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Summer Encounter with the News

In all honesty, I haven't had much of a relationship with the news. This summer, however, I did have a certain encounter with it. It did not deal with some breaking news story that everyone would know, but it did make it into the local paper--The Almanac. This experience provided the perfect example of what not to do as a journalist. Three of my friends co-directed a fully student run show to be performed for the community. I got involved to help them out and because it was something to do. Anyways, Niki's mother--Niki was the acting director--contacted The Almanac to tell them about our show. They were interested and decided to do an article on it. Everyone was excited about it. Not only was this a big deal in and of itself, it was publicity as well. From start to finish, however, the journalist assigned to cover this story clearly did not want to do so. When she conducted an interview with Niki over the phone, she was uninterested in all of the small details, like the names of the directors, or anyone for that matter. When she came to take pictures of the cast, she took two pictures of a select few cast members towards the beginning of the rehearsal and then left. There were twelve cast members. The picture in The Almanac involved four cast members. She didn't talk to anyone while she was there, either. The only cast member she interviewed was Niki. Last time I checked, there were three directors as well as 9 other cast members. Niki wasn’t the only one.

It got even more interesting when the article was published. Right at the beginning of the article, it stated that this Broadway Revue of Sorts had a cast of 12 teens. Yes, most of the cast was comprised of 14 year olds, with a 16, 17, and 18 year old added into the mix. Then there was also a 20 year old, a 21 year old, and a 22 year old. While I realize that saying 12 teens is easier than saying 9 teens and 3 young adults, it isn’t factual. If she had written 12 students, it would have gotten the point across in the same amount of words and would have been truthful.

This showed me that one has to be selective with word choice to make sure that the correct meaning is conveyed in the fewest amount of words. Also, if you want to be a good journalist, at least pretend to be interested in what you’re doing. The final product of the article did leave much to be desired. It was obvious to even my dad, who did not know the details surrounding this article, that the author’s heart was not in it. In the end, it did do its job--we had an audience of about 170 people, after all--but it could have been better.

See other student's relationships with the news

Comments (2)

Josie Rush:

Eh, it sucks that the journalist couldn't take the time to get her facts straight and write a good article. I've been misquoted before in our local paper, which is a truly annoying experience. One good thing about that, though, is that I can guarantee I will always take the time to get accurage quotes, and I'm sure you'll always take the time to get factual information.

Jeanine O'Neal:

I really enjoyed hearing your personal story about news coverage. I often wondered what exactly goes on during the down time when a reporter is going to cover a story. Hopefully, this kind of bad reporting does not happen ALL the time. It is sad that it happened to your friends.

A personal story of mine is in high school, I was involved in M*A*S*H* play. I was the set designer, pulled the curtains, and was in charge of props. However, when the local newspaper (The Mount Pleasant Journal) ran their front page article on the play, my name was included absolutely nowhere in it (even though all the cast was). To make matters worse, they showed pictures of the set and commented on it without even giving me credit. I know the reporter because she is the mother of one of the students in the play (who happens to not like me because of some strange incidence with my sister). So, I don't know if I was purposely left out or if they looked over those people who they thought were "nobodies" (the crew).

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 2, 2009 9:30 PM.

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