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Who do I listen to?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by vandelay, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. vandelay

    vandelay New Member

    Hey all. Long time lurker, first time poster.

    Just got done with "What a time it was", the greatest hits of W. C. Heinz, and I have a confession to make. I had to hack my way through it.

    I won't get into why I didn't like it -- my experience on this site suggests that anything other than reverence of the Almighty Heinz would get me flamed off the board. Instead I want to ask something different. Many writers like Heinz and Red Smith are understandably loved here, but if a Heinz column ran in a newspaper tomorrow, I bet most readers (and many editors) would have a far less hospitable reaction.

    Likewise, there are others (Albom, Simmons) who are very popular but receive little respect on this board. It seems that for almost any published piece of writing, a huge portion of readers will love it and a huge chunk will hate it.

    At my paper, this happens on a micro scale all the time. I take my piece to one editor, who loves it, then I take it to another equally respected one, who shreds it. In this smaller situation, and also with readers in general, how do I know who to listen to?
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    (I don't know what's gotten into me today. Too much sun, I think.)
  3. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Girl, you are evil tonight.
  4. silentbob

    silentbob Member

    To touch on Heinz ... different eras of writing. My guess is you're probably right: People today wouldn't like the oldtimers as much. Mainly because they've seen the highlights on TV; they don't need a colorful description of it. Of course that works both ways. Someone like TJ Simers wouldnt be able to keep his job had he worked decades ago.

    As for your other question, it's fine (and beneficial) to seek feedback, but be careful what you do with it. You can learn from it, or or you can let it wreck your confidence. Bottom line: Write for yourself. It sounds selfish, but if you stay true to the subject and the rules of the craft, you'll usually come out feeling pretty good about what you write.
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