Imagine this job requirment: talk to people, find their stories, share it as you would tell it to your mother, free entrances to events and … and be available for extra-working hours. Oh, you will also get paid for this. Not much. But you’ll earn your coffees.
Anyone for the job?! So… Everyone!
Well, you just got yourselves in a big s”£%^! You are officially a journalist.
So, I wondered what makes the difference between being a journalist and an eye-witness or a telltale. Today I almost thought I understood.
It seemed like pure math mechanism. Pragmatic. A journalist is someone who’s counting the witnesses, the buses crashing, the gorillas behind the white people passing a ball (don’t even ask!), always asking yourself ‘what’s the story’ like a short memory exercise, you find numbers, statistics, data, You count it. You put it into contrast or comparison. You look for organzations, you get phone numbers, you own an agenda and a 14 memento list and on top of it, you make a priority list. Your morning mood will depend on the newsdiary and Obamacare resolutions. You’ll remember Cameron’s name faster than your bed-share partner’s’.
So, it’s all math. Nothing romantic in this almost secretary work. However, numbers also didn’t get me the ‘q.e.d.’ answer in the end.
In the end numbers matter if put in the correct hash algorithm – 2 + 2 =4. Yawn! This everyone knows. So, I found this enlightening poem of Bukowsky. ‘So, you want to be a writer?’.
‘The libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder,
don’t do it.’
2+2 = 4. True. It’s also true that a journalist will get you the story behind. How did 2 come in the first place, where did the other 2 disappear, how were they looking before getting to the ‘equal’ settlement, did they shake hands before making the deal, how did 4 get the news of being a product of 2 + 2. Did 4 actually like 2s? Is this coalition going to last? What if 2 broke up with 2, what would 4 do? How is this alliance affecting you all?
Still ‘yawn’? And I could continue until going mad if I didn’t have to write a brief. And a research. And a Today Programme to listen to. Oh, and to call my parents. And to see after that, what ‘4’ is doing. For a follow-up.
N.B. I think on the part with madness I just clicked on ‘cheeeecked‘!