Thursday, 8 April 2010

Writing for a paper: is it worth it?

As you may know, I write film reviews for The Linc, the University of Lincoln's student newspaper.  I got into this position by a stroke of luck: after writing film reviews on my blog, the editor, Dan Ionescu, who had previously published a video from my YouTube, asked me if I would write them for the paper instead.  A nice story and excellent experience in writing for a student paper, getting to know how it works and the like.  But is it worth it?

I used to write how I liked, stick it on my blog with pictures and links and that was that.  Now, I write my review with links to free-to-use pictures, toning down the personality (it's on behalf of a paper now, not myself) and send it to the Culture Editor of The Linc.  From there it is scrutinised, edited down for publication and published on the website.  However, more and more it seems that it's no longer my writing there.

Yes, the original structure and content is there but: some emphasis is diluted, some exaggerated; the links I put in are taken out; some extra, interesting information (years of films etc.) is removed; a headline is added; whole sentences are removed sometimes.  This act of editing is a process used throughout the industry, I'm sure, and leaves me with the question: is it worth giving up my individuality of authorship in an effort to have my work published to a wider audience?

Please let me know what you think!

If you'd like to compare my review of Inglorious Basterds (for my blog alone) with my latest, edited Linc review of Kick-Ass, click on the relevant links.