Journalism 101: A Dog Biting a Man: Not News; a Man Biting a Dog: News. So, when will the Nebraska Media Admit that the NU Regents NOT Approving Every Single Milliken, Mauer, Perlman Proposal Would be News

September 14, 2012


LINCOLN, NE – (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

I’d love to know what’s really on the minds of bona fide journalists like the Omaha World-Herald’s Leslie Reed and the Lincoln Journal Star’s Kevin Abourezk as they cover the kabuki performances masquerading as Friday NU Regents meetings.

With NU as both of their “beats,” Reed & Abourezk are more aware than anyone how easy it’d be to simply write the Friday NU Regents “news” accounts the week before an NU Regents meeting by simply re-writing NU’s press releases and then Thursday night, inserting the proper verb tense.

Oh wait, that’s precisely what the LJS’s Kevin Abourezk’s predecessor, Melissa Lee, did. In reporting on NU Regents meetings, she’d basically rework NU’s own press releases and throw in a rah-rah quote or two from cheerleading Regents or Chancellors the afternoon of the meeting. Voila, her job was done. Public relations at its purest.

Then, just when it appeared that Ms. Lee was growing up as a journalist and might be amenable to a little more real reporting; well, lo and behold, she was hired by NU as their “spokesperson” at – rumor has it – three times the salary that she received as a neophyte reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star. I’ve been trying to find out Melissa Lee’s precise NU salary but it’s buried deep, deep within NU’s mystifyingly convoluted document that ostensibly lists all NU salaries. But I digress.

I’ve got a kick-ass Leslie Reed/NU Regents meeting/Perlman & the NU police story that I’ll be publishing soon. Plus, I’m finishing the touches on a feature called, “The Education of a Regent: How Consummate Educator Bob Whitehouse Became a Good Old Boy.”

Stay tuned.

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