Green New Year? Whats that?
Many sincere developmental journalists are frustrated with eating 'green' ideas fed by pot-bellied editors. It is insulting to ask these reporter to dig out green stories,
says DEBBY A
Sunday, Jan 02 22:11:28, 2011
At a time when climate change and environment issues have taken more news space over sex and nudity, it is an obvious conclusion that some editors will want to splash their pages with New Year stories that reflect the theme of sustainable development. That is all right. Even if the intention is to sell more, people would at least get the idea. We have people who worship anything organic like they worship their Gods. There are people who ride cycles to work. There are people who would slash their wrists if given a choice between cutting trees and killing themselves. They are the ones who would vow another resolution to make their already earth-friendly lifestyle more earth-friendlier. Travel by cars less often, don't use plastics, eat organic foods, save endangered species, etc.
Thus is the Green New Year born in the editorial meeting room. Interesting concept. Green New Year. But who is a 'green' person anyway? Many sincere developmental journalists are frustrated with eating 'green' ideas fed by pot-bellied editors, and the frustration is high especially this New Year.
For example, let's name a city Mega Sale. Some questions go like this: "Find out how many people in Mega Sale are buying green gifts this new year." "Where are green families in Mega Sale heading to for a vacation?" "Are restaurants in Mega Sale adopting green innovation in their menus?"
The word 'green' has been conveniently used to represent anything from preserving earthworms to cleaning up defunct satellites in outer atmosphere. But each issue is unique, and every developmental reporter has a special knowledge of something and not everything. A PhD in organic chemistry will find himself at sea when it comes to toxicology. An airline pilot will sit dumb in the cockpit of a military jet. To tell developmental reporters to dig up 'green' stories is an insult to them because that request is wide in scope.
There is injustice in forcing a choiceless but experienced wildlife journalist to write New Year stories about how people are using less plastic these days. Such a form of editorial ideation is an insult to the reporter's knowledge of his specialization. Instead, give the plastics story idea to a reporter who eats, sleeps and prays municipal issues in Mega Sale, someone who says, "As long as there are potholes and garbage, I will always find employment."
Any intelligent person will know that some entrenched editors are pushing the word 'green' into the microwave for a warm meal all of their own because they are dumb. They also expect you to be a dumbo. Maybe just another dumbo living in Mega Sale. Instead of tackling developmental topics separately and clearly, these desk creatures -- some of them may have been wise in the past -- muddle up the entire array of sustainable issues under the 'green' tag.
The eyes of a reader relaxing on the shit pot on a Sunday morning will instantly recognize what a 'green' story is about and spend about five minutes reading the environment/wildlife/climate change/animal rights/air and water pollution/e-waste/you name it cover story, depending on his toilet habits.
This is the goal of the editors - slap the reader hard with 'green'. If you want to save the earth, go do a PhD and find some solution but don't write for the mainstream.
This form of story delivery kills the people who are tasked with delivering it. Where is the sincere debate? Where has the good analysis gone? Who is doing a proper discussion? And the most important: what has happened to correct story placement?
We have got to recognize the stories written by our developmental journalists and treat their work befitting of saviours. This may sound like a joke in Mega City but I am not kidding.
There is something the allegedly big people who sit at one of the rows of enclosed glass cabins in any newsroom, reading The New York Times Online to plagiarize opinion ideas, don't know about. The people on the other side who are actually working call them 'Cabin Crew'.
The reporters fly the plane. The cabin crew serves.
From The Malice Basket