I’m having a tough time sorting out news commentary lately. I feel like what I read is not really the author’s opinion, but a way to generate hundreds of hits and/or comments. Freelance writing is a dog eat dog world, and the number of hits a post gets, along with the number of links and comments, can very well determine the future of a professional writer’s career. Controversy generates readership, and with more and more publications moving online (or online from the beginning) it’s a piece of cake to track the size of the audience. And the bigger the audience, the more advertising revenue, the more money for the publication.
I don’t have time to link, but I read a piece recently that cited another essay and got it all wrong. She misinterpreted everything. This misinterpretation not only was a vast mischaracterization of the intent of the piece, but it turned one innocent, harmless observation into insulting judgment. And this warped interpretation was written by a journalist at a big magazine.
Initially, I thought that perhaps comments would hold the authors of opinion pieces more accountable to what they write. But I’m finding that people write what inspires comments, even if it’s inaccurate or downright nasty. I suppose bloggers do this as well. But I don’t hold bloggers to the same standard as I do experienced professional writers of national magazines and newspapers.
More details on the big cut, up at skirt! I won’t be around for the next week or so. Have a happy beginning to your June.