Let’s honor real news coverage

There’s something that always makes me feel good as I bound forward in my journalistic life.

I routinely watch network news of some sort, to see what the competition is doing.

If you’ve ever been a working journalist, it’s pretty common to want to keep up with what others are peddling.

In the old days at several newspapers, staffers were assigned to watch the local news stations, to see if anything had been missed.

In my current life, I watch one of the two C’s (ABC or NBC) or CBS.

It’s a thrill, actually.

Because I can see what these presumably accomplished big time face journalists are doing.

Turns out Lester Holt, the big guy at NBC news, has committed a faux pas.

The vaunted Holt was delivering an upbeat report from a ghost town in North Korea, and he said it had been transformed into a “busy” ski resort. He was reporting from the Masikryong resort, personally ordered built by Kim Jong Un. This was to tout upcoming coverage of the Olympics.

This place is typically empty, but on the day Holt visited, it seemed to be throbbing with enthusiastic skiers.

However, the North Korean government appeared to have used extras, people wearing ski clothing, all of it matching.

Any skier worth her salt knows you must look individual on the slopes.

I’ve been there. I’ve done that.

During the report, Holt claimed that the the resort is a ‘source of immense pride for a country trying to present a new and modern face to the world’.


The truth is NBC wants to polish its own apple before the games begin, because the network knows a lot of money is involved in covering such an event.

Anyone who follows any news knows there has been lots of firm but unnerving real news coverage about some of the inner workings in Olympic competition training efforts.

Part of the reason I like seeing someone like Lester Holt stumble, (though he did it with a smile) is that that kind of behavior is unfortunately plentiful in the journalistic world.

Another happening that was not too commendable also involved Lester Holt.

He did a story last night about this amazing dog that had been brought back from a foreign country by a medic, who had adopted it in one of the current areas of conflict.

The medic, who said he didn’t want to give his name but was happy to be photographed, said he couldn’t bear to let that dog remain in that country. So he arranged to have it brought to the states.

That story may not sound familiar to you. But it sure does to me.

Recently I did a warm and I hope thoughtful story about a gentleman from this area, who had served tours in Afghanistan.

He had worked with a dog there, and thought it unfair to have to leave him behind.

He, acting on his own without any urging from anyone, figured out how to transport the dog across Afghanistan and get it back to the United States.

This is a local man, who, incidentally, was happy to lend his name to the story.

Another gotcha in my journalistic history.

In the days when I watched CBS, Scott Pelley was the face man. He once did a story about his thrill about being able to drive one of the best cars on the planet.

A Lamborghini.

The film guys lovingly captured his sense of awe at being able to drive that car. The pleasure on his face. His rising out of the seat of that sexy sports car, trying to walk away modestly from his encounter.

So sorry.

Been there and done that, too.

I once wrote about a trip to the factory of the Porsche people in Stuttgart. There we were treated very well. Wined and dined, plus allowed to be driven by a very accomplished driver around the Hochenheimring.

In German, this means essentially a race track which has its high and low places.

I didn’t have a film crew lovingly follow my moves. But I was able to capture my own awesome photos.

The one of spouse, exiting the vehicle, worthy of real media coverage.




Louise Swartzwalder



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