Wednesday, August 03, 2011

How Your Passion Hurts Your Cause

The story of the lesbian couple in Norway that saved 40 students during the massacre there is spreading around the net. I saw it on Yahoo yesterday.

But, I had already seen the story. I read it a few days ago by following a link on Twitter. It's the sort of thing I would have instantly retweeted and posted on Facebook, but I didn't because of the way the story was written.

It was a great story until the end of it when the writer ascribed the fact that it wasn't getting much press in the western media to the couple being lesbians. It probably has far more to do with the western media being ethno-centric and not telling many stories at all about events abroad other than the facts of them happening.

The writer then went on to reference a story in the Wall Street Journal by a gay man. With all due respect to that publication, it's not exactly a breaking news entity. The stories they're interested in are not exactly the middle of the mainstream. Being negative about another person does nothing to further your cause or add to your credibility. And credibility is key. When I see that I don't know if I can trust what I'm reading so I don't share it.

Western media is not likely to pursue the human interest stories surrounding an event abroad. Be that right or wrong, it just is. Media want any good story they can find. But media people find out about any story just like anyone else. When you don't tell the story objectively, it is questionable. There are a 1000 other stories to tell and I'll just go on to one of those.

So, the lesson here is, if you want to promote a story that furthers your cause, leave your cause out of it. If the story is good, it will get told. When you muddy the waters with your cause it makes it easy to go on to the next story because I don't know if I can believe you. Stick with the facts, and leave the feelings out of it. Let the readers make up their own minds.

Giving "the media" credit for being so organized as to discount any great story is just foolish. "The media" is made up of thousands of people who are making decisions about what to cover any given moment. Everyone of them is looking for a good story. A good, true, accurate story - not a story promoting your point of view.

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Jill said...


Patsy Terrell said...


It's sad when people take an approach that detracts from their story.