The object of Zone Zeal????

I work for the abc affiliate in RI and told the news director (friday) about FIRST and the CT event having a team from RI attending (who ended up winning) and some from our MA viewing area. and that it would be a great story. Anyway today I look at the news wire to see what’s there about FIRST and what I found from abc news disturbs me. So I am telling my news director not to use what is on the wire and talk to the teams directly.

here it is written by the network about the cali regional only not the whole event

And they’re off! This is the race of the robots. Sixty high school students
are taking part in what’s called the first competition…“For Inspiration
And Recognition Of Science and Technology” robotics event. The future
engineers and inventors had six weeks to build their own robots for the
mechanical challenge. The robots have to race around an obstacle course in
two minutes or less. Winners go on to a national championship later this

Obsticale course??? what the heck are they talking about? I have never seen an obsticale course in any FIRST event. This obsticale course doesn’t sound interesting enough to watch, but “Zone Zeal” was.

Does FIRST even send out press releases to the networks? I think they should, these people have always gotten it wrong. Also they should send something to local stations where a team particiating comes from (ie Middletown RI) so they know that this is going on. Dean is always saying that he wants FIRST to grow.


They dident talk to any teams?
Whats the point of reporting if they have the wrong info?

  • as said on other posts it makes you wounder about the accuracy of other news

Yep. That’s how it goes. Then they say “obsticle course” and then they show a video of the playing field with three goals and no obsticles in sight. Mabey the guy who wrote it was a Robotica fan?

Yeah, there’s been 2 articles in the past two years about our team, and reporters always get things wrong. No matter how well you explain it, they just don’t get it. They try to compress what you say into a few sentences to spark interest, but end up missing the point in the process. For example, the headline in our article this year was “Robotic Freedom.” What in the world does Robotic Freedom have to do with FIRST? Also, we explained that you could win awards to get points to go to nats, and she talked to one of the members on our spirit team about the spirit award. Well, in the article she made it sound like you got qualifying points for spirit. Sigh I guess FIRST is one of those things you can’t really understand unless you’ve expirienced it. And, btw, the competition isn’t enough, you have to expirience those six weeks too, and reporters will never get that.


i know just what you mean. at the SPBLI reginoal, there was a %%%% nosey fox reporter. all she did was harrsas us. one time, before the match, we were ready to start, she wouldn’t leave. the refs like had to drag her off the field. then, i watched the story on tv, and fox butchered FIRST. robot wars…winners get to go to the nationals in florida…pictures of robots smacking into each other…the list goes on.

i thnik that if reporters want to report anything, they should have to spend the 6 weeks with the teams, or at least check up on them to watch the progress. then, they’d know how the game works, and be able to portray the real meaning of FIRST. i guess the problem is really the people of America (yes, i am american). many people just want to see death and destruction, soFIRST doesn’t fit in. the local news goes in anyway, and then converts FIRST to destruction of robots, so they get good ratings. and this is why i tend to hate media. no offense to anyone in the media, but sometimes it just pisses me off how little they really care for the truth.

I got to talk to a reporter from the Associated Press on Saturday :smiley: . He asked a few question and watched for a while. Unlike most stories done by our local papers (Hartford Courant, etc) on FIRST, he seems to have his facts straight:

Associated Press - 4/6/02 - found in Newsday

But c’mon… did he have to describe the music using N’SYNC and Backstreet Boys??? :rolleyes:

Steve Prairie
RAGE 173

In general, I agree with you guys, but I have to laud a reporter who (I think) does get it. We had a reporter from one of the local papers - Jonathan Van Fleet - come down to UTC and ended up spending the whole weekend interviewing different teams, etc. You might check out this link:

to see the article that was printed in today’s paper - FRONT PAGE!

Actually the paper had a lot more pictures, but being from teams 166 and 151, we were really excited about the one shown on the website that was about a quarter of the front page.

Have to give credit where credit is due - Thanks Jonathan!

do you know when that article appeared in the actual paper newsday? i get it, and i never saw it.

*Originally posted by Ian W. *
do you know when that article appeared in the actual paper newsday? i get it, and i never saw it. **

I don’t get the actual paper, but I know that many papers picked it up in thier Sunday editions: Hartford Courant , The Day (Southern CT) , and some online-news only sites. The Courant had it in the Connecticut section. I just found it online at the Newsday site first.

Maybe it was just in Newsday’s regional section, I can’t actually know.

Steve Prairie
RAGE 173

As I hit “post”, I found out that the local paper (the Journal Inquirer) printed the same story in Monday’s paper.

ah, ok, i’ll look in sunday’s and today’s paper. thanks, cause it’d be interesting to see if there’s any pictures to go with it.

It’s my experience that reporters always manage to be in the most annoying spots- and NOT MOVE

NYC there was a camera crew and the sound person was right in front of our working area off the field, when asked to move she basically told me to shhh!

A better experince was in Toronto

After winning the semi-finals a reporter came up and interviewed the girl driving for 379… they were very nice and were very carful not to get in the way or interput at a bad time.

I think news coverage is very important and FIRST needs to reach out and try to get more of it (broadcast on a major network would be good, I don’t know many people who get NASA tv). News reporters like to make every FIRST game sound like basketball, when i explain FIRST i am always careful to say it’s not basketball (this year they were SOCCER balls).


This is Joe and I’m on the Middletown RI team. We just had a fantastic weekend and would love to talk to the news and get some publicity for FIRST in any way. If you have any ideas just contact me and I’m sure we could manage something. Our team loves being on TV.

As usall, a bit of inaccuracies. But I give him credit. He came out and looked around and asked intelligent questions for an hour. And it dosn’t help when he has 5 kids talking to him at the same time.

Silly out of context quotes…

Give your local papers a call, they will prolly be more then happy to send a reporter. One hint, Keep It Simple. They want short simple and clear explanations. So give them short explanations.
IMO, its better for them not to get everything then to get things wrong.

Obstical Course…haha thats a good one…

My theory on the media:

If your not going to put your all into a story, dont bother with it at all:D

Reading stories about FIRST in the paper and on TV makes me wonder how wrong the rest of their stories are.

I have to say that the reports done on our team so far have been accurate. The reporter has stuc to what we have said. I think there can be confusion that is encountered when reporters try to get info from people who dont realy know the game, or try to guess what the game is just by watching a couple matches.

I know its not right, but there isnt much that can be done. You will just have to deal with it.(for the people who feel the need to try and fix it: call the company/newspaper that issued the article and try to get them to print a more accurate one)