Sunday, January 08, 2006

ANOTHER RIGHT PLACE EXCLUSIVE: College Journalism Exam with Answer Key!

The Right Place has managed to obtain a faculty only answer-keyed copy of a final examination that is regularly administered to the students in the prestigious journalism program at a major American university! The contents of this exam may shock and horrify you! Then again, they may go a long way towards explaining the sad state of journalism in this country these days...


1. Your main job as a member of the news media in good standing is to...

A) Report the news fairly and accurately, with an emphasis on independently confirmed facts from multiple reliable sources and reasonable objectivity.

B) Destroy the evil Republican Party and everything it stands for, as well as anyone who would dare to support it!!!

C) Report innuendo and rumor as fact and rush to air or print anything "juicy" enough without checking into it in order to be first and maximize the glory for yourself and the organization that you work for.

D) Help liberal Democrats regain power so that things in this country can get back to being the way they should be.

E) All of the above.

F) B, C and D only.


2. You receive word of a plane crash and find out your mobile unit is just minutes away from the airport where the plane was due to land shortly. Word of the plane crash is just now going out over the air, and the names of victims have not yet been released pending notification of families...

A) You proceed to the airport, set up in an area away from any people who may be coming there to pick up loved ones who will never arrive and begin reporting the story in a dignified manner, using only confirmed facts and officially released statements.

B) You proceed to the airport and begin to contact airline and government officials, seeking to find out the facts as officially known and respecting the wishes of what they wish to be kept out of the public eye for the time being while they attempt to notify the families.

C) You proceed to the airport and stake it out, hounding anyone who approaches that may be there to meet the plane that crashed, break the news to them with the camera and microphone on, shoving both in their face and asking them for their reaction to the news (which they just this second heard from you) that their loved ones are likely dead.


3. You are a war correspondent sent to cover the War in Iraq...

A) You get out and see the country for yourself, as best and safely as possible, talking to as many every day Iraqis, Iraqi officials, and U.S. and allied military personnel as you can. You try to see how the country really is, how things have changed since the U.S. invaded, whether people feel the situation is improving, what American troops have been doing for the people of Iraq and attempt to balance that against the continued violence and unrest that may still exist in certain areas and try to convey an honest picture of the current situation as it is, good and bad, back to the American people and the world at large.

B) You sit on your derriere in the relative safety of your luxury hotel, protected by the U.S. military, and report what you can cull from "sources" about all the explosions, killings, political unrest and, most important of all, American deaths, ignoring anything else, which, after all, is not really news. Ooooh! And beau-coup bonus points for stories about American "atrocities"! And don't forget to obtain file footage of some burning cars! It is always good to have as much burning car footage as you can get!


4. The economy is on an upswing with massive growth, relatively low unemployment, the lowest interest rates in a generation, low taxes and almost no inflation. An election is approaching and the incumbent Republican President is running for a second term...

A) You honestly and accurately report the good economic news to the public.

B) You try to report on other, much more juicy things and ignore the good economic news. Good news is so boring anyway!

C) Check with your friends at the DNC for the latest talking points to see how you can make some nice sour lemons out of this icky sweet lemonade and hurl them at the Republican dufus! Be sure to remember that growth can be "sluggish", various areas of "bad news" may be found in a day or two of rough trading on Wall Street, energy prices could be high, the poor are always suffering somewhere, left out of the President's supposed "strong economy" and you can always find some "economist" to predict that the next Great Depression is just around the corner due to the President's "ill-advised" tax cuts "for the rich"! Go get, him, tiger!


5. You receive a tip from a highly reliable source that a high-ranking Democrat office-holder is involved in a potentially blockbuster scandal. You...

A) Run with the story without any further confirmation.

B) Dig deeper and find at least one corroborating source or documentary evidence that can be properly vetted that confirms the story and only then run with it.

C) Ignore it completely. Democrats are the good guys and we can't afford to lose any members of the "team," no matter how corrupt they may be!


6. Several local Democrat officials are arrested and charged with voter fraud on a massive scale, and the story is becoming public knowledge thanks to those bastard conservative retards on the blogs and talk radio...

A) You completely ignore the story because no one but a handful of right wing wackos pay attention to those sources anyway and who cares what they think!

B) You reluctantly run the story with all the pertinent facts, just as you would if it were a scum-sucking Rethuglican!

C) You print the story in a microscopic-sized two paragraph blurb on page E19 next to the cookie recipes with a non-attention grabbing headline such as "Charges Filed in Fraud Case," making certain never to mention the party affiliation of any of the defendants anywhere in the article.


The following question has two parts:

7a. A prominent Republican donor is arrested and charged with improprieties involving campaign contributions...

A) You print the story in a microscopic-sized two paragraph blurb on page E19 next to the cookie recipes with a non-attention grabbing headline such as "Charges Filed in Illegal Campaign Financing Case," making certain never to mention the party affiliation of the defendant or any of the people he is alleged to have donated to anywhere in the article.

B) Run a fair, balanced story about the man's alleged activities, remembering the principle that he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and is entitled to a fair trial before judgment is passed on him and that those he allegedly donated money to may not have been involved in any illegal activity, especially if they are not charged with anything.

C) Holler, "STOP THE PRESSES!!!" at the top of your lungs! Get a block headline ready for the front page --- above the fold --- reading, "Republican Bag Man Caught Funneling Illegal Contributions to Prominent Party Bigwigs!" Mention as many Republicans by name (the more prominent the better) as you can in the article, taking special care to trumpet their party affiliation with each and every mention! Cast the net as wide as possible, naming everyone even rumored by anyone, anywhere to maybe have been involved and slamming the bastards as the pathetic crooks and liars we know them ALL to be!


7b. Your story about the prominent Republican donor takes an unexpected twist, as suddenly numerous Democrats are implicated as having also taken money from said donor...

A) Give the Democrats the same treatment you just gave the Republicans, after all, it is only fair!

B) Back off the story and let it cool down, lest it take an ugly turn and end up having unintended consequences.

C) F**k it! Continue to frame the whole thing as a Republican scandal, ignore any and all Democrat names that pop up and refuse to report them. If pushed by right wing a**holes, claim that any attempt to try to add Democrat names to the scandal is only a desperate attempt to spin their way out of what is the "Mother of all Republican Scandals," and that it starts and ends with their side of the aisle!


8. About one month from a Presidential Election, you suddenly receive documents from a highly dubious source (who may have a major political axe to grind) that purport to provide proof of a story that may portray the incumbent President in a negative light and affect the outcome of the coming election. No one has been able to nail down this story, despite their best efforts, for over five years. The documents are purportedly signed by someone who has been dead for 2 decades, and do not adhere to a form consistent with other documents known to have been genuinely produced by the same individual. Your document experts are unable to positively confirm the authenticity of the documents, which are not originals but reproductions, many generations removed from the originals and suspiciously look more like they were produced using modern computer equipment than with a 1970's era typewriter. Your source says that he does not possess the originals. One of your document experts says the signature on ONE of the documents MAY be authentic, but he cannot vouch for any other part of that document or the remaining ones. You truly believe in your story and want it to be true...

A) You reluctantly drop the story rather than risk using what may be false documents, which would leave you looking foolish and unethical and possibly destroy your career and leave you with a feckless story with no supporting documentation.

B) You put the story on hold and contact more document experts in an effort to further vet the questionable material and show the documents to people connected to the individual who signed them (such as his personal secretary, other close associates, or family members) who may be in a position to help bolster or debunk them.

C) You run with the story anyway because the incumbent President is f***ing Republican scum and you want to do all the damage to him you possibly can and are on a deadline to break the story in conjunction with a related DNC campaign stunt, and besides, who's going to know if they're fake? Some anonymous boobs on the Internet in their pajamas? Whose going to listen to them??? Ha! Besides, even if they get you fired, you'll still be seen as a hero by your colleagues who will shower you with awards and you can make a mint selling a book about the vast right wing conspiracy to destroy you and how you were right all along and never have to work again anyhow!


There is, of course, more --- but I think you get the gist...

Thus endeth this week's dabbling in the art of SATIRE!


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Or feel free to check out our Main Page or try your hand at our latest Photo Caption Contest. Thank you for visiting The Right Place!


Thanks for the links!

The Jawa Report
The Mudville Gazette
Kitty Litter
david drake
Ex-Donkey Blog
Brainster's Blog
Hatless in Hattiesburg

This post is proudly featured in...

  • CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS #28 at Right Wing Nut House

  • CARNIVAL OF THE VANITIES #173 at The Hip and Zen Pen

  • CARNIVAL OF SATIRE #16 at the skwib

  • CARNIVAL OF COMEDY #37 at Absurd Spices

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