about this sitesee Meranda's resumesee clips and work sampleskeep in touch

Archive for January 10th, 2007

I don’t get it

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

I have never understood how people like Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair did it. How they lied and cheated and fabricated stories, people, places that never even existed. I don’t understand. It seems to me it would be a lot more work to make things up and create this alternate world than it would be to grab a freaking notebook and go report a story. But that’s just me.

I don’t understand why anyone would make a story up anyway. If you don’t want to report the news, don’t go into journalism. I’ve never heard of anyone’s parents insisting they grow up to be a reporter. It’s not like a doctor or a lawyer. You’re not likely to be forced into being a journalist. You choose it. And yeah it’s not all rainbows and butterflies; sometimes the stories don’t pan out. Sometimes the quotes aren’t as colorful as you’d like. But, seriously, your job is to report what you find. It’s not to create stories where they don’t exist. That’s why this essay by a former j-school student surprises me (found via Romenesko).

In the essay, she claims to have fabricated a dozen stories while in journalism school. What I don’t get is why. She wanted the praise of her professors. I can understand that. There isn’t a j-school student who doesn’t want to please the professors or a journalist who doesn’t want the editor’s approval. But how could you actually live with yourself, even with a 4.0, if you knew you were living a lie? Aside from worrying about getting caught — which probably deters a lot of would-be cheaters — wouldn’t you just feel like a failure. No matter much praise is lavished on you, wouldn’t you feel like you were degrading the very profession you seek to join? :shrug: Maybe that’s just me. But seriously, rather than gloat in an essay, this girl might want to seek some psychiatric help. And that j-school might want to reevaluate it’s procedures.

A blah week…

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

As I have nothing substantial to offer because my head is swirling… this will be a very random post with bullets of thoughts swarming my head:

  • HOW DID I MISS the annoucement of the long-awaited Apple iPhone?! I’m cell phone hunting and I practically have an Apple news feed to my brain. Somehow in my pain-induced seclusion this week, I missed hearing all about this. I definitely need to investigate.
  • Is it really that uncommon for a 21-year-old to have her wisdom teeth intact? I don’t know why everyone seems shocked to learn that I have my wisdom teeth. I have a big mouth. Plenty of room for more teeth to join the party. The first words of the dentist I saw today — not my normal dentist, who couldn’t see me until Friday, which um wasn’t going to work for me — were, “Oh, you still have your wisdom teeth?” Yes. But let’s stay on task. I know to join the Peace Corps you have to have them removed. But short of that or some major problem, I don’t plan to remove any more teeth for a good long time.
  • My face is swollen. And I can’t talk without pain. That’s probably the worst part. Not being able to talk to me is like not being able to breathe. It’s a vital part of who I am. Plus, it meant postponing dinner with my friends an extra day.
  • I just realized that my diploma will come a few days after I leave. So, it will probably be at least a few months before I see the $60,000+ piece of paper that doesn’t begin to sum up the fruits of my three and a half years at Kent State.
  • I should probably tell my biological father I am moving out of the state.
  • I’ve had an ongoing email exchange with a kid who has been thinking of transferring to Kent State for journalism. Today he said he’s made up his mind and will transfer next fall. I’m excited. Although I won’t be around when he arrives or probably ever meet him, judging by his drive already, I think he’ll enjoy the j-school and get a lot out of it.
  • Garrison Keillor is pretty funny. I bought his book Homegrown Democrat a few months ago, but I haven’t had time to read it. Here’s his Seven Rules for reading the paper. As he says of my generation hunched over laptops, “It is so lumpen, so sad that nobody has shown them that opening up a newspaper is the key to looking classy and smart.” Well, there you have it.
  • For those who recall my lamenting that it hasn’t snowed much this year, IT SNOWED last night/this morning. Although it was really just a dusting here, it was still snow. And yes, that excites me far more than it should. Unforunately, with the snow comes the cold…
  • My attempts to keep my inbox clean have failed. Already I have more than 50 unread e-mails. I try to keep them up. I just can’t read them as fast as they come in. I shall try a new tactic. I have put all the daily headlines e-mails into one filter. At the end of the day, if I haven’t read them I can just select that filter and delete, right? It’s not like I’m going to go back and read old headlines. If I missed it, I missed it. This will hopefully help keep my inbox slightly more tidy.

All right, that’s enough random babble. I’ll think of something more substantial to write about.