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November 20th, 2013 ~ Vol. 83 No. 45
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Foot-in-mouth syndrome:
it’s a reporter’s nightmare
Diego Syz - Stop n Talk
 
DIEGO SYZ
Pass Herald Staff
You are writing a cutline for a weekly article, you find a catchy or humorous phrase and it comes back to bite you the next week after the paper is released; that’s what happened to me in the November 13th issue of the Pass Herald.

So, the question inevitably comes: how can you trust the material in the media- is it just hype or is it news?

My ‘Police Brief’ cutline; ‘Little Bow Peep Lost Her Sheep and They Were Diverted Off The Road’, caught the attention of one Crowsnest Pass resident who brought to the paper’s attention that three Mountain Sheep were killed during the October 31st incident.

Ouch, good-bye breath in lungs.

I just wanted to say I didn’t mean to belittle or demean the deaths of the three Mountain Sheep but was simply trying to dress-up a section of the newspaper I see every week.

That’s the honest answer from a journalist.

It happens in the industry, you constantly have to generate story ideas and copy every week and you want your work to be eye-catching among the thousands of words your reader sees in one paper.

But, how much are you willing to bend your journalistic integrity to sell the story?

That is always a question and my usual answer for my entire journalistic career has been to not bend or compromise my work in any way.

Usually the best answer, in a profession where your integrity goes hand-in-hand with your career.

In this business, molehills can become mountains pretty fast.

Because peoples’ opinions of you and your career form and change with every story you write, the lines between a persons career and their personal lives can become blurred.

But, it can get murky when you want to sell your work or even make your writing a little bit more enjoyable for your reader.

I suppose I have proven things can go sideways pretty fast when entertaining a fickle reader.

So, I just want to officially say; I am not Diego Syz, reporter and mountain sheep hater with the Crowsnest Pass Herald, nor am I insensitive to the plight of protected or endangered wildlife in the region.

Just a journalist trying to sell a story, for better or for worse, you can take it or leave it.
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November 20th, 2013 ~ Vol. 83 No. 45
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