I was expecting to be bored and disinterested when I stepped into our Sports & Specialist Blog class. It was in April 2011, and the weather in London was its normal cold, wet and gray. I, too, was cold and tired from the weeks’ of intensive running around chasing for stories for our writing portfolio. And I wasn’t looking forward to an hour of sports journalism chit chatting and the know-hows. I’ve come to realize, nay, accept, that I may never be a sports expert, what more a sports journalist!
Then, in came our instructor, Ross Biddiscombe, who is an established sports journalist and book author.
Lo and behold, what d’ya know! Ross expounds that sports journalism isn’t about being a sports expert. In fact, he says, in journalism, the most essential ingredient is contacts.
Yes, the contacts that you establish from the people that you meet are as essential as this pc you utilize to scribe your stories. You see, journalism is essentially about talking to people. You can’t be a journalist and write a story without talking to people. And if you have good contacts, the better chance for you to churn out a good story. Because people want to read about good people. Whether they’re famous, intelligent, nice, etc etc, we want to read a story that involves other people, especially of ourselves.
Ross also went on to say that anyone, too, can be a specialist writer and create a blog (since it was a class on sports & specialist blog). As long as you have an interest, you are well on your way to being a specialist in that subject. Ultimately, what is important isn’t the subject, but our voice in that subject – much like the opinions of columnists that you see in the newspaper.
So here it is. My sports and specialist blog entry for our class, and I won! (Ross made us all compete against each other to create a specialist blog entry). I hope that this will inspire you to start writing on your interest and be a specialist!
The winner of the 3-Month January 2011 In-class Sports & Specialist Blog Competition is Hana Kamaruddin:
Specialist blog: Do you hear them when they cry?
Refugees, wheelchair users, street children, homeless and the poor. These are among the communities that are being sidelined in Malaysia. There are a recorded more than a million of them in the country but, the issues that they are facing are still almost unheard. Thanks to advocators like the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM), their hope of a better and dignified life seems not just wishful thinking.
Also, last month saw actor Zahiril Adzim, 27, and director and scriptwriter Faisal Mustaffa, 40, who’s passion for disempowered Malaysians got them to produce a documentary titled Demand Dignity. The documentary highlights poverty and human rights issues that are happening in the street of Kuala Lumpur – a contrast to the usual bustling booming city it is viewed as. The film was shown at one-day film festival organised by AIM in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
As for myself, I am in the midst of publishing my book about 10 people from different marginalised communities in Malaysia. It started when I took care of a wheelchair-bound friend for eight months. During those months, I was appalled at how difficult it was for him to move about or even to hold a job. In other words, he was refused the right to living like a normal human being, to a dignified life.
I suppose the emerging number of works in Malaysia is a sign that these issues are gaining momentum and the respect it needed. My hope is that these works, like the film and of course my soon-to-be-published work will not be in vain and make a difference in the lives of the marginalised people.