A Note To Citizen Journalists: I Am A Writer/Blogger—Not A Reporter/Historian—Learn The Difference

Throughout my writing career, citizen journalists have found errors in my stories.

I usually thank them for their attention to detail and move on.

But every once in a while, educating these internet scholars is a fun exercise.

First of all, I understand their anal-compulsive need for accuracy.

It’s probably a consequence of improper toilet training.

But do they honestly think that I am a reporter—a trained journalist–a graduate of an accredited school of journalism.

I’m none of the above.

They should read my Times of Israel profile.

I’m a lowly writer of short stories.

Who has taken the storytellers’ oath:

“I hereby promise to try to write short stories that will capture my readers emotions, as well as, their souls,

I further promise that if I make some small mistakes that has no affect on the essence of my story, I will not give a crap.”

So help me G-d.

Please citizen journalists don’t email me that there is no such thing as the storytellers’ oath.

Have your team search every nook and cranny of the internet you will find it.

I, the lowly story writer, do not have a team, nor a research assistant,  nor editors to correct my mistakes.

I am usually unpaid except for my small TOI stipend. (Here I would love to see the faces of my fellow TOI bloggers wondering if I’m telling a joke.)

In my last story, “The Last Jew in Vinnitsa” two citizen journalists found what they believed to be errors in my story.

Here is what they wrote:

“Great blog post…with a small error.  You mentioned the e-gruppe troops in the background as members of the e-gruppe.  They weren’t.  In the early part of WWII, before the death camps were up and running the German death squads would flit from area to area…and this photo is one reason why Hitler and Himmler wanted to do away with death squads and move to camps.

The problem, as the Nazis saw it, was too many witnesses.  In the photo, I can see a Wehrmacht Band member, a German sailor, German Air Force and one guy in civilian clothes.  The German high command feared exposure and they became very upset at the photos being taken and shared outside the control of the propaganda ministry.

Soon after photos like this became known, the SS/SD and Gestapo put in place cordons to keep out non-‘security’ people so that photos like this wouldn’t leak out.  The German Army and Air Force never stopped providing troops and support to the ‘Final Solution’, but they did become a lot more silent about it as the war went against Germany.

Of course, this problem for the Nazi’s became worse as the Germans started losing…the overrun death/work camps became ‘facts’ that could no longer be denied to even the most hardened Jew haters…but, by that time the Nazi’s had bigger problems and one was revenge for what was discovered.

With the advent of modern communications and the ‘citizen journalist’ I sometimes wonder if something like this could happen today?  I pray not.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Have a great day.—Andrew”

I hate to see mistakes in an otherwise nicely done effort; however, the pistol held by the SS-man is not a Walther P-38.

It might be a Walther PPK, or one of three or four other similar pocket pistols that were used by the Nazis.—Irving

I marvel at their eyesight in determining types of guns in old photographs and their lack of specificity.

They give no historical footnotes so I can verify their facts.

If they want to be citizen journalists or historians working on their PhDs, I demand footnotes.

I demand to know where they were educated.

Because if they expect me to spend my valuable writing time researching every aspect of my story they can kush meyn tukhes.

Therefore, citizen journals enjoy my blogs.

.Point out my inaccuracies.

But please stop taking yourselves so seriously.

About the Author
A South Florida author, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs".
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