Let's TAP About It

An Old Beatles Story Provides a Lesson for a New Generation of Journalists

35d96d38459764065310_Klaus_Voormann.jpg
35d96d38459764065310_Klaus_Voormann.jpg

The most valuable lessons for journalism students sometimes come from odd and unusual places such as a Beatles convention I plan to attend this weekend.

At the The Fest for Beatles Fans, I will have an opportunity to hear from Klaus Voormann, an artist and musician I interviewed many years ago when I was a music journalist. Voormann has a long history with the Beatles dating back to the early days of the band in Germany. He later designed the cover of the group’s Revolver album and played on several Beatles solo recordings.

At the time I interviewed Voormann, a recording he had produced for a band named Trio was doing well on the charts. A publicist for the band arranged the interview and told me that since Trio was Voormann’s current project, he did not want to talk about his work with the Beatles.

Sign Up for E-News

I understood, but just a few minutes into the interview – and without any prompting from me – Voormann referenced the Beatles in his answer to one of my questions about Trio. I realized immediately that it was not Voormann who wanted to keep the Beatles out of the conversation; it was the publicist. Her job was to generate publicity for Trio, not for Voormann or the Beatles.

Voormann and I had a pleasant conversation, which I turned into an article, but I never forgot how the publicist misled me. I shared this story with students in my journalism classes this week and told them to be wary of publicists and others who try to control the story by setting conditions on interviews and access.

“Don’t let someone tell you how to write your story or what you can and cannot ask” was the message I delivered.

“You’re a professional with a job to do," I said. "Don’t be intimidated by those who try to control or spin you.”

The message is not new, but in today’s climate, it is more important than ever. So I’m glad Klaus Voormann shared some stories with me about the Beatles some 35 years ago. His stories helped to make my story better, and today that story is helping me train the next generation of journalists at a time when the need to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable is more important than ever.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Becoming English in 90 Minutes

It was our first day in the country. The smell of fish'n chips filled the air, and the Wig and Pen was the place to be as England prepared to take on Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.  Wearing blue and yellow was a death sentence. The streets were lined with fans dressed in red who stood in pub lines extending for blocks. We had one goal: Convince the locals ...

Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper 

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation. 

What makes the ...

Grandpa Practiced Sustainability

My grandpa was of the Depression Era. Sustainability wasn’t “a thing” back then — it was just the way you lived. Though he was raised in a time when you were thankful to be able to put a good meal on the table, he likely had a standard of life that we would consider average or middle class today. He didn’t grow up in a slum or shanty town, but he did understand the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_afd68efb1a8dec240892_2018_final_taste_art_in_the_park_poster

Sun, July 22, 11:00 AM

War Veterans Park, Olean

Taste of Olean / Art in the Park

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Mon, July 23, 12:00 PM

Allegany Public Library, Allegany

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile

Education

Mon, July 23, 2:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Ladies Social Hour

Arts & Entertainment

State Grant Wil Help Ellicottville Brewing Company Expand in Cattaraugus County

July 18, 2018

ALBANY, NY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced the grand opening of Ellicottville Brewing Company's fourth location in Cattaraugus County.

The company's new 75,000-square-foot facility in Little Valley allows for the expansion of commercial production and bottling operations and the addition of 40 new full-time jobs. Ellicottville Brewing Company, which distributes its ...

Quick Center’s ArtMobile Embarks on 10th Year of Summer Visits to Area Libraries 

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the ...

Four area students receive Murphy scholarship

Four area high school graduates each recently received a $10,000 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Tyler Lashway of Port Allegany High School; Emily Rohrs and Anna Seamon, both of Allegany-Limestone Central School; and Olean High School’s Natalie Sova each received the John J. Murphy Family Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship is ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...