June 27, 2008

Maybe journalists are the problem

So, should you work for a company if you don't like their product?

It has long bothered me that many journalists don't subscribe to their own newspaper.

It bothered me more to discover that some don't even read their own newspaper.

Don't even get me started on those who don't read any news source.

But after reading this explanation of Newspapers - and why I've tired of reading them I have to ask why do you work for a newspaper then?

Are you trying to change it from within? Why?

Or is the lack of a connection to a community by a staff member reflected in what's produced in a newspaper? Is it this lack that has contributed to the problem of boring print products?

And do we lack connections to communities of geography because we move more then our parents do? Or we spent childhoods in organized sports and organizations -- adult-ordered worlds of perfection -- instead of imperfect street games in urban courtyards and backyards?

Read through the post's comments to find an interesting question from Ryan Sholin: What newspaper did you grow up reading?

Is he right? Does that help us judge what is a "good" newspaper? I know back in the early '70s it took my mom and I a long time to stop holding our new newspapers up to our hometown papers. See, we thought every community had newspapers like the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

When you train a woman ... when you try something different

I'm traveling outside my normal Internet path today, exploring some web sites at the request of an organization. Awe-inspiring work by journalists clearly not worried about buyouts helps balance the blackness echoing through much of what makes it to my stream of reading.

Deep in a package about water, this quote stops me:

"At Kenya Water for Health Organization we believe that when you train one woman you train many more people than when you train one man," says Joshua Otieno, head officer for the solar project.

I know. I should be caring more about the crisis of water.

Instead, I'm struck by how often the world turns to women to take small steps of change to affect larger problems.

In this article, it's training women to clean water safely.

In the Guideposts that slipped into my mailbox yesterday, three men who crochet turned that hobby into a moneymaker for women in Uganda through Krochet Kids International.

And then there's Beads for Life, where women turn recycled paper into beads.

I'm clinging to the hope that there are many more Lisa Wilsons (Placeblogger) and that the McCormick Foundation's New Media Women are bringing some ideas that will ensure untold stories of communities near and far surface.