Scripps National Spelling Bee

Could the wheezing fate of America’s newspapers crush even the hearts
of young children? You bet! The National Spelling Bee, which famously
felled contestant Ben Bernanke in 1965 — the word he couldn’t handle
was “edelweiss”
— has inspired books, movies, and even a Broadway musical in recent
years, and some 5 million viewers tuned in to catch the final rounds on
ABC in 2008. But youngsters vie for a modest $37,600 in cash and
savings bonds only after winning regional competitions mostly sponsored
by local newspapers. Small daily rags and even a few big-city ones have
been folding fast — several dozen so far in 2009, including Denver’s Rocky Mountain News,
which has produced seven champions over the years. So some communities
are grumbling that Scripps needs a new competition model. Mr.
President, we want a bee b-a-i-l-o-u-t. — KR

scripps bee

Tue, May 26
Scripps National Spelling Bee
Washington, D.C.

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