I worked up this post for Latitude News on this report by NORC on theism. It purports to offer a view of belief in God around the world, but as you will see, I think it lacks the breadth of sample to say any such thing. I did find it interesting (though I personally was annoyed to see the report use waiver instead of waver). Hope you do, too.
Archive for April, 2012
We learn about ourselves in part from how others react to us. Those reactions usually get filtered; it’s polite to find something positive to say, and to soften critical remarks.
Journalists don’t do that. We are supposed to hold up the mirror and show you your jowls. So it was with some trepidation that Latitude News agreed to let a journalism student from Northeastern student base her final project on us.
Her report shows us what we think of ourselves. Other than calling us “tiny,” she offers little assessment of our effort. Instead, it’s all us telling her what we think. She uses links from our stories to illustrate points. She may or may not agree with what we are saying; she plays it straight. Journalists should play it straight, but when straight means telling people what your one source said, it feels like a one-sided story. Of course, it’s my side that’s being heard, so I should be happy.
i did scratch my head at one quote I gave her. Did I really say it’s better when a staff is small? Maybe I did, but I can’t remember why.
Here’s the video she shot of us talking about trying to create more conversational journalism:
Almost 20 years ago, in a fiction workshop, one of my stories centered on an artist who had just sold a painting for a million dollars. The other members of the workshop thought that was simply not believable. No artist could make that much on a painting. That critique was a minor reason why I stopped working on the piece (it was clearly going to become a novel, and I didn’t want to write a novel).
I was just reading this piece on Damien Hirst and it looks like I undershot what an artist can make by at least a zero. Maybe I should go back to that story.