No Cheering in the Press Box!

My favorite story of the day comes courtesy of Les Carpenter at The Washington Post and his take on the Springsteen press conference at the Super Bowl:

But nothing brings tears to the eyes of middle-age men more than the Boss. And almost an hour before the news conference began, an army of said middle-age men clad in ill-fitting Dockers made their way up the grand staircase, hastily shoving through the aisles of the darkened conference room in hopes of securing a seat near enough to the stage that their PowerShots would work.”

Now, all who know me know of my deep devotion to the work of the man from Jersey. After reading this, I remembered the ‘Vote for Change’ Tour in 2004. That tour was co-sponsored by America Coming Together and It was clearly a political fundraiser and I decided that I wasn’t going to go. . . as much as it pained me to stay home, I did.

If I was in Tampa this week working? I wouldn’t have gone to the press conference. I recognize my bias. I am a Springsteen fan. I can’t go to a press conference and be a reporter.

It is this ultimate choice that we in this profession have to make. Are you going to participate and be an advocate or are you going to be on an impartial recorder of events on the sidelines?

Students feel deeply and passionately about many things these days and that’s good. But I keep coming across examples of student journalists acting as advocates. Pick one or the other, you can’t be both.



About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at He also edits part-time for with the NFL and college football network.
This entry was posted in Ethics, Future of Journalism, In the News, Springsteen. Bookmark the permalink.

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