Re: Scout "leader" in the News
Cheryl Singhal (csinghal@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 10:42:48 -0400
On Tue, 24 Jun 1997, Bruce E. Cobern wrote:
> Actually, it is a tribute to the reputation of the BSA that the fact that
> this was a Scout leader was newsworthy. Had Scout leaders made these types
> of headlines all the time they would stop mentioning it.
EXCELLENT point, Bruce, thanks.
As taught in Journalism 1001 and mentioned in each succeeding course
if you are a J-major. For those who didn't have the (dubious?) pleasure,
the definition of news is: something OUT of the ordinary; something
unexpected. Phase two is: is it local or can we localize it --
if no, then our readers are less interested. Especially in small towns
this last is vital (and it's why one newspaper I read routinely ties the
mudslides in California to X, daughter of Y of <this town>, who lives
A slightly modernized example: Pitbull bites mail carrier. No news,
because pitbulls are known to bite. Mail carrier bites pitbull, on the
other hand, is page 1 above the fold, because mail carriers generally do
NOT bite pitbulls or any other canine.
A headline that says "4.9 million schoolchildren arrived safely home
yesterday" is not news, but the ONE schoolchild who did not get home
safely is news...particularly if it is the kid down the street from you.
To drag it into Scouting territory, Eagle Scout helps Old Lady Cross Busy
Highway isn't news because Scouts are expected to be helpful. Eagle
Scout mugs old lady sitting on her porch IS news because it is both out
of the ordinary and unexpected.
Last winter, we in DC had several snowfalls that lasted up to an hour
and the sidewalks didn't even get wet. THAT was news. <G>
Thanks for giving the opportunity to ride a hobby horse, Bruce.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City