I get to write a Q and A column for the newspaper I work for. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can find it here: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/downtown/askelizabethlafleur/
Journalism is taking some major hits right now, both from people who don’t respect the ethics of the job enough to be doing it and from people who simply don’t want to hear anything that disagrees with what they already believe to be true.
Journalism has two major roles to fill. It’s a watchdog making sure elected and selected leaders are doing what they’re supposed to be doing without corruption. And it’s providing the general public with information they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Writing this column allows me to fill the most basic of these two roles. Twice a week in publication (and many hours of research in between), I get to work to provide people with something they’ve specifically asked to know.
It’s that simple.
The formula is a question sent + time spent researching and interviews + time spent writing the answer. And in two months of doing this, I’ve received only positive feedback. That’s not to toot my own horn and say I’m doing it anywhere close to perfectly, but I think it says something about journalism in general.
People want to know things that matter to them – big or small.
Journalism has gotten away from itself. It’s become this never-ending search for clicks or views and a constant search for the balance of sharing stories that matter or sharing stories that people will actually click.
In these two months, I’ve studied my own analytics – the mark by which most journalism is measured these days. What I’ve found is that people still want answers. They still want to know what is happening in their own community.
They want to know they can impact what they’re reading and be impacted by what they’re reading.
It’s that simple.
And I couldn’t be more proud to be able to be a part of this small piece of it.