… This Just In …



[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom…]

Because we here at Siuslaw News understand the importance and value of investing in journalism’s future, we feel the need — no, the obligation — to invest in that future by vigorously supporting free labor from high school interns. We like to think of it as a crash course that puts students on the road to a career in journalism. But after this morning, I think “collision course” is a better way to put it…

(Note: The real name of this intern has been changed to protect her identity. And also because it’s one of those names that her parents decided to spell really weird.)

Sally (Looking at her iPod news feed): “Oh my God!”

Me: “What is it, Sally?”

Sally: “This is like totally bizarre.” (Turns to show me an image of Nelson Mandela) “When did he die?”

Me: “I believe it was Thursday. Why?”

Sally: “Whoa…” (Points to the image of Mandela) “That was the very same night I watched him in The Bucket List.)

*stares unblinkingly*
“Yeah, that is bizarre, Sally. You need to watch him in Victory. He plays himself in that one…”

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available here from Port Hole Publications for Christmas)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

75 thoughts on “… This Just In …”

    1. I loved this post. It captured the upside-down state of media priorities extremely well. They say “The Greats” die in threes. I’m just confused as to whether that means one more or two more?

      1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say “two” — to take nothing away from Mr. Walker’s obvious popularity and his celebrity, I still would not consider him one of the “greats”. Now, if George Clooney goes, that will be another story, LOL!

              1. Of course. I saw right away it was a rallying cry for a movement to release labor from the bonds of giving birth. Then I realized that an intern “gives birth” to ideas for journalists to use on their blogs, without compensation. You, in your blog, had mentioned her twice, so I assumed that she made double your salary.

  1. Right. Because The Bucket List is live-streamed like the Big Brother aftershow. Did they show him dying, or cut to commercials? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. They only had two commercial breaks.
      Both were trailers for the “Nelson Mandela Story.”
      Starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Daniel Day Lewis as Morgan Freeman.

      1. I don’t even think I can continue to read this thread. I’m laughing far too hard, and I think I just injured my spleen. This is bad. Spleens don’t grow on trees, you know. *holding innards together with one arm so I can type* Damn you, Ned Hickson. I swore I didn’t have time to stop here tonight, and yet here I am, my own stuff going undone, while I read about the demise of Morgan Freeman and the very odd career choices of Daniel Day-Lewis. I don’t know what to say, besides OWWWWWWW! I think my spleen has actually fallen to the floor now, and the dachshunds have run away with it. Limping off to find my cell phone to call 911. I’m laying the blame for this–and my spleen, when I find it–at your feet.

        1. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia 😉 What else can I say, other than I can’t tell you how flattered I am that you would drop your spleen for me and still keep typing.

          Another thing I can’t tell you is where the dachshunds took your spleen. But I’m sure they didn’t get far on those short legs.

          1. Not to worry, Ned. When I woke up this morning, I found myself miraculously re-spleened. Magic happened during the night. Either that, or the whole thing was a bad trip caused by one flagon too many of my secret egg nog recipe, complete with extra nog. But had it really happened, would I have gladly ignored my imperiled spleen to read the latest from the Nedster? Oh, heck yeah. For sure. Probably. Okay, I could be exaggerating. But only a bit.
            PS…Santa has assured me that YOUR book will be in my Christmas stocking when the big day arrives! I’m happy.

            1. Isn’t it amazing what a little extra nog can do? I’m glad to hear you are re-spleened, and even happier to see you back in the comments window again, Marcia 😉

              And please, thank Santa for me. That means a lot 😉

              1. I will leave him some of my special egg nog. He’ll be so dang jolly, he’ll be a menace to everything in the sky on Christmas Eve! 😀 Keep on keepin’ on, Ned. I’ll get back here more regularly soon.

    1. Thanks, Molly.
      It’s the system. Teachers will tell you point blank that they teach specifically for the test requirements they must meet. Period. There’s no creativity, latitude or exploring anymore. Teach the test. Pass the state and federal benchmarks. Move on to the next school year. Very sad.

      Given our state of headline news mentality and reporting, I’m sure “Sally” will do just fine in her chosen career.

      1. hey not me, ned. i teach in completely the opposite way. hands-on, projects, exploration, experiences, embarrassing dancing and singing, and on and on, in a multitude of ways. not all of us are villains, some of us get it. )

        1. I’m so sorry if I came off the wrong way and probably shouldn’t have made such a general, sweeping statement. But at least here in Oregon, once students enter seventh grade, it’s all about meeting the state and fed. testing requirements. I have four kids and have sat through at least two dozen P/T conferences that all revolved around how it’s all about the scores for state testing. It makes me sad because I can see the frustration. Many of these teachers are also friends (small town), and they have told me — point blank — how being creative and spontaneous is getting more and more difficult to do.

          — Ned (the Jerk)

          1. hey, no harm no foul, ned. just wanted you to know that not all teachers teach that way. i know that in some places the district or the state places this pressure on them, or teachers have given up, and the dollars are based on test scores, and that becomes the whole focus of their teaching. I find that whole situation really sad too and know it’s horrible for the kids as well as everyone else just wanted to remind you that not all teachers are like that, and some of us know that kids thrive through exploration, creativity and out of the box thinking and learning and still teach with that in mind. now, please write your ‘i will not make general statements about teachers, because there really are some kick-ass ones still out there!’ on the board 200 times )

            1. Do I still get credit if I copy-and-paste?

              Truly, I absolutely respect what teachers like yourself do, and am really more frustrated when I see great teachers with so many restrictions put on them that you can see the light going out in their eyes. I had amazing teachers growing up, and I just want the same for kids today. I’m very glad to know you — and others like you — are out there challenging and inspiring our children to explore and question by thinking outside the benchmark.

              Thank You — and thank you, also, for calling me on my stupid and over-generalized statement.

              *goes to clean erasers*

  2. That intern needs to write an advice column. It’ll inspire countless shy people to approach people and say whatever they want, because it can’t be much worse than her column.

No one is watching, I swear...

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