Wednesday, September 29, 2010

War Story Wednesday - An Assignment Editor's Choice

It's Wednesday again!

If you have a war story to share, either provide a link or share in the comment section.

When I worked in Public Information, I spoke with members of the media on a daily basis. Reporters or assignment editors would call in the morning to find out what happened overnight, or if there was anything going on.

One morning, a reporter asked what news releases had gone out overnight. I summed them up, saying, "A foster mother killed her kid, and four dogs were saved from a burning building." She said, "Let me check with my editor." She came back on the line.

"Give me the dog story."

(This is Harley, my sister's min-pin)


  1. I can see going with the dog story over the foster mother. Sometimes you just want good news for a change.

    Love Harley, so cute.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. an interesting reversal on the old adage, if it bleeds it leads.

  3. Hi Mason,
    You're right...Also, the media LOVES animal stories, especially positive ones. Harley's a cutie; I got to dog-sit her this summer. What a lovebug she is.

    Hi Charles,
    You're right, too ~ that usually is the case!
    You would think that would be the priority, but as Mason said, sometimes the "good" news wins out. When the reporters and assignment editors called, they'd have to decide which story to follow, since they may not have time to cover them all, especially if a news conference was scheduled that day with the County Executive, the District Attorney, etc. One particular news channel would always go after animal stories, especially dogs. The media is usually reflective of what the viewers want, so it's not a surprise that they'd go for this. I remember her attitude that morning, and she wanted to cover the foster mother story, but her editor dictated which story she had to follow.

  4. Kathleen - What a sad commentary on the news media! Just reading your brief story made me ache for those poor kids. I'm a true dog lover, so I completely get the interest in the dog story. But I just can't shake what feels like that editor's callousness...

  5. Hi Margot,
    I remember feeling my heart sink when they chose not to go with the foster child story, but it didn't surprise me. Also, many times they tend to skip drug-related stories, too. It depends on "what else" is going on. I learned a completely different career while working so closely with the media for 16 years.
    With the plethora of sad stories, it is always uplifting to hear a positive animal story, though!