Missouri Review on writing current events

From the weblog of the Missouri Review on why most submissions related to current events are seldom accepted by the publication. The entire post is excellent, but one point in particular stood out:

Most writers can’t realize their ambitions because they are writing out of something like reflex, and according to a mistaken assumption that they understand more than they do about a headline event. Even the most perceptive among us are misled by the media, which intentionally creates a sense of intimacy about headline stories, in part by providing a variety of angles that will hook the broadest audience possible. I’m not saying that’s bad. It’s a fact. We’re lured by the intensive coverage into becoming voyeurs. […] But the sad thing about voyeurism is that it doesn’t generate understanding or true knowledge. Many of the submissions we receive about headline stories are well enough made and written, but thin on comprehension of the real, true event. The writers are earnest, but they mistake their media-taught familiarity with the visible surface for a deeper understanding of what lies beyond it.

Do read the entire post–it’s relevant to all writers.

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