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KIP & CAF Projects

Communicating With the Stars


Not too long ago, I was trying to send out an all-staff email with an attachment to The FOCUS newsletter we put together every two weeks. Unfortunately, the link didn’t work. A colleague laughed that I was communicating with the stars, which got me thinking.

Communicating with the Stars could be the title for a brand new reality TV show. As well as providing entertainment for millions, it could also help us to select the running order for the newsletter each fortnight. I guess it would also be great publicity for the KIP and CAF programs at AU, what with the prime-time TV slot. Anyway, it would probably work something like this.
To begin with, the background to each story would be explained in an emotional, perhaps even tear-jerking style by Z-list celebrities. Then the celebrities, the type whose commitments typically consist of other reality TV shows, would take turns to climb onto the stage where they would read out a story from a proposed issue of the FOCUS. An excitable audience would cheer loudly at the end of each rendition, often regardless of how poor the performance had been. Next up, the panel of showbiz/journalism experts would be summoned by the keen young host.
Showers of golden ticker tapes fill the air as the cameras turn expectantly towards the three people – one of whom will be nice, one knowledgeable and the other quite nasty. They would each play these roles – easily identifiable in much the same way as the Seven Dwarves are – and would be experienced in the fields of journalism and entertainment. In this blog, they will be known as happy, grumpy and clever.
Happy begins the process of review, concentrating on the positive side of the performance and pointing out particularly impressive pieces of prose. Clever finds fault with very little and likes very little. But grumpy, who resisted the temptation to use his buzzer to get the story off air, wades in with some serious criticisms. The grump, who needs another studio for his inflated ego, usually criticizes the grammar, structure and spelling before telling everyone that he could have done it much better himself.
This process continues until all of the stories – there are usually seven – have been featured on air. The experts, along with the audience, then decide which stories would return for another dose of humiliation in front of millions in the next edition. And they would also help to choose which story gets booted off at the end of each program. The process could continue until we got down to one story – which would then be the front page story of the next edition of the newsletter. I think that could work. And it’s kind of where you come in.
As part of the audience, I’m hoping that you will call to let me know what you think of the stories and let me have suggestions for future articles or acts. Without yourselves, the KIP/CAF workforce, there would be no stories and no newsletter so please get in touch with me, Patrick Mears, on extension 1208, because the show must go on.