Did WRAL anchor cross a line with comment?

Posted: September 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: journalism | Tags: , , , , , , | View Comments

Blogs are abuzz with a new moniker for Carolina. But is it fair?

The N.C. State sports blog StateFans Nation pointed out an interesting post by the controversial CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel this morning — one that seems to reveal the opinion of one of the Triangle’s most popular anchors.

From: Bill Leslie, WRAL, Raleigh

I’m a journalist like you — and I am offended by your reckless article on UNC football. They are doing their best to clean things up. It’s the first black eye in recent history. You should cut them a little slack.

Doyel filed Leslie’s response among his “hate mail” sent in response to two recent columns on the ongoing NCAA investigation into the UNC-Chapel Hill football program. The investigation has since expanded to allegations of academic misconduct.

To understand why Leslie’s note would be particularly controversial in the Triangle of North Carolina, you have to understand not only the heated rivalry between UNC-CH and NCSU (my alma mater), but the widespread perception among State fans that the local news is in the tank for the Tar Heels. Read the rest of this entry »


Technician in trouble

Posted: March 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: journalism | Tags: , , , | View Comments

Issue No. 1

As soon as I graduated from N.C. State, I picked up what my father jokingly insisted would be the last thing he’d ever buy for me — a beautiful diploma frame for a document it took me five years to earn.

I love N.C. State with a passion only a better writer than me can describe. My time there amounted to some of the best years of my life.

But despite the prominent place my B.S. holds on the wall in my office, the symbol of my proudest accomplishment is a large red book covered in a layer of dust in my library. It’s a bound collection of every edition of the Technician published during my tenure as editor-in-chief.

That paper made me the person I am today. It equipped me with the skills I needed to become a journalist and contribute something valuable to my community.

But now, the Technician is in trouble.

I’m not clear on all the details of what happened — the paper hasn’t published a story on it yet. But one thing is absolutely clear to me — the Technician cannot die. And I’m not alone in that opinion.

This student newspaper, which is just 10 years shy of its 100th anniversary, is too important to the community of North Carolina’s largest university, a university that commands more than half a billion dollars of taxpayer money.

So if you have a horse in this race — whether you’re a Technician alum, student, faculty, staff, community member or just a fan of student newspapers — I could use your help.

I’m trying to gather feedback on the way forward for this newspaper. I’m looking for anything you’re willing to give me, be it ideas, critique, complements or reasons why you believe it is doomed to fail.

You can deliver that feedback in a variety of ways, many of which are sure to evolve over the next two weeks:

• Leave me a voicemail by clicking on the Google Voice widget in this post. We need your affiliation with the paper (reader, staff member, alum, etc.) but you don’t have to provide your name.

• Comment on this blog post.

• Share your thoughts on Twitter, or link to your own blog post on the topic, using the #ncsutechnician hashtag.

• If you’re a student at N.C. State, consider joining the staff of the Technician. Whether you’re headed for journalism or not, writing for a daily newspaper will teach you some valuable lessons about teamwork, time management and meeting deadlines.

Also, if you’re an alumnus of the paper, enter your information into my alumni directory so I can keep track of where the Technician’s past staffers have ended up.

With your help, I believe we can help guide this newspaper back onto the right path and ensure the sweat and tears of so many students in this paper’s 90-year history won’t be in vain.


Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Posted: January 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: journalism | Tags: , , , , , , | View Comments

Vice Chancellor Snape is displeased.

First, as a card-carrying member of the N.C. State Alumni Association, I want to congratulate the new chancellor, William “Randy” Woodson, who came all the way from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., to lead this venerable institution.

I think he will make a fine leader and I hope he will be able to move N.C. State forward in its mission … and we can start winning at basketball again.

But this post isn’t about Chancellor-elect Woodson, or basketball. It’s about how the search to find him was handled. Chancellor searches in the UNC system are, basically, secret. The UNC Board of Governors believes that searches need to be secret to attract qualified candidates for top-level administrative positions.

The individual boards of trustees at the constituent universities interview candidates, send three names to UNC President Erskine Bowles and he nominates one to the governors. They vote on it, and voila, a chancellor is born. Read the rest of this entry »


Social media skips the news, solves a crime

Posted: December 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: journalism | Tags: , , | View Comments

timecopNews editors love the mug shot.

This simple perp-on-gray image has been the visual bread and butter of crime stories for a long time. The St. Petersburg Times even has a whole Web site dedicated to them.

But they’re also valuable to the police, especially when they’re using the photos to help catch suspects or persons of interest in a crime. Sending a photo to news organizations means exposing it to thousands of eyeballs that can help detectives do their jobs.

But if it’s not a high-profile crime, they’re likely out of luck.

That was the case this week when the librarians at N.C. State were fed up after the brazen theft of a large $700 clock from their facility. They had security camera footage, but what news organization would have the space to print or air such a story?

As it turns out, librarians are pretty clever — they skipped traditional media altogether. Read the rest of this entry »