1) I think you have an excellent book proposal. It is refreshing to see
a book that is written by a seasoned practitioner. The material on the
organization of the newsroom took me back to my early days in TV news
and the section on interviewing was well crafted.
When I was in grad school at Syracuse I took a
course called Television News that met once a week for six hours. At the
end of the six hour period we produced a 30-minute video newscast in our
studio. Obviously there was pre-work, especially producing film stories
that could be aired during the broadcast. I think Don't Mess with the
Press would be perfect as the sole text for a course like this. It
provides a great understanding of both the philosophical underpinning of
news as well as the nuts and bolts of producing a newscast.
I also think that this would be a wonderful
book for young people entering the field of broadcast journalism. Many
of them learn "on the fly" in smaller markets and this book
seems chock full of great material.
Another audience for Don't Mess With the
Press would be the "suits" who run TV stations and
networks. These are the bozos that are feeding us a diet of fluff,
features and bubbleheads, all under the banner of "News You Can
Use." Perhaps after the book is published you can pass out desk
copies at the NAB yearly convention. It may enlighten some of the
executives as to the purpose of a news department.
* * * * * * *
2) I would consider using this textbook for the
Broadcast Newswriting Course. It is an undergraduate course, one
semester in length, with about 21 students per class and two classes per
semester. I am the Director of Broadcast Journalism and I supervise this
I like the way this textbook is divided in
various subject areas. I think this textbook takes a realistic look at
the news industry, and it's written in a clear, concise manner. Yes,
this approach is compatible with the way we teach the course.
I think the Assignment Desk chapter is very
interesting. We need that kind of information in a textbook. It's
realistic. I think the chapter on news judgment is wise because that's a
core element of the business, and it should be addressed as a separate
issue. I think the writing style would be readable and engaging for
I like the writing style. I like the energy and
the pacing of the textbook.
Yes, I would consider adopting this book. I
would consider it for required reading.