OpEdNews Op Eds

To Ban or Not to Ban? A Lesson Taken From J-101 Class

      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


- Advertisement -
I'm ambivalent; right smack in the middle of to ban or not to ban certain words from Op-Ed News. If I were a volunteer editor...I don't know, but I might have been the lone negative vote.

Rob's arguments for the ban were cogent and anguished over; it wasn't something he did lightly with a lah-dee-dah attitude. In his words, he worried over it "for at least a year."

As the owner, publish, editor of Op-ed News and man of many hats, all he was asking was that instead of writers using what he considers "hate-evoking words," they use their imaginations and expand on their ideas, by writing entire sentences, rather than take the lazy way out and throwing them into a catchword.

The entire discussion reminded me of one of the first writing assignments we had in my Journalism-101 class. We had to write a news story without using one adjective.

The purpose was two fold:

One, to get us used to the idea that we were writing news stories, and two, adjectives are opinion. Opinion mixed in narrative news is a huge no-no.

Well, it was then. Now the lines between the two have become muddied and blurred, and I long for that kind of ethical reporting.

The exercise in adjective-exclusion, also got us to think outside the box. It wasn't easy to lock up the adjectives, but trust me, it's quite do-able.
- Advertisement -

Keeping opinion out of writing doesn't apply here, that's what we do; we're up front about it, but that doesn't mean we're excused from thinking outside the box of catchphrases and catchwords.

Would there have been so much discussion if Rob -- instead of saying "banned" words -- had said "editorial discretion" or "editorial judgement?"

Be honest. Everyone who writes here or elsewhere, self-edits. I do it all the time. I never write the word "f*ck" out loud to glare in the reader's face.

I say "effing;" "freakin';" "fooking," a la a cockney accent; "fricking;" and rarely the "F" word. And, I would never even think of using the also banned "N" word.

Hell, I even hesitate to use the adjective "niggardly" -- an absolutely legitimate word dating back to Middle English -- for fear that it and/or I will be misunderstood.
- Advertisement -

All of that is self-editing.

Rob's point is that "Zionism," "Zionist," "Islamicism," and "Islamicist" are "too often used too loosely as a veiled way to express racist, hate messages."

(If you have a racist, hate-filled message, there are plenty of right wing sites out there for you, including Bill O'Reilly's.)

Next Page  1  |  2


Sandy Sand began her writing career while raising three children and doing public relations work for Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). That led to a job as a reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle, a (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

There are Only Three Qualifications to be President, Technically

Mystery: The Case of the Lost Schlossberg and the Found Clinton

Opinion: Distinguishing the Difference Between a News Story and an Editorial

Omigawd! Barack Obama Sparkled on "60 Minutes" Interview

A Call to Arms Against the Mormon Church. End Its Tax-exempt Status Now!

Rich Lowry on Boinking Palin ... in Thought Only


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
...to write a story without adjectives. On the sur... by Pappy on Sunday, Sep 2, 2007 at 2:24:18 AM
I, too, took a preliminary course in journalism, b... by Mary Pitt on Sunday, Sep 2, 2007 at 7:13:40 AM
Rob is perfectly within his rights as the main man... by Debbie Scally on Sunday, Sep 2, 2007 at 10:46:32 AM