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Off Mic

Why I Hate Blogging

That's not true.

I actually don't mind blogging or just writing, in general. In fact, I can write about a lot of things. I can write about food every day and why I think fried chicken works just as effectively as Zoloft. Or I can write about why I think dogs are great but cats are so-so. I can write about Venus and Mars. And why Venus is better than Mars.

What I can't write about -- after being a paid writer for the last seven years -- is journalism.


And, wouldn't you know it, it's a part of my job as a Jacobs Fellow here at KPBS. I am the co-host of Off Mic .

And I am struggling with it.

Why? It's because, to me, it goes against the grain of being a journalist.

We are trained not to say "I" in public. As in... "I don't believe you for one second, Mr. Politician, despite my avidly writing down what you are saying."

We are trained not to express an opinion.


Don't get me wrong, I say "I" a lot. But not when it comes to my work. And not when it's posted in public.

Not to mention that it's hard to write about my fellow reporters. I just started here. I just moved to town. I'm still looking for friends, for Pete's sake. I don't want to be the Lando of my newsroom. The Judas. The Freddo.

There are media watchers out there, like the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz , who do a great job. But it's a skill. It's one that I don't think I possess and definitely not while I am still a reporter.

How can I tell you about how frustrated I am that -- and, really, this is hypothetical -- a county supervisor doesn't call me back and then still try to interview that person the next day?

It's a balancing act between giving you a sneak peek as to what goes on in a newsroom and still trying to maintain a good relationship with your sources and co-workers.

So, what's a frustrated journalist to do?

I'll start with being honest with you.

And I'll try to write more. Promise.

-- Nicole Lozare is a reporter for KPBS News and co-host of Off Mic . Please read our guidelines before posting comments.

Angela Carone
September 06, 2007 at 05:28 PM
You should write more, if this is any indication. I guess I want to know what you struggle with as a reporter and the reasons you, Nicole, think a story is important. Or maybe you think there is a compelling story that just doesn't get the time it deserves. I've heard you mention them. Oh, and if you want to tell me what you had for dinner last night, I'll take that too! -----

Heather Despol
September 07, 2007 at 05:53 PM
It may not be easy at first, but the more you write the easier it will become.

Kurt Kohnen
September 07, 2007 at 08:11 PM
By writing about not being able to write, you've succeeded. I agree, it's seems impossible to live dual lives as a journalist and blogger; a very schizophrenic task. I think this is because there is no license or certification required to be a journalist, only experience. And because your professional reputation is solely based upon your body of work, why would you want to risk that with a blog? Plus, blogs are appealing because they're informal, and as a developing art form, require no experience at all. And by the way, Mars is way better. can you just start a blog about Wu Tang?

Nicole Lozare
September 07, 2007 at 08:40 PM
Angela, thanks for giving me a topic to write for this blog! It's marinating in my head right now, and I'm remembering many arguments I've had with editors and fellow reporters or the public about what deserves coverage. As a reporter, whether or not you admit it, what matters to you is sometimes based on your personal experience. .. what tugs at your heart, what you have little empathy for...etc. It's an almost unavoidable bias. How you cover it, however, is a different story. But more on that soon. On another note.... homemade apple bourbon ribs that I paired with Farmer's Market organic zucchini, Costco frozen corn from March and a sprinkle of pine nuts that I browned in olive oil. I love pine nuts. They make my Costco stuff seem a little bit more sophisticated.

Nicole Lozare
September 07, 2007 at 08:51 PM
Mr. Kohnen, I think you just called me a schizophrenic....I'll take it. But you bring up a very interesting point. Journalists are not licensed. We, technically, don't have an ethics governing board such as the Bar for lawyers that can kick us out if we do something wrong. And, you don't need to have a journalism degree to be a journalist. Yet, one misstep could destroy your reputation and ruin your career -- doesn't matter if you have a Pulitzer Prize or not. Blogs are sketchy sometimes. The rules are different. You're actually giving me another topic.. so I'll write more on that, too. As for Wu Tang, if I were to write on them, my first post would have to be ... am I French Vanilla or Butter Pecan? And is it a sign of schizophrenia to want to be a swirl of both?

September 08, 2007 at 05:23 AM
Please don't forget any of your thoughts on chocolate deluxe or caramel sundaes. I personally identify with those two.

Susan Myrland
September 17, 2007 at 09:20 PM
Nicole, I'd be very interested to hear what you, as a Jacobs Fellow, think about the interaction between blogging and journalism. As things stand now virtually anyone can have a blog, or post a comment on a blog, regardless of their qualifications. Opinions and outright fabrications are stated as fact. Standards of accuracy and civility are ignored, or too difficult to enforce. We end up with truth and fiction being presented side-by-side. What does that do to the audience's sense of trust? Does it make people more cynical overall? Journalists are known for their well-developed sense of skepticism. Perhaps that has now become a requirement for listeners, viewers and readers as well.

Dave from Oceanside
January 29, 2008 at 05:30 PM
Just do it... be anonymous at the start.. but jump in.. the water's fine! Enjoy!

Ralph Hardin from Valerie Hobbs
April 19, 2008 at 10:26 AM
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