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April 7, 1977 — THE GRYPHON — Page Three
Letters to the
By Clifton Barnes
To the Editor:
Ttie students and faculty of Senior
High should be ashamed of the
discriminative manner in which the
AFS Talent Show was planned and
carried out. It seems as if the
publicity was kept at a minimum
until the week of the talent show,
purposely in order to omit the
student body from participating;
therefore, only those few that were
wanted were given the chance to
perform. I have heard that the
reason for the talent show being
carried out in such a peculiar
manner was explained as wanting
those students who had won awards
at contests to be able to perform
because many of them never get a
chance to play for the public. My
response to this explanation is that it
is impossible for one or two people to
know every person in Senior High
that has won an award for his talent.
It seems to me that the people in
charge of the talent show would have
at least been smart enough to
disguise their plot by having an
audition, and pick the elite few they
wanted from the audition. I for one
as a senior, a participant in two
previous talent shows, a dedicated
member of the Marching Band,
Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band for
three years, a member of the All-
State Band for two years in which I
won two awards, and a former
member of many independent
bands, am disgruntled over the fact
that I didn't have the right to par
ticipate in my own school's talent
Although the opinion of the student
body obviously does not mean much,
I advise that in the future the student
body be informed well in advance
that this event is going to take place,
and that there be a specific date set
for an audition with capable aM
unprejudiced judges presiding. The
people in charge would probably be
surprised how much better the show
would be if they would use this
(Editor's Note) As we understand it,
A.F.S. members were asked to bring
in names of interested persons
according to A.F.S. faculty advisors.
The show neared and not enough
people had shown interest, so S.R.A.
members were supposed to have
brought information to their
homeroom about entering the show.
S.R.A. members either neglected
their duty or students didn't listen.
The students of Rocky Mount
Senior High have reason to be proud
of its student newspaper. The
Gryphon has won many national
honors for excellence. But RMSH
students should be very much
ashamed of the newspaper, for there
is great doubt as to how "student" it
The fact is that even though
BREAKING IN LUNCH LINE IS COMMON PRACTICE — Above is
just one of many incidents of line-brealing in the lunchroom. Many
students are quite annoyed at those who break in line. Assistant
Principal Charles Davis is on duty in the lunchroom during most of
both lunches, but It is impossible for one person to catch all the
Ibe-breaken. Students should use self-restraint and respect the
[Photo by Bulluck]
better understanding of others, and
to bring about positive action where
change is needed." I feel that in
order to represent the true purpose
of the paper, the aim should be
stated as "to avoid controversy, to
win Journalism Awards, and to keep
the advisor happy so staff members
can all get A's."
rights of others.
students do write the paper, it is
being censored by their "advisor."
However, this power of censorship
was not assumed by the advisor on
her own, it was given to her by staff
members. Untrue you say? Here's
the sad true story;
A couple of months ago I wrote an
editorial about the Sub-Deb Club.
After lengthy discussion of the pros
and cons of publishing the editorial,
the staff voted to run it. At this point
the advisor said she would quit
because she had failed as a teacher
to bring a rational decision from her
students. She also said she couldn't
take all the hassle the editorial
would cause. We suggested a few
things that could be done so she
wouldn't get any flack, but she
refused to even consider them. So, to
make a long story short, the staff
revoted and decided to kill the
editorial, only to keep the advisor.
So you see she has the power of
censorship because she can always
threaten toquit whenever something
I guess it is better to have a cen
sored school newspaper than none at
all, but it is sad that it had to come
to that choice. What upsets me is
that the Gryphon is still operating
under the aim "to stimulate
awareness of issues, to promote a
“You’ll be seeing me on television on Monday.” These words
came from a new celebrity a couple of weeks ago. The celebrity
held hostages at gunpoint for 40 hours in an Ohio city hall and made
outrageous demands, including a public apology by President
Carter for white oppression from 1619 to 1977. This is almost sen
sible compared to the declaration that all whites leave the planet
within seven days.
This is just one example of the effects the news media has on
crime. The news media, especially television, has a way of
glorifying criminals and making heroes out of lawbreakers.
The media sometimes does not only report the news, it also
constitutes the news even if quite by accident. The outlandish
person beforementioned released one of the hostages in exchange
for a television set and a tape of the late night news. He wanted to
see and hear what was being said about him. He also wouldn’t talk
to anyone but friends and reporters about his intentions and
There is another case of gunmen holding over 100 hostages, this
time in Washington, D. C. The leader would only talk to reporters
by phone and frequently, too. All comments and orders were
relayed from the gunmen directly to newsmen.
The coverage by the media is a matter of ethics. The ethics of
news coverage in such incidents are low, and they seem to be
getting lower. Reporters find themelves not innocent bystanders
watching the goings on. Instead they find themselves participants
in the drama.
One news director says, “It’s time we took another look at our
coverage of such incidents ... we are disturbed that the media
. . . overplayed it to the extent that another one is almost
The competition between newspapers and television stations is a
big reason for the overlooking of morals and ethics. The com
petition should ease up when a sticky situation unveils itself. This is
certainly not to say that the media should ignore the events but to
merely report them reasonably and without interference.
Some persons, including UN ambassador Andrew Young are
calling for news restraints. When one starts setting limits on news,
that’s when we stop believing in ideals that founded and shaped this
country. Freedom of the press would no longer be true.
I find these limitations unlikely but the media should take a step
back and reassess themselves and hopefully follow a well-rounded
code of ethics. If not, “news restraints” are on the way.
Campus Styles at
MEBANE SHOE COMPANY
Downtown, Rocky Mount
YOU PUT us ON THE MAP.
When we opened our first Hardee’s, we opened them right
here in the carolinas. And today, with more than 900 restau
rants across the United States and two foreign countries our
home is stiii the Carolinas.
Which is why, no matter how big we get tomorrow we'll
always remember all of you who helpkl get us off the ground
So next time you say hello to our delicious charbroiled bur
gers, golden french fries and all the other good things on our
nationally famous menu, give yourself a well-deserved pat on
the back. After all, it was you who put us on the map.
And we’ll never forget it.
Rocky Mount, North Carolina 27801
Rocky Mount, N.C.
A Division of Texfi
An EqusI Opportunity Employer