Monday, June 23, 2008

What's the buzz? Cicadas! Fried by a newspaper!

Journalism is usually serious business, but journalists can occasionally have fun on the job and entertain their readers. This was the approach taken recently by staff members at The Winchester Sun in Central Kentucky to report on this summer's 17-year cicada invasion of the region, including an editor who literally bit into her assignment.

"For the Sun's Monday Webcast, reporters Mike Wynn and Katheran Wasson invited some people downtown for lunch," writes Acquanetta Donnell Jr. for the Sun. "While other staff members shot video, Wynn rolled a few bugs in a light brown, seasoned batter fried them in oil at 235 degrees, waited for them to cool off, then served them to visitors." Attorney Wiliam Elkins, a participating cicada taster, said "It was just an irresistible temptation when (Wynn) invited me to join him in the sampling of this local delicacy... I think it sort of has a hushpuppy consistency. " (Elkins, right, joins Wynn for battered, fried cicadas in a photo by the Sun's James Mann)

The front page of the June 17 Sun featured three photos above the fold of Community Editor Rachel Parsons' reactions to her first taste of the insect. Parsons, who had a disgusted look on her face, said the cicadas were crunchy, but "did not have much of a taste. I don't think I need to eat them again." Parsons wrote in a column, "When I decided to pursue a career in journalism, I envisioned myself doing lots of exciting things. I'd be fearless and track down the story, no matter what it took. Let me be the first to say, however, that not a single one of those visions involved me eating a bug, much less one that was battered and deep-fried. Turns out journalism is full of the unexpected." Parsons' column isn't online, but the Sun home page has a slide show of the cicada taste test.

No comments: