Tag Archives: ted sprague

My love of criticism

It is always surprises me when readers actually take the time to read articles thoroughly, digest them, and disagree (or agree) so much that they are motivated to write a response.

In a recent article in the McGill Daily, Ted Sprague discussed a few of his critiques on the articles in the recent McGill Daily and Tribune. Of all these articles to choose from, he critiqued my most recent article in my column, Learning to Network. Although I can definitely agree with his point of view, that a new generation of youth has sprung up believing they must network with important people to gain any importance whatsoever, his belief that this is “selling your soul” is unwarranted. Whatever career path you choose, you will inevitably be required to meet people who have more expertise than you and have higher positions than you. Learning from then and putting your name out there is an important prerequisite for success. The way we should not do this, like Sprague argues, is attempt to change who we are, or become a “commodity” as he put it. Networking can be done by being yourself – and is most likely to guarantee success when you present an authentic self – someone worth getting to know.

I don’t want to focus on the actual disagreement between our views, but instead I want to focus on the fact that there is disagreement. As a writer and a columnist, my biggest hope is that readers take in what I am saying and are intrigued enough to formulate their own point of view, no matter if it diverges from mine or not. My column did that and motivated Sprague to critique it.

When you have deadlines to meet, and edits to complete (sometimes the sixth or seventh edit of one 500 word article), journalism can seem like a stressful industry. It is in times like these that I realize how lucky I am to be doing what I do and how important this industry is. It allows us to create new opinions and beliefs and share these thoughts with those around us. It is a circle of knowledge flowing, that will never be broken as long as people are free to speak their own opinions.

I became a journalist because I was intrigued by the power of words and today I was reminded that words – including mine – can make a difference.