Apr 3, 2011

Crime commentary can wear on a writer's soul April A to Z challenge April 4th, 2011 “C”

Crime commentary can prove to be a difficult topic to write on, in short time. Wanting an established career as a crime commentary news writer for a major news outlet, and actually doing it, are two completely different things for any hopeful writer. While the obvious benefit of highly newsworthy links being published is obvious, sometimes the topics covered are disturbing, to say the least. Enduring a non-stop feed of bad news – even if only part-time – is an unimaginably tiresome burden. Before setting off into a career of writing on crime commentary, readers would be wise to focus on remaining emotionally detached from the news feeds.

Normally, the rational adult human mind powering the actions of an ambitious writer can be stunned by haunting images from reading a few too many stories of parents hurting their own children, strangers stealing and murdering entire families, and atrocities on foreign shores costing the lives of thousands sometimes.

Can an ambitious writer hope to publish along the lines of crime commentary, without growing a jaded outer candy shell? Well, sure, but then, why would anyone want to? It's good to mature, and to learn to only share what's been confirmed, relay the details, and avoid the emotional scarring that can be brought on. The safest and surest way a news writer can avoid emotional impact from the constant feed of bad news is to remain emotionally distant to the words on the screen.

Writing news with the twists necessary for a crime writing career requires reading the topics with an emotional distance. If it's at all possible, a purging of the mind of the news making names will best help workers to keep their private minds separate from their work minds.

In particular, a news writer going through any sort of personal trauma such as divorce, recent death, illness should refrain from covering news topics similar to the contributor's private life. Eventually, the topic will be easily covered. But, for the time being, keep a private life and work topics separate.

Originally published on the Y! Contributor Network

2 Whaddya Think?:

Tony Payne said...

I think it is relatively easy for someone who writes on similar topics, like a crime reporter, to keep on using the same approach and the same phrasing over and over. Sometimes it's hard to break the mould.

Christina Majaski said...

I probably couldn't do it. I quit Criminal Justice in the first week because child crimes was mentioned and serial killers. I often obsess over matters just working as a legal assistant. It would be far more exciting work to be a crime reporter. My imagination would drive me crazy though.

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