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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Journalism Week: Happy News/Happy World

Oh what a break will do for you.

"But what do you mean, Alec?" you ask, "I am looking at the sidebar on your blog and it says that there were 20 blogs written during December."

You are right dear (and made up) reader. I kept blogging throughout my Winter Break as promised. But if you will look a little closer, you will see something rather different. Those blogs were not the long-winded treatises on humanity that The Collective(ly) Unconscious has been known to churn out four times a week.  Those were, for lack of a better team, bits and pieces. They were fluffy, short, to the point and probably more effective and economic than my usual blog entries.

But I am not all about efficiency and readability at my little corner of the Internet. I am diatribe-ing Gestapo who writes overly-long pieces that are of no interest to anyone other than myself and peruses the Internet finding poor souls and forcing them to read my work. That is more my style and that is how I will continue, blogging ethics be damned. 

I bring up this bizarre and ill-timed and inconsequential call to arms simply to illustrate where I have been the past two weeks. Of course, you have been reading blog entries at this site, but as I have said before those were written by "December 15th-December 19th Alec." And I sit here now writing as "December 29th Alec." What did "December 20th-December 28th Alec do"
Well he took a bit of a break you see. 

15th-19th spent four days in a caffeine infused writing frenzy so 20th-28th could just chill out. And that's exactly what he did. He watched movies, he visited with family and he received far more presents than his actual worth as a human being dictated. It was a fun time and a quiet time but also a reflective time. Now I, December 29th Alec, can use my time of reflection and serenity to begin looking at this future profession of mine. 

I had some stress-free time to think about, really think about the nature, goals and practices of Journalism. Since I have been away from school and the enlightening Journalism 101, I haven't quite had the exposure to the media and every aspect of Journalism that I would have liked to keep me on the right track. But when I was able to step away for a week and take an overarching view of the media and its impact on all our lives, I realized something.

Journalism is terrifying.

I am not referring to the prospect of the newspapers slow Bataan-like death march into certain financial ruin and I am not referring to David Gregory's taking over Meet the Press hosting duties from the dearly departed Tim Russert (a.k.a Journalism Jesus). No, I am referring to the sheer impact that the industry of Journalism has on all our lives. To me, there is no better example of this than Christmas.

Christmas is the magical day where nothing bad is ever supposed to happen. A quick overview of any newspaper or a quick glance at any news TV show would reveal that professionals in all sorts of media feel the same way. News sources on Christmas Day did not provide much in the sense of biting, harsh news. There were stories about snowfall, about economic downturns and stories about the entertainment industry. But there was no news of anything truly upsetting; no news of anything violent or terrible. On Christmas Day, if it bleeds, it doesn't lead.

December 24th there was a story of a deranged man going on a Holiday-traffic shooting spree. The day after Christmas, there was the story of a murderer dressed in a Santa costume. But on Christmas, these stories didn't exist. The people of Western culture all collectively turned to the God of Journalism on one day and said "make it not so" and the God of Journalism obliged. 

The Journalists didn't report anything terrible on Christmas Day, and therefore nothing bad happened on Christmas Day....just the way we wanted it.

So because of my rediscovery of Journalism's power and importance, because of print Journalism's epic struggle against irrelevance and because of this being my last week at home before I rejoin the Journalism-machine known as E.W Scripps School of Journalism, I have decided that this week will henceforth be known as Journalism Week at The Collective(ly) Unconscious. 

Please report back dutifully this Wednesday to here more about the grand profession as told by me. 

Maybe we will have learned that Turkey actually blew up on Christmas Day by then.


A.G.B said...

Just thought I should link a New York Times piece that differs from my viewpoint about the media's vigilance on Christmas Day for the sake of fairness.

curiousgab said...

You do not have to be balanced in your own blog thats part of your freedom and ultimately part of your charm