Thursday, January 17, 2008

Editors Sometimes Twist Stories

For Article: What Makes Reporting and Blogging Successful?
E-Media Tidbits
Poynter Institute
Posted by Jane Abao 1/14/2008 8:59:23 PM

Journalists take deadlines seriously. Yes, that should be. And yes, they generally report better – than bloggers. That is the way journalists had been trained. However, beating deadlines has nothing much to do with “bad reporting.” Looking at some writing as “bad reporting” so that the editor makes some material changes would not augur well for truth. Correct judgement is called for. I had a bad experience regarding some editing made on my story that ended as the opposite of what I had intended.

In a feature story where I wrote about a beggar child south of my country, I had intended to let the public know about government neglect on street children. My character was one that slept on cement floors in some streets during the day and roamed around the city to steal food and enjoy his world at night. The police caught up with him and had him placed at a boy’s town. He had escaped back to his world of his own when a matron brought him home for some Christmas vacation. Now, it was government neglect I had wanted to showcase but the editor twisted the story and rendered an ignorant child rejecting the confines of government with donations from benevolent spirits - not to exclude those from other countries. Yes, the child got fed up of life where he was just a specimen. Had he enjoyed those camera shots of visitors? You bet, he did. But he had wanted freedom. This beggar child was Every-beggar-child on the streets.

It’s time we ask the journalists what they think about “bad editing.”

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