Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rescuing the Rep of Interns

Yeah, I know, this isn't genealogical -- except that it's about research. But it's my blog, so I figure I'm allowed to brag about my niece. Lindsay just attended the annual conference of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), where she's an intern. Ted Koppel delivered the keynote address, and spoke about the difference between immediacy and importance in news-gathering and reporting. A worthy topic, but as this article demonstrates, it might have been a good idea to do a little more homework before making one of his points. Specifically, here's an excerpt from the article that I especially enjoyed:

"One comment made by Koppel raised some hackles in the audience – and may not, in retrospect, stand up to examination.

In talking about the war on terrorism, Koppel noted that there have to be concerns about the safety of the food supply – and said that a large percentage of the honey imported into the United States comes from Lebanon, which also is home to Hezbollah, the militant/terrorist organization. The question, he said, is whether enough attention is being paid to where food comes from and how safe it is from tampering by terrorists.

Forget for the moment that this came dangerously close to suggesting that honey exporters are potential terrorists. FMI put one of its crack interns on the case – Lindsay Neuberger of Wake Forest University (who also happens to be the 18th ranked woman shot putter in the nation). And Neuberger found put that Koppel must have been thinking of another industry, since Lebanon exports virtually no honey to the US. (FMI CEO Tim Hammonds was expected to correct the record during his remarks at Monday's session.)"

So it looks as if an obsession for research might be in the genes. Coincidentally, the first time I ever made the local newspaper (at that time, that meant The Washington Post for me) was when I was interviewed while researching at the FMI's library in Washington, D.C. The topic? The marketing of sea urchin roe. Fortunately, I get to research more interesting topics these days.

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