Ned, re Off the Beat column
Posted: 03 March 2013 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Please put them back on their beat. These aimless ramblings into innocuousness are tiresome. Last week it was Richardson’s distorted view of history.  In all fairness, he said he was not an Historian.  That was the only correct thing in the piece.  This week, the food girl babbles about a naughty word which she won’t name. One lady cursed Christmas because someone was kind to her when she was a child.  Another contributor used up half the newspaper lamenting the decline of baseball as a favorite pastime…:-)....Please…get rid of this feature, or demand a little more quality. You shouldn’t be doing exercises in Journalism I at the reader’s expense.
Column writing is very different from news writing or feature writing.  It requires some finesse, and hopefully some wit.
Mike and Bill generally do a good job with that, but the others have yet to learn how to make a point without sounding silly. I know they have to have experience, but, please, not at the reader’s expense.  Some of these pieces are painful to read.  I am embarrassed for the authors.
Having taught print journalism, I always cautioned young writers to not try and be witty or profound.  They don’t have the years or experience to do that.  I also told them to avoid satire until they were at least forty, and had enjoyed some misery in life.  Otherwise, they know nothing about it.
That’s all I have to say about that.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I can’t read the whole article of course, but my guess is that Megan Moser was referring to the c-word, which made the news after Seth MacFarlane first called Quvenzhane Wallis, 9-year-old best actress nominee, “jailbait,” then later made a joke in a song that Wallis was a c-word. Coincidentally, the satirical paper The Onion made a similar joke on Twitter that night, also calling Wallis that name.

The Merc doesn’t want to use the word, which I understand. But if you’re not going to use the word when the word is the basis for the entire news story, then you really shouldn’t write about it at all. That said, I recall at K-State many a vague article in the newspaper that made no sense because the editors thought a story needed to be told but also needed to be completely censored into meaninglessness. My favorite was the “news story” about a girl who may have performed oral whatnots on a guy at Last Chance. It was so vague that professors in the English Dept were actually explaining it to students as an example of how the Collegian needed serious editorial assistance. I’m not real keen on seeing The Merc go that route with the vague “I can’t tell you what the word was but it was awful and here are thoughts on it that I will keep vague” editorial, but when has The Merc ever taken my advice? Never, that’s when.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hadley, have you ever read the “I Wonder” column?

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Posted: 04 March 2013 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, and I like that column. It is usually written by the same person, however, rather than a hodge podge of junior journalists who are trying to be cute or thought provoking.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The “I Wonder” column always starts with a joke answer.  For example, a recent question was what’s being built next to the animal shelter?  “I Wonder” answer:  a huge fire hydrant.  Point being, “trying to be cute” seems to be the mode of operation of the person you are appealing to, so I wouldn’t expect him to be successful in reining in the “junior journalists” when he continually models it in “I Wonder.”  I have told him that I don’t care for his “Caddyshack” style, so I’m not writing anything here I haven’t already said.  I assume I must be in the minority and most Mercury subscribers must enjoy it, and the same probably is true of the “Off the Beat” column.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There is a big difference Kathy.
Ned is an experienced and talented writer.  He knows how to be funny.  I agree, sometimes he goes over the top on cuteness. But, after the cuteness, he addresses the question asked in a forthright manner.  He does not ramble aimlessly…well, with the exception of his off the beat column on the values of baseball to young folks. He does not write idiotic columns about Black History month being changed to January because George Washington’s birthday is in February, and he was a slave owner.  If I am not mistaken, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is also in February, so that might make it an appropriate month to celebrate Black history.
I’m not sure when Dennis Rodman’s birthday is.  Maybe Richardson would want to move it to that month.
The food girl wants to talk about bad words she can’t name. Others want to talk about where they grew up and their personal traumas.
I do read this section.  It is funnier than the comic strips.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well, I guess “He knows how to be funny” is in the eye of the beholder.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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“The food girl” has a name, Michael. Stop being a jerk.

I take mild exception to calling Ned’s writing “Caddyshack style.” Brian Doyle-Murray and Harold Ramis are fine comedic writers.

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Posted: 05 March 2013 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I have often referred to Ned as the I Wonder guy.  What’s the difference?

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