Monday, May 5, 2008

Blue Ribbon Winner for No-Name News

One of the most important jobs a hyper-local newspaper can do is ink kids’ names into its columns. Recording their achievements in middle school sports and high school science fairs is part of what the local chronicle does. Except in Arcadia. Here, our local newsman ignores the first W in the journalist’s canon, “who,” and sticks to the grown-ups for what little info he does collect from a child-centered event.

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:

4-Hers put their skills to the test
Members compete for trip to state finals
By John Lawhorne
Staff Writer

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

1 comment:

  1. There was probably a press release involved. This Lawhorne guy never talks to anybody. When I first got here, I thought Arcadia was a city of mutes.