Penn Fishing Made

Posted in Penn Fishing Gear by Penn Fishing Gear on March 31, 2012

Penn Fishing Made

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.

Lou Prato's been around major news stories all 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 School to rejoin the Penn State community, where he earned his journalism degree in 1959. After writing The Penn State Soccer Encyclopedia, he became the first director of the Penn State All-Sports Museum. Now retired from the college, he still writes about Penn State sports.

Prato's media career includes working and leading television and radio newsrooms in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Dayton, Ohio, as well as work with the Associated Press. His educational credentials include twelve years as head of Northwestern University's broadcast graduate programme in Washington. For a while he was a columnist 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 Association (now the Radio TV Digital Stories Association), including twenty-two years as its treasurer.

He's shaken by the scandal, but he also believes that the press has unfairly darkened the entire establishment with their "rush to judgment, the conjecture, the innuendo, the ridiculous commentary based primarily on a grand jury report that is yet 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 e-mails, excerpted below.

I know the horrible things are claimed to have occurred with those children sicken you. But I'm sure that on a journalistic level, you are appalled by a number of the cover.

Concern about the cover is nothing in comparison to the most obvious concern all Penn Staters have for the subjects of child abuse and their children, and I mean that sincerely.

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

Now the numerous hypocritical, self-serving, second-guessing critics in the media and the naive, blood-thirsty public they foment and influence have made Penn State symbolic of all that's bad in the North American culture that's until the media moves on to another shark fest, leaving in its wake a lifetime taint of Penn Say will never go no matter what the ultimate truth could be.

I am worn out disagreeing, discussing and considering everything which has occurred to Penn State, to me, my family and plenty of my chums in the last couple of weeks, and it's tough to accept everything reported this far by the grand jury. Similarly, it is even more difficult to believe Joe Paterno was so morally deficient as his millions of baying knockers in the media and outside it proclaim. It's so out of keeping with character of the person.

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, or maybe even thousands, of others were fooled by Sandusky. Therefore as to Joe and Tim, we shall see, will not we?

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

I can never watch, hear, and read the news or watch or hear talk shows as I had before.

You know what wounds me the most, besides what may have occurred to those boys? I used to be 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 each side of the story, never to think, and to not interject my private or political principles into any story.

I was also shown how to be careful of the private agendas of sources as well as my personal, to be suspicious of whom to trust, to be doubtful but realistic, to fight the temptation to be first without first assuring you have it right, and to never report a rumour just because you'll believe it to be accurate. My, how idealistic and old-fashioned.

Perhaps you don't see it being so close and private to this story, but this is what a large amount 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 very own high standards. That bothers me to this day. But I never expected journalism to fall to this level of irresponsibility and shameful, malicious depth that it has in the last 20 years. I'm sure there are many thousands still working in the newsrooms of this country who share my perspective.

There's been good reporting on the national level, but I'm abashed, embarrassed and I'm annoyed at how a large group of the media has reported and investigated this story with such a pile-on mind-set. The haste to judgment, the speculation, the innuendo, the outrageous commentary based basically on a grand jury report that is still to be proved in the court of law. It has spoiled the reputation of many folks as well as Penn State School and the entire State School area community.

It's offensive to me that a big slice of the media and the general public has 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 didn't do not Jerry Sandusky and that Penn State and any person even tangentially connected with Penn State is responsible for what occurred. The criticism is vicious and most of all, so self-righteous. Not simply the scurrilous internet sites, where you would expect it, but so-called "legitimate media" websites as well . If you'd like more examples, read and see them online yourself.

Well, you worked for the athletic program. Didn't you hear anything?

For the record, the first I heard of Sandusky's alleged and I continue to use that word as I was first instructed to do in journalism college child abuse was in mid-June of 2009 when I was volunteering for the annual fund-raising 2nd Mile golf competition. I didn't know Jerry well, but I had been around him at golf tournaments and I had interviewed him a couple of times.

I was more mystified than startled. I remember. I announced, "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 stunned by the 23-page report to the grand jury. It's sickening and tough to read but I did.

I know you suspect some local hacks did some good strong 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 correspondent for the Centre Daily Times, who broke the 1st public stories of the enquiry after she had progressed 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 Varsity radio stations WRSC and ESPNRadio1450. He helped Ganim in her first job fresh out of Penn Nation's journalism programme in May 2008. You do not hear much about Pat because he stiffed it from brain cancer at the age of 42 in early July but he was deep into the story.

Ganim appears like a throwback to the journalism of my youth, and based primarily on what I have observed, she seems to have more judgment and street smarts than many of her older, more experienced media peers in Pennsylvania and nationally. She's just twenty-four and has to be somewhat overwhelmed with a story like this. I just hope she does not slip into the sloppiness that commonly infects other young reporters who are overtaken by their ego when they end up on top of a giant state 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 elsewhere they frequently cooperated on their research. It's no surprise that Ganim has been the front-runner in informing the general public of this story. Paper reporters and many TV hacks, especially in the major markets, can do that. Sinderson and Boland were constrained by the medium they were in, a mass of obligations dictated by their specific roles mixed with the need to get folks to talk in public on air, disguising their faces or voices if necessary. That limits a lot of things.

Sinderson is my sort of old-time correspondent, and he's not your average cameraman or videographer. It was Sinderson who first discovered the grand jury's report was posted online that fateful Friday, November. 4 placed there one day too early by mistake and then he posted it on his station's website, and then he shocked Ganim with the news report.

But these correspondents must have known a lot was going on long before November.

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

Yet, look it up. Ganim's first Patriot-News story of the investigation was on March 31. It barely made a ripple even in Harrisburg and State School. Check out Ganim's primary story that will still be found online. There were just 6 comments from Internet readers at the time 2 of them skeptical. Now, folk have gone back to read it and there are more comments now. But Ganim has said in public she was stunned by all that absence of interest,writes

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