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DeGroot 101

Young reporters read this latest screed from John DeGroot carefully -- your life just might resemble it.

Here's the text/outline DeGroot sent the Pulp this morning:

Yesterday’s Sunday editions of the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel were textbook examples of Journalism Redux. Well done, yes. But….

In the case of the Herald, it was Part One of yet another series on “What’s With Cuba?” – a question that’s been around since the Spanish-American War.

In pandering to a different market, the Sun-Sentinel gave us Part One of a yet another series on “More Development & More People” – a subject as old as the first Conquistadors (here's Part 2).

Okay. In all fairness, Journalism Redux has been the warp and woof of the news business for as long as I can remember.

For example: While South Florida’s news media have Cuba and Growth, the small town daily I worked for as a fuzz-faced reporter back in Ohio had the Pothole Crisis – a source of annual local outrage which we wrote about every year when frozen roads began to thaw.

No matter. Be it Cuba, Growth, or Potholes, it’s still the SOS – or the Same Old Shit.

And therein lies both the rub and the creative challenge for the news media, which is: How to repackage their SOS to make it look like new

shit. Doesn’t matter if your SOS is televised, printed, or delivered to VIA computer. By any other name or medium, it’s still SOS in need of a brand new package.

Which is why the news business ain’t all that easy.

And also – to benefit today’s hapless young journalist – why I’ve been moved to offer my list of the Top Dozen Perennial SOS Topics garnered* during my 50-some years in the news business. (*In no particular order.)

1. Gun Control 2. Police Brutality and/or Perp shootings 3. Sex and Violence in/on radio, television, movies, etc. (excluding the news media) 4. Animal Euthanasia at the Dog Pound 5. The “Plight” of Yet Another Minority Group 6. Voter Apathy and/or Fraud 7. Governmental: a. Sex b. Violence c. Waste d. Corruption e. Indifference f. Inefficiency g. Idiocy h. Lobbyists i. Taxes

8. Consumer Fraud and Rip Offs (excluding major advertisers) 9. Diverse Acts of a Wrathful God:

(a) Hurricanes (b) Forest Fires (c)Floods (d)Blizzards and Ice Storms (e)Drought (f)The Looming End of Whatever As We Know It (g)Epidemics and Diseases

10. The News Media’s Constitutional Right to Do Whatever. 11. Annoying Homeless and/or Crazy People 12. The War On: a. Terror b. Illegal Aliens c. Poverty d. Drugs e. Child Abuse f. Elder Abuse g. Perverts h. Pollution i. Energy Addiction j. Illiteracy k. Traffic Congestion l. Fat People m. Smokers

(n) Street Hookers

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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