Illness has again interfered with my work schedule. So this first entry for July should have been my last word in June. In line with other last words at the end of previous months, it is a comment on what I’m doing here rather than a further example of me doing it.
There have been some changes. A couple of weeks ago I changed the title of my blog from Take 2: composing the news to Singing The News: digital ballads for the common reader. This because the fact that my pieces are re-writes or second takes – Take 2 – on information which has already entered the public domain, is not the most important thing about them; and since it is of secondary importance, I finally realised that this aspect ought not to occupy the top line. Duh!
In the change of title, my efforts to lift news out of its traditional register are now accorded top priority. I have also added a second deck: ‘reaching for the universal in today’s top stories’. In this additional line I declare my intention to re-constitute news events as part of the general or universal experience of being human, instead of constructing them largely as aberrations – odd things happening to peculiar people, as in the Shock! Horror! School of Traditional Journalism.
These two new lines are themselves aligned to the distinction between form and content. Taken together, however, they also suggest the essential relation between the two. Thus, it is suggested that striving to realise universal content requires a different register or form, in which news is not so much straight talking but more of a hymn sung to humanity.
Both form and content come together in the idea of the ‘common reader’ – ‘common’ as in the content of our lives which we have in common; which in turn identifies human beings/being human as the universal. This expressed in a particular form of words and arrived at, hopefully, on the part of the reader.
Only words! But I hope that the title of this blog is now a more accurate expression of my intentions.