I’m a guy who loves Bismarck-Mandan and North Dakota in general. That’s why this weblog is in existence. It started out as just a place to park my photography. I found myself in the right place at the right time a lot, and began writing about what I see. Next thing you know, it’s taken off. I love to write as much as I love photography, so it seems the perfect combination for this hobby.
I like to bring the MOTS (that’s Man On The Street in journalist lingo) perspective to local events. With that in mind, my posts are as accurate as I can make them. If I don’t know something for sure, or something I post is a rumor, I’ll disclose that. Everything here is written of the context of “this is what I see” or “this is what I hear.” I’m not setting out to be a rumor or gossip mill, either. If I get it wrong, expect to see me set things straight here as well.
I must stress this: I’m not a news outlet. I don’t care to be a journalist, although I have background in that field both in college and professionally. I don’t have a FAX machine to receive press releases. And even if I had all that, would I really care to compete with established news outlets? As a hobby? I think not. Burnout would ensue quickly.
However, my years spent in broadcast news showed me a couple of things:
First of all, most reporters don’t know anything not in a press release, and few have the determination to know more than that.
Second, there are a lot of details that just aren’t going to make it into a TV or newspaper report for the sake of brevity or for tone. You can’t insert the sentence “I talked to a guy who works for this company, he expects they’ll be putting up a new skyscraper next year and has already seen the plans” into a news report. It sounds, well, too conversational and doesn’t haven an official fact sheet or press release attached. So they really can’t go around printing that stuff, because we expect them not to. Just stick to the hard facts. They sometimes have a hard enough time with just that.
So that’s where I come in. If something really cool is about to happen in our area, I can pick little details from a number of sources, including “official” news sources. I can offer opinion, which is really why most people start their own blogs anyway. And I get to run around with my camera, trying to make pretty pictures. And who really cares if it gets read anyway…it’s a blast! This site has thus evolved more into an online diary of sorts; I don’t get caught up in the numbers as far as how many people read it. I take these pictures and write these snippets for me. If others care to visit, that’s icing on the cake.
Here’s to a fresh perspective. Think of it as the online equivalent of bumping into me at the soda fountain and talking about what’s going on these days, because that’s as formal as this blog is intended to be.