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Letters to the Editor

Unbalanced?

May 31, 2012

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To the editor:

On Nov. 6, 2011, a Journal-World Saturday Column opined that Lawrence folks should pay a lot more attention to academics and a lot less to sports. On Nov. 8, I wrote, paraphrasing Mark Twain, that the J-W is in an excellent position to actually do something about it. On Nov. 10 and 11, three articles appeared about the college choices of Lawrence prep swimmers, each with a color photo. In those same two days, six “public events,” nine lectures, four concerts, the opening of “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” and a distinguished professor’s inaugural lecture, all at Kansas University, received nary a mention.

On May 24, 2012, Chancellor Gray-Little presided over the annual luncheon honoring retiring faculty and staff who had contributed, in sum, 992 years of service to KU. A number of the honorees would themselves have made good press. For example, University Distinguished Professor Richard DeGeorge served for an astounding 53 years and had a delightful anecdote about his 1968 facedown of Students for a Democratic Society. Think about those missed opportunities the next time the J-W editorializes for a better balance between academics and sports. Or lavishly reports a high-school hoopster’s visit to KU that might or might not result in a commitment for one to four years.

Comments

tomatogrower 2 years, 6 months ago

Great letter. The media has a lot of power to make life better. They think that they give the people just what they want, but they really do manipulate people too. More news about the great things that go on in this town is needed and appreciated. The other letter in today's paper had a great point about reporting in this town too. Why not just put sports news in with other news? It has it's own section. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/may/31/local-focus/?opinion

irvan moore 2 years, 6 months ago

somehow i don't think i would get nearly as much enjoyment watching a bunch of really smart kids expounding on their chosen field as i do watching a kid slam a basketball through the net,

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

And, on the other hand, I would get much more enjoyment from that than I do from sports.

Fred Mertz 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree with the LTE.

We have academic competitions that get absolutely no coverage. Yes not as exciting as a dunk but worth reporting on.

Schools should put resources into academics and not sports.

50YearResident 2 years, 6 months ago

It's called, Dumbing down of America. Lawrence has more sports fields than most towns the same size and are in the process of building another Multi-Sports Complex in west Lawrence. Yet schools are being closed and consolidated at the same time. The Journal World has reduced the society news to one page in the Saturday paper and sports news has it's own full 6 page section every day.
It is no wonder foreign students are getting the best jobs that require advanced education.

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 6 months ago

The sports field situation in Lawrence was awful up to a couple yeara ago. Both high schools played football on Haskell's rented field- arguably the worst 6A football stadium in the state. Baseball played on ICE field, a comparatively joke of a field- home to the fake, caving in mound. Our fields aren't exactly steeped in luxury.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 6 months ago

Ah, for the memories of High School games at Haskell! The "worst" stadium was also steeped in tradition and mystique in ways that the new paver block stadiums will never come close to touching. Sometimes having "the latest" does not engender the best and greatest efforts that sports are designed to elicit, and I have to think at times how divvying up high school sports into the backyards of each school has affected the unity of our fair town in negative ways.

woodscolt 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey, the private sector (Ljw would probably qualify) is interested in selling advertising. It is pretty easy to run a article about sports. The issues that the Lte refer to are certainly creditable . Thats why it is important to keep public media access available so information that may not have immediate shock value and advertising value are also available to those who are interested.

It really shouldn't be a contest between the people who aren't interested in sports (their freedom of choice should be respected) and the sports fan (their freedom of choice should be respected) . Both should be represented.

SnakeFist 2 years, 6 months ago

I also agree with the letter writer. Heck, an entire section of the paper is devoted to sports. Perhaps if journalists spent more time informing the public of the many academic successes, the public would pay more attention to them (both journalists and academic successes).

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

There are two sides---the media must respond to what the consumer wants, but to an extent the media shapes what the consumer consumes.

There are other places to go for news---such as the KU website.

Joe Hyde 2 years, 6 months ago

Back in the 1970s I attended a home basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse where during halftime former football great John Riggins was honored. John took the mike to great applause (every clap of the hands deserved) then, almost apologetically, he commented that he couldn't understand why everyone was making such a big fuss over him while practically no attention was being paid to a KU student who'd just been selected as a Rhodes Scholar. That was so cool; I'll never forget it.

SB2013 2 years, 6 months ago

Don't remember it but I am glad you shared. This is how it should be . .

CountyResident 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe this is the reason that people say their children and grandchildren won't have the same standard of living as they do.

SB2013 2 years, 6 months ago

The sense of instant gratification of seeing athletes do almost anything is at the expense of this generation. They have grown-up with an "in your face" news and sports environment. It's a shame, they will not value the same standards of living my grandparent held until they are grandparents themselves. Sad, very sad.

Katara 2 years, 6 months ago

Odd. I have yet to see any of the complainers post on any of the articles about the KU debate team or the LHS and FSHS debate teams. LJW actually reports about the awesome debate squads we have.

Sadly, there were only 2 comments on the article about the freshman chess champion. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/apr...

If you want to see more reporting on it, you have to actually show some interest by commenting on the articles.

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