Friday, November 14, 2008

Nobody's safe

I remember how much fun I had with readers' ideas and suggestions.

I just swiped the phrase "a closet intellectual" from 2 posts ago for use in the story I'm working on now.

Working as a journalist up here, I always warn people they're talking to a reporter (I want a Borodino with a "Press" card in it!). But they still tell me everything and everything, and I have to ask them, "Is that a quote? Is that for the record?"

And no, we don't have to have your permission to print an interview. It's called "First Amendment." I try to be nice -- nobody's family needs to find out their 40-year-old secret -- but if it's relevant to a modern population's concerns or needs, in it goes. And yes, I have my biases and opinions. Anybody who claims they don't is just living in an illusion.

As I told a bunch of 8th-graders starting their own paper locally, when asked about the permission issue: "They're adults! Or your peers. They KNOW they're talking to a reporter."

The things people will say or do -- with a writer standing RIGHT THERE.

1 comment:

Miss Jane A. Barcroft said...

Ha! There are people still fuming about the satirical novels I based on politics hereabouts, and they knew I had a local newspaper column all the years they were talking to me with their bare faces hanging out.