Sunday, November 04, 2007
That's what the police watch commander told me yesterday evening when, at the request of my editor, I called to see if anything "happened" at the day-long educational hip hop summit. I wrote about the events during the day, but missed an evening concert because they weren't about to pay me overtime to cover it.
When my editor first told me about the assignment over the phone, I sighed (in my head). Sure, send the black intern to cover the hip hop event. (I always get that feeling...never mind.) Being that it was held on the peninsula, I knew there would be more Filipinos than anybody else. Turns out that Filipinos were running it.
I often find it interesting to see who is "represented" at hip hop summits. I counted four or five African Americans out of nearly 60 community college kids. Even more interesting...we've yet to see such a rainbow of ethnicity coonin' and bafoonin' (or "boogalooing," rather) on the boob tube. (*scratches head) I've digressed.
What troubled me most was the assumption, made by my editors (and the police), that this collection of youngsters would cause some major fiasco worth reporting. On the phone, an editor asked me to come in later than usual so that I could stay in the newsroom late enough to check into the "danger" that, to everyone else, seemed "inevitable." (And they wonder why young people don't listen. If you've already written them off, why should they?)
Forget that the story I sat down to write was about women and their contribution and image in hip hop. Forget that the workshops were presented in an academic setting and fashion. Forget that the youngsters there were tamer than even I expected them to be.
Instead, let's attempt to write a story about how the police paid overtime for extra units to be ready to march in with riot gear when (and not if) the hip hop concert goes awry.
What kind of journalism is this?continue...