Category Archives: Writing

A journalist? Moi?

Washington Post building

Ah, my beloved Washington Post. Stand outside and you may spot a journalist or two. Image courtesy of chelle, Morguefile.

Twice now, people have called me a journalist. I’m loving it.

(Oh, you real journalists out there, quit snickering. Allow me my tiny moment of thrill.)

Okay, so I’m not exactly Woodward or Bernstein. There is no Deep Throat and I don’t have 2 a.m. meetings in parking garages with my sources. I don’t even own a trenchcoat.

I do some magazine work, reviewing history books for a local military history magazine. Yesterday, I had the chance to visit the magazine office for the first time since I started writing reviews — history books EVERYWHERE! Book nirvana! Especially if you love the Civil War or World War II.

Someone else called me a journalist because I write historical stories for a local magazine. My part in writing for this magazine is to highlight the not-so-well known bits of history in the town where I live; it’s a labor of love and helps my fellow townies to learn more about this area where we reside.

I am first and foremost a copywriter, writing in a persuasive manner to sell products and services in a unique and compelling way. Over recent years, that writing has grown to encompass other formats such as blogging, tweeting and posting on LinkedIn and Facebook. Social media’s really taken my writing in all sorts of intriguing directions and I’ve found local business owners who are hungry for well-written content.

Some have said that conventional writing is dying. I don’t buy it. Now, there is a huge need for competent writers and editors since so much of what we say in writing ends up on the Web: press releases, white papers, electronic books and PowerPoint decks, to name a few.

I personally know two or three journalists, and I admire them. It’s not the easiest of professions, especially these days when social media often breaks the news first and it’s hard to find the budget to keep a newspaper going. The way I see it, journalists have to be even faster in breaking the news ahead of other social media sources and extra accurate since any public mistake will be remembered forever on the Web.

Maybe classic movies have influenced my impression of journalists. (I mean it! STOP GIGGLING!) There’s Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell in “His Girl Friday,” James Stewart/Ruth Hussey in “The Philadelphia Story,” Gregory Peck/Eddie Albert in “Roman Holiday” and Frank Sinatra/Celeste Holm in “High Society”.

It could be fun, though, reporting in a genteel way on high society. I’m not talking paparazzi here, just a respectful examination of how people got to be in high society and the historical associations of it.

Oh, well. I better leave that to the properly accredited journalists. (But I’m still loving my bit as a magazine journalist.)

Have a good weekend! Here’s a couple of “High Society” videos featuring the immortal Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby to start off your weekend with a smile. (Video credit: trumpetboy1955 on YouTube.)

 

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