Despite criticism that he’s been too hard on Park media this May, Month Without Metaphor director Ronald Grouse has received almost unanimous support from The Park’s journalism community for his efforts on behalf of tomorrow’s Media Circus.
The jam-packed event, which Grouse had originally planned as a two-day affair, had its origins in the 2011 celebration hosted by the Association of Media Outlets of The Park (AMOP). But the purpose of that event was far different from what Grouse has planned for tomorrow.
“I worked on that first media circus and I remember it fondly, partly because of the innocence of it all and its sense of openness. It was very pro-journalism. We were all proud of what we did and we wanted to share that with Park residents. We also wanted to encourage young Animals to consider a career in journalism,” he told The Mammalian Daily.
“But Park media have grown in the past six years, and we— as well as our audience— are suffering from our growing pains,” he said.
Tomorrow’s event, then, will be more focused on, as Grouse says, slyly using a metaphor, “righting the ship.”
“This circus is for all, but part of it is for our own edification. I think of it as holding a mirror up to ourselves. Journalists need to take a cold, hard look at what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what results we’re looking for. I want to start an ongoing, thoughtful conversation about that,” he said.
Part of that conversation will include Grouse’s favourite topic, the language of manipulation. And our sneak peek into the media kit confirms that. The kit, which will be given out to all attendees, includes some of Grouse’s least favourite journalistic tools: metaphors, similes, trite expressions, and—best of all—heart strings that are meant to be pulled.
The irony isn’t lost on Grouse.
“Yes, the media kit is manipulative, but it’s all for a good cause, and that’s to do our jobs better,” he said.
“The kit illustrates what’s gone wrong and we hope it will spark some realizations. After all, our job is to present the facts as we know them, not to use words to manipulate the minds and hearts of our readers and listeners.”
The Park’s Media Circus will take place 31 May 2017 at the Ancient Open-Air Theatre, from 09:00 until 16:00.