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fotoscout

Some good press coverage for a change!

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Too bad there's not more to the story. I'm sure there is. I'll bet it pained the AP to print something positive...

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Actually the original story had quite a bit more, giving the troop number and ending with a quote from a Sheriff's Deputy Brock "Thank God for Boy Scouts". The Jennifer Greff article in the Omaha World Herald gave a lot more detail. I can't link to it because it's moved off of their main page, but if someone else can...

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One of the reports that I read (USA Today? - I was on travel) stated that one of the boys was a Webelos Scout and described at as a junior Boy Scout.

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Why would it have pained AP to print something positive? If they were really as opposed to the Boy Scouts as supposed, they could have simply left off the fact that these boys were in Scouts - they could very simply have said "Two boys swimming at the State Recreation Area beach saves a toddler from drowning" without ever mentioning they were Boy Scouts.

 

No matter the news - postive or negative, being a member of the Boy Scouts adds an additional dimension of interest to the story - it really has nothing to do with the Boy Scouts (except for the Jamboree stories - that was all about the Boy Scouts because it was a National BSA Event). Boys get lost in the woods more than we know - that the boy was a Scout is just another piece of imformation.

 

How many times have we read comments on this board to the effect that "it's too bad the boys who did something great for their community or rescued this person weren't Boy Scouts - we sure could use the positive press"? When we read those stories that don't mention the Boy Scouts, we automatically assume that the boys in the story aren't Scouts - and when we read stories about Scouts doing well, we say "it's about time we got some good press coverage"?

 

The media uses all kinds of information when reporting a story - positive and negative stories - even if that information isn't very germane to the situation. It's all about adding interest to the story. Ever read about some kid who was arrested for drug possession who's father is a Police Officer or an Alderman or a Church Pastor? You never read that the kids father was a research chemist or truck driver or inventory control specialist - in fact, you're not likely to read about the kids parents at all except that they posted bond.

 

Good or bad, if the Boy is a Scout, it's likely to be mentioned. People tend to pay more attention to stories with a "hook" and being a Boy Scout, Eagle Scout, or Scoutmaster, or Assistant Scoutmaster is a hook (and conversely, if you're the Committee Chair, or Advancement Chair, or Treasurer, it's less likely that it would be mentioned if arrested - it's not as large a part of our common knowledge as Scoutmaster).

 

All we can do is accept that the Boy Scouts is a hook in the story and understand that the hook is likely to be mentioned in stories both positive and negative. We should celebrate the lads/units in the positive stories and shake our heads in dismay at the lads/units in the negative stories and we should stop blaming the media for our ills.

 

CalicoPenn

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