Tag Archives: JOURNALISM

Wikileaks & Censorship: I think Spider Jerusalem says it best…

8 Dec

With the eruption of cable leaks from whistleblowing site Wikileaks dominating news reporting around the world, and the flawed charges against figurehead Julian Assange doing its best to taint the leaks, it’s quickly becoming a critical moment in the fight for journalistic and social freedom of information and speech.

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URBAN FOX: The art of good constructive criticism…

4 Oct

If there is one thing I have learned is that it is important to always learn from your mistakes. Sadly I often make pretty massive ones that more objective people would say “What in your head told you that was a good idea?”

You may be worried if someone gives you a song or a poem or any form of creative work and you’re asked to critique it in some way. It can be difficult and the temptation is to say “That was good” without any actual form of feedback.

Sadly posting on a forum can give you the opposite. While pleasantries may not be useful, people tearing into someone just because they are anonymous can be soul destroying. Neither extreme is helpful.

The best way to approach someone’s work is to imagine it as your own. What are they trying to achieve? Is the central message clear? Regardless of the medium, the narrative has to work and it needs to flow.

If there is nobody around to offer feedback, there are other ways to self criticise. When you have finished your work, put it away for about a week. You should then find it easier to edit it with a more objective viewpoint.

Another way is by reading your work aloud. Harrison Ford famously told George Lucas “You can type this crap but you can’t say it”. Don’t make that mistake- reading your work aloud will make you realise if a phrase sounds clumsy or if certain words are overused.

People can be very defensive when it comes to their work. While it is true that people have different styles that is not a shield from feedback. Whether you do a stream of consciousness like a beat poet or an epic poem in the style of Homer, it still needs to be interesting and engaging to the reader.

If someone is asked to picture a writer, they often think of someone who works in isolation and somehow magics up inspiration from the sky. In some ways it is comforting as it gives the illusion that only a select few can write.

I can safely say this is rubbish. The difference is the desire to write and to face the fear of the blank page and the fear of rejection. What you need to remember is that criticism is not rejection, it is there to make you better.

Finally, listen to advice and take it politely.

Why can’t all TV journalism be like this?

21 Aug

A brilliant special report monologue about the supposed ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ in New York.

It pretty much takes every point against it and disputes it in an articulate, passionate manner.

It’s a shame that moments as powerful and poignant as this are so rare in broadcast journalism.