25 Nov. 2009

A Sprouting Imagination

Cabbage from Brussels. Apparently good. I'll eat a couple as a token, but thet so not mesh with my pallet.

We had an interesting conversation across our cramped but cozy lunch table today. We were posed with a dilemma. The question was:

Is it a positive trait to have a good imagination when you are a journalist?

One of my collegues in the marketing department immediately said yes. One of my journalist collegues said that a good imaginations is not so good to have if one starts making thing up in the paper. But the general consensus of 11 people was that imagination is a good thing. As long as you keep it in check.

The question poser said that in the non-press environment where the question first was posed everybody reckoned a good imagination was a negative trait for a journalist.

Shock and horror.

My imagination is the root of my creativity, my ability to put myself in other peoples situations, my ability to find joy in the mundane, my ability to take good pictures out of nothing, my ability to use words to paint a picture. The list goes on and on and on and on.

It actually upsets me that people would even think that a journalist could make things up. But what shocks me even more is that someone could think that having a good imagination is a negative trait.

In my book it is NEVER a negative trait.

I'm really interested in what you in the blogosphere think of this question. Am I totally off?

Is my sprouting imagination a liability?

You tell me.


  1. how could an imagination be a bad thing? anyone who thinks it's bad, clearly does not have one.

  2. Very good point OP. Very good indeed.

  3. Hmm, well having worked on the 'other side of the fence' as a PR for 10 years and having met enough reporters who like to spin off in to the realms of fanatasy every now and again....I'm afraid I agree with the 'non press' contingent'.

    Imagination is a wonderful thing, but there's a time and place for it. Even empathy/sympathy etc...I don't think there's much of a place for that in journalism.

    Neutrality, a quest for the truth, a passion for getting the bottom of issues, respect for everyone regardless of their station in life, intelligence, emotional intelligence...those are the qualities I really admire in journalists.


  4. Good point Spud.

    But I have to tell you that British journalists are a different breed, and it would take more than a blog-post to explain it.

    I don't think there is a conflict between being neutral, but still having an imagination.

    But like I said above. Imagination has to be kept in check.

  5. fundamentally it's good. to be able to see things from another side, be curious (kind of the cousin of imagination, no?), and as you said, paint a picture with words.

    it's the use that can be bad: if the agenda and the ethics are questionable, then the use of it is not always good.

  6. when has being imaginative ever been a bad thing??? i agree with you


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