I was enjoying a cup of tea at one of the many cafes in town when I was approached by someone I had seen a few pervious times. I couldn’t recall his name to save my life but I started talking to him anyway.
It seemed he’d read a few of my Friday pieces and he, thank goodness, had only nice things to say about what I’d written. But the conversation then took a nasty turn.
He insinuated that I was the proverbial ‘one-eyed king among the blind’. He went on and on about the poor quality of writing in Rwandan newspapers and this very paper wasn’t spared the vitriol.
He went on and on about this and that…I suspected that he was enjoying the opportunity to vent all his self-righteous outrage.
I tried to explain the challenges that the newspaper business was undergoing but it all fell of deaf ears. Finally I had had enough.
First of all, I’d expected to enjoy my cuppa but my tea was getting cold and secondly I didn’t find it pleasant to hear that all rabid denouncing of my colleagues in the media.
I acknowledged all his criticism but then I asked,” you’re obviously articulate and you also have a lot to say…why don’t YOU write something and attempt to get it published”?
You should have seen look at me like I’d said the most stupid thing he’d ever heard; with a look of pure astonishment he said that he’d not do such a thing.
Well, that kind of thinking is what I feel like putting my two cents in about. Sometimes it seems as if everyone is ready to give the print media a rough ride but they won’t do anything to improve the ‘lousy’ product.
It especially frustrates me that the same guys that refuse to provide practical assistance are the same fellows that are the most qualified to do exactly that.
The articulate, well read, sophisticated people, who should be the expert social commentators, are the fellows on the sidelines.
If you take a look at the print media in other countries that have a longer journalistic tradition than we do, you find out that columnists and contributors are professionals.
You have lawyers, doctors and economists sharing their views and knowledge with the larger masses but here? It’s sad to say that most of the fellows that write aren’t as savvy as many of their readers.
My view is that it isn’t the local writer’s fault that they aren’t as good as the readers wish. Rather, the readers should take the step and start writing as well.
I’m not attempting to make excuses for the local writers because I, too, am sometimes shocked by the poor writing that I see in papers but all I’m saying is that everyone who is able should do what I do; jump in and play my part. …………………………………
I wrote this piece yesterday and I don’t know who’s won the U.S Vice Presidential debate that took place but I will stay awake to catch it on BBC. Gov. Sarah Palin against Sen. Joseph Biden is as good as it gets;
I actually think that it will be better than the debate last week that pitted John McCain against Barack Obama. This piece of electioneering pageantry is one of the most interesting aspects of American democracy and I would mind something like that being added to our political sphere.
It’s an opportunity to let the electorate see clearly the contrasting political beliefs of the different candidates and on top of that, it’s bloody exciting.
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