Friday, April 29, 2011

Two and a Half Days in Brooklyn

It's definitely a different style here that I'm not very used to. There are many words to describe it: sarcastic, snarky (that's my favorite) and maybe a little irreverent. I know every newspaper should have a little bit of that, but I haven't actually had much personal experience with it. (I guess some of my op-ed pieces last summer were snarky. But that's why they are op-ed pieces.)

For instance, take a look at this short paragraph on the paper's website, introducing us as the new interns:

They say that youth is wasted on the young, but that’s not the case here at The Brooklyn Paper, where we’ve just welcomed our Class of ‘11 interns, Daniel Ng and J.J. Despain — all the way from Salt Lake City (no, they’re not moonlighting in “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway). These kids have got gumption, they’ve got drive and, best of all, they’ve got moxie. You’re going to fall in love with them, Brooklyn. And if not, don’t worry — they’ll be gone in two months, and we’ll just be a smile on their face that their professors back home can’t understand.

It's actually pretty funny sometimes (I liked their way of introducing me.) But I'm more used to that in a magazine, not really in a newspaper. But I guess every newspaper has to find their voice, their identity.

Another example: I wrote a story about a royal wedding viewing party under the Manhattan Bridge, which was a pretty cool event to be a part of. I tried to add a little bit of that snarkiness, using a theme of royal wedding "fever," to make it more Brooklyn Paper friendly. But my editor added a lot more, including a reference to "crown jewels" that isn't really my type of humor.

And, I'm not used to so many edits and changes in what I write. Maybe I took for granted the freedom I was given at The Daily Universe. Sure, editors gave me suggestions or asked me to change things, but I think in general the writing style I already had was a perfect match for BYU. It sounds too dramatic to say that I didn't know I was such a bad writer until I got here, but I am back at the bottom of the totem pole. I mean, of course I am, I'm an intern in New York. But maybe no matter how well I knew that beforehand, it's just different to actually face it.

Working here isn't the end of the world. And working in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar place is the way a human being grows. (Working here actually reminds me of my first few days in Argentina as an LDS Church missionary, in terms of being a fish out of water.) I'm sure things will only get better.

If you are curious to see what I've written, here's what's up so far:

Maybe they should call it 'Men in THE Black'

Brooklyn catches royal wedding fever - and DUMBO is the center of the plague!

And then, I took the photo that's attached to this story:

New retail - dogs, wine! - comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park

I'll admit, it is nice to see my work published, even if it is work after the effects of snarkization.

And, I do get this view from my desk:



More than two weeks later there are still people who are finding this blog post, and I'm realizing that what I wrote might be causing some problems. I just wrote a new post that I hope will clarify what I meant to say.

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