Monday, October 30, 2006

Beauty and the Beast

This country in which I am living is beautiful, but sometimes it freaks me out. I can't believe what is happening and how some people interpret things. Last year two Roma women were killed to death in a bombing attack and almost nobody payed much attention. This year somebody who is not Roman but lives in the Roma community beat up another man and the whole country is on the verge of histeria. There have even been some rumors about possible linching of Roma people and they had to be transferred into the center for the asylum seekers.
It's just like the attack of the former journalist Miro Petek. Imagine: somebody beats up a journalist and the police cannot find the person who did it. It's unbelievable. I mean: how hard it is to find this guy(s)? But then again how often does the guy who regularly beats up his wife end up in jail? It seems that it is more probable that the wife will either end up dead or that she will go to jail when she finally stands up for herself.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Theory and Practice

Yesterday I was writing about the new magazine Jaz to which I am also contributing articles. I mentioned how the magazine helps me realize my passions: writing and reading good stories. This sounded so conceited. And I only realized how conceited it really was when I reread my story today. It is far from being good. The rhythm is bad, the sentences are awkward, and I keep repeating the word "story".
I should have followed the single most important advice for good writing: Read your story out loud. Had I done that, I would have probably noticed all this. It is not an excuse, but I was running out of time as the story had to be written on a tight deadlline. Now I know I need to learn from this experience. Journalistic writing, especially the one for magazines, takes time: a journalist needs to manage his/her time so that he has it enough to report, write and rewrite the article.

An excellent essay on stories in magazines has been published here.

After writing this post I checked the blogs in my blogroll. I liked what Borut Peterlin wrote in his post about the Romas in Slovenia. I keep wondering how often do journalist go with the flow and when do they decide to look the other way. Going with the flow is the easiest thing to do. Looking up on an event from a different perspective takes courage. Especially when you are yourself full of prejudice.
I was looking for an article by a reporter who was struggling with his prejudices while covering a story, but I couldn't find it. I remember it has been published in CJR and it really made me think. Instead I found this one. I particularly liked the last couple of paragraphs.

Friday, October 27, 2006

October Sunshine

Yesterday it was my birthday. And because the sun almost never shines on my birthday (on that day it usually starts to rain - the same November Rain that Guns N' Roses sang about ), I tried to stay outside as much as possible. Jernej and I went for walks, had coffee with friends and enjoyed the nice weather. It is therefore understable that my interest in literary journalism is on a side track now.
Besides, I still need to work out how this blogging technology works. Today a friend of mine helped me with this RSS feed thing. Yesterday I tried to post something to Manca's blog and I did know how to do it. And my roommate from Columbia, MO, also mentioned that she couldn't post any comments on my blog. Please, Xiaoqing, keep trying.
But nevertheless I do have some news that are somehow connected with literary journalism. A friend of mine created the illustrated magazine JAZ which wants to offer its readers good stories - just like it is typical of literary journalism. And the magazines website became alive today.
JAZ is about enjoying life; about passions that people have. One of my passions is writing good stories, the other is reading them. JAZ helps me realize both.
Finally, everyday there is an interesting post on Media watch dog blog (see sidebar). I think that it is terrible that after Miro Petek case people with power think they can intimidate journalists. Some do it in front of the camera, the others wait until the taperecorder stops.
It is also terrible to see how easily we got accustomed to hate speech in this country. We simply do not notice it anymore. Things that are unacceptable in other countries seem normal here. Diversity in newsrooms is a must in Great Britain and USA. Here we aren't even aware of our minorities; no wonder it doesn't occur to us they should be represented in our newsrooms. We simply say there is room for everyone there who is good enough. And we don't stop to think if the underprivileged have the opportunity to become good enough.
It takes people like Brankica Petkovic from the Peace Institute to remind us that words like 'podivjani' (wild) should not be used in a news report on the national television in relation to anyone and even less to a minority.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy

This blog was created mainly to write about literary journalism. But the other day I found an interesting blog by a microbiology professor who says he created it to remain in daily contact with his family, friends and students. It seems like a good idea, so today I will not write about journalism. Instead I am going to write a little bit about my baby boy. He is asleep now and I am happy for him and for me. He was a little bit cranky these last few days (my back is killing me and even yoga does not help; I would desperately need a massage) and today it finally happened: a visit from the Tooth Fairy - but in our case in the opposite direction. It seems that he is finally getting his first tooth. It is not out yet, but I could already feel it today. For his sake I hope it will be out soon but on the other hand I so much loved his toothless smile!

I am nevertheless somehow connected with literary journalism, though, as I am reading an excellent diploma thesis by a friend of mine about the borderline between journalism and literature with a special attention towards the language and style of writing. I hope I will learn something from it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Why Finding Your Voice?

First, a photo of my son Jernej ...

And then:
The title of my blog comes from an article I once wrote for the media institute Poynter. I attended a a National Writers Workshop in St. Louis and was asked to write a review of a lecture by Walt Harrington. I admired him because of his book Intimate Journalism so it was not a problem to do that. I gave my review the title Finding Your Voice because this is one of the things the literary journalism is about: "your voice". The "your" means the author's voice and the subject's voice. It can also mean "my voice" through this blog and "your voice" if you care to comment my blog, journalism and state of the media in general.

I found a hint about Pipeline to Peril, a series on Nepalese workers in Iraq, in Columbia Journalism Review. I liked the beginning of one of them.

How many such stories go unreported?

The hint in CJR was in fact an advertisment by the newspaper Chicago Tribune. The newspaper was proud of his reporter who also won many awards for the story. And I was wondering: would Delo do such a thing for one of its stories/reporters?

Literary Journalism on television

On this picture is the reason why my posts will be occasionally weird or short:)

And here is a good article on the use of narrative on stories for television. I found it interesting as it comes from a European writer. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My First Post

Hello everyone in this other world new to me. This blog is mainly about journalism, specifically narrative/literary journalism & the media. And a little bit about me.

Today I've read an article about Berlusconi and his media. When he was still a prime minister, one of his televisions made a story on his speech in the UN. He was talking to almost no one, as the hall was virtually empty, but his station showed its viewers a different picture. They inserted pictures of the audience listening enthusiastically to the speech by Kofi Annan. And I kept wondering how many such stories are we viewing on our television?