In the News: Fort Wayne Hamfest article – This is why you issue detailed and well written press releases for amateur radio events

So I caught this in on the WANE-TV website in Fort Wayne today about the Fort Wayne Hamfest that I attended this weekend.  This is why radio clubs need to draft detailed and well-worded press releases when you hold a public event.  Look below at the text of the article I copied in.  After each paragraph I break in to describe “interesting” text that can either be blamed on an incompetent reporter or an incompetent editor.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Amateur Radio, also known as Ham Radio, is a hobby that features licensed participants whom operate communication equipment. The Fort Wayne Hamfest & Computer Expo was November 15 and 16 at the Allen County War memorial Coliseum.

1) “whom operate?” I’m fairly sure this is an inappropriate use of “whom.”
2) “licensed participants” — this is iffy.  “Licensed radio operators” would have been a better phrase.
3) Missed the capital “M” in “memorial”

About 2,500 people visited the expo for the largest Ham Radio gathering in Indiana. The Allen County Amateur Radio Technical Society has been hosting the event for the past 42 years. Hamfest Chairman, Jim Boyer said despite what people might think, the festival has had a lot of success in the recent years.

4) Jim Boyer is probably a nice person but if he actually said that to a reporter he should be shot.  IF YOU ARE TALKING TO THE NEWS, forget what other people think.  Your event is a success.  Period.  Although the reporter hasn’t really excelled at his job thus far, so he may have tried to unsuccessfully paraphrase the below quote from Jim, so I’m going to give Jim the benefit of a doubt here, because he’s a fellow ham.

“Amateur Radio is quite a hobby, a lot of people think ham radio doesn’t exist or it’s just for old people, but it’s a very active hobby. We have 700,00 Armature Radio operators in the United States,” Boyer said.

5) I’m going to criticize Jim here in his phrasing.  But more glaring here is the unmitigated disaster in either the dictation, proofreading, or editing back in the newsroom.  700,00?  What is that–seven hundred hundred?  Armature?  ARMATURE!

He believes that some of the success Armature Radio has gained is due to a maker movement in the United States, where people are making things using items around them. The Allen County Public Library has a Maker Lab at two of its libraries in the city, one at Georgetown Square and the other at the Main Library.

6) There’s that damn Armature again!  So are we now into playing with electric motors instead of radios?

BONUS:  Look at the picture and caption on the article on the WANE website:

Radios fill up a booth at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for Hamfest on November 15 and 16, 2014. (photo and caption from WANE website)

“Radios” fill up this booth?  Come on.  If you’re going to take a picture, at least ask what is in the picture.

I am going to put together a hamfest review in the next few days to detail some of my disappointment in this year’s Fort Wayne Hamfest.  Most of my criticism will revolve around the poor marketing of this event.  Part of marketing an event such as this the production of well-written press releases.  This is a horrible article that will unfortunately reflect poorly on the event.


(Published from South Bend, Indiana)

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