Last year I wrote a case study for my PR Case Studies class about bringing back the popularity of newspapers. I’m not going to lie, it was one of the few assignments I put an insane amount of work into. I’m kind of an awesome “paper bullshitter” (not that I’m proud of that or anything…) but not this time. You guys, I actually spent Saturdays at the library for this one.
I printed out all 20-whatever pages of it, presented it and then went home for Thanksgiving all proud of myself. I immediately told my brother about it because I require his approval of everything I do and you know what he said? Silly.
Well that’s a lie, because I don’t think he would ever use the word “silly”, but he basically disagreed with everything I wrote about and managed to counterpoint every argument I made within 30 seconds. His main point was that everything was going to be online, so get use to it. Except a little more eloquently than that. As a budding public relations professional (ha) I know I’m suppose to love all this new technology and our ability to get news so fast, but a part of me wishes it was still “cool” to spend time each morning reading a newspaper and drinking coffee.
I was thinking about that yesterday when I read the article Marie Claire posted on their website titled “Should fatties get a room (even on TV)?”
No matter my size, that “article” is quite offensive. And on top of that, it’s poorly written and edited which is equally offensive to me as I edit my own text messages. I, being the naive person I am, refused to believe that anybody would 1. actually feel this way and 2. actually admit to feeling this way. It had to be a joke! So time that should have been spent reading for class was spent reading every.single.comment on this “story”.
Oh man, this girl who wrote it (who happens to be a blogger) got a verbal beat down. More so today, after the news of the “article” got around and is being talked about everywhere (obviously!). There are now over 1200 comments, most of which are against the “article” and think the writer should be fired. In her defense, she did write an apology (the piece was recently updated to include the apology) which, in my opinion, seems genuine. I don’t think she is a bad person, but she does need to learn how to write her opinions without coming across as downright mean.
” I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.”
And THIS is exactly why I don’t ever want to see newspapers or magazines go away. An article like that would never have been published in actual print and so it shouldn’t be put on the website of a “respectable” magazine. I love blogs (um, duh) but I don’t ever think they should be printed in article form. Blogs are for opinions and should always be that way. But the minute you put that blog on the website of an actual publication, it becomes an article. And, in my opinion, articles need facts, whether it be news, features, arts, sports, etc. I love that more and more people are being given the chance to write, and I firmly believe that everyone should be entitled to their own opinion, but I also believe that publications have a duty to think about who their audience is and how what they write can be construed. I do love journalism, and I don’t want to see journalists go down the drain because of “articles” like this.
By the way, I totally brought all of this up in my paper a year ago. Just sayin…
Oh and since I know you’re just dying to know, I did get an A on that paper. But that was probably because my professor really liked me. I could have written about puppies and rainbows and I still would have done well. He use to come to me before class started and sing songs from old hindi movies to me. It was borderline inappropriate.