Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#CSUDH Bulletin - Rite of Passage pt 3: Express Yourself With Originality

The right to freedom of speech and expression is granted to all citizens of the United States in the first amendment of the Constitution. It is the dearest of all written passages and most important for journalists. What it means is you can say whatever you want as long as you aren't committing libel.

Ask yourself this question, "Why would anyone want to read what I write or listen to what I have to say?" If the answer is because you think it's interesting, then by all means, share your thoughts or findings with the rest of the world, especially if it's never been said before. Even if the information is already out in the atmosphere, put your own twist on it by finding a different angle and go from there.

Many times, we think of ideas that we want to share but when the time comes, we forget about it. One solution is to utilize your smart phone by jotting your thought down in some notes or put it out there on social media. Using social media accomplishes two things: 1) You can easily retrieve what you put out there and expand up on it 2) Others will possibly interact with you and help spark additional thoughts; you can even use what they said in your article but make sure to always give credit when it's due.

After your article is completed, make sure you share it with someone to check for mistakes. Every story needs at least two pairs of eyes on it because you know what it is supposed to say, therefore there's a good chance you might overlook a typo while reading it. When the inspection is finished, publish it, an share it across as many social media platforms as possible. If you're feeling really good about what you wrote and excited, by all means tag folks or directly tweet it to them, flood the the damn timeline every hour.

I wrote a first-of-its-kind basketball article a while back, in hindsight, the writing wasn't all that great, but since it was original and thoroughly researched, I was proud of my work and spread it all over the place. It eventually caught the eye of a well-respected Fred Roggin and he shared it to his followers, then NBC shared it. I couldn't believe what had transpired, and to top it off, the man thanked me "for writing something original." That sentiment gave me all the confidence in the world to know I belong and can make it in this field.

If there is something you want to say, there's no better way to say it than in your own voice. Emulation will only take you so far. People will tune in because it is you, so do you. I live by the words I heard in a Roots song, "Never do, what they do, what they do, what they do."

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