Vol. 1 January 13, 2009.

internships. news. commentary.

next meeting
tuesday. 5:00. scripps 111

a publication of the Ohio University Society of Professional Journalists.

SPJ wants you...
story Rosie Haney Art
Sharpen you wits, and ready your mind. Tuesday’s meeting is one that should spark the interest of student journalists everywhere. The crucial topic of open records will be at the forefront of the discussion. Aimee Edmonson will be discussing the Freedom of Information Act and the Ohio Open Records Law. It’s a topic that many are aware of, and have possibly heard in passing, but the details of which merit a closer look will be discussed. It is no secret that public records are a necessary tool for journalists, and that many do not even consider the ability of the public to obtain these “public” records. That’s just the way things should be, that’s just the way they are. Or so we think…. Two years ago, the Ohio University chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists conducted an audit of all the public four-year universities in the state of Ohio. The procedures included members asking the appropriate offices for six common public records. Results were not too optimistic for OU. We came in last, failing to fulfill any of the records requests that were submitted. These records, under the Ohio Open Records Law, are to be obtained with “Prompt means without speed or delay” this translates to a reasonable amount of time loosely interpreted as about two weeks. These laws does not stipulate that any information be given in order to obtain the records. They should be given, no questions asked. The audit was not flawless, but it brings to light the administration’s position this im-

to be able to excercise your rights.

Know Your Rights.
are public records, and she said she needed her supervisor in order to give me access to the files. She told me to come back on Monday because it was when her supervisor would be present. She was very short with me the entire conversation.” This is the general attitude SPJ is trying to battle. The president of the OU’s SPJ chapter, Evan Millward described it as a “culture of hostility towards the student media.” Access to these records is our right, and it should not be dismissed because some might view these reporters as pesky student journalists wasting time and resources. The administration should not be left unaccountable because of a lack of consequences. Just because the average student journalist cannot afford the legal steps necessary, does not mean we will go down without a fight. Freedom of information laws are a primary focus of the broader Society of Professional Journalists, and many from that organization, including the president, Dave Aeikens, have offered up their support with this critical issue. It is easy to lay down blame and curse “the man” when these type of issues arise. While the whole thing might be a bit peevish, we need to adopt a cool, calm, and logical approach to this problem. No amount of hollering solves anything. Education is our best tool. As an organization, SPJ will make it its goal to inform the public and the administration of their rights and responsibilities. With our chins held high, we will greet the task at hand with a vigorous embrace. SPJ is looking to do more work in this topic for this year’s service project. Millward said, “We are also beginning to conduct exhaustive research on local media’s past dealings with the Board of Trustees. Without the proper background knowledge, we cannot execute an effective educational campaign and pinpoint areas that need covered. It is our sincere hope that the local media will help us in this endeavor - journalists working for journalists, the integral part of SPJ for the past 100 years.”

Ian Bowman-Henderson

inside inc.
society news. pg 2. internships. pg 3. commentary pg 4.

portant issue. Journalists need these records to do their jobs, and to serve our function as a watchdog over the bigger bodies that govern us. Yet on the other side of the issue some members of the administration view records requests as an inconvenient and bothersome waste of resources. While feeling a bit stressed by public records requests might be a bit understandable, it does not ameliorate any form negation. In the January 21 issue of the Post, Daniel DeLawder was quoted as saying, “This is a very sore subject for me, and perhaps it’s time we started pushing back. And I am quite serious; I am even unsure that we should provide the next document without a fight. It sickens me to think of the waste and unproductive time being spent in the name of open records and freedom of the press.” Waste of time? DeLawder must not have realized that that very e-mail was considered a public record as well. Many student journalists have horror stories of trying to obtain records. During the audit, itself, many ran into problems. Shelley Opremeak was quoted in the official report recalling, “I asked the secretary in the office if I could see the list of donors and she asked what I needed it for. I asked if she needed to know in order to show me (the records). She then told me (the records) are not public files and she is not allowed to show them to me. I replied that I am sure they


internships. news. commentary.

society news..
foreign respondent.
Graylyn Roose photo

Yusuf Kalyango on journalism’s future.
Graylyn Roose
Every week the Society of Professional Journalists brings in an industry professional to speak at our meetings. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, they stick around to answer a few questions. This week’s guest is an award winning international reporter and an assistant professor teaching broadcast news, Yusuf Kalyango. Inc.: Tell me briefly about what you talked career as a foreign correspondent. Inc.: In what ways has the journalist proabout on Tuesday. Yusuf Kalyango: I just talked about my fession changed in the years since you have
work as a journalist, how I started as a print reporter in 1992, moved up into radio, and then later into television. I talked, you know, briefly about how I became an international correspondent, how all that happened. So pretty much it was a 30 minute presentation of my life as a journalist and the trials of being a correspondent from a developing country where there is less freedom of information, less freedom of the press, and less accessibility to public records. So I talked about a few of those challenges, and then after that I opened it up for questions. Inc.: What is the most memorable experience that you have from your days as a foreign correspondent? Kalyango: Covering conflict and seeing how people suffer in wars, because wars are terrible things, people lose their homes, people lose family members, there is usually a lack of basic necessities like food, water, so it’s witnessing those kind of challenges while you cover a war that really stays on my mind and I know for a lot of foreign correspondents that go through this kind of coverage. So crises are memorable in that way. And in addition to that, seeing how some of these fighters use child soldiers, use teenagers to fight conflicts…seeing an 11 year old kid carrying a gun around and shooting, and these are the kids that they put on the front line. So all those are memorable. So basically all those things come to mind, I don’t have a specific moment that I can say, well this is the only thing that is memorable about my international started?

Kalyango: Technology’s one of them, and I think what is really going to be challenging for future journalists like you is the competition with community journalism and citizen journalism and blogging. There will also be the issue of interactivity. You are no longer just an information provider, but you also interact with the people that you disseminate this information with. You are no longer just the provider of information, but the people have become gatekeepers. People now sift through the information. You no longer force people to see what they don’t want to see, because of direct television, people have Tivo. If you are writing for print, people can decide to access this information on the Internet. So with all these competing avenues for delivery of information and all these platforms that people have to provide information, you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you are competing with your neighbor to provide information and even to dissect this information. So this is what I see that has changed. So the challenge right now is….to find a way of preparing you to deal with these new challenges that are pretty much shaping journalism in a way that we’ve never seen before, but also for you guys to figure out how you’re going to fit in this new paradigm. So it’s a big challenge and it’s still unfolding so we don’t know how all of these will play out ten years from now but it’s changing rapidly. Journalism is not the same way it was during my time.

Prof. Kalyango
Inc: There’s such a larger base of forces doing the same sort of thing. Kalyango: But the good thing is that right now there are numerous media outlets, so there are so many ways that you can practice journalism, [other] than the traditional way that we were used to. So that is also good for you. And also, what I’ve seen that is changing and I think it’s going to help you future journalists a lot is that a lot of the old guys are retiring right now because they cannot understand or they cannot adapt to this new environment and this new technology changing at a faster pace... Whereas during our generation, if I was a television journalist, I didn’t know how to write in print, or I didn’t know how to do audio delivery. But these days you have young journalists who know how to operate all of these platforms... So I think that is good for journalism.

just the facts.
AP stylebooks. $15. t-shirts. $15.

Scholarship deadline. 3/2. SPJ networking trip to Cincinnati. 2/19.


internships. news. commentary.

Scripps meets scripts.
reporting Cameron Glover

featured. Hollywood
Hollywood Scriptwriter (HS) magazine is searching for 10 journalism students who are interested in gaining “hands-on experience” while working with an international trade publication for an ongoing internship. Interns will have the opportunity to interview some of Hollywood’s high-profile stars. “We are very selective,” publisher Angela Cranon said. She is the coordinator for the internship application process and has worked with HS for several years. She will be looking for applicants’ campus experiences and interviewing, researching and writing skills. “Every article is meant for publication,” she said. “That’s what makes our internship different.” Her description of “hands on experience” is important for her and HS because they are looking for highly qualified and professional student journalists who are interested in the entertainment and film industry. According to the internship advertisement on posted by Cranon, “We want journalists, not screenwriters.” The internship is based out of the Los Angeles area and will count for academic credit only. However, some perks will be provided, such as making contacts with some of the industry greats, learning from wellestablished professionals and building a strong portfolio. To apply for the internship or to find out more information, call Cranon at 310-283-1630 or send an email with a résumé to HS has been serving the entertainment community for more than 20 years. Its bi-monthly magazine features famous up and coming screenwriters, producers and directors and has reported on well-known Holly-

PHOTO: logo of Hollywood

wood individuals, such as Spike Lee, Garry Marshall and Carrie Fisher. Its objective is to provide not only information about how to break into the entertainment world, but to offer multi-cultural industry news, as well. Some magazine subscribers hail from Canada, London and regions of Asia. Subscriptions range from $30 to $100 depending on type of subscription and place of residence. The magazine regularly features sections that include events calendars, Hollywood how-to’s and interviews with the stars. It also offers a list of printed materials and online sources that can help readers navigate the Hollywood industry. As stated on its globally recognized website, “We are a business-to consumer and business-to-business publication.” HS has recently become an electronic publication and provides issues through email. It also has an online newsletter and store, which can be accessed through its website at

old questions. new opportunities.
National Center for Youth Law Sporting News Online Landau Public Relations

Comm. Intern Intern for fantasy website Public Relations Intern

Summer 2009 ASAP June - August 2009 Summer 2009 10-12 weeks during the school year

Oakland, California Charlotte, North Carolina Cleveland, Ohio New York, New York Athens, Ohio

tschroth@ hfisher@ Emily.barker@ incisivemedia. com GM@ACRN. com

if you have to go to Oakland, summer is best. sense of urgency, for the spontaneous help local businesses fool their customers get power of attorney over other internships get per diem in the form of your meal plan

The American Writing and Lawyer Magazine Reporting Intern All Campus Radio Network Executive Board member

column Kevin Zieber

internships. news. commentary.

The Israeli media offensive.
inside Israel’s public relations machine.
In its 60-year history, Israel has enjoyed what has come to be known as a “special relationship” with the United States. For decades, the US has relied on Israel to be its sole friendly portal into the hostile Middle East, and Israel has relied on the US for military, economic, and political strength. Covering this so-called “special relationship” is a veritable minefield, which journalists have thus far failed to navigate with any success. Any criticism of Israel’s policies or acts of aggression is at best labeled anti-Israel, and at worst, anti-Semitism. In a recent episode of Bill Moyers’ Journal, Moyers eloquently described the attitudes of Americans with regard to Israel’s latest offensive. “America has officially chosen sides. We supply Israel with money, F-16s, winks and tacit signals...Although one recent poll found Democratic voters overwhelmingly oppose the Israeli offensive by a 24-point margin, Democratic Party leaders in Congress nonetheless march in lockstep to the hardliners in Israel and the White House,” Moyers said. Moyers also noted the ineptness of the American press to raise pointed and legitimate questions about Israel’s actions and intentions. “Rarely does our mainstream media depart from the monotonous monologue of the party line,” Moyers said. One of the main points of contention when it comes to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the failure of the American press to label Palestine what it really is; a piece of occupied territory. In 1967 the UN passed Resolution 242, which called on Israel to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank. Notwithstanding Israel’s failure to comply with Resolution 242 for 42 years, the American press is still to this day somehow incapable of pointing out this basic fact that is necessary if one is able to begin to understand the conflict. Conversely, the BBC is careful to always designate Gaza and the West Bank as “the occupied territories.” The force driving Israel’s favorable coverage is its exceedingly effective and sophisticated public relations machine. Israel received worldwide criticism in 1982 after its forces slaughtered more than 17,000 Palestinians in two refugee camps in Lebanon, which in their mind was cause for not a rethinking of policy, but a rethinking of PR. In 1983, Israel launched the Hasbara project, which was aimed at training Israeli diplomats in the disciplines of communications and public relations “to present Israel’s case to TV anchormen around the world,” according to Mother Jones. Since the beginning of Hasbara in 1983 Israel has made a priority of presenting a unified message and suppressing reports from the battlefield and cracks from the bottom. According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the main talking points coming from the Israeli PR machine is the tired old analogy that goes, “What would America do if Mexico was launching rockets at Texas every day?” This much-repeated talking point pervades virtually every corner of the American media establishment, even manifesting itself in a letter by Brett Zelman, which appeared in the Athens News and The Post as recent as three weeks ago. The Hasbara initiative’s efforts to sway the American press into favoring Israel have paid off with relative silence and timidity coming from our press corps when it comes to questioning our special relationship. In Israel’s short and violent history, the American media has largely failed to separate Israeli PR talking points and cooked statistics from ascertainable fact. In its incompetence, the American mass media has kept the public in the dark about the complexities of the special relationship, and the wars between Israel and Palestine. Unless the media can shake the stranglehold of Israel’s PR machine, the American public will be cast into ignorance and incapable of forming a clear opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

direct from HQ.
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inc. identified:
Managing Editor Copy Editor Ian Bowman-Henderson Jessica Lovejoy Rosie Haney Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer Kevin Zieber Contributing Writer Cameron Glover Contributing Writer Graylyn Roose