Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stories and Miracles

There has been an interesting debate going on Jaz.si blog. Actually, two of them. One about stories and the other about quality media.

It is hard to compare Slovene media scene with, for example, American one. In Slovenia, there are less readers and less money for good media. But on the other hand, it is somehow easier for a young journalist to join the ranks of the best media. This could/should result in better, more inovative and open media (because of the freshness of the mind and the willingness to change things).

But it is not so.

In fact, the media in Slovenia are behind the media from abroad at least in one thing: the story format. Research in USA as well as Slovenia proved that readers love good stories. Nevertheless, stories are almost non-existant in Slovene media. Only few journalists write them and they probably fight daily to have them published, because there are few editors who appreciate them.

So, although it it is easier for a Slovene student of journalism to get a job for example at Delo, Dnevnik or Mladina, as it is for a student in USA to get a job with any of the quality national or regional dailies (a friend of mine was looking for an un-paid internship at the Kansas City Star while a master student; she was interviewed for two hours for the position of a copy-editor and she didn't get it; there were no journalist positions available at all), it is perhaps more challenging to be a rookie in America. Because many of the bright and perspecitve Slovene journalism students end up writing news in the form of inverted pyramid from the pseudo-events such as press conferences for the rest of their career. They are not told to go out, find real people, see what is going on, and write stories about the present Slovenia, or experiment with the form.

An American student might be instructed to do just that. And if not, he/she can find many how-to information and examples of good stories, and if he/she really want to write stories, he/she will probably have the oportunity to look for a job opening somewhere else.

It would be so good (almost a miracle) if somehow the newspaper editors/publishers would somehow realize that readers really want good stories (which can be about different topics, even politics which seems to be the priority in Slovenia) and let journalists write them.

I do not understand why Guardian, NYT (check out their most popular stories), the Independent, and many other media, that are seen as a role model, publish stories on their front pages, while the (daily) media in Slovenia usually stick to the government press conferences? What makes us so different from them? Are we more smart? Do we know better?


Anonymous said...

Matr si pameta. Ti kr škodi.

Anonymous said...

Ampak ima na žalost prav...

Tudi mene zanima zakaj se iz naših politikov dela take super zvezdnike. Zanimivo branje se mi zdi knjiga Intimate Journalism / Walt Harrington. Priporočam.