The art of blogging, plus links to more articles

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m really bad at blogging.

I used to maintain a blog-triangle (the non-technical name) between myself and two close friends who lived in other cities, but it was private, intensely personal and generally easy to maintain because it kept the three of us connected.

Now that I’m attempting to blog regularly in a public space I’m struggling with that line between being too personal and being too boring, as well as trying to figure out how to maintain my objectivity.

I regularly find myself typing up a blog post, deciding it sucks for a variety of reasons, and then not posting anything, thus relegating my online presence to a couple of profiles that reiterate many of the same points. Did you know I like cheese and my dog?

So I ask you to bear with me. Journalistic blogging seems to be an art form, and I have never been a good artist.

In the meantime, here are a couple of articles I have written for the Sun in the past little while that I have thoroughly enjoyed for many different reasons.

The first is an article on Vancouver’s proposal for a “scramble crossing” pilot project on Robson St. I am always amazed by how passionate Vancouverites are about transportation issues, and how heated the debates can get.

The next two articles I wrote for Father’s Day. One was my first feature article in which I explored the changing definition of dad in modern society. The other was my first Op-Ed, which allowed me to relate my experiences as an adopted kid to the changing definition of dad. The latter was an emotional piece on many levels, and I continue to receive emails from people offering me advice or telling me about their own experiences.

The last one I will share is the first story where I really pitched something.

(It arguably took me too long to get to that point, but newsrooms can be very intimidating, especially if you’ve never worked in one before and there are all of these other amazing interns who you really respect and who continously produce really great stuff. Sometimes it can be too easy to stick with whatever assignment you’re given, as opposed to arguing that a better, more interesting story is out there and should be reported, or finding a way to do both. Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll get a lot more comfortable with pitching.)

Anyway, I think the reason I went for it on this story on lay litigants is because the subject matter is something I am incredibly interested in. The justice system is in trouble in many ways, and access to justice is becoming an increasing problem as legal aid budgets shrink. I hope to write many, many more stories on legal issues during my career, because I think Canadians take their justice system for granted and it’s only until they need it that they realize how inaccessible and bogged down it is.

What do you think? Is blogging easy and I’m just bad at it? Are other people in Canada just as passionate about transportation issues as Vancouverites? Do you think the definition of dad is changing? Is the court system really in trouble or does it just need to figure out a way to become more efficient?

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Some of the Vancouver Sun articles I’ve written in the past three weeks

The past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. My time at the Sun so far has been incredibly rewarding, not only in terms of portfolio development, but also because there is so much to learn and everyone has been really wonderful in sharing their knowledge and advice.

Below are links to some of the stories I have written so far. Feel free to provide feedback and constructive criticism.

Steep climb still no problem for Rick Hansen (with video)

Internationally acclaimed guitarist credits success to lifelong friend Rick Hansen

Blackboard bucket list in Vancouver charts life’s biggest goals (with video)

BC Place overhaul earns top stadium award

Kitsilano coast guard station shuttered by budget cuts

B.C. boaters hit with new wave of tickets

Transit fare evaders rack up millions in unpaid fines: Translink

Cities push for B.C. Residential Tenancy Act Amendment

Canada falling short to address mental health needs: report

Fraser Health urges Abbotsford to get rid of anti harm-reduction bylaw

Leaner loonies, toonies causing headaches at coin-operated machines

First byline for the Sun: B. C. government pledges $50,000 toward Victoria’s bid to host Junos

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2011-2012 Journalism School Pieces

Downtown Eastside job centre campaigns to keep doors open

Downtown Eastside activists wary of Vision’s landord database

Beauty Night: More than makeovers (by myself, Sadiya Ansari and Heather Roy)

YVR’s green programs glide over airplane emissions

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