Friday, November 25, 2005

Local Television Reports...

Let me start off by saying that I am not using this post to criticize the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) system. While there was some recent controversy due to one of their new programs crashing and causing hardship for those enrolled, and it is a state run system which means that it is at the very least probably paying too much for everything, it does provide students who are not interested in the degree programs which are offered at universities a means of acquiring valuable trades, skills and professions.

What I would like to address is the fact that, who ever they chose to create their latest ad campaign for the colleges is either not that swift or has perceived something about the public education system that I have been saying for some time.

The new ads are pretty normal and sensible for a community college with the clips from people who benefited from the colleges and now have good jobs. Right in the middle of the commercial are several seconds where textual quotes appear on the screen saying things like "Local newspapers say..." or "Local television reports..." followed by statements about the value of the NBCC system.

Now the fact that they did not want to spend the time tracking down permission to use real quotes does not bother me. The fact that they are using anonymous quotes to make their points sound authoritative does. I mean even the media who use anonymous quotes give some indication as to whether they are talking to a "Washington insider" or someone they found in a park screaming into a handbag with tinfoil on their head. Are we to assume that "Local television reports..." is referring to an interview with the head of the Chamber of Commerce or are they quoting their own TV ads from last year?

It bothers me because they are using foolishness to sell education. They will not teach logic in schools and then they use bad reasoning habits to sell their college programs. Isn't that a conflict of interests, at least in a moral sense? Of course, not teaching logic in schools and then airing irrational campaign ads seems like a conflict of interests to me.


At Fri. Nov. 25, 04:12:00 p.m. 2005, Blogger Robert said...

Maybe I’m just cynical…but…I’m afraid that, more often than not, prospective community college students would consider "Local television reports..." to be authoritative and therefore, a ringing endorsement. Then again, I could be wrong…about the cynical part, that is.

At Sat. Nov. 26, 12:44:00 a.m. 2005, Blogger Apesnake said...

I think that is the view of the college marketing department. However I am not so sure. While many of the more antisocial and boneheaded kids in my high school class ended up in community college simply because they figured out eventually that they needed some form of education university was not for them, there still seem to be a large number of vacant craniums in university and "Clever Clives" in college.

When I read the posts by the "Marxist Reading Group" in the university paper, I often wonder if maybe there is some faculty somewhere that not only does not teach things but actually sucks the existing knowledge out of one's head.

I certainly hope that the students from the MRG are not enrolled in Business Administration or economics. It would be a sad commentary if they were. More likely arts or sociology.


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