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Just an honest question....

I have honestly kept my mouth pretty much shut about this subject for a week for personal reasons, can't do it anymore!

John Montgomery of the Hutch News wrote this column today. 

I don't think anyone can sensibly argue against his overall point, which I take to be:

Poverty should be a bigger concern than Football or the name of our Hospital. 

(please note that I have not talked to John about ths issue, I am just making my own conclusion that is his point.) If that is his point, no mentally capable person should be able to argue against it it, in my opinion!?

The problem I have is that I think John is missing the point on this issue all together. 

I think the point on this issue is that Major Media Sources (which, when dealing with South Central Kansas, the Hutch News most certainly is) have gigantic effects on what the population as a whole is passionate about at any given moment. 

If you made poverty, or troops returning from the war, or a teacher dedicating himself to motivating students,  or crime in Hutch, or run-down decrepit buildings or the county commission race, or the fact that HCC football has a top 5 running back in the nation and maybe the number one d-lineman or the fact that HCC women's soccer is nationally ranked, or the huge success that Third Thursday is becoming for downtown and how it's growing and spreading, or the troops coming home from Iraq (yeah I know I already said that), if you made any of those a front page story with 4 follow up articles in a week, you might get to witness our passion about those things!  Why isn't the fact that some of our local schools need some help raising test scores front and center on the home page of the paper with color pictures and at least 4 related follow up articles in one week like the Dreiling thing was? 

John asks the question, why are we not as passionate about Poverty as we are Football or Hospital names?

 I ask why is there not a Frontpage story with pictures of a poverty stricken family (in full color), with investigative work on the Hutch News' part to get this story in our minds? 

John himself admits in the column linked to above that when he moved to this town he, for a while, was a little oblivious to the level of poverty we had. What? The Newspaper publisher is oblivious to something and has to go and find out for himself about it, but then he questions why the general community as a whole is not passionate about it? It's not getting the coverage and exposure that your paper gives to a cussing coach! That's why!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being passionate about Salthawk football, or volleyball or bowling or debate, the band is really good! I love Salthawk Football and Randy Dreiling deserves the Lion's share of the credit. Should he cuss at kids, Nope! I don't think Coach himself would argue with you that he SHOULD being doing that. Should he be punished for this outburst, yep! HE WAS! Does the punishment fit the infraction? Not for me to decide, we elect school board members who select a Superintendent to decide! I think that part of it is over! 

 For that matter folks have every right to be passionate about the name change of the Hospital,  I am not, and really don't get why we don't give them a chance to prove it is a good move before we judge, but that's another post. But... If the Hutch News is gonna continue write articles and have Dan Demings columns be about the Hospital name change... They have no right to question people continuing to discuss it and become more and more passionate aboout it. They are the main reason it is happening? Where is the overexposure of the Poverty problem before you question our passion about it????????????? Give us the same public forum to get passionate about a subject before you question our passion, or what it is directed towards. I DO Love Salthawk football, but I would also  love to be more informed about how I could get involved or what others are doing about poverty or the mistakes that are being made in the fight against poverty... Which edition of the News or what webpage within HutchNews.com gives me that info???

What media sources have to realize is... if you post something that is going to get passionate responses and exploit that passion by making it a frontpage story with color pictures and then follow it up in the next 7 days with 3 more articles/columns.... You are gonna make it the top story on everyones mind! Kinda a no-brainer! Huh??

I think the Hutch News had every right to print the story they did, they are a private corporation and can do what they want within the law. I personally thought the story belonged in the sports section right under the results of the 1A bowling competition on Holcomb. Please.... Nothing personal meant towards Holcomb or Bowlers. But John or either of the Mary's didn't call and ask my opinion, because..., well, I have zero say in it.

Plain and simple, the Hutch News (well within their rights) produced the combustible, lit it and then fanned the flames on this deal. Then they come back and try to point the finger at readers as a community for not being passionate about other causes such as poverty??? 

I can only guess.. but I bet if they put a poverty stricken family in a full color picture on the Frontpage and then wrote a "Investigative Expose' " on the poverty levels in Hutchinson Ks, and pointed out the flaws in anyones attempts to do their job to make it better, you would see some passion. I stand behind the people who are trying to help, but they have flaws as well. Some of them probably cuss!

John, 

Let's see a piece about Interfaith Housing, and even though they do a great service to this community, point out any flaws you see in the work they are doing and see if the passion is there. We don't really know if the community has an incredible passion about poverty, because our main media source hasn't written a front page article with color pictures and 3 or 4 follow up articles in the next week. It's worth a try? huh???

I love Salthawk Football, I think randy Dreiling has done way more good for this community than alot of folks and I think the "Bad" thing he did in this instance is not big enough to ruin all that. 

I love that the Student Body had a sign at the McPherson game that said "Welcome to Salthawk Football" (pics here) if you don't get the irony, you have heard Coach Dreilings speech on the Charter bus.  

I want my son to have a Chance someday to play for a leader that is as passionate about his job as Randy Dreiling is! I hope Coach Dreiling doesn't yell at him like he did in that tape.. but if he does and my son comes home and complains about it... I will tell him to stop doing whatever he did that got him yelled at!

p.s. if you are a football fan check out this pic!!! 

Thanks to Bob The Photog for all the great pics. And thanks to Forrest Stucky for this great display of proper tackling form... I am having a little trouble getting my 9 year old to tackle like this... almost driving me to cuss!! :)





41 comments:

  1. Cody,
    Right On! I find it ironic that when Mr. Montgomery moved to town, he studied area school districts and chose USD 308 to educate his children. If he is that concerned that he continues to question actions of USD 308 (Dreiling adn State AYP scores), maybe he should move his children to Buhler. He seems to favor Buhler in the News anyway. I can't recall the last time Salthawk soccer was featured on the front page of the Sports section of the News.

    I am a parent of a Salthawk athlete and find it ironic that the News is not getting support from fellow parents of Salthawk athletes on Coach. If we were all about winning, we would have called for Coach Dreiling's job after the Rockhurst game.

    I, along with others, have cancelled my subscription to the News. I no longer have a bird, so I will not need it to line the cage anymore.

    Mary Clarkin may have written the article on Dreiling, but Montgomery turned a deaf ear to Dreiling supporters and approved it.

    Keep bloggin'!

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  2. Cody,

    I agree that major media outlets, politicians, and people in general should spend more time focusing on "the big picture" and "stuff that matters". It seems like everyone, from the biggest media conglomerates to the presidential candidates to the people sitting at the tables next to me at a local Mexican restaurant are all focused on nitpicky stuff.

    "I heard that Obama's not REALLY Amercian." "If McCain gets elected, Palin will kill all the Moose in Alaska!" "Tonight on the Evening News, our chief correspondent will be interviewing Paris Hilton about her intentions to run for president in 2025!"

    These things are so easy for so many people to do, because somehow our general populous has been conditioned to eat up controversy, fad, and outrageous b.s.

    That said - I think you understimate the significance of the high school football coach being able to get away with cursing at and threatening his players. This just perpetuates the cycle and confirms the mindset that football is special, that football players and coaches get special treatment, that following the rules doesn't matter as long as you win, and that there's no point for kids to waste their time trying to be good students and follow the rules when they can just be football players (or coaches), do whatever they want, get away with it, and make more money!

    I believe that the situation surrounding the Salthawk football coach is just a microcosm of what is going on nationally and globally. What our children are learning at the moment is that certain people do not have to follow the rules. That those people can engage in behavior that is harmful to others and never pay the consequences. They're learning it from the CEOs of Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sacks, and they're learing it on the Hutchinson High School football field.

    Football isn't as important as poverty. But integrity, the importance of following the rules, and learning the consequences of breaking the rules is an important lesson that everyone needs to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've learned that it's "passion", almost crazy acting, loud noise producing "passion", the same passion that gets some people called crazy, or weird, that's what MAKES THINGS HAPPEN.

    Passionate People make MANY others uncomfortable, but when it's sparked in any percentage of people - things happen. Things change.

    I believe that passion is what leads people to do the things that Dreiling did on the bus. His Passion about teaching respect and responsibility to his football team is what made him react in the way that he did.

    It's ironic to me that in a nutshell, that's what John was saying. How do we get people passionate about poverty? In other words... maybe we need to get Coach Dreiling to fix it. He may cuss, he may turn red in the face because he's so upset about it. But... with that passion - I can guarantee that there would be a change.

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  4. For whatever it's worth, here's my 2 cents.

    Most of my life I lived below the poverty line. Most of that time was spent living in Kansas and part of it living in Hutch.

    All of my relatives living in Hutch live below the poverty line.

    I grew up living below the poverty line as did my parents.

    So I guess, by this newspaper article my family and I were/are considered "generational poverty".

    That said, there's a huge difference between "welfare" folks and the "working poor". Maybe not to those who haven't lived below the poverty line for most of their lives but for those who have lived in that territory and are familiar with it, they are two very distinctly different cultures.

    Of course, Hutch has a lot of folks who live under the poverty line. They're set nationally.

    Hutch also has a lower cost of living than a whole lot of other places in the country.

    What I'm saying is, if your living on $27,500 in DC where the minimum rent for a dive in a terrible neighborhood is close to a thousand a month, your a whole lot worse off, despite having the same income, as those folks living in Hutch who bought their older homes along the way and have a few hundred dollar house payments.

    Not that I'm saying it's a piece of cake but then life never is.

    Which leads me to what I really think this newspaper editorial is about at this particular moment in time and space.

    We're sitting very close to the eve of a Presidential election where the topic of the middle class being burdened perhaps to the point of becoming part of the working poor is a campaign issue.

    If you turn that focus onto the working poor in Hutch, who have always existed, then you'll likely find some folks who used to drive to Wichita for a job at one of the airplane places who no longer has a job doing so and they will tell you the middle class has disappeared because it has for them.

    Changing from one social class to another is not a small thing. I did it the opposite way - from the working poor to the middle class. In theory, that's the easy way to do it and I definitely appreciate having money to pay the electric bill. But social classes are much more than economic levels and those are very different from one culture to the next, no matter which direction you go.

    All that aside, the US began losing manufacturing jobs after NAFTA was signed in 1993.

    You can google NAFTA and wikipedia to read the specifics of how it affected agricultural trade.

    The most common part people refer to is the de-industrialism effect it had on the U.S.

    Here's some basic information:

    78% of the net job losses under NAFTA, 686,700 jobs, were relatively-high paying manufacturing jobs.[8] Certain states with heavy emphasis on manufacturing industries like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California were significantly affected by these job losses. For example, in Ohio, TAA and NAFTA-TAA identified 14,653 jobs directly lost due to NAFTA-related reasons like relocation of U.S. firms to Mexico.[9] Similarly, in Pennsylvania, Keystone Research Center attributed 150,000 job losses in the state to the rising U.S. trade deficit.[10] Since 1993, 38,325 of those job losses are directly related to trade with Mexico and Canada. Opponents point out the fact that although most of these jobs were reallocated to other sectors, the majority of workers were relocated to the service industry, where average wages are 4/5 to that of the manufacturing sector.[8]

    Link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAFTA%27s_Impact_on_US_Employment

    We've all been debating NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements for years and I've yet to find a person who knows how to reverse the very real fact that the internationalists changed our national economy in the 1990's and the fallout continues.

    So the debate continues.

    I don't believe we can renegotiate NAFTA at this late date. I don't believe that the Democratic party plans to somehow convince foreign governments to agree to U.S. dictated labor laws for people in their own countries is viable. We're not the only world market and now we're not even the world market with good credit. China's labor market is aging. Within 15 years, the majority of the Chinese population will be retirement age. Some folks think India is the new China but my guess is they are already close to attaining their own middle class and the idea they'll be a worker class of cheap labor will, IMHO, have a finite life.

    JMO.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just to push the point of over zealous reporting on the football coach, the fact that they caught the arsonist terrorizing the city was buried on page 4 and it was directly taken from the fire fighters report - word for word. I'd hate to actually do some reporting on something that effects the over all community and let us know our fine police department had done it's job! To me, that should be front page, above the fold - not the coach's potty mouth! BTW - Was this really a shock to anyone? I mean, really? I'd be more surprised if the coach didn't cuss.

    And, as for poverty, Hutch is now a mecca for it. You know the line - "if you build it, they will come." We have great homeless housing here, brand new in fact. If I were homeless in a nearby town I'd be hot footing it over here to live in the nice new apartments they have set up on Avenue A and on Monroe. I'm not trying to down play the importance of New Beginnings or the help they provide to those truly in need but I have little sympathy for the welfare junkies. Sadly, I'm related to some and most know how to work the system. We as a community just open up the doors and let them walk all over us.

    I agree, Cody, knowledge is power. If you report the issues, people will become aware and will likely become more involved. Not much you can get involved with in changing the name of the Hospital. It will always be Hutch Hospital to me and I don't think I will be confusing anyone by calling it that or Promise or The Hospital as it is usually referred to since it is the only one in town!

    ReplyDelete
  6. They renamed the hospital? Maybe I need to get back to town more.

    ReplyDelete
  7. HHS Alum & Hutch Small BizOctober 20, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Cody - Have you sent your post to The News? Bet they wouldn't print it because it doesn't agree with their point-of-view! But you are SPOT ON! The media of this country, including small-town newspapers have more influence to shape our feelings & opinions, because they have the access to do it! I'm ashamed that media outlets everywhere abuse their power by arguing "Freedom of the Press - The public's Right to Know!" But then THEY decide what THEY think the public should know ... not necessarily what should be being discussed. From our fb coach all the way to crucifying Joe the Plumber on a national stage. I don't know how ANYONE actually believes ANYTHING they see on TV or read in a newspaper anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let me first say that I think Cody's take is right on the money. I must also preface that I have spent many years in the coaching and teaching professions.

    The big problem with John Montgomery and the Hutch News is the same problem that occurs at all levels of media. They are liberal, opinionated and present a one sided approach. It is obvious that the ole boy kinda "crapped in his own nest" with his Dreiling article and is now trying to detour the attention to something else, as he realizes that he might have bitten off more than he realized. There is a huge list of advertisers that are big supporters of Dreiling and I wouldn't blame them for having nothing to do with the Hutch News--As a matter of fact encourage it. The problem is that Mr. Montgomery has never spent much time in a lockerroom, and has made "a mountain out of a molehill" with Dreiling's comments.

    I do disagree with Cody in this regard. Cody says that Hutch News has every right to write that story--maybe true, but they certainly were very unprofessional at their lame attempt at journalism. Isn't it policy at the Hutch News that all "opinion" columns must indicate the name of the person sending the message? Why is this any different? An anonymous tape that is 4 months old is reported on in this manner. What is to keep people walking around with open recorders trying to get dignitaries all over to stumble on their words and send them in anonymously? The biggest sin is that HN ran it on the AP wire and made it a national issue. Legal? Maybe--I don't know! Unprofessional and yellow? Without question.

    Singling Dreiling out is a huge sin as (whether you want to agree or not) these types of rants occur at all levels of coaching, and in all types of sports.

    In closing, I think John may need to take heed......When he does as much for Hutchinson as Randy Dreiling has, I might even pick up a copy of his liberal paper. But until then.......

    ReplyDelete
  9. OK,

    I will address things kinda generally here.

    First of the biggest point that has to be addressed for us to not be moron football fans that only care about winning is this:

    "The Hutch News had every right to publish the story" PERIOD>

    You can be mad at them and you can cancel your subscription but they are not hiding behind freedom of the press in any way... They reported a story. And the story was true... Damnit they got the freaking tape. They are a private corporation and can print whatever they want. Period. Can they be sued for it? Yes. Can people choose to cancel subscriptions, Yes.Can advertisers bailout? Yes. But they can print what they want and feature it in any way possible. We can't stop them nor should we be able to.

    We can react to it. We can do the things I mentioned above and doing them with passion is protected by the exact freaking same document that protects them and allows them to do that.

    So stop saying they shouldn't be allowed to do it, this country would suck if they weren't allowed to do it.

    The issue on my mind is not that they printed the article it is that they printed the article had 2 or 3 follow up related articles got this town in a frenzy and then questioned our passion towards poverty.
    But... Again no legal action needs to be taken, they have the right to do that, it just pisses me off. Honestly they have the right to piss me off, lay off the "They shouldn't be allowed to do that" debate cause it's wrong.

    Amy,

    I am not underestimating anything and you are putting words in my mouth. I never underestimate respect for the rules, you can ask anyone that knows me. Coach Dreiling did not get away with this. He was punished, was it enough? you and I don't know cause we don't know the details of the reprimand, and quite frankly it is not you or I that get to make that call. We can affect it by who we vote for in school board elections, but thats it. He didn't "Get away with it".

    Coach Dreiling has a set of rules and is adamant, I mean really freaking adamant, about people following them, sometimes to a fault obviously! He does way more for teaching those kids to follow the rules than he does the reverse, I have witnessed it firsthand.
    So the whole microcosm of the downfall of the banks thing... Bad analogy.
    It's actually backwards the "tirade" was a (wrong and overly excessive)means of bringing consequences to the players for not following the rules. Coach Dreiling and his staff teach those players an awful lot about responsibility and becoming positive members of society.
    Disclaimer*** If you come back with something ridiculous about me thinking the tirade on the bus was acceptable, I will delete comment. I don't.

    Tamara, great comment. Passion about things does often lead to going overboard in the process of massive progress. I sleep with Tamara as well so my point of view to her comments is biased.

    Jolene,

    You are truly a wealth of knowledge thank you.

    curiouskitten,

    I agree that there were alot of news stories that should have gotten more focus than Dreilings speech. But, again, not my call. My opinion, but I don't have any say. I disagree that we are a "Mecca" for homeless. And honestly I don't get what Housing for the Homeless is... If we house them aren't they no longer homeless?

    Janelle,

    Yes it is now called "Promise Regional Medical Center Hutchinson"

    HHS Alumn and Small Biz,

    I have not and will not send my post to the Hutch News, I completely disagree with opinion pieces being in NEWS Sources! Even if it is my opinion.

    I also don't agree with the total hatred of media sources. I get some good info about things from the Hutch News... I think they did this one different than I would have and different than I think they should have. I have several things I have issues with them about, but an all out hatred for all media is as extreme or more than the ridiculous things media does sometimes.

    Anaonymous (latest comment)

    I can see you are passionate about this and that's cool. But.. again, they had every right to run the article. Cowardly and yellow, I don't really get where you are coming from there.

    Opinion piece?? Ehh? Maybe a decent argument. But it had facts in it. Was it slanted? Yes in my opinion, but I don't know about an opinion piece.

    I agree with your comment except for attacking what John Montgomery has done for this community, you are witch hunting him just like you and I think they were Dreiling. Attack what he did in regards to this issue, by all means, I did. But, the guy and his Company have done a bunch for this community. So why attack that side?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cody and I have debated this subject a little, and I think we each know the point the other was trying to make -- and disagree on some of the finer points. I told Cody I didn't think I needed to join in his blog, but later I thought it might be constructive to provide some background on the decision-making for this story.

    I don't mind the reaction that we should not have done this story. We expected that. And people can disagree on that. But the debate deteriorates when we throw out charges of bias -- and "liberal" bias at that, though last I checked vulgarity was a conservative position. Or that this was something personal about Randy Dreiling or that we favor Buhler. Let's be honest and serious about this.

    The background is that the tape was e-mailed anonymously to The News. Listen to the tape, and most people think its contents make it newsworthy. At first, the story was going to be just about the tape. Then, we decided to take a more thoughtful approach and spent another whole week so we had time to put it in perspective. The reaction to the story was fully anticipated, so we wanted to try to put it into context. We talked to other coaches and even a sports psychologist. We talked to current and former players and, most importantly, we talked to Dreiling supporters -- because we knew there were many of them, and they told stories of Dreiling's caring side.

    For those who think the story was biased, please read it again with fresh eyes and an open mind. http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/footballcoach

    We went to great lengths to make the story fair and balanced.

    As for story play, I can't think where else we would have played it but page 1. It isn't as if putting it on page 1 is to make some kind of statement. Everyday, that is where we put our lead local stories. Putting it on page 5 would have required an intentional effort to trivialize the story. Cody's opinion that it belonged on the front page of Sports is an intriguing one. One could make a case for that. But we intentionally did not want to mix an issue story with sports. It was a story about a coach's style, and indeed the coaching culture in general, not about the football team. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought it would ignite more outrage if placed next to a Salthawk game story. In addition, the story about Dreiling was written not by a sports reporter but a news reporter -- again to keep the two intentionally separate. Our sports reporters still need to cover the Salthawk football team.

    The story was relatively long, but again that was a result of including the perspectives of many people. There were numerous sources -- again, many of them Dreiling supporters.

    We followed up the following day with an editorial. As I told Cody, that's not at all uncommon. Cody gets to a third story only because of the huge crowd that showed up Monday at the school board meeting when this subject wasn't even on the agenda. We write editorials almost every day on local issues that have been in the news, and we cover every school board meeting, but in this case we now get to three "stories" on the subject and are "sensationalizing" it. I don't think so.

    I accept criticism for stories that readers think should be on page 1 that were not -- such as local troops returning home or the arrest of arsonists. Those are fair critques. We don't always get it right, to be sure.

    But to say this story was sensationalized is not fair. The newspaper wrote a story to which the community reacted passionately. To say we should have buried the story inside and not covered a huge crowd at the school board meeting doesn't really make sense if you think about it. Cody thinks it should have been a sports story, OK. But the reality is many people just plain don't think we should have done the story at all. And we can argue that and hopefully agree to disagree.

    I appreciate discussions about news decisions. We try to be objective in all of them. If I can answer more questions about the process for this story, I would be glad to.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok first off we gotta give Mr Montgomery some credit for coming on here. Obviously our first 9 comments didn't really lay out a favorable red carpet for him.

    Secondly as you know from all the crap I have written in my "I am right and you are wrong " section.
    I think he has every right to the opinions he states here, obviously I disagree, but last time I checked I have zero say in the decision making at The Hutch News and he actually has all of the say so... there you go.

    He hasn't affected my opinions and in fact I do still think they chose to make a bigger deal of this than it was by how it was covered.

    Let me restate somethings.

    1. I think they absolutely had to run the story. Had to! Ignoring it would have been irresponsible. My Opinion!

    2. They had every right to run it, no doubt, they own the press and the website, the Hutch News can run anything they want. FACT!!

    3. I completely think the story was sensationalized. That is very much an opinion and we will have to just agree to disagree. Which I am fine with... That is the foundation of my "I am right and you are wrong" section of this website. My opinion, but I REALLY think I am right on this one!!!

    4. The main thing STILL that upsets me was the passion that SOME of the community responded with being turned around into "It would be nicer if we had passion for poverty" when the news lit the fire of passion in the first place. I don't get that. My opinion!!!

    5. I really do think Mr Montgomery's comment here was a very cool statement of his willingness to get out and defend his paper and the choices they mad.It would have been alot easier to stay in his office and ignore the 3 of us that read this blog.

    I really think the deciding factor about the original article is where the story belonged. If I was the publisher of the Hutch News, this would have been a sports story. It would not have been a story about the Cultural issues and under lying themes about double standards and I wouldn't have compared coach Dreiling's actions to statements in the Student handbook and I would not have allowed a former teacher to make it a "Dreiling gets favoritism" issue. It would have been an article in the Sports Section about a Coach that broke the rules and was reprimanded. It would have been an article about the facts of what happened.

    Now that being said, I am the publisher of a little bity blog that 10 people read and he is the Publisher of a great big newspaper that can do what he wants.

    I guess in closing I would like to say I don't see much more debate on this. That's not to say we can't, cut loose if you want. In my opinion though it has come down to opinions and passionate opinions at that. We are not gonna change minds or make progress. Hutch News will keep doing their thing and if you really don't like it, don't read it.

    I for one will continue to read it online for free because it is the best local news source we have. I will probably also continue to voice my opinions here if something they do really gets under my skin. So there you go...

    Thanks John for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice wrap up Cody. I especially liked how your readership jumped from 3 to 10 in your own post! I am sure the Hutch News is quite threatened by your blog (that is sarcasm by the way) but it is nice to see the Mr. Montgomery is paying attention to the little people. At least he is listening to his readership and willing to admit that better choices could have been made.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't know anything about Salthawk football, but I know something about journalism. I even have a piece of paper from a University that says I know something about it, as well as some experience.

    I didn't pay attention to any of this until I simply couldn't ignore it because it was THE talk around town. Why was it the talk of the town? Because people LOVE that kind of stuff, that's why.

    I can guarantee you there are multiple articles about far more important things - like poverty - that people never pay any attention to. It's not that poverty has not been reported. It's that people don't pay any attention. It's not nearly as juicy as a cursing football coach. You think lots of people show up at a school board meeting because tons of kids qualify for free lunches here? No. Is that a closely guarded secret? No. It's common knowledge among everyone in the social service industry. Do we have access to some special information? No. We know from the census data, from the media, etc. - all sources anyone else can access as well. Why do we know? Because we pay attention, because we SEE the people who are affected by it. We know some people are counting their change to see if they can buy a gallon of milk for their kids. The information is readily available - it's just that it's an ugly thing to think about and it's much easier to ignore it.

    Even more than ignore it, it's easy for people to blow it off with the flippant, "If they worked harder..." Let me tell you something - the people who are getting low wages in this area and everywhere else are working hard. Do you actually think that the CNAs taking care of your loved one in a nursing home aren't working hard? Do you think the janitor, the clerk, the nurse's aide, etc. are not working hard? Trust me, they're working hard. Probably harder than you or I are.

    People are always quick to blame the media. Years ago I was a TV reporter in another state. I covered a drive by shooting once where the MOTHER of the victim came and sought me out so I would interview her so she would be on the evening news. I was not out looking for her - I was in the car with the door locked waiting on the photographer who was taking video of the buildings/neighborhood, not the victim. SHE was the one who knocked on the window and proclaimed with a thump on the chest, "That's my boy." We declined to interview her. I was supported in the decision by the producer and the news director. Why? Because most journalists are decent people who are not looking to sensationalize anything. We don't go into the business to get rich or get attention, we do it for pretty noble purposes generally - mainly the public's right to know.

    If the football coach is cussing out his players that's news. Sorry. Anyway you cut it, it's news. And it is not a sports story - it's a news story - just as it would be if any other school employee were doing it at a school function. If the chemistry teacher did it are you going to put it on the chemistry page? (My apologies to the chemistry teacher.)

    Parents have a right to know about it - it says something about his demeanor and his approach. I'm not saying it's bad or good - I'm saying they have a right to know. Not only the parents of current players, but other parents who might let their kids play at a later date.

    And, frankly, the whole community has a right to know. The school system is supported by everyone in this community through taxes. You'll never hear me complain about those taxes - I want to support the schools - but I have a right to know what we're getting for our money. That is not to say I want to be involved in the micro-management of what the coach is doing. But, we have the right to know when it's out of whack with "the norm," which is what we find out when the story is reported in context.

    And, while I'm on a roll about this, one of the earlier comments is just such typical hypocritical thought from people who assume all the media is liberal - it is SO not true, by the way. I've worked with lots of media people over the years - they're not all liberal by a long shot - some are far more conservative than George Bush or Ronald Reagan or Newt Gingrich. But, back to my point, if the average teacher were cussing at your kid during a school activity, conservatives would have a cow. But, because it's reported by someone you deem as liberal you discount it. Never mind that it's an activity - cursing - that supposedly goes against all of your closely held personal beliefs - but if it's coming from a winning coach it's suddenly all OK.

    The News did exactly the right thing by putting it in context with other information, instead of just reporting it cold without any other data. That's what good reporting is about.

    The fact that the football coach is cursing out players is news. Period. Frankly, it's pretty big news. It's not sports. It's news. The only reason you would put it on the sports page is to bury it so fewer people will read it because some simply discard the sports page without looking at it. Is it only reported with the weather on the back page when we have an ice storm? No. Because it's news. If they had put this on the sports page, I'd be calling foul now. That would have indicated they were trying to bury a news story. I suppose if you're a big supporter of the coach, it sounds appealing to bury it.

    I should say, I don't know the coach, I have met John Montgomery but don't know him, I have met Mary Clark but don't know her either. My point is - I don't have a horse in this race. I don't even have an opinoin about the situtation's right/wrong/good/bad. Sounds like the coach screwed up. It happens to everybody. Unfortunately, when you have a more public job - like being a football coach - it's likely to become public. That's what happened. It seems to me like the coverage was "average" for such a story - not too much, not too little - and certainly not sensational.

    For example, the News reports on all school board meetings. But it was the public - not the News - that made this an issue at the meeting. Don't blame the news for just reporting what happened.

    News isn't about who supports what position. It's about reporting the facts, in context. It looks like the Hutchinson News did that very, very well.

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  14. Isn't is a choice for the Hutch News to determine if the story should run on the AP? I think this says an awful lot about the intentions of the article. There were friends of mine in Florida calling in reference to this article. This point didn't get addressed, and I think speaks loudly about the intentions of this article. It is "my opinion" that whether or not they claim it to be a "thoughtful" or "unbiased" story, there was a direct attempt at Dreiling's job (not simply a two-sided article on coaching methods). You will have a hard time of convincing me otherwise.

    I must say, I have appreciated the responses and do try to look at them with an open mind (although they haven't changed my opinion, I can understand where some of you are coming from). I guess I would have been better off qualifying things in my first post as "my opinion".

    I will also say that, although, I still vehemently disagree with John and his paper's decision to take the approach the did, I give him kudos for coming on here and at least trying to explain his position.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous,

    Thats a great comment...

    You it is their choice to AP it... I believe?!

    I agree with you and sincerely appreciate your civil response as well as your recognition of Mr Montgomery's gesture of commenting on here.

    Cool Comment!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is NOT any news organization's choice whether or not something runs on the AP.

    The AP is an independent service and makes their own decisions about what to send out. If it went out on the AP it means the AP determined it was news.

    ReplyDelete

I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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