NBC covers 'Flurry of Furries', leaves professionalism at door
There are many ways a journalist can cover a local event, add a little humor, and still leave the reader with information and some chuckles. However, in its coverage of a campaign to promote giving homes to animals in shelters, one NBC employee became completely enamored by the first image that popped into her head from the name of the campaign, and ran with it until all useful content of the coverage was forgotten in the slew of 'edgy' comedy.
Despite the name, "Flurry for Furries" is not a furry convention, it's a campaign the Washington (D.C.) Humane Society is running for the month of January and February promoting the adoption of animals from shelters. With our affinity for animals, furries have repeatedly come out in financial support for local animal shelters. For example, 450 fans raised $4,000 for the Mississauga Humane Society at Furry Equinox 2011.
I'm not sure there was ill intent on the author's part. Perhaps she was trying a Daily Show-type tactic, using humor to create an atmosphere of learning. In this case, it doesn't help her cause. Her jokes appear passive-defensive, as if she really shouldn't be doing it, but continues to anyway. By the end of the article, the one paragraph of substance talking about the benefits of getting free food, treatments, and vaccinations were gone from the reader's mind, replaced with the overall message that started and ended the article: "Hey Bevis she said furry, huhuhuh."
Left out was a great deal of information about the needs and benefits of working with the organization. such as: the need for temporary homes because they are losing kennel space and need short-term foster families, or how cats are two for the price of one, or even how you can donate. Left in was a bunch of humor devoid of pertinent information on how to actually help D.C. animals. Which was the intent of the article, right?
Furries, who may be the ones looking for animals to provide a welcoming home to, or provide a donation, would be turned off by the NBC article. I'm also sure the Humane Society would not appreciate being tied with 'unsavory' elements of the author's creation, particularly one joke that came of as really disturbing given the context of the innuendo:
The society is promoting pet adoption during the cold months. Not... not that.
It might be poorly written, but given the perversion she already seems to be tripping down, that line appeared to be a joke about bestiality and you're talking about the Humane Society? That's just wrong on all levels. Luckily, after that punchline she talked about the free spaying and neutering, the only useful information in the article.
If there were one word for the article, it would be 'unsavory'. To Ms. DiMargo, I have a bit of sage advise for her continuing journalism career. It is simply two words, and they might sound odd coming from a man who watches cartoons and role plays a kangaroo in his spare time. Grow up.