I am sure a lot of people would call Michael Pulman a fanboy and a writer who is not even near the peak of his abilities as yet in the world of journalism and blogging.
Going back a couple of years when I was just starting out as a blogger, something I take on much more like a job these days, I remember a mate of mine Daniel telling me that I wrote too much about PlayStation and not Xbox, and he used the phrase “people like you” when he referred to my blogging which at the time was hugely involved around gaming.
As a writer, I will never ever forget that day. It was the day Sony revealed the PS4 in February 2013. To be exact, I believe it was February 20th I want to say?
Don’t hold me to that.
But anyway, from then on I really wanted to make a concerted effort to prove to myself more than anybody that while always being a fan and follower firstly, secondly I wanted to make sure I actually had something to say in my writing on most occasions. To have knowledge and understanding takes time and effort, and as a sports writer the first thing I do each day is have my morning feed and then hit the internet to read all the news that I can get my hands on.
Usually I have a 30-minute at least process of scanning both the NZ Herald and Stuff.co.nz on the computer and by then usually you have an idea on the possibilities of what you could write about during the day.
Is that then just me being a copier of the professionals in the mainstream media?
In some cases yes indeed.
I think that you have to be a fan of what your doing especially if it is anything creative, so it is fair to say that I will always be a fan of the things I am writing about first and foremost.
To be a good journalist you need to be proactive, and usually you feel a lot more lenient to doing this if you have an interest and knowledge of the topic you’re writing about.
I am a blogger first, and a semi-professional learner journalist second.
Most of my sports writing is reaction or match report based writing, and it usually bounces off the big news story in sports for the day. But even though I am a blogger, I try to hold myself to the same standards of professional journalism from what I know about it and I cannot overstate enough how vital the teachings during my journalism degree (that continues next year) and readings in the “Guide To NZ Journalism” book that I picked up have been on my writing as it continues to grow.
But to the question – and in Daniel’s case the question of if a fanboy is capable of writing decent copy about a subject?
Be that sports, gaming, or anything else under the sun.
Yes certainly so, you have to be passionate and love what you are reporting and writing about.
It is often really difficult to keep up to date with absolutely all that is going on, and writing about sports and gaming is a GREAT example of this and I would say to people like Daniel to stop claiming that I or others don’t have a right to bang out copy because we aren’t informed enough and to actually take a look at the market and just see how much news is actually out there.
With the internet and the likes of Twitter and social media, news is breaking much faster than it ever has before and often it is just us social media buggers and “people like me” who actually have the luxury of choosing to write about the things we want from the ever cramping news outlets around the world.
The professionals sometimes don’t get that luxury, bloggers do a lot more because many of us are freelance.
Blogging is and was becoming a new form of news reporting.
Now in 2014 I take my writing a lot more seriously than I did back in 2012.
But I cannot overstate what an impact the entire Daniel Speer saga had on my writing at the time, and his comments were extremely motivating and led to the determination I had to never stop believing that while I was such a fan of what I was writing about, I also had the pro-activeness to go out and learn, and actually realise that while everyone these days can be a blogger, I know that I actually have something to say and people (if only a few) do notice.
So am I a fanboy?
You bet your bottom dollar I am. Proud to be so.