A Lesson in Journalism

Aquin Prom Draw 2017

And now . . . the rest of the story . . .

On Tuesday, Aquin students held our annual Prom Draw. As in past years, local media was invited to cover our unique tradition. And, as in past years, many national media outlets picked up the story and shared it on their websites. Links to many of these stories are listed below.

Overall, the reporting on our time-honored tradition was done very well and, as always, we are extremely grateful for the coverage. Many of the national media played the video from their local station affiliates with a few comments from their hosts.

But, one story in particular, from Fox 32 Chicago, chose to put its own 'spin' on their report. By selecting specific information--and omitting specific information--this station put misleading information out to its audience. In so doing, a string of comments has grown exponentially.

In response to this social media swell, factual information about our Prom Draw has been posted when appropriate. Many replies have been received which are grateful for the accurate information about the event and many negative opinions have been reversed.

A message (shared below) has been sent directly to Fox 32 Chicago requesting a correction to their story. While a correction from them will probably not reach the same audience, it will at least put accurate information out regarding our tradition.

Message Sent to Fox 32 Chicago

MARCH 20 . 7:58AM

I am the Director of Communications at Aquin Senior High School in Freeport. Your story on our Prom Draw has drawn an enormous amount of criticism based on the very limited amount of information you presented in your news brief on March 18 at 4:45pm. In my 10 years of promoting this annual event, I have never seen such a negative reaction from people. I have taken the time to go through the comments and reply to those when appropriate. I have received replies from some of those who appreciate the complete story on this tradition.

We would greatly appreciate a correction to your story which includes the history of this event and the process by which it happens every year since the 1920s. I am available to discuss this with you at your convenience. I think it would be in your best interests as well to run a correction to the story as many who have responded have agreed that the information presented here was very poor journalism. Thank you.

Thank You!

We are extremely grateful to anyone who has promoted and defended our wonderful tradition at Aquin. Social media is a giant and we need all the warriors we can get. Many, many thanks to those who are in the trenches promoting our positives.

Lessons to be Learned

As we are an educational institution, we know that there are 'teachable' moments in most every circumstance. This is definitely one of them.

So, thank you also to Fox 32 Chicago for presenting us with this opportunity to see how powerful words can be, to learn how quickly and easily people pass judgment and opinions, and to give us teachable moments on the use of social media.