Lots to talk about…..

Since you all like talking ESPN even if you’re not sports fans. What do you think of this????

What about the ethics involved here?

Remember FOIA from AP Style quizzes? What do you think of this???

Interesting story on …names?

At least 1 of you already noticed that a certain head of state has his name spelled a bunch of different ways. That observation could’ve been a story. Check this out.

Editor drill

In the early 1990s, Stuart Smalley was a character on Saturday Night Live. Smalley, played by now-Senator Al Franken, was a wimpy, push-over of a self-help psychiatrist whose signature move was looking into a mirror and saying “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonnit, people like me.”

Pete McGinty is Columbus’ Stuart Smalley.

Although McGinty is the aesthetic opposite of Smalley, standing at 6’6”, his role to Columbus is much the same as Smalley’s role to his clients. McGinty is president of Fahlgren Advertising, a Columbus-based advertising agency that was recently tapped to solve Columbus’ image problem.

“Historically, Columbus has had no image. It’s been pretty anonymous,” McGinty said. “It’s not been a bad image. I think people mostly don’t know who we are.”

But this isn’t an effort by McGinty alone. Last year, a group of Columbus organizations, including the Columbus Chamber, the Columbus Foundation, Columbus 2020! and Experience Columbus, all combined their efforts to build a message capturing the essence of Columbus.

Paul Astleford is president and CEO of Experience Columbus, the sales and marketing arm of the city’s tourism bureau. He said Columbus’ image problem has put the city “behind in the 21st century.”

“If you’re going to compete for new businesses or income sources like the visitor industry, you have to have an established image presentation,” Astleford said.

Astleford said part of the reason Columbus has failed to garner national recognition is because past efforts were too narrow-minded, often run buy a single organization and treated Columbus like a corporation rather than a community.

“In a corporation, the CEO says ‘You have to do it this way, and if you’re not on board, bye-bye.’ In a community, you can’t do that,” he said. “You will never be successful at creating a successful image distinction that everyone can be proud of.”

The idea of developing a brand everyone can be proud of, along with the city’s bicentennial celebration next year, was what led the groups to collaborate, McGinty said.

“You start connecting the dots and you’ve got all these organizations that have their messages out there and they start looking alike, they’re feeling alike, they’re telling the same story,” he said. “That’s how we’re going to build a brand for Columbus over time.”

Kenny McDonald, CEO of Columbus 2020!, agrees.

“Instead of us all going and doing individual things, at times we need to go at it together,” McDonald said. “We have a much stronger message that way.”

Columbus 2020! is a group made up of leaders from groups like the Columbus Partnership, the Columbus Chamber, the Columbus Foundation and Ohio State. Its main goal is to attract and retain businesses to the Central Ohio Region, which includes Franklin and eight adjacent counties.

“By the time this is all said and done, we want to see 180,000 net new jobs, $8 billion worth of investment, and our per capita income raised,” McDonald said.

Astleford said OSU has contributed to much of the tourism revenue, and a branding effort that attracts more outsiders will be mutually beneficial.

“We owe it to OSU and our community to broaden our attractiveness,” he said. “That will help OSU in its student recruitment, our visitor recruitment, (Columbus)2020!’s business recruitment. We’ll all be in a much better place.”

McGinty said OSU is a huge part of Columbus’ image, contributing intellectual and creative capital through research and the arts.

But it’s only a part.

“The strength of Columbus is that we are more than just the home of the Buckeyes,” he said. “It’s part of the core fabric of who we are, so we need to utilize that for all of its benefits, but also build upon that with all the other things that make Columbus a great destination.”

Some of the things that make Columbus a great destination, Astleford said, are the Center of Science and Industry, Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Huntington Park. These were all voted no. 1 in the country in their respective fields by different publications and organizations, he said, helping to boost Central Ohio’s tourism to a $7.2 billion industry, with 66,000 jobs.

So what will Columbus’ image be?

“It would be difficult to try to sum it up into two words,” McGinty said.

He said Columbus has one of the largest LGBT populations per capita from New York to Chicago, the second-highest student population per capita next to Boston, a “vibrant” arts scene, ethnic diversity, automotive research and production and research centers like Battelle and the OSU Med Center.

“But it really makes us this really open and smart, or creative and cool destination that we really need to wrap messages around and we need to tell that story to the world,” McGinty said.

Astleford said there is no timeline for the branding campaign.

“We’ve gone 200 years without an image, and we’re not going to rush into it,” he said. “That would only make the same mistakes that we made in the past.”

Still, McGinty hopes the branding effort can get off to a good start.

“In five years, we’ll want people to say ‘you know, Columbus is a really open, smart, progressive, intellectual, creative and cool city,’” McGinty said.

Of course, that description would be attractive to any community, he said, but Columbus doesn’t have to manufacture that image.

“What city wouldn’t want to be that? The truth is, we are that. That is who we are. And a lot of cities can’t say that,” he said. “We haven’t tried to create who we are by building certain things. I think that’s much more lasting, genuine and authentic.”

“We’re not trying to model ourselves after Portland or Austin or San Francisco or anybody like that,” McGinty said. “We’re just trying to be who we are.”

Brandon Roberson, a second-year in electrical engineering, said Columbus is not only the political capital of Ohio, but also the technological, cultural and social capital.

“When I think about Columbus, everything about Ohio is here,” he said.

For Kristen Eickart, Columbus is about games.

“I think about Columbus, I think of Origins, the biggest gaming convention in the US,” said Eickart, a first-year in finance and German.


Writing for broadcast…some basics

These are very basic rules for broadcast-style writing. As you’ll see, many of them have been adopted when different people and groups write for the Web, blog, etc.

1. Use active, strong verbs and the present tense is OK if it flows properly in context.

2. Attribution comes first. Joe Doe says….. In print style, we usually put attribution at the end: Blah, blah, blah, said Joe Doe.

3. Phonetic spellings of complex names/words. My last name might look like this on a broadcast sheet: Kat-er-in-eek-ee-uh

4. Short, simple sentences. Even more important in broadcast because someone is reading these words/sentences aloud on camera, into a mic, etc.

5. Rarely use direct quotes. If you must, keep them short, even 2-3 words instead of a complete sentence.

Editor drill

Movies like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” garner audience participation and mass followings thanks to their fantastic plot lines. “The Room” has garnered the same response at The Drexel Theatre and nationwide, but for another reason entirely.

“It’s the best worst movie you’ll ever see,” said Michael Rousselet of 5-Second Films.

And he would know; he was the spark that began the cult-like following that has surrounded the movie.

Ohio State Assistant English Professor Thomas Davis agrees. “It’s like watching a car wreck: you can’t stop watching.”

The film, as described on the official movie website, http://www.theroommovie.com, is an “electrifying American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies,” which asks the question, “Can you ever really trust anyone?”

The film is about a man named Johnny, played by the movie’s Director and Producer Tommy Wiseau, who is set to wed his fiancée Lisa, played by Juliette Danielle. It turns out that Lisa is a manipulative woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, including Johnny’s best friend Mark, played by Greg Sestero.

The movie follows these characters as their relationships disintegrate, and Johnny falls victim to the level of trust and devotion he placed in each of his relationships with the other characters.

Full of gratuitous sex scenes and salutations, this movie was originally advertised as an “electrifying drama with the passion of Tennessee Williams,” Rousselet said.

“It’s bad without being ironic,” Davis said. “It believes in its own sincerity.”

“From the trailer I thought it was kind of self aware and dry in humor, making fun of mellow dramas, kind of like ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’…weird but funny,” Rousselet said. “When I saw the actual movie, I didn’t know what to think, I just started laughing.”

“It makes no sense cinematically,” Davis said. “It’s the worst movie on every conceivable level.”

That kind of reaction is what caused Rousselet to call a few other friends, before the movie had even finished, to come and see the next showing of “The Room.”

“I saw it four times in three days,” Rousselet said. And throughout those viewings Rousselet and his friends began trying to figure out how to “Rocky Horror” the show.

“On YouTube we have a posting explaining in detail everything that goes on during the show,” Guy Alexander, theatre manager at The Drexel, said. “They’re called ‘The Room Explained: Part One’ and ‘The Room Explained: Part Two.’”

Both are narrated by Nathan Zoebl, the employee who usually runs the show at The Drexel, Alexander added. The behaviors seen in these videos are very similar in fashion to those of “Rocky Horror.”

One of the more well known actions, seen in these videos, is the throwing of plastic spoons at the screen when an unexplained framed picture of a spoon appears in the background.

“I pointed out the spoon in the picture frame,” Rousselet said in reference to the throwing of plastic spoons at the screen. “We’re not sure who first brought the spoons, but we’ve narrowed it down to three people. I wish I could take credit for it, but I have to give credit where credit is due.”

Other behaviors seen during the movie include the passing of a football between audience members whenever the male characters have bonding time on screen or the wearing of a red dress similar to the one Johnny gives fiancée Lisa at the beginning of the movie.

And viewers are encouraged to yell along with the famous lines from the movie. One of the most well known quotes people yell is, “You are tearing me apart Lisa!”

“I wasn’t aware of all the pageantry the first time I went to see it in the theatre,” Davis said. “But there seemed to have been plenty of plastic spoons to go around.”

“My friends and I came up with nearly half of all the comments said during the movie,” Rousselet said. “But I can still see it and see new things, the audience is evolving.”

Rousselet said he first saw the movie in an empty theatre in 2003, but by the end of its regular run in theatres, he had nearly 100 people going to the shows. “Tickets sales went up when we started going,” he said.

The film was produced, according to IMDB.com, on a $6 million budget. But Davis said Wiseau has kept quiet about how he got the funds to pay that much for the movie.

“That is unheard of,” Rousselet said, “it’s all interiors and a green screen.”

Part of what drove the costs up, Davis said, is the fact that the movie was shot in two different types of film at the same time.

“It was shot in both 35mm and HD film,” Rousselet said. “In theory it could have been in 3-D because it was shot with two cameras side-by-side.”

In addition to the excess of film, Rousselet said he had heard there were production setbacks and problems among the crew.

The mysterious actor, director and producer of the movie, Wiseau, is another part of the draw people have with this film.

“I think part of his intrigue is his complete mystery,” Rousselet said. “Who could direct a movie like this? The mystery is bigger than the man himself.”

“He is what he seems to be,” Davis said. “But I’m waiting for the moment he comes out of his accent and tells people he pulled the greatest trick in the history of cinema.”

Both Rousselet and Davis recommend going to see the movie cold without knowing much or expecting too much of it. Or, Davis said, “Watch interviews with Tommy Wiseau, that will give you a good sense of what to expect.”

“The Room” plays once a month at The Drexel, and will next be shown on Feb. 12 at midnight.

Don’t forget to bring plastic spoons and a sense of humor for a movie that is “so bad it’s good.” But if one were to forget, Davis said there are usually plenty of spoons to go around.

More ethical questions about ESPN personalities and side deals

Erin Andrews signed a deal with Reebok. At least that was public.

It appears these 3 like the Swoosh and no one said a word!