Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Union challenge

So it's President Bush's last State of the Union Speech.
I always like to challenge people who think they can do my job to watch the SOTU and try to write the 45-second copy story for the 11 p.m. news.

Which soundbite do you choose?

The one where he champions all of our hard-working men and women in uniform to total applause? Or the one in which he challenges changes to health care and the Dems never move out of their seats?

Do you choose the soundbite where he announces tax rebates that champion the little people? or do you use the moments when he stumbles while telling Congress how displeased he is that the Dems are holding up war funding.

You got 45 seconds .. so go ahead and choose. You write the story.

Think our job is easy in the press? Go for it. The networks and cable shows will beat the speech like a drum, but for the evening news, your goal is to provide a quick synopsis.

No matter what soundbite you choose, someone will take offense. Someone will email or call and say that you missed the "real story you bleeding-heart liberal you-know-what!" or that you "let the President off too easy you right wing so-and-so!"

45 seconds.

Most of us can't even give good directions to our homes in that much time, but your mission -- should you choose to accept it -- is to write the story that covers the highlights of the most important speech the President usually makes in a year.

Heck, it took you longer than 45 seconds just to read this post.

Good luck .. may the words be with you ...

Eric

6 comments:

Village Green said...

I do not envy you the task. It just came on and I switched to a pre-recorded rerun of House!

Doctor Spin said...

Oh, Boo, Hoo

Anonymous said...

How's this...and no sound bite needed:

President Bush delivered his final state of the union address tonight. You could see the relief on the faces of democrats and the fire in the eyes of Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The President said nothing that hadn't already been leaked to the press.
Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi did their best to stay awake as they sat behind the President on camera.
Republicans stood and cheered whenever President Bush paused. Democrats only cheered whey Speaker Pelosi prompted them to do so by standing.

Eric Mansfield said...

Hey .. that's pretty good. Probably a bit too slanted for our 11 p.m. broadcast, but I dig your effort.

Still, the soundbite selection is always the dilemma. Which one to choose and still be fair?

Thanks for playing along .. Eric

ScarletArrow said...

The act of choosing always reveals the bias of the chooser...or at least it will be perceived that way...so you'll never be labled "fair".

Ben said...

good point, never thought of it that way.