Writing Wrongs

Just finished the novel Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. Manhattan 1746. Richard Smith, a young handsome man, appears at a counting house after a long voyage from London. He has a note for an extremely large sum to be paid to him in sixty days. Everyone is wary because his plans for the money are secret. Smith finds New-York gritty and dark where a sense of morality seems out of place. During the days he awaits payment, Smith has many misadventures as a result of bad luck and bad choices. Especially his love for a combative clever girl. But in the end. He rights some wrongs. Historical redemption. A beautifully written read.

Speaking of horrific wrongs. Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is named for a journalist who turned activist protecting the Everglades. As with the shooting in her eponymous school, journalists converged to report the story. Yet they lost objectivity and immediately became anti-gun activists, even going so far as to exploit students in shock. It’s okay to have opinions. Editorialize. Show sadness in the face of tragedy. But do it after the story has been reported. And tell your audience that it’s an opinion piece. Not news.

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