Thursday, April 27, 2006

School to reporters: get lost

Danville High School has a unique way to handle reporters. Administrators just shoo them away (subscription required) and refuse to answer any questions. That's what happened to reporters from the Press Enterprise and WNEP when they tried to cover a gay rights protest at the central Pennsylvania school.

The newspaper got into a huff about it. But WNEP was silent. I didn't catch anything about the administration's actions yesterday, and I don't see any stories on their website. It's surprising, because usually reporters love it when a public servant tries to keep them from doing their jobs. It gives them the chance to stick a mic in the person's face and grill them.

Perhaps that tactic is mean, but frankly, I don't get paid enough to care.

By the way, happy sweeps!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who needs controversey and first amendment battles when you have canned reports and "live" reports to pass off.

First, WNEP set up the "Talkback" section of its website where the only acceptable "Talking" has to do with whether Joe Snickers (light, nutty, not too tightly wrapped) is biking or how cute he is.

Now they shy away from first amendment battles that define why newspapers and television news is so important.

Perhaps that's why they pass off canned reports as live and PR fluff as real news. No controversey, no issues.

I should have known it would just get worse when my wife, who is studying to be a midwife, wrote to Jill Garrett and asked why she skipped around the word "breast" in a report on breasfeeding. Her answer-

"We don't want to offend anyone. This is a family channel.

Look out WYOU. The WNEP elevator is going down.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had been covering the event, the school's strong-arm tactics would have become the dominant focus of the piece. As a reporter, I would've questioned school officials apparent motives to cover-up and suppress the media, even in light of an on-going rally supporting first amendment issues.

The lack of a story on 16's part shows real concern for the quality of journalism at the place.

If it's not in a press release, candy coated or an easy break, most of their reporters shy away. Shame, shame, shame.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't forget the traditional chat-fests the local "news" readers get into during each of their wittle programs. But my favorite remains the anchorwoman's killing of countless minutes of airtime last holiday season by hawking her stupid CDs.
So Howard, are you made as hell yet?

4:50 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

And don't forget the traditional chat-fests the local "news" readers get into during each of their wittle programs.

* * *

It would be interesting to take a stopwatch and see exactly how much news (not chatter, not teasers) is presented during the news segment. I did that with WBBM "all-news radio" in Chicago and found that it was approx seven minutes per hour, not counting the network.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In defense of WNEP, they DID air a report on the rally and DID include in their report they were not allowed on the property. The pics were from a distance. I will say the report was only 30 seconds or less.
All the stations have to MUCH time devoted to news. That means when you come across a story like this, you have to play "hit and run" and run off to a story thats guaranteed. You can't "waste" time getting the real answers. WHY?? The stations have so many "holes" to fill! Quantity NOT quality is number one!

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true that many stations switched to quantity over quality in the last decade, but that was never the case at WNEP. Now, it seems WNEP doesn't do quality or quantity. It just repeats a handful of stories newscast after newscast, often with no updates. If the staff could generate a variety of stories before, why not now?

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did WBRE and/or WYOU handle the story?

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WBRE/WYOU won't cover news in Danville. According to the "news managers" there, Danville is "too far away." At least that was the attitude from those people when I worked there.

12:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home