That reminds me of an article I read 3 months ago in the print copy of a New Zealander independent Magazine– Uncensored (Issue 16, page 30). I would like to abstract a quote from that magazine as follows:
[In 2008], the way China was abused deliberately and unfairly by the media on a daily basis had finally stirred up my emotion and passion to defend China and any developing country under the on-going media distorting reports.
I begin to search the Internet for a Journalism Course, and delighted by the benefits offered by Morris Journalism Academy on the successful completion of the Course, I decided to pay the $1095 course fee and went through 6 months of training with 10 assignments while working full time, 6 days a week.
I had successfully completed the Course on 27 January 2009, and received my accredited media pass with my photo on it in February 2009. However, at the time of writing this statement (20 Oct 2009), I am still unable to enjoy any of the benefits outlined above as an Accredited Freelancer of INS and ANFS.
There were 10 assignments in this 6 months course. Part of the 9th assignment required us to define our area of specialisation in our writing career… The academy has a 5 days assignment return policy and it was consistent throughout my first 8 assignments. However, for this assignment, my tutor refused to mark it for more then a month. I had to initiate a series of communications before he finally returned me on the 27th Jan 2009 with the following remark:
Hi Wei Ling, thanks for your assignment and your letter. I understand that you are very passionate about the subject of the portrayal of China in the western media, and the issues of Chinese global politics.
Both of these would make for very good areas of specialisations in your writing career. However, I would say that you will not be very successful in achieving commissions if you use your articles to push your own personal opinions.
You will, after all, be writing for the western media for the most part, and as such, I cannot envisage too many editors being willing to publish your articles on which you rail against their papers and magazines.
All journalism and freelance writing should be balanced and opinion free. If you feel that much of what is written about China’s relationships with the west is not balanced or accurate, then that is your right – and you seem to have done a great deal of research on the matter.
However, it is fair to say that that is your opinion, and very few editors or readers will be interested in that opinion.
My advice is that you use your excellent research, fantastic passion and great analysis to write on a broader range of subjects – particularly if you wish to earn an income from freelance writing.
The areas you have concentrated on are certainly interesting, and would make for a good specialisation, but they will not result in a regular flow of commissions.
I hope this helps and I have provided feedback on your ideas below.
Where is my democratic right for free speech, free expression, free opinion and free will in the supposedly “Free” World without fear and favour?
Who the hell does my tutor think he is to represent the view of all the editors and readers in the Western world? Is it a crime to specialise in the area of my chosen [passion]?
On the other hand, after cooling myself down with some logical analysis, I have to admit that, I respect my tutor for his honesty and frank advice as I believe there are some kinds of control at a higher level in the western media industry.
My tutor simply told me the reality in the industry. I honestly feel that he is a man I can still respect and for this reason I do not have any hard feeling against him.
Read the full piece here: How I Became An “Outcast” Journalist In The “Free” World | Wei Ling Chua