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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Thursday, March 14 2002

All the news that fits

In the course of looking for the daily link updates for our sister website, Xnmp, the Christian News & Media Portal, I've become aware that the thesis of this series is more true now than ever. In case you've forgotten the thesis or displaced it among all the tangents we've taken, it is that every news medium has a perspective and a set of ulterior motives that establishes its agenda and what stories are printed or broadcast in that medium. The way I've had this driven home is this: I'll find a story that I want to link in say, the Washington Post, and it may be put out by the Associated Press. Assuming that a story of such importance (by my lights) from the Asscoiated Press will be on every big newspaper's website and the Post is getting too many of my links, I then look on another site so I can spread around the exposure, often to find the other paper—say, the Los Angeles Times—appears to have never heard of the story (in fact, as this works, they've also received the story from the AP but its editors didn't consider it important enough to put in today's edition).

Anyone who's been exposed to any media theory knows that in order for a story to make television newscasts it has to have good film footage. A revolutionary idea or proposal, especially if there was no film capturing it, may turn the world upside down and may be seen a century from now as the most important thing to come out of 2002, but it won't make the NBC-CBS-Fox-ABC news because at the top of their criteria for "newsworthiness" is a graphical presentation to illustrate it.

In the week that Andy Rogalski had to teach me everything he could about editing the Nanty Glo Journal, the most important things he imparted pertained to news photography. My predecessor had gotten his foot in the door of journalism through photography, having been a military photographer in the South Pacific at the end of World War II. I had already taken and had published a smattering of photos for the Journal, while still a correspondent, but he taught me how to develop film and print pictures for the paper. But most importantly, he said, when you don't have time to research enough stories to fill the paper, you can always fill it with photos. My guess is that the Journal has never had as many photos in a typical weekly edition than it did under Rogalski's watch. And as a fulltime university student when I took over the paper, I depended on the picture idea: the free-standing photo as story (couple celebrate Golden Wedding Anniversary), and the page of photos as "essay" to fill that gaping "news hole" every week.

But unlike the networks, we didn't have to have use photos to illustrate our stories. They were nice to have to fill the space. And they were more likely to be noticed by the paper's subscribers than grey columns recounting dull town council and school board meetings. But they did not define what was newsworthy.

More to come....

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Words to live by

42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

—Steven Wright
Sent by Trudy Myers

Opportunity

Unless a person has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him ridiculous. A great occasion is worth to man exactly what his preparation enables him to make of it.

 

—J.B. Matthews
Sent by Bill Dalrymple

Top daily headline news stories from our sister webpage
Xnmp, news that signifies
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