RUSHVILLE —Let me start by offering one single humble opinion: There is no greater honor than to be the herald. I’ve enjoyed more than 25 years of doing that at a number of television, radio and print outlets around Indiana and the country. I intend to keep doing it as long as you all let me. It’s always been my dream to objectively inform people of what’s happening in our world. That way each of us can make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. But rarely can we as heralds shout from the tower turret, “It’s 11 o’clock and all is well.” Some of you may have heard that I’m no longer working for WISH in Indianapolis. It was a parting of the ways that was based partly on a difference of opinion about the way we provided content and partly on the fact that as a longtime employee I was making enough money that WISH could easily replace me with two or three people for the same salary. “It’s not personal. It’s business.” I don’t dispute the economics of that. I get it. But there is a backstory in today’s journalistic world that you need to understand. It’s not about you anymore. It’s about us. When the economy tanked and the car dealerships stopped buying advertising, local television was forced to do the unthinkable: reduce staff and desperately improve ratings (revenue). We became the story. It was all about us knocking on doors and shoving cameras in people’s faces so that we could bring you the big stories by asking the tough questions. Sadly, they weren’t the questions most of the viewers wanted to be asked, and based on feedback, they weren’t the stories you wanted to see, either. It’s now all about SVAG. Shock Value and Attention Getting. Instead of us telling you what you need to know, it’s all about us shouting to you about what we found and how we found it. Relevance is not required. The lead line of every story should make you want to keep watching and learning. But the next time you watch the news count how many times the anchor says something like, “Now to a story we first told you about yesterday or this morning or as breaking news just minutes ago.” How about they just tell us the story without bragging about who told us first? Stop wasting my time by selling yourselves instead of telling us what we need to know. The bean-counters keep wondering why the adult demographics keep vanishing and the younger viewers don’t view the way we used to. Here’s a hint. Your product is seen as demeaning by only touching on the lowest common denominators, fear and loathing of things that rarely hit home. It’s an icy truth that has sucked out the warmth that was once the hallmark of the medium. The natural marriage of words and sound, color and clarity, real truth and not contrived stories that always make for great promotion. If we just spent half the time we do pursuing stories that our viewers tell us they care more about, we’d deliver at least a little of the responsibility that you once expected of us. If we can figure out a way to regain that responsibility again, perhaps the gravity of what we are trying to provide can be weighed by you again. My wife (who has a long and strong background in television) reminded me this morning that if there is something you don’t like about what media outlets are doing, don’t think that the decision makers can read your minds. Let them know through phone calls, emails, and message boards. It’s amazing how much weight a single response from you can have when it comes to a response from them. Your world is not always about murder and mayhem. Some nights it would be a pleasure to stand on the tower and remind you that “all is well.” And have you believe it. Rick Dawson is a freelance journalist and a Rush County resident. You can contact him at email@example.com.
Mauzy: Seniors perform final tasks at RCHS
As the parent of a 2013 high school graduate, I approach the ending of the school year in a joyous yet melancholy kind of way. Every milestone my son hit this year has come with elation attached to subdued realizations. Years of watching him burn the midnight oil while working on homework assignments and then witnessing the dedication to his sporting events will soon end. To be sure, the growth of a child is a wonderful event.
Library should be county-wide
I read with interest Paul Barada’s column proposing that the Rushville Library should become a county facility.
Way back in 1990, shortly after I became publisher of the Rushville Republican, I approached the director of the library, informing her that I wished to put the entire resources of the local newspaper behind a drive to convert the city library to a county library.
Our View: Seizure of AP phone records insult to independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
Barada: 50 years ago and counting
My, does time fly! On June 22 next month, the Rushville High School Class of 1963 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. To be honest, 1963 doesn’t sound all that long ago, until one considers that, when we graduated in June 1963, the Class of 1913 was celebrating its 50th anniversary! Now, 1913 seemed like a long time ago when I was just 17 years old. The year 1913 was four years before the United States entered World War One.
Barada: Local library should be a county facility
A noble effort is underway to renovate and expand the Rushville Public Library. It will not be an easy task. What will help, in my opinion, will be finally making the public library a county library.
Ziemke: Back home again in Batesville
Following the hustle and bustle of Indianapolis, I must say that it has been nice to be home this past week. Session is an exciting process to be a part of, but for now, I am just going to enjoy the fact that I can be at my restaurant more often to talk to the folks I represent at the Statehouse.
Mauzy: Weddings paint a larger picture of life
The marriage of my oldest daughter was this past weekend. With great fortune, weather remained wonderful for the outside venue. More than a stroke of good luck concerning the weather, the calm and positive energies of everyone in attendance would have overcome any adversity.
Messer: Have we learned the lessons of 9/11?
September 11 was a devastating wake up call for every American. The events of that terrible day taught us that we are at war with violent Islamist extremists. If we let them, these jihadists are committed to exploiting our generosity and legal protections to further their murderous mania. The 9/11 Commission which investigated that tragedy concluded warning signs were everywhere, noting that “the system was blinking red.”
Barada: 150th anniversary of the American Civil War beckons travellers this summer
Since we’re in the middle of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War; and based on the presumption that you’re interested in it at all, it’s just about time to start planning a trip to one of the two sites that marked the turning point in that conflict – Gettysburg, Pa., and Vicksburg, Miss.
Zeta Tau Run for the Arts in Milroy
ZThe Zeta Taus would like to invite the community to join them in several activities in and around Milroy on Saturday, May 11. The annual Run for the Arts begins at 7:30 a.m. for runners and 8 a.m. for walkers. This event starts and ends at Milroy United Methodist Church parking lot. The cost to participate is $15 for adults and $10 for children. In
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