Thursday, April 13, 2006

David Broder comes to UK

When someone has been in a business as long as David Broder has been in journalism, people listen to what they have to say; that’s just what students and faculty did Wednesday night at the Singletary Center, listen.
David Broder, a political columnist for the
Washington Post since 1966, has been in journalism long enough to see many historical events such as Vietnam, the assassination of Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. Over that time, Broder has been awarded a Pulitzer for his commentary in 1973 ( and has won numerous awards since and written several books.
After being introduced by prominent journalism seniors Rachel Tierney and Adam Sichko, Broder took the stage and thanked everyone, especially for his first double introduction.
“I’m also very grateful, frankly, for an excuse to be out of Washington,” said Broder to share a laugh with the audience.
Broder addressed problems within our country’s structure. From the immigration problem, to the budget bill, to how Iraq is still facing unresolved problems, to the issue with Iran military intervention, and the president’s historically lowest approval rating ever.
Broder spoke about politicians promises of reforms with lobbyist industries that are carrying so much finance and weight for campaigns.
“It’s a sham,” said Broder about the fact that none of the reforms ever actually materialize.
“I have come to agree with Mitch McConnell,” said Broder about the attempt to stop lobbyist. “No matter how ingenious they are in creating ways to close channels, someone will always find a way around.”
Broder said we must find a way around the lobbyist, to force campaigns to gain their power elsewhere.
And soon as the audience was expecting to hear Broder’s expert opinion on all of these problems, they were faced with a vastly different follow up than what seemed to be coming.
“People are hoping for some enlightenment, but unfortunately for the press, we’re in a crisis of our own,” said Broder, making clear what he had been indirectly addressing his entire time on stage.
The rise of the internet and television has enormously widened the choice of the public, but it has forced the media into a paradox, Broder explained. The media is supposed to be providing the public with information to fulfill their responsibility as citizens. This enables them to “keep an eye on those in power,” said Broder.
Broder went on to say that the media cannot be governed as many other privately owned organizations. The offer of free speech is what allows us to be so interrogative of the government and inform the public, if you take the ability to speak freely of them, then you take away people’s right to know.
The method of which people learn is something Broder says he himself has watched change over the years. When he started, many papers and television stations were owned by families, and that business had been passed down through the family over each generation.
But things are picking up pace, and papers are being sold and not done locally. Broder used the example of the Los Angeles Times being controlled by the Chicago Tribune, and how all the decisions for the Los Angeles’ paper, was made in Chicago. Broder said that today, the question is who is going to pay?
“Good journalism is inherently expensive, because good journalism is labor intensive,” said Broder.
Broder said that so many people are not buying news papers anymore, and just relying strictly on the internet, but the web sites aren’t producing the kind of revenue that would sustain costly and sensible journalism. While the internet has been marvelous for expanding the media’s reach, Broder explained the problem that is arising with internet news.
“Speed often comes at the cost to care,” said Broder.
Broder explained that as a reporter, you should learn to depend on your editor, to tell you to work more on certain sections, or to add more here. “The editing function is the essence of good journalism,” said Broder.
Broder reflected on how the leadership is not only going to have to come from our country’s leaders, but our newsroom leaders.
"We are looking at serious, serious challenges to leadership," said Broder. "There's a palpable hunger in this country now for political leaders who will look beyond the next election and will begin to deal with each other. There is real hunger in the news room for leaders and educators who will use the great privilege that the First Amendment has given us,” said Broder.
Broder said that the media will have to change as demand does.
“I believe we will come to some point when the internet comes to pay for some cost,” said Broder. “Otherwise…news gathering will slowly begin to whither and dry out.”
Broder said the cost is initially going up for the press to produce the news.
“We’re going to have to figure out that some of the costs are going to have to come from us,” said Broder.

Stress Ball

I need a giant stress ball to beat the crap out of for about half an hour. I don't feel good at all. I didn't do good on my interview, I mean, I just ended up bombing it. I went completely the other direction of how I wanted to go. I'm working on this assignment that is an awesome story and I'm scared I'm not telling it good enough.

If anyone sees a giant stress ball walking around, send it to Haggin.

Bomb threat triggers evacuation - Campus News

Bomb threat triggers evacuation - Campus News

So here was the news for yesterday. Bomb threat. I think it was because of an exam. I talked to a guy (this pic didn't run) who said, you can retake an exam, you can retake a class. If you get caught with this, you get time in prison. You can't take that back.

Pretty true.