Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Party images send wrong message

Sure looks like a wild night out at Powder magazine's 40th anniversary party. Your photographic coverage on the lead page of Section B gave me a clear and distinct mental image of a pretty good party.

Take a step back for a minute and reflect on the message of that full-page spread. There seems to be a common theme in your coverage of special events in the Wood River Valley. From the annual Fireman's Ball, to various concerts, the Wine Auction and all sorts of fundraisers and celebrations, I recall layouts similar to Wednesday's photographs in many previous issues. Maybe the more important message of some of these charity events is lost when the images conjured up are distracting of the cause.

Then realize that Section B of Wednesday's weekly edition is probably right where our youth go to see sports stories and photos of and about their classmates and themselves. I think about the quote in the paper a couple of weeks ago from the story about the Community Drug Coalition's proposal to the School District board of trustees. The quote emphasized that "the School District doesn't have a drug problem; the community does." Could we then all reflect what message our youth get repeatedly? I wonder if our teenagers laugh at the not-so-subtle mixed messages.

If and when it is finally important for this community to make changes (and some believe it is well past that point), we as a whole community need to get serious about our messages and institutions. The schools alone should not be left to try and engineer social change.

Fritz Peters


Editor's note: The cover of Section B is sometimes used for photo spreads that cover major events in the valley. That section of the paper often focuses on community news and the cover offers the bonus of being able to display the images in color. The B cover has also been used to display photos of "non-party" events such as Wagon Days and the Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

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