For Tony and Angie and everyone else on the Broo editorial team.
I enjoy writing for BrooWaha. The Wikipedia article describes it as an “online citizen’s newspaper with a focus on local news.” That seems rather odd to me. After all, what is ‘local news’ in the age of the internet? The briefest of glances will show you that the ‘news’ it reports (actually most of the articles are not news at all) is from here, there and everywhere. Perhaps the world itself is now local. Our neighbours are all on the moon!
My own articles cover just about anything that engages my interest. I’ve been contributing for over a year now, usually three times a week, and in that period I’ve had over a hundred and fifty articles published, the latest another bash at scientology in my regular Tuesday Letters from Ana column (Scientology Child, 10 July). There is some overlap with Ana the Imp, when I feel it is appropriate, but a goodly number have not been published here or anywhere else.
It’s been an interesting experience for me, an amateur virtual journalist. Actually my contributions are less journalism, in the sense of hot reports, and more opinion pieces, features and reflections, the kind of thing I specialise in, often with an acidy angle. Hey, it’s my speciality, a piquant prose sauce!
I do try to pick up fresh news items, the sort of thing that the BrooWaha audience might not have come across elsewhere in the mainstream media. A recent report of mine on a live worm being removed from the eye of an Indian pensioner has proved particularly popular, popular enough to have reached the number one spot in the Most Read Articles. (Worm Found Live in an Eye, 1 July)
I think I have a feel now for the audience and the sort of thing that is likely to appeal. Most readers and contributors, though not all, are from the Anglo-Saxon sphere, and of that sphere my assumption is that most are North Americans. Any decent writer has to reach out their audience, to understand what is likely to swim and what is just as likely to sink.
I now know that I cannot make my pieces too local or too weighty. Still, the audience can be unpredictable. Articles that I thought might only carry a minority interest have climbed high in the readership stakes. The thing is never to talk down or condescend to people. I always treat my readers with the same respect, my style not varying at all from the light-hearted to the serious. I believe I could write with equal ease for the Sun or the Telegraph. I make no assumption and do I take things for granted; explanation is offered where explanation is needed. All that matters is clarity. Good prose is like a window pane, George Orwell wrote, something that I always have in mind.
Window shopping for interesting topics.ReplyDelete
That's me to a T. :-)Delete
Being on the Broo team I do have to say that we absolutely LOVE having you with us and you do certainly know how to pick them.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Angie. It's been a great experience. :-)Delete
Actually my contributions are less journalism, in the sense of hot reports, and more opinion piecesReplyDelete
Best of luck.
You are very sweet, James. :-)Delete
With people like you reading you can be sure I shall. :-)Delete
Hi Ana, this is just a wild guess but it looks like you're sitting in the Waldorf Astoria, with 280 Park Avenue and 270 Park right behind you . . . I spent years toiling on the 44th Floor of 270 Park, much higher in the sky than your room at the Waldorf. At the moment there's no white wine made by Eden Road in New York, but if you go downtown to Kingswood you can get a glass of Eden Road shiraz . . . A votre santé! ChrisReplyDelete
Chris, very well spotted! I'm impressed. :-) It was a couple of years ago now.Delete
Ana, I'll be honest - about the only reason I read the Broo is because you publish there. Altogether too many of it's authors suffer from the Bush/Palin/Romney Derangement Syndrome, and I got tired of having to wade through rivers of sewage (in the form of inaccurate political diatribes) to get to a few pearls. Now I just click on your avatar and surf from there.ReplyDelete
Just to clear up your confusion about its "localness", they are referring to content that is local to the authors (such as you and Uttam Gill) not the audience. Hearing stories from YOUR perspective about things affecting YOUR life (for example, your "Blonde Ambition" article about Mayor Boris Johnson) is infinitely more interesting than reading yet another tome from a member of the "chattering class"! I very much enjoy how the Broo provides these snippets of "local" life from all around the world. :-)
Ah, CB, thanks; that explains it. I'm so glad you take an interest in my work. :-)Delete