Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN


November 2, 2012

Print is still king


The overuse of certain adjectives and adverbs is also a problem. There is actually a class in journalism schools titled "Modifiers for Television Media: The Art of Sensationalism," wherein future reporters learn the process of using these words to make a news story seem worse than it is.

I'm kidding of course. These people don't need a class for sensationalism. Television journalists are born with a special gene that makes it an innate ability. You know, like the gene they have for perfect hair.

For example, there is never just a crime scene; it is always a "grisly" crime scene. "Pat, I'm here at the grisly crime scene where one is rumored dead. And there are children standing right over there waiting for the school bus!"

There is never a just a storm; there are only "horrendous" or "destructive" storms. The reporters are always right in the middle of the storm for emphasis. "Pat, I ... I'm (static noises) here in the middle of (sounds of the wind) the horrendous storm. A branch on the tree beside me has just fallen I'm sure there was a child's treehouse perched vicariously on a limb of that tree! I can't say for sure, but I'm willing to bet there was a child inside and he was likely decapitated by the falling branch. If so, the scene will be grisly."

The point is if you want the news, you're better off sticking with print. Print is still king. If you watch televised newscasts - local or national - you're going to get sensationalism. And I don't even want to talk about Internet news. That's only for those who want their news to include altered photographs and stories written by 13-year-old boys or 60-year-old grandmothers masquerading as journalists. Alas, that is a story for another day.

To get the story straight, stick with print. Because, let me reiterate here: The newspaper media, like our fine editor at the Flyer, is top notch and would never consider eliminating a columnist that repeatedly makes fun of the media.

- Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book "What's the Point?" available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.

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