Thursday, July 1, 2010

Taking "news" seriously (Yes folks, this is parody)

So you gotta love the sendoff moments of the sendoff edition of "Student News", not affiliated with the Amherst Regional High School except all the major players involved attend.

Josh does the Walter Cronkite/Edward R. Murrow rolling up of the sleeves, loosening of the tie (although he probably could have gone one step further by repeatedly removing and replacing his glasses or simply fired up a camel cigarette), and then the two co-anchors do the "chicken dance."

Yes indeed, the future of journalism is in such good hands.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with humor, especially when it's self-deprecating and at no one else's expense.

Both Student News anchors are charming.

But none of that gets them past the need to be fair, which they weren't immediately after the Sanderson interview. The questions asked of Catherine during the interview, on the other hand, were terrific, and give us a window into what this particular group of students is thinking about.

With excellent production values comes great responsibility. I don't come to this blog for fairness; I come for the hit-or-miss edginess of it. Student News seems to have marked out for itself a somewhat higher, more disciplined calling involving informing students.

So Mr. Wolfsun is absolutely right to be a little bit pious about the audience he claims to serve: many students will be voting for the first time in town elections next spring, an election presumably featuring Ms. Sanderson running for reelection. This is exactly why he owes it to his audience to play it straight, with an effort to separate fact from opinion. Piety begins at home, with serious self-reflection and the confidence to dispense with strained attempts at "gotcha journalism". (The only "gotcha" in this interview was between Mr. Wolfsun's ears.)

Here's one of my standards for fairness: can you state both sides of any civic argument IN THE LIGHT MOST FAVORABLE TO EACH SIDE? If you can't do it, then you don't belong behind that anchor desk, broadcasting into my living room. I still think Student News can get there, and, when they do, my $100 check awaits.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

And I should get a 10% surcharge on that $100 for this free ad/post.

But, for sure, agreed. I learned a l-o-n-g time ago that an effective newspaper column--where the entire point is to have/push an opinion--should at least acknowledge/outline the supposed strong point of the other side's position.

Otherwise you are just engaging in propaganda.

The "excellent production values" comes at taxpayer expense, even though Josh corrects me on their blog claiming ACTV is not tax supported.

But as you probably know the $250-K in operations they get every year (plus $45-K in capital improvement cash) from Comcast would come directly to the town over the next 8 years or so if ACTV suddenly vaporized.

And the Town Manager made sure the most recently signed contract between ACTV and Comcast clearly stated all ACTV equipment belongs to the town.

So the kids are using "town" equipment to promote their agenda (influenced by adults like Baer Tierkel, Andy Churchill,Clare Bertrand--the "Amherst Center" Bulletin columnists recently axed for unethical journalism.)

Anonymous said...

I think it's very cute. You folks know how to find the negative in just about anything. I'd hate to be you.

LarryK4 said...

I--and I'm sure Mr. Morse agrees--would hate to be an Anon.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, Anon 5:23 pm, they ARE cute. Unlike Mr. Kelley, I don't know who the influences are behind the show. It's a lot of fun, usually, and now they have an audience, including me, rooting for them.

When Mr. Wolfsun complains about student views being minimized, ignored, laughed at, etc., I know exactly where he's coming from. I was on one of the first Student Advisory Committees to the Northampton School Committee, just about 35 years ago. We went to School Committee meetings dutifully and sat there like potted plants. We met with Superintendent John Buteau and told him to his face that if the Northampton school system continued to pay female sports coaches less in salary than male coaches for equal work, Northampton was going to get sued. He smiled at us and told us that we were way out beyond our duties as Student Advisory Committee members.

We got our high school diplomas, and moved on. The Northampton schools got sued by at least one female sports coach and she won.

Some of us remember being kids; we weren't born adults. And some of us are honest enough to recognize that the growing up process is an ongoing one, right through our adult years. And some of us have kept our child-like sense of what is and is not fair. So when you do ex parte and ex post facto cheap-shotting of volunteer elected officials on the airwaves, you are now playing with the big kids, and you get what you get in terms of public criticism.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Or as that great (Democrat) President once said: "If you can't stand the heat..."

Anonymous said...

You guys need to lighten up.

Anonymous said...

And what do you care about, Anon 4:10 p.m., your bellybutton lint?

Hairy Trueman said...

So the kids have figured out how to benefit from town money but you still have got a clue about that, eh Larry?

Who's the dip shit now?

LarryK4 said...

And just where do you think I learned to edit digital video, Nitwit?