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Archive for February 2nd, 2012

News writing 101

Heaven knows as a blogger I’ve made my share of mistakes —- misspelled words, words left out, double punctuation, you name it. What can I say, in today’s 24/7 news cycle it’s oh-so-easy to hack it out and hit ‘publish’ without thoroughly checking your work. No excuse.

So it’s with that in mind that I point out two articles I’ve read today with massive editorial problems. The first is WGHP’s write-up on Greensboro’s International Civil Right Museum. Check it out:

Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Center and Museum operated at a loss of 318-thousand dollars in 2011, according to its Chief Financial Officer.

In 2010, it operated at a profit of more than 226-thousand dollars. Executive Director Bamidele Demerson said museums around the country are struggling.

The museum is experiencing cultural attraction, just as any other museum not only in our community but in the USA. At the same time we have a commitment to growth and development.

And to find ways to make growth profitable. In the two years its been open about 140-thousand people have visited the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in downtown Greensboro. Demerson said they’re getting international visitors as well as locals.

I’ll assume that WGHP’s ‘staff writer’ is a career TV person with no knowledge whatsoever of AP style. Still, I would think common sense dictates that you simply write out the number instead of the word ‘thousand.’

Then there’s this Yes!Weekly article on WSFCS board member Elisabeth Motsinger, who is challenging Rep. Virginia Foxx in the District 5 Congressional race. I read the article with interest because Motsinger —a way-out leftist who was recently arrested outside the White House for opposing the Keystone XL pipeline —- would make the campaign interesting, although I’ll venture to predict she has no chance of defeating Foxx.

Check out this incoherent paragraph:

District “I am interested in moving our country for- — that’s been our goal.” ward — towards one where all people can ex- The house party on Jan. 12 represented the perience the blessings of liberty and where we first step toward achieving those goals. secure the necessary ingredients for a livable “Tonight has been an awesome experience world for our children’s children,” she said. and to see that’s really what people want — Inside Stephanie and Rajesh’s home, they want to their voice is heard, they want to Motsinger said when inspiration first struck know their input is valued — so we hope to to run for Congress she had to go deep inside continue to do this type of thing over and over herself to figure what her campaign would look again,” Joines said.

It may one thing when a writer under deadline stress turns in sloppy copy. But where was the copy editor on this one?

Just so you know, I double-checked this post before I hit ‘publish.’ Still, I’m only one set of eyes, so someone step up, if necessary…..

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Bowles out?

WRAL reports via Twitter that Erskine Bowles will not run for governor.

Update: Bowles statement.

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Welcome G’boro, Jeff Gauger

I know nothing about Canton, Ohio, other than it’s the home of the Football Hall of Fame. So I’m sure that Jeff Gauger faced many of the same issues as editor of the local daily that he will face when he takes over as editor of the N&R.

I’m sure he’s been primed on what he’s walking into here in Greensboro —- a thriving blogosphere and stiff competition from two alt-weeklies. Still, I wonder if he’s prepared.

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Welcome to the 1 percent, Mr. Grafitti Artist

Facebook’s IPO is going to make a lot of people very, very wealthy:

The graffiti artist who took Facebook stock instead of cash for painting the walls of the social network’s first headquarters made a smart bet. The shares owned by the artist, David Choe, are expected to be worth upward of $200 million when Facebook stock trades publicly later this year.

The social network company announced its $5 billion public offering Wednesday afternoon, which is expected to value the whole company at $75 billion to $100 billion. Ultimately, that offering will mint a lot of billionaires and millionaires.

No need to remind anyone that Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama are buddies, right? This is why the president’s class warfare rhetoric rings so hollow.

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East Forsyth coach curses student

An East Forsyth High School student used his cell phone to record a confrontation with the school’s softball coach over texts the coach was sending to a female student.

Short version— Mike Muse, who teaches gym in addition to coaching the softball team, confronted student Dillon Tshrnko over text messages he was sending the female student, who is a friend of Tshrnko’s. Apparently Muse believed Tshrnko was spreading rumors about him and the female student.

Muse describes himself as a “God-fearing Christian man.” Still, he uses some colorful language, as this excerpt form the confrontation shows:

I got enough problems as it is already and being the girls softball coach, guess what, I got 46 girls in my program. You think I’m not going to text any of them? You think I’m not going to be their surrogate daddy? Cause some of them don’t have daddies. You understand where I’m coming from and I swear to God there’s enough (vagina) out there that’s 21 and older that I don’t need to dip into an 18-year-old and younger population. That plus the fact that I’ve got a wife that I’m pretty passionate about. And I have two daughters and a son. Why would I treat these girls any differently than I’m going to treat my own daughter and my own son?

Muse told the Winston-Salem Journal that he acted out of anger —it happens to us all — and that he has apologized to both Dillon and his parents, and that he has been disciplined, although the discipline is undisclosed and he continues to teach and coach at East Forsyth.

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February 2012
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