Wednesday, November 6, 2013

News 101

Often across the blogosphere with the uprising of the internet newshound, you're being bombarded with stories left and right.

Sometimes it may make you want to jump right on in too.
There are a few rules though that should always be followed.  Otherwise you're going to do more harm than good.

1. Always verify your source or facts.
You'd be amazed how many get things wrong from the simple fact they never bother to do this.  Favoring fiction for their headlines because it brings in clicks.  In the end though it will only damage your own reputation.  This includes twisting the truth or ignoring facts because it doesn't fit the narrative you're trying to sell to your audience.  People will eventually hear the rest of the details you intentionally left out to sell your point, and it will backfire.

2. Never EVER out someone's sexuality unless they themselves are doing so directly.
Doing this is not only mean and inhumane, it damages the person the story is about.  If they aren't comfortable with it being public yet, you've just compromised what could be a very trying time for the person.  This just makes you an asshole and even worse than a bully.  We are in a day and age where there is nothing wrong with trying to understand your sexuality, but it is still a difficult time for many to figure out how they want to approach it or if they want to be vocal about it.  Respect that.

3. Don't be an asshole.
So many thrive on this as it does generate traffic.  Hate sells, but is that the path you want to use?  Let's be honest, who wants to be known as a bully?  Personally, I refuse to work with them ever.  Going so far as to not even wanting to cover work associated. (Which is really a shame and a pain, because I'm soooooooooo excited for the new Ms. Marvel comic coming up!)

4.  Content is king.
Original content that can only be found via your page is what makes or breaks a blog or site.  Creating your own content with your own flavor that is uniquely yours is the key.

5. Don't be abusive.
This is a common issue among many areas of the internet.  Abuse is so flippant and rampant most are desensitized to it.  We're bombarded by it from all sides whether it's tit for tat breakdowns and manipulations hidden in lyrics, or more indirect subliminal behaviors, dismissive belittlement through sarcasm, or even direct verbal assaults, it's all still abuse.  Do not accept it from the top or the bottom.  Abuse is abuse and bullies should never be given the time of day for their actions as such.

6. Off the record means off the record.
When you tell someone that something will be off the record, that means it must stay as such.  You cannot use it.  At all.  Your vow is your bond that creates trust with your sources or friends.  Breaking that is damaging to both you and the other person.

7. You will get flack, but also support.
Generally speaking audiences vary from all walks of life and levels of maturity.  Some will want to flame you. Some will ignore what's in front of their faces.  Some won't understand and will happily ask questions to understand better, and some won't understand so they'll lash out.  Once you're putting yourself out on the net in written form you'll be faced with all kinds of different egos, arrogance, and disdain for what you may say and what they understand or don't.  It can't be helped.  Some will try to blame you for things you never said, and some will twist what you did say to mean what it doesn't.  It happens.  Some do this out of ignorance, and others do it out of malicious intent or to troll.  Your best bet is to try and separate it.  There are many out there that want to help and will give gentle nudges or help you expand on ideas with things you didn't think of before.  Then there are others that just want to see you fail for whatever selfish reasons they have or are hiding.  Keep doing what you feel is best for you without harming others though, and you will go far.  The rare instances where it can be okay is in dealing with topics where it relates to abuse of any form as silence will only perpetuate it onto others.

These are just a few of the basics, but it's often good to have the reminders.  There are many more rules that should be followed if you continue down this line, but many of them are best fashioned through your own beliefs for what you want to stand for or don't.

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