Newspaper Writing


I’m doing a series of articles on Star Wars for the Dayton Daily News; the first one is here (there’s registration required; I suggest bugmenot), and there will be a couple more leading up to the release of Revenge of the Sith next Thursday. This one talks about the various Star Wars controversies, from Ewoks to Jar-Jar, and I’m pleased with the results, although I’m sad my reference to the Endor Holocaust didn’t make it through the editing for space. That’s life in the newspaper biz. The art for the story takes up the top two thirds of the front page of the Life section. Groovy.

As much as I’m now pretty much barnacled into the online writing lifestyle, I have to say that I still really enjoy seeing my writing in the local newspaper. I’m not one of those people who thinks local newspapers are going the way of the dodo; I think online news will kill off a lot of bad newspapers — the pointless ones that just run wire copy and don’t serve as anything more than a carrier for the local supermarket ads — and since bad newspapering offends me, I’m not exactly going to shed a tear about that. But I think smart, locally-engaged newspapers will always remain in one form or another because they quite simply fill a need for their community, and speaking as a writer I like to keep a hand in that.

And I’d still love to have another newspaper column, too; much of that urge has been subsumed or obviated my the Whatever, but I still love the idea of raising a ruckus on a local, concentrated level. If the Daily News ever asked me to write one, I wouldn’t think twice about it before saying yes; some part of my brain still sees that as the symbol of arriving as a writer. I think I’ll drop a hint to them the next time I’m down there.

Whether or not that ever happens, it’s still a kick to open the paper and see my byline. Once a newspaperman, always a newspaperman.

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