About a month ago, I started writing for a newspaper. I love it. It was hard to get into the groove. My first story did not even make into the paper.
Then I began to write about things I was passionate about. I wrote about festivals. I wrote about people of the community that had a passion with passion. I wrote about high schoolers with hope, joy and love for the world. I wrote about Soldiers that ran for those who died in combat. I did this with love.
Change happened, the owner of the paper had a different focus. His vision was not my passion. It happens. As simple humans, we strive for that perfect job. We excel and do great things. Then, Bam! Just like that our hands are slammed into door. You know, like a seventies car, where your little cartilage-ous fingers are bent like Gumby. You are hurt. You are stuck.
Now what do you do? Back as a child, you would scream like bloody murder until someone would help you. Life was simple as a child. As an adult, you can’t get away with that shit. You have to act like an adult. I tell my child, “life is a game of chess. You are always creating strategy while you farm and harvest your future.”
Now, I have to eat my own words. I need to play the game. What does that mean for journalism. The public has spoken. I have seen it. You have seen it. Social media post are more followed than news. Why? Maybe news outlet owners have not changed while society has.
Readers want to read something entertaining, informative and not dumbed down. Readers want to read. They want to read about soul food. I see it. I hear it. I know it.
My question is. Why then do media owners want to give the readers a story that has no soul? Why do media owners want writers to tell the mass how to feel or think? Why do I even care?
Well, I need the money. I do make some with my own business, but not enough. Writing for a publication gives me money. Money is necessary to live, unless you are dead. Even animals need money these days for the shots, food, therapy and entertainment.
I am gonna tell you this. I feel that news media owners are pessimistic. They feel vulnerable in this day where digital media thrives. I think they are acting like the brat that slammed the door on your fingers as a kid in anger.
What are writers to do when bosses want one type of writing and you can only give the other? Ok, say you are buying ice cream. You want chocolate ice cream, but the restaurant can only serve vanilla. As a waiter or server, what do you do?
Do you turn away the money? Do you demand that the customer buy the vanilla?
No, you take that vanilla add some hefty amounts of chocolate syrup, mix it together and there is your chocolate ice cream.
Today, I too will make chocolate ice cream out of vanilla. Why? Because, I am a grown up and sometimes we have to play a little chess to get the money we need.
Your Chess player,