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I Play One On TV

June 10, 2021

Do you know the difference between a columnist and a reporter? A columnist gets to make stuff up. They get to have opinions. They don’t even have to tell the truth (although it helps.) But, a reporter. A reporter is different. A reporter has to tell the truth. A reporter needs to be dispassionate. Reporters deal in facts, not opinions.

Being a columnist is fun. I write a monthly column for our local paper. Recently, I’ve started doing reporting as well. Last month I wrote an article about the first female Eagle Scout in our little town, Erin Williams.

This month, I decided I wanted to report on our roads. Pleasant Grove has terrible roads. A few years ago the city council passed a Transportation Utility Fee that would bring in about a million dollars per year. The city immediately got sued and the case is currently in litigation.

As a columnist I don’t do a lot of interviews. But, this month was different. What’s interesting about being a reporter is that you suddenly become popular. I sent a DM to a few of the city council members and told them I wanted to write a story about roads.

I heard back from three council members and they set up an interview with the city administrator. All within just a few days. I showed up and I was the center of attention.

Honestly, it was weird. They were unable to immediately answer a couple of my questions. “Let me get that information for you. Just a moment.”

Later that day I sent a DM to the person in charge of the institute that sued the city. Again, a quick response and plenty of quotes for my story.

Am I a real reporter?

It’s like asking if someone is a real writer. Writers write. A real writer is someone who writes.

My story will appear in the paper that comes out next week. It will have a byline and, other than any changes my editor makes, it will be the story I wrote.

I don’t always feel like a real reporter, but apparently I could play one on TV.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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