While my blog normally focuses on education and my life as a teacher, for this post I am reverting back to my previous life when I studied public relations and journalism. As a writer, you are always to focus on your audience. Editors and publishers are there to make sure that the writing is focused and on topic. There are times when writing must be focused on one side of an argument, such as in an op-ed, but then there are times when it is the journalist’s job to simply present the facts without taking one side over the other.
However, it has become obvious lately in the media that journalists are no longer paid to be unbiased. Instead, everyone chooses a side and everyone has an opinion about every topic that is out there. As 2012 progressed, everyone had an opinion on everything. From politics to the fiscal cliff to the unfortunate shootings that tore the country apart.
With everyone being super-aware and wanting to get their own views across to the public, people are becoming unaware of what is important. We cannot forget that others are involved, and while not everyone is going to agree with our views, we cannot forget to listen to theirs. While not everyone is going to agree on everything, and never will, everyone must make the effort to be aware of the thoughts and feelings of others and to be careful how we represent our own.
Most of the time, when a journalist writes an article that is to be published, the editor always looks over it to ensure that there are not any mistakes. Today I read about an article that was published about the “new” Sandy Hook Elementary School, but printed next to that article was an advertisement for a Fire Arms Show. What’s more is that the paper is reported to have had multiple editors look over this page before the paper going to print.
This is a mistake that should never have taken place. It doesn’t matter if the company that runs the paper is outside of Newtown or not, we all need to be aware of the messages that we send and how not to be insensitive to others whether we are being published in a paper, writing a blog, tweeting, Facebooking or saying something in the classroom. We try to teach our students not to say or write things that would be offensive…We cannot forget those lessons once we leave the classroom.