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Top Ten Reasons for Knowing that a Writer Is Not a Journalist Print
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Friday, 21 September 2007 05:36

Top 10 reasons for knowing that a writer is not a journalist (based on some of the observations of Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao, my literary mentor):

 

10. The writer (who is actually a real-estate salesman) thinks that the Fourth Estate is the fourth branch of his industry – that is, after brokerage, escrow and title insurance.

 

9. The writer thinks that a newspaper article that is boxed is about boxing.

 

8. The writer believes that a newspaper article that is jumped (to another page) is about track and field.

 

7. The writer reckons that "literary gems" are the fancy-jewelry pieces worn by female journalists.

 

6. The writer thinks that "media" is a singular noun and that its plural form is "medias," as in the socks worn by male journalists.

 

5. The writer practices the art of "copy editing" by copying verbatim from online sources and passing them as his own.

 

4. The writer assumes that plagiarism is a word associated with feudalism or capitalism or imperialism.

 

3. The writer considers cancer of the prostate as a sickness suffered by practitioners of prose and poetry. As in prostrated (sic) writer?

 

2. The writer (a self-proclaimed idiotor, oops, editor), after forgetting to include the front-and-back covers in the CD (for the automated printing press), proclaims: "Never judge a book or a magazine by its cover or the lack of it."

 

1. The writer thinks that the hyphen is found in the private part of a female journalist.

 



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Last Updated on Saturday, 28 June 2008 04:44
 
Comments (1)
1 Saturday, 01 August 2009 23:02
Dear Romy:

Thank you for pointing the obvious. Only trained and/or real journalists know how to construct headlines (generally in the present tense but with few exceptions). Like this article that we published tonight in the www.mabuhayradio.com:

Nene Pimentel Pays Tribute to Cory Cojuangco-Aquino

Even two-bit journalists ought to know "Headline Writing 101." Unless they belong to a group of wannabe writers for whom this article was written:

Top Ten Reasons for Knowing that a Writer Is Not a Journalist

URL: http://www.mabuhayradio.com/sections/humor-a-satire/511-top-ten-reasons-for-knowing-that-a-writer-is-not-a-journalist.html

Mabuhay,

Lolo Bobby M. Reyes

In a message dated 8/1/2009 7:42:33 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, DiarioV writes:
Unless Perry Diaz has become Cory's personal physician, her close spiritual adviser, her husband, her cardiologist, her medical examiner, her coroner, or a relative to the first degree put together, his "Breaking News" (excerpted above and quoted below in its entirety) is highly questionable and unacceptable to the mainstream and even to the smallest community newspapers that know journalism. It violates the most basic and established rules of news reporting.

Who is to say specifically that Cory died "of cardio-respiratory arrest" but her doctors (the family physician, the hospital, the cardiologist, etc). who are knowledgeable and possessed of the medical expertise? According to her daughter Kris, Cory had rectal cancer. Could that be the reason for her death?

Even her time of death raises an issue. Was it Manila time, Eastern time, Pacific standard or daylight saving time. We all are in different time zones, aren't we, so the info is critical relative to, for example, what we're doing or what's happening elsewhere when she passed away.

Who is to say that Cory was "the Philippines' most beloved woman" but those in a position to judge her for what she did and had accomplished? It's an assertion better left to others, not to the person reporting it.

Without attributing the sources of his information, the "Breaking News" of Perry Diaz would fall under the rumor or gossip category. Sourcing for this kind of story is a MUST, yes a MUST!

Perry Diaz was not opining (from his favorite word "opine") about Cory's death; the fact that he labeled it as "Breaking News" meant he was reporting it. Did he get the basic info from Google, TFC, GMA or from the internet and put them all together?

There are rules and rules and rules in journalism that need to be followed; otherwise, any news distributor can loosely say he was practicing journalism of his own. That would mean he doesn't understand a bit from a bite.

This is one "teachable moment" (to borrow from President Obama) that everybody can learn from. My commentary is not meant to offend, embarrass or humiliate anyone.

And by the way, in headline writing (thus, "Cory Aquino passed away"), the active voice is always preferred (e.g "Cory dies" or "Cory passes away at 76").

Thanks and best regards,

Romy Marquez.
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