The chief organizer of the third annual Month Without Metaphor says we’re losing ground in the fight against the unncessary embellishment of the news.
“Plain speaking is disappearing and not bit by bit, but minute by minute,” says Alvin Tinamou, publisher of The Avian Messenger and one of the initiative’s founders.
In an interview with The Mammalian Daily, Tinamou quoted statistics that he says indicate the market for what he calls “the plain, unembellished truth” has diminished substantially over the past five years.[pullquote]Plain speaking is disappearing and not bit by bit, but minute by minute.”—Alvin Tinamou, chief organizer, Month Without Metaphor[/pullquote]
“Journalism has given way to storytelling and it’s a slippery slope from there,” he opined. “We’re no longer reporting on an event or situation; we’re taking readers on a journey for their entertainment rather adding to their knowledge or understanding,” he said.
Tinamou contends that the problem started innocently enough, when journalists were told to broaden their reports from “just the facts” to historical, sociological, and psychological context.
“It started with context and the idea that those who work in the media could bring readers and listeners a better understanding of what was going on in The Park and in the world outside The Park,” he said. “But, somehow, that devolved into embellishment and fictionalizing,”
Tinamou said metaphors are just one aspect of the problem, but they were something that he felt could be easily targeted.
“I thought we’d start with reducing metaphors and move on from there. But we seem to be stuck in this style of writing. I don’t think new journalists know any other way,” he said.