Facts, Better Facts & Commenting On “News” Articles
On another blog of mine, I’ve given tips on how to find topics to write about if you have a niche blog. Those same tips can apply to writing a blog like this, which isn’t as much of a niche blog as it is a blog of love of the area and, well, pretty much anything else I want to write about.
by For Your Pies Only
One of the tips I’ve given is to find something in your niche on a different blog or website that sparks your interest and then comment on it in your blog. That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? In actuality it is, but it might take you longer than you’d expect to find the right thing that tickles your fancy.
To test this out, the first place I went was syracuse.com (this isn’t a link to that site; it’s a link to an article I wrote years ago about the site). I figured “what better place to go to find something about the area than that. Sounds solid, right?
Turns out not so much. One of the major problems with local news is that, well, it covers everything. What is there to write about when the news contains stories about criminals that will sound any better than the comments on those stories? Sports? No, if I was going to do that I’d go to Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, which I did, but couldn’t find anything there that I could turn into a blog post. Frankly, I couldn’t find a single thing there to write about… at least not initially.
Instead, I decided to go to Google & do a search for some interesting things about the city. I found something quite intriguing, this post talking about 37 Things You Never Knew About Syracuse. It was actually kind of intriguing, but my mind kept asking “is this absolutely true?” Something didn’t quite feel right, no matter how cool it looked.
Oddly enough, it was syracuse.com that solved my dilemma by publishing ’38 things you never knew about Syracuse’: True or false?… about 5 days after the original was posted. It’s a great rebuttal to some of the things I’d previously read that just didn’t seem right. Like what you may ask (especially if you’re not in the mood to click on either of those links lol)?
You’d think Tom Cruise and Rod Serling were products of Syracuse as far as their careers were concerned, but you’d be wrong. Being born in a place and learning your “talents” there are two different things. Ask me about being born in Fort Worth, TX and what I learned from there… especially since I left at age 3.
Joe Biden and Syracuse University? He did get his law degree there but he got his original diploma elsewhere. Still, he loves the ‘Cuse, so that’s something.
The first article talks about “Main Street” and how it’s still a happening place. Not only did I not know that there was a Main Street in Syracuse (which is debatable since it’s actually in North Syracuse), but the businesses that were listed in that story have never been on that street.
There are a lot of other things but I think that’s enough to get us to this question about whether or not we can trust news sources, sites that give statistics and background that aren’t true news sources that some people think might be, and, well, news sources that are supposed to be true news sources that don’t quite give us the news we’re expecting to be true… but really isn’t.
I use this point of pride as a reference. Back in December 2000, my dad was the first recipient in New York state to receive the Medal of Merit, and was also awarded the Conspicuous Service Star. It was a proud time for us, and all 3 TV stations were there to capture the moment.
What’s funny is that all 4 sources got at least one thing wrong… and not the same thing in each one of the stories. The newspaper story didn’t realize that it’s New Castle, not Newcastle. It also alluded to Dad playing military games on his video game consoles, which is something he never did, so that was misleading.
The term “fake news” is big these days, although in that case they’re talking about stories that come out with the intention of stirring people up with a bunch of lies. While fake is irritating, what’s almost worse is content that’s unintentionally misleading or incomplete or even stealing.
I wrote a post last March on my other blog where I pretty much lambasted an article I read titled 5 Blogging Tips and Tricks to Make Your Blog Stand Out… only they weren’t. They weren’t even new; others had written on that same topic over and over for years… almost word for word. This was probably the best example of finding something in your niche and either agreeing or disagreeing with it and explaining why.
Unfortunately, we can’t always believe everything we read; rather, we can’t take it at face value. Fortunately, because we can’t take everything at face value, it gives us a lot to write about, whether we want to make it factual or opinionated.
Part of my quest in writing a blog post every day in January this month was to show ways that people could find things to write about when they’re struggling with a topic. This is just another example; if you’ve been following along, have you noticed the other examples I’ve shown so far?