Getting a “how to” in journalism?

First thought: What if you could read a 1 page “how to” and know everything about being a surgeon? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 now.

 While I was plummeting through my list of blogs and searching the internet for more to get lost in when I fell into Behind the Lens, a blog posted on the Danville Advocate-Messenger’s page. Behind the Lens is a blog that helps readers of the paper learn more about what the paper’s photographers are doing and, more generally, learn some basic photography skills. But one post in particular made me cringe just a bit.

Second thought: Out California where everyone with a camera is subject to speculation of the public. Not for what news are you covering? Is someone hurt? Am I going to be in the newspaper? No, none of the above in this case. It’s more like, “Is that guy famous?” 

I wasn’t cringing at anything said by the bloggers of Behind the Lens. I actually agreed with them about how digusting a “how to” site was.

Thanks to, people no longer have a need for guidance counselors, parental advice or even careful planning. It’s already laid out for you in an easy step-by-step process. Are you trying to cram for a test? Maybe you should learn to read while walking!  Have you had a problem with haggling with rikshaw drivers lately? Click here for help immediately! If you’re just worried about survival in general, you can start with Tsunamis or click here for all survival methods.

Photo from wikiHow.

Third thought: The example photo of someone who is supposed to make money off taking photos in difficult positions is over exposed.

This site basically just takes as much basic knowledge and throws it together in a step-by-step process. It gives examples for any occupation that you could possibly be interested in. My problem with it is that it’s just not so simple in most cases. It’s fun to laugh at “how to be a paparrazzi sleezeball” or “how to hide a big butt as a 12-year-old” but overall this site is missleading. Professions aren’t built overnight, and even if some of these step-by-steps are saying it takes years, the overall impression of these postings is that anyone can do any job if they use the site. Not true.

Fourth thought: I hope people realize this is a fun post, not a ‘how to do…anything’. If you’re looking for a how to, go to wikiHow and type in something fun, random or serious. You’ll be surprised with what you find.


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