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Poynter.
  • Commentary: Does ‘tonight’ really mean ‘tonight,’ tonight?

    Screenshot from ABC World News Tonight.

    Screenshot from ABC World News Tonight.

    It’s a common ploy in news writing — using a time reference like “tonight,” “this morning,” or “overnight” to give a story an air of immediacy. But is it needed? And is it accurate?

    Sometimes it is needed. For instance: “the decision announced this morning…” when it really was announced this morning and is different from the decision announced, say, yesterday.

    Sometimes it is accurate – “a plane crash tonight…” when it really did happen tonight.

    But too often, it’s neither. Too often the time reference is clearly meant just to give the story some punch. And too often it’s plain wrong.

    Take ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” for example.

    On Tuesday, July 21, I counted 45 “tonight” references in the newscast. Read more

  • Front page of the day: Malaysia’s The Star and MH370

    We’re testing out some new places for this daily feature, which you can find in Jim Warren’s morning newsletter and on Poynter’s Front Page of the Day Tumblr. Today, and for a while, you can also find it here. When possible, I’ll check in with the newspaper and the designers to see what went into making the front.

    Here’s today’s pick, via Newseum, from The Star in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Star led with news that we’ll soon know more on the wreckage found at Reunion Island. Many think the found piece came from MH370, which went missing in March of last year. The Star also included an update on the investigation of MH17, which was shot down near the Russian border last July. Read more

  • Obtaining government officials’ business emails should be easier

    This is another in a series of articles by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press covering legal issues that affect journalists. RCFP’s Legal Fellow Kristin Bergman wrote this article.

    In this 2011 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from inside a C-17 military plane. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, wants to know why the panel has no emails from the day the photo was taken as Clinton, then the secretary of state, was en route to Tripoli. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

    In this 2011 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from inside a C-17 military plane. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, wants to know why the panel has no emails from the day the photo was taken as Clinton, then the secretary of state, was en route to Tripoli. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

    This spring, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came under fire when the State Department disclosed her exclusive use of a personal email server during her time as Secretary of State.

    This raised major transparency concerns because she used a private account and her email correspondence was not available for production when the State Department received Freedom of Information Act requests. Read more


E.R. Vadeboncoeur

WSYR Radio and TV

Syracuse Journal

Mention the name E.R. Vadeboncoeur and it's his radio news broadcasts and Election Night commentaries that come to mind for many longtime Central New Yorkers. Long forgotten is that "Curly," as he was known to his friends, started out to be a newspaperman.

 

He got his first job on a newspaper after leaving Central High School and worked his way up to city editor at the old Syracuse Journal. When the paper merged with the Herald a few years later, he was offered a spot on the new Herald-Journal. Instead, he decided -- on the advice of his wife Orletta -- to switch to broadcasting by accepting another job offer at WSYR Radio.

The change made sense because Curly had been doing a Sunday night broadcast on WFBL called "City Editor" during his later years at the Journal. Soon after joining WSYR, he began doing noon-hour news and commentary every day. In the late 1940s, he successfully crusaded against a proposal for a city sales tax. (Years later, however, the tax became reality).

In an effort to help his listeners better understand what was happening overseas during World War II, Curly traveled to the Pacific for a month. He is believed to be the only war correspondent accredited personally by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Several times, he risked his life by flying in bombers on missions out of New Guinea to get a better feel of war.

In the early 1950s, several years after he became general manager of WSYR radio and television, Vadeboncoeur gave up his broadcasts to become more involved in S.l. Newhouse's plans to expand Newhouse Broadcasting, which owned WSYR. The expansion included purchase of stations in Harrisburg, PA; St. Louis, MO; Birmingham, AL; and Portland, OR. Curly traveled weekly to Harrisburg and once a month to the others. He also was involved in the development of Newhouse cable properties.

Meanwhile, he continued to appear on television every Election Night, analyzing returns for viewers after being introduced as the "dean of Syracuse newsmen."

As a boy, Curly Vadeboncoeur earned money to support his widowed mother by bicycling prints of films from theater to theater. His interest in theater led him to join Murray Bernthal to create the Famous Artists Series in 1946. The two men also launched a concert series. The following year, they inaugurated the star-driven Famous Artists Country Playhouse in Fayetteville, later expanding to East Rochester and Watkins Glen.

Vadeboncoeur served as president of the Upstate Chapter of American Cancer Society, was awarded the Simon LeMoyne Medal by LeMoyne College, and chaired numerous Red Cross benefits.

Even after Newhouse sold off the television stations and then the radio stations, E.R. continued to preside over the Newhouse cable enterprises almost until his death in 1986.
--Joseph A. Porcello
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:26 )
 
"A composite is a euphemism for a lie. It’s disorderly. It’s dishonest and it’s not journalism."
---Fred W Friendly, Columbia School of Journalism

Wall of Distinction


Jackie Robinson

WSTM (WSYR-TV)

Jackie Robinson's work as a television news broadcaster and an involvement in community organizations has made her one of the best-known women in Central New York, as well as a role model and positive influence for area youth.
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