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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
Television, and other dead heros of mine.

Some of the folks in another forum asked me about my disturbing few (16+) years with NBC and local news. They wanted to know why I had a sour taste for television in it's present condition. I promised them I would say a few words on the subject so here we go.

I started out in television in 1984. I was taking Electronics at DeVry in Columbus, Ohio and had some Photography at Ohio State. I was fairly newly married with one son and was in awe of being hired right out of the middle of classes into the Engineering ranks at a major market local NBC OnO (Owned and Operated) station. Really, they weren't an OnO until years later but it was close enough.

I had taken a 2 year vocational program at the newly created and somewhat overly prestigious Fort Hayes Vocational High School, which was touted as the new "Fame" school, for those in the crowd old enough to remember the movie and the later TV series. We were even interviewed to get into "Radio and Television Production and Broadcasting". Taught by an Engineering type guy, Robert Bower and an actor of many faces and talents, John Crawford. Wonderful folks that tought me well.

We started with 35 students and gratuated only about 1/3 of that the following year. I remember all through High School explaining to people that I was not learning how to repair televisions, I was learning how to make television programs. Most shook their heads. Probably because I was in High School.

I should like to point out that at our ages, most of us 17, we were some of the youngest folks to hold an FCC 3rd class RadioTelephone license. We were, at 17 able to operate television and radio station transmitters.

I bring this all up only to note that the primary reason I got into television after HS was due to an old friend that called me out of the blue and told me, while I was attending DeVry, that they were hiring Engineers and he had already put in a good word for me. So, I started in TV.

Back to what happened to make me question Television? Here is one example. We had a 1 1/2 hour block of news each evening. The technical staff manned positions throughout the whole thing. Directors and Producers changed out every half hour.

Each show, statistics on the stories would change. As a mythical example, at 5pm we might say there was a train wreck in India. 3 men, 3 elephants, 2 goats were killed when the train de-railed. At 5:30 we would have a new set of Director and Producers who got their info from a different set of information and so they might have it was a train wreck in Pakistan and it was 1 man. 4 elephants and a duck that were mortally wounded. At 6pm, you guessed it, it was a train in India after all and it was 2 men, 1 woman and a wombat that were slightly injured when they hit a fallen tree on the tracks.

Why is this important? Think about the poor viewer glued to their set. What are they supposed to believe after all that.

So anyway, I have take up way too much space here. If I write a book, I'll put up a link to it. Way to many stories for this space.

Sean McHenry (Still not watching local news)
ĎI donít know what Iím doing, and Iím shooting on D.V.í
- my hero - David Lynch
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central Wyoming
Posts: 484

Yes should write a book. I have the sneaking suspicion that you are just skimming the surface here.

Just wanted to paste an earlier comment I made about this subject (since you have this thread going)

"Agree completely and actually have a wild conspiracy theory that our primary media is controlled by unknown and unseen forces that just want to spoon feed us dribble and spin. It seems I can get better and more accurate news from overseas sources. Dislike/distrust...yes I'll certainly admit to that all the while hoping not to offend those hard working souls in the business just doing their jobs and getting by."
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