Friday, May 30, 2008
The next four paragraphs list examples of all the things readers could be sending him: menu changes, anniversaries and historical information all make the list. Whew, that list takes up another two inches!
Not once does it seem to occur to the columnist to do the real reporter thing: dig for a story. Go research an issue that affects local lives and businesses. Cultivate sources, make phone calls. Get out of the chatty, self-referential office and head over to city hall to read the county budget (where did all those state recycling-grant funds go?). Peruse land transactions. Find out why the Burger King was torn down and who the contractor is on that job and how much the rennovation is costing. Will management change? Head over to the sheriff’s department to talk to the staff, not just read press releases. What happened to the federal jail inspection report?
The columnist fancies himself a business writer. So tell locals what's with the Walgreens expansion on Route 70. How does a national corporation decide to build an outlet across the street from the Wal-Mart pharmacy? What does the construction cost? Where will management come from? Who's the contractor moving all that dirt? When does the front door open? There's a major business story right under the reporter's nose, but no one has sent him a press release.
The writer/columnist needs to look at how journalists actually work. Not one of them opens up a story by begging readers to send in news. Real reporters cultivate sources and build trusted connections. They don’t beg for it.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Charlotte Sun page designers found this picture of a cute kid, playing in a children's park near an apartment complex in Pass Christian, Miss. The child is not named in the story; he does not live in the town where the reporter filed the story; he is not identified as ever having lived in a FEMA trailer. But page designers decided he'd be the perfect illustration for the toxic trailer story.
Joe Gallimore, the Sun's resident pugilist, now gives fitness advice in his business column: in order to promote a local Ju-Jitsu academy, Gallimore said, "Lose weight, get stronger! Kickboxing will give you twice the benefit of any other aerobic exercise because you are making contact." Can you give readers a source for this assertion, Joe?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
For most of the article, Oehlbeck appears to have cut and pasted directly from The History Channel's Web site. Where the History Channel leaves off, Oehlbeck turns to World Book Encyclopedia, an excerpt of which has been reposted -- with attribution -- at Ancestors.com. Here's the word-for-word comparison of Oehlbeck, writing for the Sun-Herald under her by-line with no further attribution, and the sources she appears to have appropriated as a fitting memorial to those who died for their country.
The History Channel: Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation's Civil War dead by decorating their graves.
Oehlbeck: Turning back to 1868, we find the beginnings of what is now known as Memorial Day, a time that was set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves.
The History Channel: It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that: The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
Oehlbeck: The day was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Gen. Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that: The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
The History Channel: During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
Oehlbeck: During the first celebration of Decoration Day, Gen. James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.
The History Channel: This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War.
Oehlbeck: This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil war.
The History Channel: In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
Oehlbeck: In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.
World Book via Ancestors dot com: To honor members of the armed forces who died at sea, some ports of the United States also organize ceremonies where tiny ships filled with flowers are set afloat on the water. A boat filled with flowers, made by the students of Easton High School, is set afloat on the Delaware River. Since the end of World War I, Memorial Day has also been Poppy Day. Ex-servicemen sell small, red artificial poppies to help disabled veterans.
Oehlbeck: To honor members of the armed forces who died at sea, some ports of the United States also organize ceremonies where tiny ships filled with flowers are set afloat on the water. A boat filled with flowers, made by the students of Easton High School, is set afloat on the Delaware River.Since the end of World War I, Memorial Day has also been Poppy Day. Ex-servicemen sell small, red artificial poppies to help disabled veterans.
World Book: Memorial Day originated during the Civil War when some Southern women chose May 30 to decorate soldiers' graves. The women honored the dead of both the Union and Confederate armies. It is believed that a Virginia woman, Cassandra Oliver Moncure, was largely responsible. Of French origin, she may have chosen May 30 because in France this date was "The Day of the Ashes." This French memorial day commemorated the return of Napoleon Bonaparte's remains to France from St. Helena.
Oehlbeck: It is believed that a Virginia woman, Cassandra Oliver Moncure, was largely responsible for May 30 Being chosen. Of French origin, she may have chosen May 30 because in France this date was "The Day of the Ashes." This French memorial day commemorated the return of Napoleon Bonaparte's remains to France from St. Helena.
For the rest of "her" article, Oehlbeck returns to The History Channel: Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
Oehlbeck: Nationally, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.
Oehlbeck purports to be a professional writer: "author of nonfiction books, articles, and essays..." and she runs her own Web site to feature her local-color and history pieces. Today's article suggests that the professional is not always professinal about giving credit to her sources and that she's liberal with the cut-and-paste feature of her computer.
When You Steal Something, Tell Us Where it Came From
And over on page 11, local businesman Robert Dunaway "submits" an article about "The Bicycle -- a clean, green, perfect machine." Old Word Wolf gives him credit for not putting a real byline on the top of the article.
However, he fails to recognize anywhere in the piece that it originally appeared on http://penncycle.com/page.cfm?PageID=952 and it's a piece of corporate writing from start to finish.
OWW is sure Penn Cycle is happy to promote biking and may even not mind the outright theft of its article. But newspaper readers expect better. If you steal something, say where you got it.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Easy. You click on the electronic in-basket, and voila! A decently written news release from the state’s commissioner of consumer services about how dry things are pops up on the screen.
Ctl+C From the electronic in-basket: Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson is urging people across the state to be extremely cautious about their outdoor activities this weekend to prevent new wildfires from occurring.
Ctl+V: “Reporter’s” version: Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson wants Floridians to be cautious about their outdoor activities this weekend to prevent new wildfires from occurring.
Ctl+C: From the electronic in-basket: "People don't realize how many fires are started by a spark from a piece of equipment outdoors," Bronson said in a statement. "Right now, the conditions are such that the public needs to be extremely cautious with equipment, with outdoor barbecues and remember not to throw lit materials out the car window."
Ctl+V: “Reporter’s” version: "People don't realize how many fires are started by a spark from a piece of equipment outdoors," Bronson said in a statement. "Right now, the conditions are such that the public needs to be extremely cautious with equipment, with outdoor barbecues and remember not to throw lit materials out the car window."
Ctl+C From the electronic in-basket: Bronson is also advising people to forego any yard waste burning until the weather conditions improve. Six counties have instituted burn bans, but Bronson says conditions are not good for yard waste burning in any area of the state.
Ctl+V “Reporter:” Bronson also advises people to not burn yard waste until dry conditions improve. Six counties have instituted burn bans, but Bronson says conditions are not good for yard-waste burning in any area of the state.
Ctl+C Electronic in-basket: “Even if some parts of Florida are fortunate enough to get some rain this weekend, it won’t be enough to eliminate the danger,” Bronson said. “We are still in a deficit rainfall situation and there is a lot of dried out vegetation which acts as a fuel for fires. Also, the same storms that may bring rain will also bring strong winds as well which is real problem for firefighters.”
Ctl+V “Reporter:” “Even if some parts of Florida are fortunate enough to get some rain this weekend, it won’t be enough to eliminate the danger,” Bronson said. “We are still in a deficit rainfall situation and there is a lot of dried out vegetation which acts as a fuel for fires. Also, the same storms that may bring rain will also bring strong winds as well which is real problem for firefighters.”
For this, the parents paid for J-school?
Thursday, May 15, 2008
There's no watermelon like a proud watermelon! And a proud watermelon with its consciousness raised is a thing to behold!
Thanks to John Lawhorne for today's giggle.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Starting in about the 10th grade, Florida language-arts teachers school students in two important writing skills. The first is paraphrasing, that is, expressing ideas we read about in our own words. The second is citing the source of the ideas we paraphrase.
Ethical journalists and editors practice these skills on a daily basis. Either they use quotation marks, quote someone word for word and append a little tag at the end along the lines of “Smith said” or “according to a press release from Senator Windbag’s office,” or some such. Or, they skip the quotation marks and put the news into their own words – paraphrasing that’s usually shorter, clearer and less ambiguous than the original (although there are numerous exceptions to this ideal).
Even when the information is paraphrased, ethical journalists and conscientious reporters still say “Jones said,” and “according to police reports.” They cite their sources.
Somewhat complicating this clear edict are publicity departments that want to help an organization get out the word about worthy activities. Generally, PR folks are happy to have local organizers use prepared material. They love to see their upbeat words folded into locally produced news stories and notices.
What the locals don’t get is that the standards of journalism, fairness, and Miss Crabtree’s 10th grade language arts class still require an acknowledgement of those PR sources. To do otherwise is to lie about who wrote the material – and to hide from the reader important information about the possible motives of the information provider.
As it happens, there’s a perfect example of this lie in the morning DeSoto Sun. Cherie A. Hollingsworth, the DeSoto County 4-H extension program assistant, has placed her byline on top of a news item about a public speaking contest for club members. She did a yeoman’s job of getting in all the local names of the contestants, judges, and topics.
But she blew it with the three paragraphs she tacked onto to her locally assembled copy:
Hollingsworth claims that she wrote: Florida 4-H is proud to offer the annual 4-H Tropicana public speaking contest. Working with youth in grades four to six, this contest helps thousands of young people annually learn how to write and deliver a speech. More than 150,000 young people in more than 50 Florida counties at this grade-level have participated.
Tropicana has sponsored the contest since 1969 and provides classroom materials for teachers, certificates of participation, medallions for school winners, trophies for county winners, summer camp scholarships and Tropicana orange-juice refreshments for county contests. Close to 2 million students have participated in this program since its beginning.
Tropicana Products, a division of PepsiCo Inc., is the leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices.
In fact, Hollingsworth copied “boilerplate paragraphs,” so called because they are standardized wording repeated without changing a comma in scores of prepared news releases. Hollingsworth probably found the copy at the “news and information page” of the Florida 4-H Web site describing the contest. Here's the Web site version:
Florida 4-H is very proud of the 4-H/Tropicana Public Speaking Contest. Working with youth in grades 4-6, this contest helps thousands of young people annually learn how to write and deliver a speech. More than 150,000 young people in over 50 Florida counties in grades 4-6 participated in the contest last year
Tropicana has sponsored the contest since 1969 and provides classroom materials for teachers, certificates of participation, medallions for school winners, trophies for county winners, summer camp scholarships and Tropicana orange juice refreshments for county contests. Close to 2 million students have participated in this program since its beginning.
Tropicana Products, Inc., a division of PepsiCo, Inc., is the leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices.
Notice the little advertisement, for PepsiCo?
Hollingsworth is not a trained journalist and is probably oblivious to the long, slanted shadow the line casts over the whole effort. A professional reporter would have paraphrased the information in all three paragraphs and clearly attributed the information (cited the source), ending on a note something along the lines of “Pepsi Co. is the parent company of Tropicana Products, which provided classroom materials and prizes for the contest as a publicity effort in 50 Florida counties.”
A real newspaper editor or publisher concerned with his or her newspaper’s reputation for objectivity would never have allowed the PR department's copy to leave the desk.
Hollingsworth played right into the hands of the corporate PR machine – and she plagiarized to win the honor.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Old Word Wolf wrote to offer up FBI data about child predators lurking on the Internet back in the early 1990's, and the reporter, Pam Staik, responded: "The person named Alicia, as stated in the article, is believed by the State Attorney's office to be the first known victim of a child predator. This information was repeatedly stated in the presentation, and it was backed by a national research firm. I am sorry that you believe the statement was misleading, but I wrote everything in that article based on the facts given to me - as did at least four other media news groups who also reported the same information."
So, here we have a reporter who would rather defend the indefensible than check out the facts. Is Old Word Wolf being mean to point out that this is not in the best tradition of journalism?
Friday, May 9, 2008
But more important, the Winter Haven quack has apparently plagiarized her story. The article is nearly identical to a 2006 posting by a South Carolina spa quack (scroll down about five entries). Here’s the side-by-side comparison.
Corlis Johnson of Winter Haven, writes her own top to the article, but quickly moves in her second paragraph to a nearly perfect copy of a colleague in quackery from North Carolina:
xxxxxxxxxxxxx Tired of feeling tired?
Today, it’s our good fortune to live in an age in which remarkable advances in medicine are giving us potent new tools to help us live longer healthier lives. As a pharmacist specializing in alternative treatments. I am always seeking new ways to help my clients improve their health. One new technology that I am excited about is Bio-Electric Stimulating Technique. It works to help your body strengthen and balance itself, recharging your body’s “battery.”
Here's where the copy cat enters. Our Winter Haven quack writes:
xxxThe unit works through the most basic and plentiful substance in your body — water! xxxThe human body is approximately 80 percent water.
xxxWater is an excellent conductor of electricity. The human body functions off of electromagnetic signals.
xxxThe brain sends signals to each part of the body and back to the brain. When cells have enough energy they are able to function properly. The new Bioelectric Stimulating technique uses an Energy Foot Spa that electrically charges water in a foot bath.
xxxThe water (which your feet soak in) charges your body which allows the body to absorb vital energy on a cellular level, creating cell balance.
And the North Carolina quack wrote some two years ago:
xxxThe unit works through the most basic and plentiful substance in your body: water! xxxThe human body is approximately 80% water. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. The human body functions off of electro-magnetic signals. The brain sends signals to each part of the body and back to the brain. When cells have enough energy they are able to function properly. The Energy Foot Spa charges the water and the water (which your feet soak in) charges your body. This allows the body to absorb vital energy on a cellular level, creating cell balance.
Winter Haven Quack:
xxOnce the body receives the energy, the body starts detoxing on its own. This may happen through the feet while in the bath, or through the urinary system, bowels and skin. As the Energy Foot Spa starts detoxifying and energizing on the cellular level, the body is able to release waste products more readily.
xxxThe unit charges the water and the water charges the entire body. Similar to a car battery that charges a car, the human body greatly benefits from being re-charged.
North Carolina Quack:
xxOnce the body receives the energy, the body starts detoxing on its own. This may happen through the feet while in the bath, or through the urinary system, bowels and skin. As the Energy Foot Spa starts detoxifying and energizing the system on a cellular level, the body is able to release waste products more readily.
xxxThe Aqua Chi unit charges the water and the water (in which your feet are soaking) charges your entire body!. Similar to a car battery that charges a car, the human body greatly benefits from being re-charged.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWhat to expect
Winter Haven Quack:
xxxAn energy foot bath is a natural health modality that may help you eliminate toxins and increase your overall sense of health and well-being.
North Carolina Quack:
xxxIn just 35 minutes, the Aqua Chi unit may energize cells, may balance and strengthen the body to eliminate toxins and may increase your overall sense of health and well-being.
At this point, Winter Haven Quack departs from the script and skips the warnings about not treating clients who wear a pacemaker, might be pregnant, has had an organ transplant or takes prescription blood thinners. Instead, Winter Haven Quack prescribes the device for low energy, depression, anxiety, headaches, blood pressure, joint pain, insomnia, menopausal symptoms, muscular pain, constipation, skin conditions and indigestion.
xxxAnd just so we know, she explains away the murky water and gives us some hokus pokus about the body absorbing energy from the water:
xxxAt the end of an energizing foot spa treatment, the footbath will always be discolored. Much of this discoloration is due to the minerals in the water or the type of sea salt that is being used in the foot bath, and some of it may be due to the body releasing toxins from your skin into the water. The color changes will vary between clients and sessions.
xxxThe important thing is to realize that the machine itself is not pulling things out of the body, rather while your body absorbs the energy in the water it is absorbing vital energy on cellular level. Once the body receives the energy, it starts detoxing on its own. The results can be dramatic — eliminating the toxins and giving you more energy and vitality
Corlis Johnson is a holistic pharmacist, master herbalist, nutritionist, and weight loss
specialist. She owns My Natures Delight Natural Foods and Herb Shop at 3015 Cypress Gardens Rd., Winter Haven.
Old Word Wolf isn't going to take the time or effort to debunk the idea that the body is absorbing "vital energy" on a "cellular level" from a salty foot wash and all the devolves from there. Maybe later.
Since the praise from his pen sounded a bit familiar, Old Word Wolf went prowling on the Internet, and guess what she found.
At about the same time, Delaney seems to have posted it anonymously at Kentucky Moms. Not to leave the kids out, Delaney seems to have posted it again over at site called Super Kids Education Software. And then again at Super Laugh as Mom's Resume.
Do I believe Delaney actually wrote his little essay “From the Porch?” Of course not. He wrote it from the Internet. Just because of its coincidentally great name, Chaotic cheats.com, I'm going to use its text for the line-by-line comparison. Here goes.
Mommy Job Description?
Cheats: POSITION : Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Momma, Ma
Delaney: I’ve often said that being a mother has to be the toughest job in the world. At the least it must be near the top of the list. Ever wonder what the job description for a mom would look like. Maybe something like this: POSITION: Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma.
Delaney: JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, challenging work in an often chaotic environment. Must possess excellent communication and organizational skills. Must be willing to work variable hours, which include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required; travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Delaney: RESPONSIBILITIES: This is a lifetime position with few monetary rewards. Must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule yet be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case the screams from the backyard are screams of distress. Must be willing to face technical challenges such as sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Floor maintenance and janitorial work an essential part of job. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for all ages. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of cheap plastic toys and battery operated devices. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Delaney: POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: None. A mother’s job is to remain in the same position, without complaining. But she is expected to constantly update skills to cope with ever-evolving issues.
Cheats: PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
Delaney: PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. But on-thejob training offered on an exhausting basis.
Cheats: WAGES AND COMPENSATION : Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
Delaney: WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Pay? Moms don’t get paid. In fact, they frequently offer bonuses to their children. A balloon payment is due when the kids turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left.
Delaney: BENEFITS: No health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered. But the job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and unconditional love. There is no retirement option.
PUNTA GORDA--Hundreds of freshmen students sitting in the Center for Performing Arts &Education at Charlotte High School Wednesday fell silent as they listened to the painful words of a 19-year-old girl named Alicia, who at 13 became the first known victim of a child predator.The reporter is telling readers that before six years ago, or sometime in 2002, there were no known victims of child predators. Could this possibly be true?
Of course not. Any moderately experienced copy editor would have raised this obvious question with the reporter. It would take an alert, motivated copy editor about 30 seconds to "Google" an FBI site or two and locate something like this -- if only to narrow the topic to cyber-predators, which was the topic of Pamela Staik's feature story:
In May 1993, FBI agents identified two suspects who had sexually exploited numerous juveniles over a 25-year period ... [and the use of] computer telecommunications was rapidly becoming one of the most prevalent techniques by which some sex offenders recruited children [...].
Predators and victims didn't suddenly materialize in 2002.
To read more ...
The Sun Coast Media Group gives DeSoto e-edition subscribers an extra bonus -- a weekly peek at the Lake Placid Journal. It's a nice little tab, but sorely in need of copy editors. For example, today's front page story carried the headline over a story about South Florida Community College's Class of 2008: "SFCC Grads Honored Commencement Monday." No, the graduates did not honor the commencement. They may have honored their mothers and their fathers and their professors and deans, but chances are the grads were honored AT commencement.
Farther down in the story, the writer reports students waving diplomas, "happily signifying that they had earned the right to call themselves high school graduates."
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
What readers don't know is what anybody actually said. The reporter provides not one word from his shirt-pocket tape recorder quoting either of the job applicants.
Here's the text; see if you can find one thing that actually informs the community in a meaningful way -- and I don't mean the news that the city recorder read the questions out loud.
ARCADIA — At a special public meeting on Tuesday, the Arcadia City Council put questions to two of the three applicants for the job of city attorney.
The two applicants who were interviewed were Paul Bennett Seusy and James D. Carter Jr.
The third applicant, William S. Galvano, who is the state representative from District 68, was unable to attend the council meeting to interview. The council agreed to try and schedule an interview with Galvano prior to the council’s May 20 meeting, before deciding on an offer to one of the candidates. Galvano was also absent from the April 15 informal meeting between the council and candidates.
Prior to the interview, each applicant was given a copy of the 10 questions to be presented to each candidate. The questions were then read aloud by City Recorder Shelly Baumann and the applicant replied.
First to go before the council was Paul Bennett Seusy, an attorney with an Arcadia law firm who resides in Lake Suzy.
Second to be interviewed was James D. Carter Jr. He has been engaged in private practice in Bradenton since 1996. Carter earned his law degree 1986 from Mercer University in Macon, Ga.
The questions ranged from relations among city, county and school board attorneys, to salary requests and why the applicant would want to be the city attorney.
Present City Attorney David Holloman announced his retirement earlier this year, but agreed to stay on temporarily until his replacement was hired.
The other odd thing about this story is the headline: there was never any intention that this meeting be other than a public Q&A. Did the kid on the copydesk assume the story was about the failure to choose an attorney? If so, he sould have read it.
Monday, May 5, 2008
The last cutline of the last photo says a local boy won a blue ribbon for public speaking -- but there is no report in the news story of his topic and no report of anyone else who participated. And we're talking about untold numbers of youngsters competing for state finals, here! Readers learn nameless judges are “drawn from the attending counties” (any from DeSoto?) and competition includes “such areas as” general animal management and wastewater management, among half a dozen others. So who won? Who competed?
John Lawhorne gets two Old Word Wolf blue ribbons: one in the category "News Writing Without Actually Using Anyone's Name Except an Organizer's" and another for "Attendance at a Kid-Centered Event Without Once Interviewing a Kid."
Here's Lawhorne's whole story:
DESOTO COUNTY -- 4-H members from six neighboring Florida Heartland counties came together at West Elementary School in Arcadia Saturday to hold their 2008 district event.
xxx"The district event consists consists of DeSoto County, Hardee County, Glades County, Highlands County, Okeechobee County and Seminole Indian Tribe," said DeSoto County 4-H Youth Agent Christi Pryor. "The county events winners were chosen several weeks ago. The winners of county events are the ones that moved on to district events here today. The winners of the district events here will go on to state finals."
xxx Parents and friends were on hand to watch as 4-H members competed for the judges. The judges were drawn from the attending counties. Areas of competition included such areas as general animal science, waste management, public speaking, food and nutrition and music. And there was even fashion revue, photography and poster art.
xxx Competitors are divided into groups of junior, intermediate and senior in order to even things out. It was an opportunity for area 4-Hers to meet one another and trade experiences and distribute awards for tasks well done.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The article was apparently written back in 2003 and published on the Web as a University of Iowa News Service news release. Here's the original.
In honor of the month, the local doctor deleted Hilary Beaver, M.D.,’s name and inserted his own. She is credited with being an assistant professor at the University of Iowa’s department of ophthalmology and visual sciences. Klein is credited with being a plagiarist for Sun Coast Media Group. Here's the side-by-side evidence.
University of Iowa: Eye conditions and diseases that can rob you and your loved ones of vision could strike at any time in life, from newborns to older adults.
In honor of May's Healthy Vision Month, eye specialists across the nation are urging Americans to take care of their eyes, as well as the eyes of their loved ones, and to pay attention to warning signs and visit an eye specialist regularly.
Some warning signs that your child may have vision problems include wandering or crossed eyes, a family history of childhood vision problems, a disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects, and squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching TV.
Even the young adult and middle-aged groups can be affected by eye problems. Those at risk for eye disease include African-Americans over age 40 (glaucoma), people with diabetes (diabetic retinopathy) and those with a family history of eye problems. If you fall into one of these groups, check with your eye specialist to find out how often you need to have a complete eye exam. These individuals should have a complete eye exam at least once between the ages of 20 and 29, at least twice between ages 30 and 39, and every two to four years between ages 40 and 65.
Protecting your eyes from accidents, and early detection and treatment of eye problems, are the best ways for you and your family to take care of your vision throughout life. If you or your family are at risk for eye diseases or experience any eye problems, visit your eye specialist. You can also learn more online by visiting www.uihealthcare.com/eyecare.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com/.
CONTACT(S): Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Klein copies everything but the story source, saving that credit for himself: Seniors over age 65 should be examined at least every one to two years for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye conditions. Those with diabetes should be examined every year. Protecting your eyes from accidents, as well as early detection and treatment of eye problems, are the best ways for you and your family to take care of your vision throughout life. For additional information on healthy vision, visit www.cfleye care.com. Central Florida Eye Care is a full-service ophthalmology practice located at 122 E.Central Avenue, Winter Haven, FL and headed under the direction of Dr. Scott Klein, an Eye M.D. and fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist. Patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Klein by calling his office at 863-294-2332.