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Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by
Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also assist authors in self-publishing their work. Visit our website and buy our books at driverworks.ca.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Journalist By Any Name

I began my writing career as a young child - writing poetry, short stories and epic-like letters to friends as a way to combat the boredom I felt as a farm kid with an overactive imagination. In high school, I used a 'Get Out Of Math Class Free' card to work on the student newspaper. I wrote whatever was needed to fill the pages of that monthly collection of trivia and drivel, after we'd inserted the gossipy sections of 'who likes who' (or more accurately - these initials likes these initials, and only four people in the whole school actually thought they could figure out the encryption) plus the artwork of an aspiring-hippy artist, of course. (He really was quite talented and he did go on to earn a living in that craft.)

Shortly before the end of my Grade 12 school year, the high school teacher who was our newspaper's adviser suggested that I should become a journalist. Honestly, I was such a naive country bumpkin (is that redundant?) that I had no idea what he was talking about. We only received two television stations and two newspapers in those days, which didn't really provide me with much inspiration or information of interest to a 17-year-old.

So I looked it up.

Journalism. Hmmm.

More or less, it's a profession of individuals committed to reporting the truth and informing the public of what is really happening in the world.

Well, I could probably do that. It involved writing, right?

So I chose the closest course to our hometown and spent the next two years swallowed up by the big-city goings-on of Calgary, Alberta - and engrossed in learning all I could about the big-city world of journalism, as taught by those who had experience in the industry. It was a great way to learn from the doers. It helped me jump into this industry with both feet - and I have only kind words to say about SAIT in Calgary.

During college, I met a young man from Regina, Saskatchewan, and we moved to that smaller city and married shortly after our course ended. We've made our home here ever since, enjoying long careers in the journalism industry - me as a writer primarily and he as an editor primarily.

In 2008, our occupational paths converged again when he joined me in our book publishing company. (You can find details of that exciting enterprise on our web page.)

But I really wanted to talk about journalism today - mostly because I saw some phrases about the profession recently (at Brainy Quotes, WikiQuotes and elsewhere as noted below) and thought I'd share them with you. These are among the phrases I saw that I could relate to (obviously), but there are many more - including several that are less positive about the profession that has been dear to our hearts for decades:

"I've always had standards about writing well. There is art in this business. There is potentially great art."
                                      - Gay Talese (Sept. 2006 in a lecture. Bullpen: NYU Journalism)

"I don't want to be part of the story. I want to be an anonymous, quiet onlooker who tries to work out what the hell is happening - it's not easy - and then tells other people about it. I don't like being a figure in the thing."
                     - John Simpson (October 2007 interview in Barnes, Nicky. BBC Norfolk)

"I think journalism gets measured by the quality of information it presents, not the drama or the pyrotechnics associated with us."
                   - Bob Woodward 


We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective.
                   - Humorist Dave Barry

And last but not least, I'll draw your attention to an article from CBS News called 'Best. Journalism Quotes. Ever.'  I particularly like Number One on this list.

Have a good day, all you writers - and journalists!

Keep on doing your best. That's all we can ask.





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