Penn 5000 Reel

Posted in Penn Fishing Gear by Penn Fishing Gear on March 30, 2012

Penn 5000 Reel

Lou Prato's Been Around Big News Stories All His Life And He Is Around One Now The Jerry Sandusky Sex-Abuse Scandal At Penn State.

Lou Prato's been around major news stories all of his life and he's around one now the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal at Penn State.

After a long career in TV and radio reports, he moved to State College to rejoin the Penn State community, where he earned his journalism degree in 1959. After authoring The Penn State Football Encyclopedia, he became the first director of the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Now retired from the university, he still writes about Penn State sports.

Prato's media career includes working and leading TV and radio newsrooms in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Dayton, Ohio, as well as work with the Associated Press. His academic credentials include twelve years as head of Northwestern University's broadcast graduate program in Washington. For a long time he was a hack and contributing writer for the North American Journalism Review.

Many reports directors know him for his more than 35-year stint on the board of the Radio-Television News Directors Organisation (now the Radio Television Digital Stories Organisation), including 22 years as its treasurer.

He's shaken by the scandal, but he also believes that the press has unfairly darkened the whole establishment with their "rush to judgment, the conjecture, the innuendo, the ridiculous commentary based basically on a grand jury report that is still to be proved in the court of law."

Never one to mince his words, he talked about his feelings with Contributing Editor P.J. Bednarski in a chain of emails, excerpted below.

I know the horrid things are purported to have occurred with those youngsters sicken you. But I know that on a journalistic level, you are appalled by some of the cover.

Concern about the cover is nothing in relation to the obvious concern all Penn Staters have for the sufferers of kid abuse and their youngsters, and I mean that sincerely.

But the way most of the media has continued to portray Penn State, the people that live and work here, the scholars and faculty, the university's soccer team and even our alumni base, one might get the point this complete area is inhabited by a horde of callous, heartless kid sex abusers. One cable Tv talk show host called the second Mile "a molestation farm." Come on!

Now the many insincere, self-serving, second-guessing critics in the media and the gullible, blood-thirsty public they stir up and influence have made Penn State symbological of all that is bad in the American culture that's till the media moves on to another shark fest, leaving in its wake a whole life taint of Penn Confirm that will never depart irrespective of what the ultimate truth may be.

I am worn out disagreeing, debating and thinking about everything which has occurred to Penn State, to me, my folks and lots of my chums in the last few weeks, and it's hard to believe everything reported so far by the grand jury. Furthermore, it is even more difficult to believe Joe Paterno was so morally deficient as his millions of baying critics in the media and outside it proclaim. It is so out of keeping with character of the man.

As for [Athletic Director] Tim Curley, I have met many liars in my life particularly in academia and I cannot believe Tim is a liar and morally deficient. OK, I understand. I and hundreds, if not thousands, of others were duped by Sandusky. Therefore as to Joe and Tim, we shall see, won't we?

Therefore after all of these years, this has taught you something new about the media?

I will never watch, listen to, and read the news or watch or listen to talk shows as I had before.

You know what wounds me the most, besides what could have occurred to those boys? I was a part of the media, a journalism graduate who was taught not only to be fair, balanced and objective, but to be sensitive of others, to get every side of the tale, never to think, and to not interject my personal or political beliefs into any story.

I was also instructed how to be careful of the personal agendas of sources as well as my own, to be wary of whom to trust, to be doubtful but pragmatic, to withstand the enticement to be first without first assuring you have it right, and to never report a rumour because you may believe it to be true . My, how idealistic and old fashioned.

Perhaps you don't see it being so close up and personal to this story, but this is what a lot of people would say media do with stories like these all of the time.

Look, there were times in my career I did not meet my private exacting standards. That bothers me to this day. But I never expected journalism to fall to this level of irresponsibility and shameful, malignant depth that it has in the last 20 years. I am sure there are many thousands still working in the newsrooms of this country who share my perspective.

There has been good reporting on the nation's level, but I'm abashed, embarrassed and I'm irritated at how a giant group of the media has reported and analyzed this story with such a pile-on mindset. The push to judgment, the speculation, the innuendo, the ridiculous commentary based basically on a grand jury report that is yet to be proved in the court of law. It has already messed up the position of many people as well as Penn State University and the whole State University area community.

It's abhorrent to me that a giant slice of the media and the public has already made up its mind without waiting for all the facts to come out through the court process that Joe Paterno is the ultimate villain here for what he did or failed to do not Jerry Sandusky and that Penn State and anybody even tangentially connected with Penn State is accountable for what occurred. The criticism is vicious and most of all, so self-righteous. Not only the scurrilous websites, where you might expect it, but so-called "legitimate media" web sites also. If you want more examples, read and see them online yourself.

Well, you worked for the athletic program. Did you not hear anything?

For the record, the first I heard about Sandusky's purported and I keep on employing that word as I was first instructed to do in journalism school kid abuse was in mid-June of 2009 when I was volunteering for the annual fundraising 2nd Mile golfing competition. I did not know Jerry well, but I had been around him at golfing competitions and I had interviewed him a couple of times.

I was more mystified than startled. I recollect. I said, "Jerry??? You have got to be kidding!" I knew nothing of what was then the 2 reported events in 1998 and 2002, and like others I was shocked by the 23-page report to the grand jury. It's sickening and tough to read but I did.

I know you think some local hacks did some good solid reporting on this. But why failed to this story come out earlier?

There are three reporters who were on it. Sara Ganim, once the crime reporter for the Centre Daily Times, who broke the first public stories of the enquiry after she had continued on to the Harrisburg Patriot-News ; Gary Sinderson, a vet "one man band" reporter-photographer for WJAC in Johnstown, who knows the Pennsylvania court system and this community inside out ; and Pat Boland, the reporter-newsman for the local dual-ownership State College radio stations WRSC and ESPNRadio1450. He helped Ganim in her first job fresh out of Penn Nation's journalism program in May 2008. You do not hear much about Pat as he keeled over from brain cancer at the age of 42 in early July but he was deep into the story.

Ganim looks like a throwback to the journalism of my youth, and based mostly on what I have noted, she appears to have more judgment and street smarts than lots of her older, more experienced media peers in Pennsylvania and nationally. She's just 24 and must be slightly overwhelmed with a tale like this. I just hope she does not slip into the sloppiness that frequently infects other young writers who are overtaken by their ego when they finish up on top of a massive national story.

On this Sandusky story, I call Ganim, Sinderson and Boland "The Three Musketeers." They did not share all of their information, but like many reporters some place else they often cooperated on their research. It's unsurprising that Ganim has been the leader in informing the public of this story. Paper journalists and many TV hacks, especially in the major markets, can do that. Sinderson and Boland were hampered by the medium they were in, the range of obligations dictated by their particular roles mixed with the necessity to get people to chat publicly online, disguising their faces or voices when necessary. That constraints lots of things.

Sinderson is my sort of old-time correspondent, and he is not your average cameraman or videographer. It was Sinderson who first discovered the grand jury's report was posted on the Internet that fateful Fri., Nov. Four placed there one day too soon by mistake and then he posted it on his station's website, and then he surprised Ganim with the latest news.

But these journalists must have known a lot was going on long before Nov.

Outsiders have criticized the local media and regional media for not exposing more of Sandusky's claimed grave transgressions ; of not informing the public earlier than this past spring of the inquiry ; and, most egregious of all, of not reporting the unauthenticated rumours that were swirling round the community.

Yet, look it up. Ganim's first Patriot-News story of the inquiry was on March 31. It barely made a ripple even in Harrisburg and State Varsity. Check out Ganim's primary story that will still be found online. There were just six comments from Web readers at the time 2 of them skeptical. Now, folk have gone back to read it and there are a load more comments now. But Ganim has announced publicly she was shocked by all this absence of interest,writes tagza.com.

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