I wrote a story for my online news blog, THE BAR HARBOR STORY, a couple of months ago, and in this story, I didn’t mention the name of the woman who had an appeal before the town regarding the use of her home. She made it incredibly apparent during that public meeting that she didn’t want her name mentioned because she was afraid of stigma.
After I ran the story a couple of months ago, even without her name, she still contacted me, heart-worried that the story could potentially impact her. And I took that story down. Our local paper just ran the story this week and mentioned her name.
Was my choice a good choice?
It was a good choice for my own ethics.
Is it a good choice for my wallet? Probably not. When you write or blog, you have to make a ton of choices all the time, and I’m positive that most of the time I make a choice that doesn’t benefit me financially.
Sometimes I fail to make the right choice, but it’s usually not because I don’t care.
Sometimes sensationalism wins in a lot of news reports (this wasn’t one of those reports), but when it’s local news, I think it’s really important to remember that most of the players aren’t Marvel villains or superheroes. They are people who will make mistakes just like I do. They are people who get worried and have anxiety and have lives beyond the page.
Sometimes people care more about strife than trying to make their own selves or their neighbors’ lives better, stronger, safer, less full of worry.
But as humans, we have to make that choice, not just in what we write, but in what we think.
We don’t have to always make the toxic choice. We don’t always have to think everything is a bipolarity, us and them, my way or the highway. We can remember to try to do the least harm and the most good.
I hope that we do make the better choices even if it doesn’t make us bank or get us likes or hits. I hope that institutions and individuals can continue to make a better world, starting in our own brains, our own houses, and our own communities.
Believe me, I’ve written stories that I regret now. And made choices that I think, “Doh! Carrie. Bad move.” We all do, but part of moving forward is moving forward together and trying to do better, right?
Why is this a BE BRAVE FRIDAY post?
Well, because almost every time I right something like this I:
1. Lose a couple friends
2. Someone tells me I’m schmaltzy
3. And because I was pretty scared to make this news blog even though I’ve been an editor and reporter. News is so important and the potential to get things wrong is always so horrifying to me.
Here’s some unfinished art to make it super brave. Remember, I’m pretty sure it’s not done, so don’t judge too hard.
I hope you all have an amazing weekend and feel good about things and feel brave, too.