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Old 02-11-2005, 09:31 PM
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As I've mentioned earlier, I'm torn when it comes to the Newsbreakers. Part of me wants to applaud their efforts at skewering the media, but another part of me just wants to hit 'em with a bag of chisels. Instead, I e-mailed spokesman Buck "Lucky" Owens with a few questions...

Lenslinger: What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

Buck "Lucky" Owens: We are trying to make media criticism an exciting topic for water cooler chat and backyard barbecues. As it stands right now, the people who care about improving journalism in this country are relegated to drowsy lecture halls and the smallest desks in the newsrooms. Everyone else is left to give up, tune out or find alternative means of informing themselves. We see this happening on an anecdotal basis and think the numbers bear it out as well. Meanwhile, from our vantage point, TV news is going down the sh!tter. We're here to say the pipes are getting clogged with too much corporate group think, government acquiescence (or worse) in the form of deregulation and personal buck-passing. We want to get regular people (read: non-newsies/non-academics) involved in the discussion before there's a fetid mess on the floor.

Lenslinger: How do you feel about the legion of photogs who are calling for your intestines on a stick?

Buck "Lucky" Owens: It's to be expected. Afterall, you guys feel the pain of our actions most acutely. What surprises us is the number of photogs who actually voice support for us. If anything, we expect all you guys to be haters. Based on b-roll.net and personal feedback, you're not.

Media professionals have a right and an expectation to "do their job." The question at the core of that statement is "For whom are you doing the job?" If you are just doing the job for the company who cuts your check, are you doing enough? We want more. We want to remind journalists about their duty to serve the public. That responsibility is what we believe attracted them to their careers in the first place.


Lenslinger: Are you familair with the term 'dog lick live shot?"

Buck "Lucky" Owens: Why don't news directors lick their balls? Because they don't have any.

While most of our public work centers on live shots (dog-lick or otherwise), reducing meaningless live shots is not really our "core business," to borrow a phrase. Live shots are just the biggest arrow in our quiver.


Lenslinger: Are you seeking serious media reform, or are you just getting your rocks off at all the fuss you've kicked up?

Buck "Lucky" Owens: I'm sorry. Are these two activities mutually exclusive?

Do we have fun? Of course, because we want our work to be accessible. We don't claim to function like the PEJ or FAIR. What we do, hopefully, is drive people to check out these types of organizations. We're carnival barkers inviting people into the tent of serious media reform.

Do we support the ideas behind initiatives like micro-broadcasting and the Two Minute Media Revolution? You betcha. (Christ, I'm sounding more like Donald Rumsfeld these days.)


Lenslinger: How much does the internet mean to your seizure of the airwaves?

Buck "Lucky" Owens: The internet has its pros and cons. Obviously it allows us share our work with a large number of people in as close to real time as we can handle. That's a drawback, too. Everything moves so quickly on the 'net that we have to bust our balls to keep up. There's a blogger out of Albany, NY who writes about us. Three weeks after our January bust, he wondered publicly if we had disappeared since he had heard about us lately.

Lenslinger: Who picks your costumes?

Buck "Lucky" Owens: Responsibility for costuming decisions are shared between the group and the product of our favorite brewers.

Lenslinger: What's next?

Buck "Lucky" Owens: Now what fun would answering that question be? We're taking requests, though.

[ February 11, 2005, 08:35 PM: Message edited by: Lenslinger ]
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2005, 09:56 PM
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American lost in Canada American lost in Canada is offline
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Thank you for that. More, more, more. I want them to hit someone at least once a week. Not just in Rochester. Branch out please.
I love the News Director with no balls comment, laughed very loud.
Newsbreakers rules as far as I am concerned.
  #3  
Old 02-12-2005, 12:00 AM
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Thanks Lenslinger
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:02 AM
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Elvez,

You still scare me with your facination with the "invisible suit guy" I hope you are not working on your own "invisible suit"!

thru-the-lens.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2005, 01:31 PM
Shaky & Blue Shaky & Blue is offline
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Yes, thanks for that. I suspected there was some serious thought behind what they were doing, and those answers show it.

The scary part about all this is not that they're doing this, or even that they're right, but that so many people in this business don't realize that we need these people to help make the business better. There are a lot of us who would love to do this ourselves, refusing to do dog lick live shots or allow underinformed and biased reporters to mislead our viewers, if we didn't have a responsibility to our employers and our paychecks to do what we're told. These guys are really champions of our cause, and, if successful, will make our jobs a helluva lot better in the long run.

All they're really doing is holding up a mirror. Too bad the clowns in our biz don't like their reflection.
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Old 02-12-2005, 03:29 PM
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Yes, I agree that some stations news has gone down the drain. Why dont some of you who are being involved with these "newsbrakers" do a story on them. Hell! That would be a great nat pak! Well...maybe not a natpac but something fun. Get both sides of the story. Interview the ball'less news directors. I would pitch this story in our afternoon meetings.
  #7  
Old 02-12-2005, 08:08 PM
Terry E. Toller Terry E. Toller is offline
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Isn't it interesting to observe our own opinions after we hear from the 'other side'? Gee, what a novel concept, to cover "both sides"...
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2005, 11:21 PM
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I've looked at these guys' website---do you idiots really think they would go through all that trouble and risk JUST to get a few seconds on the tube? Try not taking yourselves so seriously and let's just do our mindless jobs like our ND's say to, and enjoy that there is something different. I am embarrased that people in my profession would actually consider harming these people!!!! Get over yourselves! They have just as much right to be there as we do. Maybe they are onto something...
  #9  
Old 02-12-2005, 11:38 PM
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I wonder how those Newsbreaker guys would like it if we went to their place of work and bothered them while they were flipping burgers or making shakes?

I bet they wouldn't like that either.
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Old 02-13-2005, 03:04 PM
Pocket Aces Pocket Aces is offline
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Hey &lt;Hmmmm&gt;: If we were disturbing their burger flipping because of some vegan cause or statement on cow flatulance, i'm sure they'd understand why we're doing what we're doing. I think most intelligent professionals of tv news (after reading Lenslinger's interview) understand where these guys are coming from, and can appreciate it. Read Shaky's post, he's right, we need these guys. How many times have you thought tv news is sliding into the $hitter But you can't say anything, it could cost you your job. They're helping us! Whether it's going to work remains to be seen, but as far as i'm concerned they're successful so far. Look how much attention they're getting from us. Don't think your 'dog lick live shot' in front of an empty building is more important than the greater cause.
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2005, 04:24 PM
Shaky & Blue Shaky & Blue is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by &lt;Hmmm&gt;:
I wonder how those Newsbreaker guys would like it if we went to their place of work and bothered them while they were flipping burgers or making shakes?
That's a stupid thing to say, because what if that's NOT what they do for a living?
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:50 AM
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I don't care how you want to look at it. We don't "need" idiots disrupting live shots, regardless of how goofy they may look doing it to other stations.

Are you going to tell me that if one of these morons appears behind your talent you aren't going to try to crop them out of the shot? Or are you going to pull out to get a better shot of them making an ass out of themselves and letting them get the attention they think they so deserve?

There are other, more civil ways to get a point across.
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2005, 01:14 PM
Natural Born Stringer Natural Born Stringer is offline
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I agree with Buck on this one...

Sure it's humorous, and in an odd sort of way makes a point, but I really don't expect to see the community rally behind a handful of goofballs in masks and funny costumes to rally the stations for journalism reform.

You want to protest something, do it right. Hold a press conference of your own. When everyone shows up and starts rolling, tell the stations right then and there you are putting them on notice, and at every useless doglick liveshot that they "say" is news, protesters will be there with signs and loudspeakers until the practice stops. Then make good on your threat.

Ha ha, if that ever happened in my market every station would be totally lost: "What do we do now?" All they do out here is doglick live shots.
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