INbasket

 

News View
Enforceable standards, ombudsmen, and ethics pledges might, as Newhouse professor Steve Davis suggests, help clean up journalism’s plagiarism mess (Perspectives, Fall 2003).

If we must create a standards course to counsel journalism majors against the theft of words, then let’s also use that forum to decry the more insidious theft of truth, the growing practice of presenting random facts, prevailing beliefs, unattributed opinions, and inane speculation under the guise of straight news.

While teaching students how to report and write the news, I hope we’re still advising them to leave their opinions at the door. When those opinions get into print or on the air, journalism isn’t simply a mess—it’s bankrupt.

Malcolm R. Campbell G’69
Jefferson, Georgia

Exploring Space
I agree with SU’s aerospace experts that space exploration is a vital goal for NASA (“Pioneering Spirit,” Fall 2003). Unmanned spacecraft are a cheaper and safer alternative than human explorers. Unmanned rockets can travel much farther than humans and spend much more time in space. Unmanned missions will not only extend our understanding of the universe, they will also stimulate the development of technological advances in the areas of robotics and sensors. These technologies will, in turn, play a critical role in the modernization and automation of our nation’s manufacturing infrastructure.

Theodore J. Sheskin G’65
Lakewood, Ohio

Life Changing
I want to let you know how impressed I am with the Winter 2003 issue. I particularly found the articles on how SU affected the lives of the alumni to be inspiring. It also reminded me of how SU changed my life through my connections and experiences, particularly with the faculty, staff, and students at the Institute for Sensory Research.

John Raiti G’02
Providence, Rhode Island

Praising Pete
What a pleasure to see your profile of Pete Sala (“The Dome-inator,” Fall 2003). In addition to the many nice things Kristen Swing wrote, Pete is an unfailing gentleman and true professional. I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job of representing SU.

Joe Canavan ’76
Director, Production Services, CBS Sports
New York, New York

Mentoring Success
The University’s mentor programs are well outlined in the Summer 2003 issue.
The athletic department’s mentors are a boon, and SU Project Advance mentors provide the needed push to many high school seniors.

I’ve also found that mentors are important in after-school life. Alumni can serve as mentors by offering jobs to graduates and donating to the University.

Joseph Byrnes G’72
Ottawa, Ontario

Commencement Complaint
It was with much dismay that I noted the photographs of Bill Clinton as the 2003 Commencement speaker (Fall 2003). In the early ’80s, the likes of newsman Ted Koppel ’60, H’82 and Secretary of State Al Haig brought a stature to the ceremony that was indeed appropriate. It is hard to believe that Clinton was the selection committee’s consensus as to a model for young people about to enter a new phase of their lives.

David Story Allen ’81
Amherst, New Hampshire

Global Recognition
I congratulate all Syracuse fans on the 2003 NCAA basketball championship win (Championship Journey, Summer 2003). Basketball has become a very popular game worldwide, and this major achievement has helped to put SU on the map in my part of the world. I an extremely proud.

Muyiwa Ayoade ’83
Lagos, Nigeria

Stage Scuffle
I disagree with the opinion written by Patrick Morelli ’66 (In Basket, Fall 2003). West Side Story is an updated version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that premiered on Broadway in the late ’50s as our country continued to struggle with its racial identity. As social commentary, the musical and the original play are riveting. Many classic theatrical pieces could be viewed through such narrow lenses. In so doing, one misses the crux entirely.

Anne D. Gardsbane G’95
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Patrick Morelli’s letter about West Side Story as a racist “relentless tradition” of “dehumanizing stereotypes” left me wondering what I’ve been missing all these years. I always thought it was nothing more than a simple love story about two kids in New York City.

Dave Hall ’70
Peabody, Massachusetts

 


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