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This Just In: July 23 - 30 

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The Art of Noise

Summary: Local artists headed to Harrisburg to oppose cuts in state funding. Reporter: Andy Sheehan, KDKA Channel 2 Airtime: 2 minutes, 55 seconds on July 14 Visuals: * Sheehan standing outside the leafy courtyard of Gateway Center, his tie askew like most hard-working journalists. * Protestors gathered en masse at the state capitol, chanting, "Save our arts!" Highlights: * When Sheehan reports, "The proposed cuts come on top of declining users, contributors and foundation support. It's a perfect storm for arts groups and nonprofits who went to Harrisburg today for a lifeline." * When he tells us, "Hundreds of representatives of arts groups from across the state, including 20 groups from Pittsburgh alone, gathered in the capitol rotunda today." * When state Sen. Jay Costa (D-Forest Hills) states grimly that if budget cuts happen, "[A] significant amount of resources will be stripped away."  * When Sheehan elaborates on the plight of "organizations like the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside, where executive director Charlie Humphrey is predicting layoffs and a loss of programs if funding is not restored." * When Sheehan adds, "With proposed cuts to the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, the center and its sister organization Pittsburgh Filmmakers is looking at a $300,000 hit, and cuts in programs like 'Artists in Schools,' where professional artists teach art to kids." * When Humphrey emphasizes, "[A] lot of artists are going to lose their jobs, but even more importantly than that, it's gonna mean that you're not going to have living, working artists in the schools." * When Sheehan continues, "And no arts group has been spared. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is looking at a $2.5 million cut, and theater groups like City Theatre have already cut productions and are looking at future layoffs." * When Sheehan adds, "Large institutions like the Carnegie Library system are looking at a double hit: potentially a $3 million cut in state funding, and since sales tax receipts are down, a potential reduction in funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, or RAD." * When Sheehan wraps, "Now there are still several budget proposals floating around ... and while they know the cuts are coming, [the protestors are] basically in Harrisburg, asking for leniency." What We Learned: Artists do make the best protest signs! Unanswered Question: Funding, funding, wherefore art thou, funding?  News Value: 10. Sheehan delivers -- again -- not just making this a "protest" story, but giving us important details and interviews with key people. And he does it in less than three minutes, without all the fast-paced, grating huff-and-puff of other reporters.

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