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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ayyy-men...I Found Journalism Again!

Many moons ago, I graduated with a journalism degree from Chico State University. That was way back in the 90s when spiral perms, wine coolers and 90210 (the original series) were really cool. I veered away from the traditional journalism route, but my journalistic/writer roots stuck with me over the years.

I've always been a news junkie and not JUST celebrity news. I know I have an unhealthy obsession with scary Octo-Momma and reality TV but I'll save that for future musings. I actually care about important issues like not destroying our Earth and non-profity causes (you can take the girl out of non-profit, but you can't take the non-profit out of the girl).

With newspapers biting the dust left and right, what's happened to journalism? I write for a living as a copywriter. I throw in that AP Style every now and then, and still write feature articles here and there (with some press releases thrown in for good measure).

I bet you think you're super news savvy. I delude myself too. Oh, you may THINK it's news - those sneaky snippets blasted out on the cyber highway. Is the Tiger Woods scandal THAT "news-worthy?" Do we REALLY care that Tiger blames his cheat-a-thon because he forgot to meditate? Maybe these sleazoid stories just feed our bloodthirsty lust for gossip and make us feel better about our own non-scandalous lives.

Sometimes there are journalistic gems who catch my critical eye - brave writer souls who dig deep inside those not-so-comfy places and make me - GASP - think! When you voice your opinion via the written word, you take your rep into your own hands.

But that's a good thing. Journalism shouldn't be just a regurgitation of the AP wire. To be a die-hard journalist, you need to always teeter on that edge. Real journalists take everyone with them - whether you like it or not. They are well-loved and despised. They piss people off! Even when hurled insults from moronoic imbeciles, they still keep on truckin'. They refuse to squelch their voice - come Hell or Christian Right.

Just like some people find religion again, I found journalism again and his name is Mark Morford. Mark is a brilliant columnist who writes for SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle). I enjoy reading the comments people leave about his column. They range from stark raving mad to insightful. He makes me laugh and think at the same time. Even more important, I'm NEVER bored. That's quite an accomplishment since most men can't keep my attention that long.

So if you want a taste of the good stuff (and you don't have to swill from a bottle or pop a pill either!)...journalism that rattles your brain - check out Mark Morford!