Selectiveness can be either pragmatic or pathetic, depending on which editor is exercising it.
I’m thankful that the people who edit the content of newspapers have standards. It would be tough to stomach the relentless imaginations of everyone with the ability to write.
But when an editor has a preconceived test that determines which articles pass and which don’t “float the boat,” potentially constructive material is lost.
I wanted to write a fashion piece for The Spokesman-Review, critiquing a “sloppy” epidemic I’ve noticed permeating the wardrobes of American women. Nothing big. Just an observation that others could benefit from—if they knew how to swallow their pride.
“I don’t see the need of being so harsh,” said Pia Anderson, of The Spokesman-Review, when I posed the idea. After a 45-minute lecture about what she thought the people of Spokane demanded, I couldn’t help but think: it’s people like her that determine the scope of material put out to the public. That’s sickening.
What are the bigger implications of her statement? That her standards of ethical writing supersede what we reporters feel might be an imperative area of discourse?
Instead of standing as a symbol of free speech, our newspapers, particularly our opinion sections, are essentially a place for the “chosen elite” to hold influential power over readers. All oddballs that didn’t make it can go write for someone else, who will inevitably have an agenda all their own.
There is always a predicament in having a select few individuals in charge of butchering the work of others. Who in this right world has the supreme right to dictate what title to put on your vision, what content doesn’t belong in your creation or what idea doesn’t count in their book?
The beauty of another’s writing is to respect the subtle and not-so-subtle variation in the mind’s workings. How is a society supposed to advance itself when an editor regurgitates his or her own beliefs time and time again through a carefully selected group of writings?
I can’t congratulate myself on “discovering” how restricted journalists are from putting the work they would like to see out to the public. That’s been discussed longer than my horrific idea to write a fashion article.
But after reading my article, if at least one person can comprehend that each section in a newspaper is a probable revelation of its editor’s character, and how destructive that can be, I’ll be happy.