I've always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn't matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn't set out to write about other aspects of my life.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. --Anderson Cooper's comments, 7/02/2012
Wow. Anderson Cooper has come out with his secret today, although it was never a secret from his colleages, or, presumably, from his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.
Which brings me to the dichotomy between old school journalism: accurante, unbiased reporting of the events of the day, wherein the reader does not know The Messenger's background nor attitudes. Versus, my current college course, Creative Writing Non Fiction, where the writer employs many techniques: point of view, imagery, conflict/tension, setting, scene, dialogue, metaphor, succinct description, to connect with the reader; yes, even self-disclosure.
Reportage vs. Revelation.
My former profession vs. my future profession.
Which is not to say that some communication techniques cannot be shared by the two intersecting universes. They both celebrate and promote great writing.
I am not exactly sure where these techniques will take me, nor what impact they will have on my writing style.
But I am quite sure that the ride will be entertaining, at the very least. So stay tuned to this blog for future updates.
And now, in the immortal signoffs of those past great communicators:
"And now you know.....the rest of the story. Good day!" --Paul Harvey
"And that's part of our world tonight." -- Dan Rather
"That's the news and I. Am. Outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
"I'm so glad we had this time together." -- Carol Burnett
"And that's the way it was, July 2nd, 2012." --Walter Cronkite