Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Fame Name Game

Sometimes our problem solving is not very elegant or pretty, but what we are trying to do is just get the job done.

I also like that there is a kind of guerilla mentality in our school and our news operations, that we look for cheap/free solutions, and at the same time can still build an identity online.

There was another key story on which I came down fairly heavy on one of my students for not concentrating in class (he hates listening to me lecture!), but the truth of the matter is that he really dug his teeth into the two stories he took on: Second Life and CSU Budget. The stories are kind of unruly and out of control, like a yard filled with weeds, but he got a lot of stuff together for those stories, and for that, I take my hat off to him. It's so much better to be struggling with a story that is worthy than just skating on superficial stuff.

As an educator, I am appalled sometimes by the interests of students - there seems to be an all-too American obsession with fame and notoriety - especially of the young and beautiful - and little concern for really substantial stuff. For example, for every story on who was wearing what at the recently completed Golden Globe awards, there are ten other, totally un-sexy stories about healthcare, the environment, homelessness and the war that go untold. It seems to me that many of these young people are more interested in fame than accomplishment. It doesn't matter that thousands of times more people will be affected by a healthcare policy change proposed by a city council member, or a county supervisor. What seems to matter is that Justin and Cameron have broken up or that Lindsay has entered rehab. I'm dying for someone under age 40 to get passionate about the state education budget, urban planning in southern California, or the cultural divide between The Music Center and Highways Performance Space. Well, actually, I'd be astonished if they even knew anything about the budget, urban planning, and cultural divides.