Wednesday, March 5, 2008

IWD: A Journalists' Conundrum

And so it is, on Wednesday morning, I still haven't made a decision about the weekend.
Most of the time I couldn't care less about my nightlife, being pleased as punch to curl up around a laptop and watch whatever random pick I've ordered from Zip.
But this weekend is different—it's International Women's Day (IWD).
It also happens to fall on the Vermont Weekend, the weekend my friends and I were planning on visiting the Green Mountain State for a little White Mountain Fun (hosted, no less, at a hot tub- and horse ranch-equipped cabin in the woods).
For me, IWD usually comes and goes without so much as a high-five or a you-go-girl, but this year I'm writing about a unique event that's bringing female urban artists together at Babylon nightclub in Ottawa.
(Check out and come out!)
I've already interviewed the organizers——two DJs and b-girl——for the piece that will run in Saturday's Ottawa Citizen. I've already transcribed my notes, written the piece, and I'm about to send it...once it's out I can wash my hands of it, right?
The thing is, I can't stop hearing the voices of my sources.
It happens sometimes, with stories or people that really hit home. I used to think this was a sign that I was less of a journalist--a softie wanting to please everyone.
But earlier this week I read 'Reinvent Journalism in 10 easy steps' at
Last on the list is 'Cover your community like it's your invested in your community and care about its people.'
And I have to say, since arriving in Ottawa in 2003, I've felt nothing but welcome; I've seen artists rise up through the ranks and impromtu house parties foster new talent. Ottawa, specifically it's arts community, feels like a hometown.
And it's people like my 'Ladies in the House'that set the tone in this community.
It's easy to say I've done my part; I pitched the story to the Ottawa Citizen and kept at them to make it happen. I've done more than a $6 cover charge will in terms of awareness of IWD and urban arts in Ottawa.
I care about the people involved in this story and I've invested much mental energy in crafting this story. I guess I just want to 'show' it, by attending the event on Saturday (it's also gonna be plenty fun!)
But, as one of my sources said, "364 days of the year we're DJs, b-girls [and journalists]; but on one day of the year we’re really focusing on the fact that we’re women.”
As a writer, I was lucky enough to sit down and talk frankly with these people that hold down the arts fort in Ottawa.
As a woman, I'm proud of them...and leaning toward a weekend sans snow fun.
As a skier, it's tough. My mom visited Killington when I was a wee tot——missing my sisters' birthday. I've heard it's Amazing. Huge. Snow is coming on Saturday. In fact, were it Mother's Day, I'd feel obliged to hit the slopes instead of the clubs...

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