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one big offshore family

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Old 01-08-2002, 11:10 PM
  #41
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Welcome to the board. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-09-2002, 03:53 AM
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Pier

Thanks for your input. Constructive criticism is always welcome. That said, as a journalist/editor, I don't really have a problem with the use of sensationalism to get the point across to what I feel is a world heavily burdened by messages, each fighting for attention. Sensationalism, in this respect, is simply a way to make people sit up and take notice. I don't quite don't quite understand your comment about job understanding, but I do possess a sense of fair play that enables me to accept the fact that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. In the journalistic sense, facts do come into play. But before you anoint yourself as judge, jury and executioner, my suggestion is to to check out the facts first. I did enjoy your "paving...hell" phrase. Hopefully one day I will not only be able to place them in their proper context, but use them in everyday conversation. To lighten things up a bit, I must ask if hell is also accessibe by water? And, is it really true that journalists are bona fide specialists in ensuring libelous accusations reach print? Granted, some do, but isn't the ultimate determination a job for Superlawyer? Finally, you are right when you intimate that I would not run Mr. Crouse's column. Getting back to what I hinted at in earlier posts, I really have no intention of using the magazine as a platform to start an offshore war. However, I will report the facts, as I learn about and understand them, and interpret them for the magazine's readership.
Yes, good or bad isn't the main issue. What does matter to me is my mandate to help promote the continued growth of offshore performance boating.
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Old 01-09-2002, 04:55 PM
  #43
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Mediaman,

Hell is most definitely accessible by water. In fact, it's often a shortcut--but what a fun way to get there.

Funny, I didn't find Mr. Crouse's December piece to be sensationalistic in the most common use of the term. I did, however, find it completely unbalanced and opinionated. As journalism, you know, the kind where you track down both sides of the story for your readers, it's junk. And yes, I'm happy to "judge" that. But again, I'm judging a piece of work, not the man.

What bothers me that is that people will form heartfelt opinions based on this kind unbalanced work. Ever wonder why reporters aren't so popular? Ever introduce yourself as a reporter and immediately feel the mistrust?

We'll have to agree to disagree on sensationalism (although I'm relatively sure they don't teach courses on how to use it when it suits your purpose in journalism schools, and the newsrooms I've worked in avoid it). If you need sensationalism to call attention to your story, your story probably isn't worth writing. Or, worse, you're just being lazy, because solid reporting is inherently compelling. Tell a good story, and tell it with balance, and people will read it.

Journalists are not libel lawyers, that's true. However, a decent journalist doesn't smile at his good fortune when he isn't sued for libel each day--he has a major role in ensuring it doesn't happen. Part of that is education (there's a reason why media law courses are part of most J-schools' program and why there's a "Libel Guide" in the back of the Associated Press stylebook). Part is solid practice, and part of solid practice is checking and presenting the facts on both sides.

[ 01-09-2002: Message edited by: Pier ]

[ 01-09-2002: Message edited by: Pier ]
 
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Old 01-09-2002, 06:19 PM
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Sounds like Pier went to journalism school and mediaman didn't. Doh!
 
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Old 01-10-2002, 12:21 AM
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Gee boatwrecker, did I, in a past life, hurt or kill something precious to you? If so, I can only apologize for my barbarianism. And please, don't be too concerned about your journalism school comment. Perhaps one day I'll tell you a bit more about my life and then you'll get a better grip on fact. No offense taken - or meant.

But this post is in response to Pier's reply, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but felt skipped over some key points.

As an aside, Pier, the water-to-hell comment was maybe my feeble (and obviously failed) attempt at humor. Still, we shouldn't be to eager to pay the ferryman on the river Styx. It may be fun getting there, but hell isn't exactly my idea of a five-star vacation adventure.

That aside, I really do appreciate your comments which tell me you do possess an intelligent and intuitive mind. However, your grasp of English leaves something to be desired - not in the words you choose, but in their meaning.
You must admit that English is - if not, THE - one of the most ambiguous languages on the planet. Which is why I would appreciate having you clarify a few points you posted.
To begin with, a column is the end product of one writer's opinion...viewpoint..i.e. words mostly designed to invoke response. A column bears no direct resemblance to a feature article, although both should always be supported by proper research.
This is where your comments, in my opinion, begin to get cloudy. If, as you point out, you are judging the work, not the man, then you are also making an unbalanced, opinionated judgement. Which is your God-given right. Point I'm trying to make is that without knowing the man or at least acknowledging the fact that just maybe the columnist has done his homework (research, fact checking...)why should your evaluation carry any weight?
I guess one answer may lie in your concern that people will "form heartfelt opinions based on this...unbalanced work." Have you, in the same way, considered how people will form opinions based on your response?

Insofar as the popularity quotient of reporters is concerned, I feel almost embarrassed by your comments, although I admit some reporters may not be popular. Personally, I have never experienced the feeling of mistrust you mention at any time during the more than 30 years I have worked on newspapers and magazines. Sure, some people are initially wary because, like in any professional barrel, there are bad apples, but whenever I have introduced myself as a reporter, mistrust never was an issue. I like to think it has a lot to do with my reputation, which, at the moment remains pretty solid. Perhaps you've had some bad experiences?

You mention that you've worked in newsrooms and you are "relatively sure" they don't subscribe to sensationalism, nor do you believe journalism schools teach courses on how to use sensationalism when it suits your purpose. I'd be interested to know when and where you studied journalism.

But before I belabor the point, I have to ask you to provide me with your definition of sensationalism. Yes, a story worth telling does indeed stand on its own, but you missed the point I was trying to make (or I was ineffective in the way I explained myself). As compelling as solid reporting is, using sensationalism (as I define it) to get people to read the story doesn't mean the story isn't worth reading. Nor does laziness come into play. There's much skill involved in writing a headline, a deck and a lead paragraph (as I'm sure you know. If you are an avid reader, and obviously an ethical person, take a good look at the printed word as it appears on today's newsstands. There aren't too many magazines or newspapers that do not make use of sensationalism (as I define it) to attract the reader's attention. Nowadays, it's hard, especially for print media, to reach a mostly electronically reliant public. But so-called sensationalistic headlines on the front page of a newspaper or the cover of a magazine are not necessarily indicative of a poorly written piece.

Finally, I admit that I did not enlarge on my comments (or perhaps I was a bit too frivolous)concerning libel. Then again, I really didn't expect an admonition such as yours. Yes, journalism schools do cover media law and libel (especially considering our lawsuit-rampant society). And yes, the AP stylebook does contain a "libel guide." But now you're name dropping.
Personally speaking, I always have been and will continue to be a responsible journalist to the best of my abilities. But I have to ask you once more, how is it you know that Mr. Crouse has not checked his facts? And, respectfully, I do suggest you do your own research on what columns are all about.

Enjoyably Yours,
Peter
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Old 01-10-2002, 12:41 AM
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Thanks MrOffshore for your observational skills. That's originally my reason for posting, but I guess we all digress. For the most part, I really do appreciate the positive feedback I have received. Although I can probably do without the seemingly unrelated comments, I confess I did in my mention of the John Crouse column open up a whole new can of worms. But mostly any kind of response is better than no response at all??? As a rule, I'm not out to convince anybody to subscribe to my beliefs but I'm a grown man blessed with the ability to make people pay attention to words I string together to make a point or simply inform. Still, you are right. I do have very strong feelings about making positive contributions to the sport of performance boating, again recreational or racing. To me, it has become, largely thanks to the people I've met and shared time with, more than just another job. And that's about the size of it!
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Old 01-10-2002, 02:20 PM
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MrOffshore,

You're right, we are on a tangent and, at least as far as I'm concerned this thread is winding up. But in fairness to both Mediaman and myself, our discussions have been about more important issues than writing "style."

Mediaman,

I'll try to be brief, although I've done a miserable job of it so far.

I understood your water-to-hell joke and was playing off it. Since I don't believe in hell, I joke about it. Sorry if I offended you.

Generally speaking, in this country (and maybe that's where we're experiencing a semantic disconnect), its newsrooms and editorial offices, "sensationalism" has an extremely negative connotation. Sensationalism promises more than it can deliver. Tabloids, not exactly bastions of factual information, are often accused of it. Maybe "compelling" is a better word.

I do understand commentary. I also understand why reputable newspapers and magazines are very careful to label it as such. The best commentary, as you point out, is based on research of the facts. However, mixing commentary into "investigative journalism" is a big no-no. When you claim to be reporting "the facts," and you intersperse your reporting with name-calling and character attacks, as Mr. Crouse did, your credibility evaporates.

On libel: Bringing the AP stylebook into the discussion was, as you say, name-dropping. I shouldn't have done it. (As for my school--University of Missouri--you do yourself a disservice by probing for my credentials. It's a weak move in an otherwise strong argument.) Maybe I misread your post, but that section of it seemed to imply that it was accidental or lucky that reporters don't always end up defending against libel, or couldn't possibly understand it without a license to practice law.

On the public's mistrust and suspicion of reporters: It's safe to say that the public has become fairly cynical about what it reads in newspapers and magazines. Some of that perception is warranted. Some of it is not. There are good reporters and bad reporters. No need to be embarrassed about it--that's just the way it is. I'm glad you haven't experienced the instant mistrust I mentioned, because it's unpleasant.

As solid reporting, as sound journalism the Crouse piece was worthless---at least in terms of being able to draw meaningful conclusions from it. Why? Zero balance, zero rebuttal. Where was the other side, or at least the indication that some attempt had been made to reach the other side for a response to each allegation? Even "No comment" from the other side, again and again, is worth printing (and can say something in and of itself). But it wasn't there because, at least from my reading, Mr. Crouse had an agenda and didn't balance his work, and that instantly precluded me from drawing any conclusions on its factual merit.

You admitted you wouldn't have run the piece in your magazine. So the natural question--and my final one because, though I respect your intellect and your magazine I think we're worlds apart on this issue and we'll never agree--given your defense of it, is:

Why?

[ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: Pier ]
 
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Old 01-10-2002, 03:15 PM
  #48
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WELCOME TO THE BOARD
 
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Old 01-12-2002, 07:04 PM
  #49
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Please forgive my lack of journalistic intellect, comprehensive writing skills or even basic appropriate grammar,
But This is good ****!

While I agree with Piers view of the latest "work" by Mr. Crouse, I do love a good, clean, intelligent debate.
Welcome to "The Board" Peter.
Good to have you.
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: one big offshore family

Quote:
Originally posted by mediaman
My reason for logging on is my concern about the future of offshore performance boating, both in poker run and race versions. Simply put, there is far too much disinformation floating around and far more infighting than necessary. Sure everybody wants to do his or her own thing, but the scenario has gotten way out of hand. Instead of working together (and still ruling our own roosts - it really can be done!)more and more we seem to be resorting to name-calling and mudracking. .................... But isn't it about time we started to work as one to focus on solutions that ultimately will see us all benefit? Or has the sport of offshore become North America's new unresolvable Middle East crisis?


Nothing's changed too much since this thread came about.............still bickering and biotching.
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