Chances are, none of them are. Instant Dismissal. But you all can't do that can you? You became a journalist cause you are in love with words. Well, fall in love with VERBS, not ADJECTIVES or ADVERBS and certainly NOT hyperbolic ones. If you use hyperbole in your journalistic efforts, YOU ARE NO LONGER A JOURNALIST, YOU ARE AN ADVERTISER.

Got that? *sighs* No, I didn't think so.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias and Politics & B.S.


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