Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thoughts and Thursdays....

Years ago when I worked for the newspaper as a business reporter, I had the opportunity to write business "closeups" for the Monday edition.

The idea was to highlight an area business and get the story behind it. The "hows" and "whys" and other fun stuff that made a business what it was.

One reason I really enjoyed this part of my job was that I got to meet a ton of interesting people and see an insider's view of how hard/easy/painstaking it is to start and run a company.

It gave me some food for thought, let me tell you.

Another reason I enjoyed it was that most of the businesses had the "personality" of the owner/president stamped on them. They "were" the people who ran them because the people running them really believed in them. I felt a personal bond with each of the companies because of this.

My favorite-most question I was asked was if I was planning to print any "dirt" on this one particular business. I was surprised (and a little pleased that he thought I had that much "power" in my pen) by this since I always began the interviews by explaining that these business closeups were "feel-good" stories...merely the story of the business.

I nearly burst out laughing but managed to stay professional by biting my tongue. This certainly wasn't Hollywood...and his business wouldn't have headlined in any of the tabloids.

"No," I said, seriously. "I can only print what you tell me. And even then not everything you tell me will fit into the story."

The business owner nodded, solemnly. "But what if it does?"

"Then just don't tell me, and it won't be a problem," I answered with a reassuring smile.

I couldn't print what I wasn't told, right? I know sometimes journalists use creative licensing in their reporting to grab or even shock readers/viewers. I didn't subscribe to that method. I took what I was told and wrote the story from there. There usually wasn't any reason to "tweak" what was said since there was always an interesting anecdote or two involved.

Which brings me to blogging.

Back when I started to blog, I found myself again chuckling at people who asked how I could write about myself for all the Internet "world" to read. Isn't that embarrassing? Isn't that allowing my privacy to be invaded?


People can only read what I write...and only then if they want to. I get to choose what I it can be as personal (and/or embarrassing) as I want.

No one can invade privacy that hasn't been exposed, right?

Just a thought...

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