Okay, I was going to blog today anyway, but after an email I got this morning, I'm going to blog twice.
The first blog is a rant about print media. A month or two ago I received the "Utah Animal Control Officer's Volunteer of the Year" award, for volunteer work I did at an animal shelter. The director at the animal shelter mentioned it to a couple reporters, and a couple stories in various papers came out about me. The email I received was from one of the reporters, pointing me to online links to the stories.
The problem I had is nothing new, but it is this: the reporters totally and completely made things up. Nothing serious, you understand, but enough to make me go, "Huh? Where the heck did you get THAT from?"
Example 1 from the Deseret Morning News: "...making the rounds with his earphones in, Hardin is at peace."
Sounds nice, yes, but one problem: I have never worn earphones there. And, oh wait, I never wear earphones anywhere. I don't own earphones. Worse part? I think it's patently rude to wear earphones in a work environment where you need to communicate with other people. Grrr.
Example 2 from BYU News Net. Opening line: "BYU student Ben Hardin was acknowledged recently for his work in veterinary work..."
Veterinary work? Where did that come from? I hose down cages. Help people adopt dogs. Pull cats out of the ceiling. I'm not fixing broken legs or neutering dogs on the front desk. This isn't as bad as example 1 since a lazy reporter might extrapolate veterinary work from an animal shelter, but it is still incorrect and shows that the reporter did a terrible job reporting. And it's still the opening sentence of the article.
Example 3, same source: "[Hardin] said he saw the job opportunity online and called asking for an application."
No, I didn't. I didn't see any job opportunity online, I didn't call for an application, and I certainly didn't say that I did. It doesn't even make sense. Why would I apply for a job when I only wanted to be a volunteer, and repeatedly turned down job offers after I started volunteering? The reporter can't claim she didn't know this, because three paragraphs before, the article says: "[The shelter director] would love to hire him, but [Hardin] won't take a job."
But who knows. Maybe the reporter is just trying to make me look good. After all, she also extrapolated a yearly tradition for my last nine years of college of working with the Special Olympics, from my comment that I helped out one year. Maybe I shouldn't complain. But I'm going to anyway.