The first copy of Newsweek I ever read was shortly after German reunification when I was able to get my hands on one of its international issues. What I expected was an unbiased account of events as they transpired throughout the globe. What I found was the most vile, inarticulate, often blatantly nonfactual, and clearly anti-American filth I had ever seen.
Ever since, I have been eagerly anticipating Newsweek’s demise as a publication (and admittedly, the demise of more than a few of the Newsweek “writers” themselves).
Newsweek and its contemporaries were and are replete with hordes of puerile essayists scribbling what equates to a self-important high-school newspaper. It shall be a strange new Earth and even more odd humanity into which these shallow souls emerge from their cocoons of adolescent attitudes.
Thus, with the happy tidings that one of the two most juvenile publications in existence had finally folded it occurred to me that someone in what is contemptuously referred to as “the real world” ought offer a few pointers for the displaced on integrating into the workplace.
These coming weeks are going to be a difficult time for many of you. Wondering where your next paycheck will come from, how to keep up to date in this world which is more news minute than it is news week, and what form your storytelling should take will all be enormous challenges. With that in mind, I’ve accumulated a few tips on how to reorder your thinking now that the last class bell has sounded.
First and foremost, you’ll have to start telling the truth. You’re aghast, I know. But out here in the digital frontier the patrons have one overriding need above all—they want what you tell them to be accurate. Of course there is room for opinion and editorial commentary, but alas, that too must be well-documented and established upon some fundamental reality.
No more can you blithely argue from authority that your outlook is correct merely because you proclaim it, slouched askew in your desk from the back of the room. Being the coolest kind in school was fine while it lasted, but pretentious insufferablility is no excuse for research, independent thinking, and what used to be referred to as journalism.
Secondly, on the Internet nothing is secret. I’ll pause until your mortarboard quits spinning….
You see, here in the electronic world people know what happens in the physical world. Recall back in 2007 when Americans quite literally decided whether they wanted to remain a nation, otherwise known as the Kennedy-McCain-Bush Amnesty?
You might remember you ran several stories supporting the invasion. Then, once the true American people won, the next issue had absolutely no mention of these debates anywhere in your publication.
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