Few things this week:
1. Mia Freedman came to talk to my uni cohort this week. I liked her before, but now I’ve got a whole new appreciation! She was genuine, realistic and personable and gave some really good advice for budding journalists. Not only that, but she stayed around to sign books afterwards – lots of brownie points in my book!
2. I submitted my first journalistic article this week. They say at university, you learn to self-learn.
What did I self-learn from submitting the article? Journalists need balls. Or the female equivalent that gives you a crap load of courage. It takes a lot of bravery to go up to complete randoms and ask them questions. 80% of the general public will ignore you in the first place, so rejection is almost a pre-requiste. If anything, it’s fuel to keep you going. Finding someone who will actually answer one or two questions is a victory in itself, even if they don’t say anything relevant.
Even worse is talking to authority figures – mention the word ‘student’, they won’t talk to you. Mention the word ‘journalist’ they won’t talk to you. Mention ‘recording’ and they’ll hang up. Being a journalist requires perseverance, a brave face and the ability to turn ‘No’ to ‘Yes’.
3. Adequately linking Mia Freedman and journalism, there has been a big uproar in the media recently about the appropriate mothering/Jackie O/Pru Goward debate. For those who don’t know much, basically, the radio host Jackie O was photographed feeding her young baby Kitty whilst crossing the road. The Daily Telegraph made a mountain over a molehill and ran coverage about it for a week. As if Libya/Zimbabwe and anything else of importance happening in the world (rant over).
They also included an open letter that claimed Jackie went back to work too early.
The responses were two-fold:
Jackie O’s response was one of shock and tears. And rightly so. If any mother was accused of ‘neglecting’ her child (as the letter subtly did), they would probably react in a similar way.
To compound the accusations, former opposition minister for women Pru Goward compared Jackie’s actions to the Michael Jackson incident – where he dangled his youngest son over a balcony.
For any mother to be compared with that kind of action is horrible. In the public eye, it’s even worse.
Thankfully, (and here comes the Mia link) a load of mums who are in the public eye (Mia, Meshel Laurie etc etc) have come forward supporting Jackie. They have completely refuted Pru’s claim and given example as to situations in which they have done similar things. Everyday mums have also come forward, writing into The Daily Telegraph to express their concern as Jackie being labelled a bad mother.
My two cents worth? Pru Goward was wrong. Even if she got misconstrued, the fact that she could be misconstrued says enough. Jackie O had a three-month year old baby who was bawling her eyes out because she was hungry. It’s her first child and she’s a great representation of a working mother.
In summary: Get off her back!