The nine rules of journalism

posted by Brendan Hodgson

No need to adjust your RSS… The silence emanating from Collective Conversations in recent days was simply the result of a mild heart attack suffered at some point on Sunday. The subsequent and inevitable lost memory… namely the last week’s worth… has now been replaced (unfortunately) sans comments and backtracks… apologies to all and any.

But we’re back… bigger, stronger, faster than ever… with gizmos and whizbangs that makes the space shuttle seem as innovative as a Polaroid camera (or so I’m led to believe)… and so with that, I thought I’d initiate this glorious resurrection with the following: The “secret” rules of journalism, according to Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press.

Flacks take note… as it is our responsibility to understand this ever-changing, and increasingly incomprehensible medium. My favourites (although they’re all pretty damn appropos)…

Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted; then, after the afflicted become comfortable, afflict them again. This should provide an endless supply of news stories.

Be balanced. No matter what anybody says, find somebody to say the opposite. If a scientist claims to have a cure for cancer, find somebody who says cancer does not exist. If a man says “My name is Fred,” make sure you find somebody who says “No, your name is Diane.” Etc.

When working at the New York Post, make sure your story includes all six W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why and With What Kind of Lubricant.

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