Saturday, November 12, 2011

Express Times' Interpretation of My Coverage of NAMS 13

I got roughly six calls from the Express-Times this week wanting to talk to me about the Nazareth Area Middle School play based on my post, plus a few emails.

I personally felt that I had said what I needed to say in my posts, so I didn't reply because I had nothing further to add (you can read them here, here, and here).

Today, this article appeared (read it here) on the front page and I felt it important to make some clarifications and provide some background to those unfamiliar with

The article portion on me begins by stating, "Parent and community blogger Ross Nunamaker was outraged by the play's content." 

I questioned the judgement of several adults and expressed concerns for the kids, but I can't see how one could state I was "outraged" from what was written (first here above).

The next sentence states, "He wrote on his blog that he was stunned when his middle-schooler came home and relayed the content of the play, noting inappropriate slang words were being used to describe girls." 

I never wrote this. 

In the beginning of the post I included a quote from the letter, I described what content my daughter stated she heard, her reaction, and what content I could find about the production online. At the end of the post I wrote, "Not only was there incredibly poor judgement by the teacher who selected this production, I'm stunned that there was no administrative oversight regarding the content being presented to students, and most amazing is that after the first presentation it continued until all the students in the building saw it (there were multiple productions today)."

It then states, "He was equally dismayed about one of the songs, “Kendra,” Again, I don't know how the reporter could know I was "dismayed" I was simply providing context of the content of the show for the purpose of readers understanding why I felt there was a lack of judgement by some adults.

This pretty much ended the content from my post in the article, but this statement was also made which insinuates the people quoted previously, incoming Board Member Chris Miller was quoted as well, "Other parents said the district handled the situation appropriately."

This was in regard to after the show was presented, the "damage control". I didn't really comment on that aspect, but I did post the letters so readers could see for themselves what the school was doing. If anyone needs to know, I do think their response was appropriate, again my concern was with the fact we needed one in the first place.

For those unfamiliar with, I started it in August of 2005, relaunched in March of 2006 and this will be my 3,209th post about community events and activities. I require that people who feel compelled to comment register with the site and I delete comments if they use foul language or attack a person instead of an action of idea. It is intended to be constructive and I believe it is. I have an open policy in regard to authorship, if you want to write and make posts you are welcome to do so. I've had maybe three takers in over six years. To manage content, I restrict coverage to the "Nazareth Area" which I define as the municipalities comprising the Nazareth Area School District.

In this particular case I was a parent, but the reality is if my daughter hadn't been at the school a reader would have contacted me and I would have written about it anyway. My point was simply that adults failed, I was concerned for the potential consequences on the kids as a result, and I hope it doesn't happen again. The "outrage", "dismay", and being "stunned" were an interpretation and act of opinion that I'm surprised made it into an article in a daily print publication that would seemingly go through an editorial process, a luxury I don't have on my site. For me, I write knowing that my name is attached to it and as a member of the community I'm going to interact with you at some point, so I'm careful with my words and statements, and try to be as accurate and fair as possible. While it's hard to differentiate me as author and me as community member, you'll find I'm more casual in comments, interacting with those who comment or ask further questions. In the end, it's about using technology to build a better community, not tearing one down.

I've bcc'd this to the ET and NASD.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ross wrote:

"The "outrage", "dismay", and being "stunned" were an interpretation and act of opinion that I'm surprised made it into an article..."

Ross, I believe this is a common failing in reporting. I've recently experienced it myself. Very frustrating to be quoted accurately but to have their descriptors subtly change your intent.