Bernard Hickey has become an evangelist for blogging.
Let me explain why after 19 years as a journalist I’ve never been so excited about being a journalist and why I think blogging will over time become the main venue for political and other debate. It will also become another way for communities to form and for people to talk to each other about the things that matter.
I share his enthusiasm and agree with his reasons. But one advantage that he doesn’t mention is that what you write is what people read without editing by someone else.
I know subs are lovely people who sometimes save journalists from themselves by correcting potentially embarrassing, stupid and/or litigious mistakes. But sometimes they also take your carefully worded prose and leave it the worse for their intervention.
I was taught to write news stories so they were structured like an inverted pyramid with the most important points at the start. That meant if lack of space required some cutting the sub could start at the bottom without ruining the story.
Columns are different from news stories in that the point often comes at the end so the concluding words are as important as the intro.
The worst subbing of one of my opinion pieces was many years ago and simply chopped the middle from it so the intro was no longer connected to the end and the phrase which made sense of the headline was lost.
The cut to my offering in Paddock Talk today was minor by comparison. I’d concluded it by saying:
The taskforce has hired PriceWaterhouseCoopers to prepare a strategy report which is expected to take 12 weeks. That may seem a long time for farmers desperately seeking a solution to their own problems, but as the cheese advertisement says, good things take time and a strategy which leads to a healthy future for the meat industry will be a very good thing indeed.
Somewhere between my outbox and publication the last 19 words disappeared, which probably doesn’t matter to anyone except me, especially now that events have over taken what I was writing about.
The Meat Industry Taskforce was disbanded today. Federated Farmers has a press release expressing disapointment and the grapevine is buzzing but I haven’t been able to find anything in the media about it yet.