Thursday, December 18, 2008

So You Want to Teach?

Whether you've always wanted to teach or you've been laid off and need some revenue, many people consider teaching. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

So You Want to Teach?

1. Become a substitute teacher. You will be compensated for your service and build your resume in the process. Just go to the Board of Education in your community. Also, try private schools as well, they are always looking for substitutes as well.

2. Teach at a community college. Community colleges are becoming more and more desirable as the cost of a four year education increases. In addition, more students have to attend community colleges in order to be prepared to transfer into a four year institution. It's a great place to start and possibly to stay.

3. Teach for the University of Phoenix or for some other reputable online institution. Be forewarned there are many higher education scams to avoid. However, landing with a good online institution will give you the experience and exposure that you need.

4. Get your advanced degree. Whether it's a doctorate or a master's degree, secure your higher learning now. You will increase your competitive edge, three thousand fold. Further, be sure to ask about graduate assistantships. Some institutions will provide a stipend and cover your tuition as well. ASK questions, this is really relevant if you happen to be a journalist reading these tips.

5. Guest lecture in the classroom of colleagues. This is yet another excellent way to test the waters and to build your resume.

6. Become an adjunct professor. Some of you have enough mettle to just take the plunge and apply for teaching positions at your local universities. An adjunct is a part time professor. You probably will not receive any benefits but again, you are building your academic credentials.

7. If you can't lecture, just sit in on some college classes. Get used to the environment.

8. Search the web for course syllabi. Find out what the professors are teaching and design your own course to pitch to a potential employer. Who knows you may create a disruptive technology, ala Clayton Christensen.

9. Read, read, read and dare I say, read. If you haven't read The World is Flat, The Long Tail, The Tipping Point, The Age of Access and countless other books, now is the time to feed and expand your mind. The information will prove to be priceless in interviews as well as course design.

10. Learn multimedia skills. This will set you apart from most of your competition. Subscribe to or to the Knight Digital Media Center.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well, they're my friend's husbands who dressed up as the 1980s rap group. Not bad huh?

Kiss the Thirties Goodbye!

Today, I am celebrating 40 years of life. In the broadcast world, this age is very dangerous for many women. If one looks her age, she is replaced by someone who doesn't. In the professional world, 40 is the age when lawyers say that age discrimination begins. She is replaced by less expensive employees. In the home, sometimes spouses will seek out two 20s to replace the seasoned woman. Too bad they don't realize that they may get two 20s and neither one my cook or clean. Some even say 40 is middle age and the over the hill mark. I say it's a wonderful, liberating, wisdom filled moment in time and I am so grateful just to still be here.

My attire represents the era when I came of age the 1980s. It was a really good time. We didn't worry about school shootings or being overdosed on ritalin. Our parents tried to or threatened to kill us and we believed them. Michael Jackson had only had one or two nose jobs. Cyndi Lauper was all about girls having fun and Right On! magazine was all the rage. I remember playing softball, volleyball, lemon twist, attempting to play double dutch (I was a double handed rope turner, so that meant you didn't get to jump), going to church because I wanted to, listening to Stacy Lattisaw find Love on a two way street and so much more.

With the economy tanking, I realize that we are Living in a Material World, but I'm grateful that I'm not a Material Girl. I am so grateful for my family, friends and loved ones and they are the best birthday present of all. Peace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Future of Journalism

Indeed, like some of my comrades, I too have been following the future of journalism argument between Jeff Jarvis and Ron Rosenbaum. Well, let me be totally transparent. I'm aware of the argument and have scanned a few blog posts. However, I did read Amy Webb's assessment on her blog The argument and reading about it uses up time that I could dedicate to creating content, learning more new media tools and reading blogs like Amy's. Check out her previous posts. The information is beyond thought provoking.

Webb will be the keynote speaker here at Belmont University in February, 2009 for the Southeast Journalism Conference. After hearing her speak at the Online News Association convention in DC in September, I knew I wanted to learn as much as I could from her. The strategies she shares can be used by any business and/or individual. It all boils down to your mindset. Caution: reading Amy's blog may literally blow your mind.

My thoughts on the future of journalism are simple, right now the business is for sale and its worth will depend on innovation, managing disruption and change. That's bull, its worth is being determined by the shareholders and that's why the business model is in such a tailsping. Yes, declining number of viewers and readers are a key part as well. But the content is being sacrificed for superficial entertainment stories. And the reason for that is because the stakeholders want more money.

Given the strategies of the current leaders, the future looks bleak. However, there is always hope in the form of the next generation. As I've said before and I'll say again, mobile is the next frontier and more video is as well. Asian countries are already using video more consistently than those of us in the US. Think video cell phone calls and more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Journalists and Public Relations: Domestic Partners

At Belmont University, I lead the New Century Journalism Program. We are teaching students new media, ethics, writing and storytelling across multimedia platforms. In other words, we are training them to be flexible journalists. In addition to journalism,Public Relations is also a major. Students often have a difficult time deciding which one to choose. I often say if you are sure you never want to be a journalist, choose PR. However, if you are remotely interested in journalism, major in it. The reason being that many of the most successful PR people are former journalists. Now former MSNBC executive and on air personality Dan Abrams has launched his own company using an arsenal of journalists and other media professionals as consultants. In the article, some argue that to use journalists as advisors damages the overall credibility of journalism. And that supports my point, that former journalists often make better PR or media relations strategists because they intimately understand the media and have many contacts as a result of their employment in the industry.

I respect and embrace that position that there should be separation between journalists and PR people. But in these rough economic times, people have to do what they have to do, ethically and legally. Abrams says that he will not compromise a reporter's integrity by asking them to work with a potential news source. The article notes that others like Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post have been successful using the shared resources strategy. We are in an open source, networking economy. It is critical that people pool resources. Those who are more collaborative are faring much better than those who are still trying to survive autonomously.

If anybody thinks Dan can use my expertise, hook a sistah up!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Radio by George

Just finished doing a radio talk show with former Tennessee Titan Eddie George. We talked quite a bit about new media, social networking sites and the overall nature of virtual communication. The show should be posted on the Voice America site soon. People always ask me if I get nervous when I speak, well I had time to have a butterfly and then the conversation began. It was just really cool just to flow on various topics and now that I'll be a regular contributor, you can catch me on some Monday afternoons between 3-4 on the aforementioned website. I keep telling people, don't push, don't pull, God will let things happen in His time. Years ago, people told me to do radio. Who knows, I could have been Sybil Wilkes on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Nah, it's so much more fun just being me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rating your Website

One of my students in Mass Media class turned me onto this site, Website Grader. It's an easy way to assess your website. I plan to try it and see how it works.

What is Dr. Syb doing?

I've had my head buried in yet another book by Harvard University Professor, Clayton Christensen. The book is called Disrupting Class. It's a really good look at the public education system as well as the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist and that will exist someday. One of Christensen's main points is that a disruptive technology finds an area of non consumption or in other words an area where there is nothing at all and fills the void. Online education is serving that purpose right now. Many people do not have the time to go to a brick and mortar building but they will sit down in front of a computer and take classes. Likewise, many schools can only offer so many AP classes, so Apex Learning is filling the void. In other words, as many of you try to identify additional revenue streams look at areas where nothing exists. If Apex didn't offer the additional AP courses, where and how would students get them? Well, enough for now. I'll try to read some more today and share some more kernels of wisdom. I'm saving you time and money aren't I?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Newspapers Net Gain, At Least for a Day

This from
TV Spy.

Newspapers a Hot Commodity After Obama's Win

Post-Election Newspapers Fly Out of Stores

From Richard Perez-Pena at the New York Times:

For a day, at least, newspapers were cool again.

Cool enough for people to try a dozen places in hopes of finding one, and then line up around the block for it. Cool enough for the seekers to call friends for help in finding copies, and for the finders to put them up for sale online.

The election of Barack Obama produced a clamor for newspapers that publishers said they had never seen. From The Cincinnati Enquirer to The Charlotte Observer to The Dallas Morning News, papers accustomed to years of declining sales pumped out extra copies by the thousands, and could not keep pace with demand.

But these were not papers to be consumed and crumpled as usual.

"Oh no, no fingerprints on this one," said James Allen, a delivery man from the Bronx, who stood in line for half an hour outside the Manhattan headquarters of The New York Times to get a copy. "This goes straight into a plastic bag. This is a black man becoming president. This is history, to show my grandkids some day."

Many buyers posed for pictures holding up the front page. Copies of Wednesday's major papers sold on eBay and Craigslist for more than $200.

Newspapers anticipated some extra demand, but they underestimated. The New York Times had printed 35 percent more than the usual number of copies for individual sale on Wednesday, an increase of about 150,000. Later, it printed 75,000 more.

On an average weekday, The Washington Post has single-copy sales — newsstand and store sales, as opposed to subscriptions — of about 100,000. It printed 30,000 extra on Tuesday night.

"It sold out almost instantly," said Steve Hills, president and general manager of Washington Post Media.

On Wednesday morning, The Post ordered up 150,000 copies of a special edition of the day's paper, charging $1.50, not the usual 50 cents. As the day wore on, it raised that to 250,000, then 350,000. "I've been here for 21 years and I've never seen anything like this," Mr. Hills said. (more)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Professor Rick Hancock on Social Media

When Professor Rick Hancock spoke at Belmont University last month, I interviewed him about the impact of Social Media. Ironically, I finally posted the interview on yesterday and today Professor Hancock talks about a website that he mentioned during the interview on Rick's RSS. Multimedia minds think alike.

Newspapers ROCK!!!

Today of all days, every newspaper in the country should celebrate. After such an historic event, thousands if not millions of people want a newspaper. Take advantage of this opporutnity and showcase your deep investigative pieces, your archives and your research. Make sure your website is updated all day long especially today. Link to other resources, you will not be the only destination for the majority of users.

I called my parents to tell them to save the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune so that we can frame them. An enterprising news organization will sell the framed front pages. They'll sell mugs, t-shirts, hats and compete with other entrepreneurs. However, the newspapers have what the unknowns do not, they have a brand.

As another business strategy, newspaper execs need to think monetization as well as customization. How can we personalize this opportunity? How can we help more people think about us when they need the initial, original content that everyone else comments on after the fact?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Credit Union Scam

Yesterday, I received the pre-4am phone call, today I received this email.

In our terms and contidions you have agreed to state that your account must always be under your control or those you designate at all times. We have noticed some activity related to your account that indicates that order parties may have tried gaining access or control of your information in your account.

Therefore, to prevent unauthorized access to your Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union Internet Banking account,you are limited to five failed login attempts in a 24-hour period. You have exceeded this number of attempts.*

To reactivate your debit card , please call: +1(732-XXX-XXXX)

John Simmonds, President Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union.

© 2008 Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union, All Rights Reserved.

So, I finally called my Credit Union to learn that they are working with state officials and other credit unions to get to the bottom of this. Apparently, the scam artists running this scam have gotten access to home as well as cell phone numbers and clearly email addresses too. I called my local tv station and understandably, they have their hands full with the election. Well, I'll stay on top of this to the best of my ability and let you know what happens.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Middle of the Night Phone Call

When the phone rings at 3:47am, one wonders,"whose dead?" I grabbed the phone and received a recorded message from the Southeastern bank saying that my bank card had been tampered with and to press "#1" on my keypad. Fortunately, I had the sense and time to gather my faculties and hang up the phone. Scam artists are running rampant. Blogs are a way to expose them. Warn someone today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Civic Duty VOTE!!!

The line isn't bad at the Howard School Building in Nashville.

CNN to compete with the Associated Press?

A while back, Professor Rick Hancock raised a question about business opportunities based on the Associated Press news service model.
Well, the CNN News Service may have an answer.

The Business of News

Alright, this is NOT a banner day for the traditional news media. In an article in the New York Times by David Carr, Carr talks about the Christian Science Monitor ending its print publication, Gannett cutting 10% or 3,000 jobs company wide, Time, Inc. cutting 600 jobs and, and, and.....

It is time for the remaining media to regroup and choose a strategy. Entertaining the audience to death isn't the answer. Expecting advertising to be the core revenue isn't either. It's definitely part of the equation. However, it can no longer be the ONLY source of income. Think branding. Think substance. Think providing resources, connections, links. Think partnerships. Think merchandising. Think enterprising. You know what, just think. Stop trying to apply the old knowledge to a new problem. Be creative, be innovative, be transparent and take a risk.

Dr. Syb and Dr. Barb Liveblogging at ONA

Just received this photo from one of the students who worked in the newsroom at the Online News Association. It's me and my colleague, Dr. Barb Iverson a professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Barb's blog is the Current Buzz. We met five years ago at an Ifra Newsplex seminar at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

She's a multimedia player to watch if you plan to be in the virtual game.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dinner with James W. Loewen

Loewen is the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me. It was originally
published in 1995. He's a Harvard educated Sociologist. He is very
personable and even encouraged me to get another one of his books,
Sundown Towns. I did and look forward to reading it. Well he's on
stage now so I've got notes to take.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Speaking is my Passion

The Women's Day theme is a Noble Woman in Today's Society from
Proverbs 31. Women aren't perfect but so many try so hard encourage
one today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

NABJ. Media Institute Participants

Hands-On Multimedia Training

Multimedia Guru John Girton is teaching students how to use
. The website allows you to read your script using your computer's
camera or a camera that is connected to it. That means you don't
have to necessarily buy the videocue software. Once the students
voice their scripts then they will edit online using

More NABJ Media Institute Opening Dinner at Belmont

Dr. Syb at Belmont University

Dr. Syb introducing Professor Rick Hancock at the NABJ Media Institute.

Friday, October 24, 2008

John Girton

John Girton, Director of Multimedia Services at Tennessee State
University is talking about the need to gain mind share. Whether you
are working for someone or for yourself, getting the attention of the
consumer is critical. Beyond that managing relationships is
paramount. He's sharing free web tools like for online
editing and which allows you to capture whatever is on your
computer screen.

NABJ Media Institute

Good Morning Session Participants. We are at the Diversity Institute
in Nashville at the John Seigenthaler Center at the First Amendment
Center about to get started.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rick's RSS at Belmont

You know I always try to keep a hand in the multimedia mix. I'm
coordinating a media training workshop for the National Association of
Black Journalists in partnership with the Diversity Institute at the
Freedom Forum in Nashville. Of course, I invited my multimedia friend
Rick Hancock, author of Rick's RSS to come and share his
entrepreneurial endeavors. Ju-Don Roberts from the
will speak on Saturday. Add a few other new media players who I'll
introduce in the days to come and you have one heck of an Institute.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More on Linens-N-Things

On Saturday, I posted this photo

and brief remarks about going out of business. I wondered why it was closing and today the
Tennessean answered the question. I guess in my own way I had a scoop and didn't realize it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Amusing Ourselves to Death

I was truly a TV baby, I grew up watching endless hours of I Love Lucy, the Brady Bunch, Good Times, Bewitched, Batman, the Carol Burnett Show, All in the Family, Gilligan's Island and the list goes on. However, I knew the value of an education. I always wanted to be intelligent. I also knew how to separate fiction and non fiction. My mom would have killed me if I tried some of the things that I saw on tv. With the rise of the entertainment media and blurring of the lines between reality and make believe, I can't help but reflect on Neil Postman's book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. In a nutshell, he asks what are the long term ramifications of a visual society as opposed to a text based one. Reading is an exercise in brain extension while watching is an exercise in brain numbing.

Given recent events, caricatures on Saturday Night Live, so many appearances on late night talk shows and other entertaining endeavors, one asks is it better to have entertainers in the White House or intellectuals? It's just a question. Looking at America's history with the Kennedy-Nixon debate and the Warren Harding effect as described Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, a reality check is in order. On the run, let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

So we sang that song in junior high when our football team won a game.
Now was it Wall Street, Walmart or some other formidable foe that has
knocked Linens-N-Things out of the game?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chicago Tribune Endorses Obama

For the first time, the Chicago Tribune is backing a Democratic
nominee for President. The Washington Post has also decided to
endorse Senator Barack Obama. This begs the question once again
beyond tradition, why do some newspapers still endorse political
candidates? I realize I may have answered my question. As I teach
students not to insert their personal views into any campaign or
story, how do I explain this blatant form of bias? In London, the
papers admit and embrace their bias. People who want a conservative
perspective get the Sun or the Times. For a more liberal view, they
get the Guardian. Some UK journalists believe that the US journalists
refusal to acknowledge the lack of objectivity damages the
credibility. What do you think?

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bailout too late for CBS in Nashville

Thanks to Paul Chenoweth for the heads-up about the failed sale of the
CBS affiliate in Nashville. Landmark Communications was selling WTVF,
the station where Oprah Winfrey started to a new media company, the
Bonten Media Group. But Bonten could not get the credit to make the
purchase. I've worked for News Channel 5 on and off for the past 14
years. It is an exceptional place with exceptional people. I'll have
to send links later.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama '08 iPhone Application

So I decided to download several free applications to my iPhone. Sheer curiosity led me to download the Obama '08 application. It is really impressive. There are options to call friends, get involved, receive updates, news, local events, media and issues.

Beyond the political purpose of the application, like Pinky and the Brain, I'm wondering how to conquer the mobile application world. I'm also wondering how long it will take other media outlets to capitalize on the work of others. As for the other FREE applications, well let's just say I can get my Black Jack fix on and the Word for forgiveness.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Belmont Students on C-Span

Prior to the Town Hall Debate held at Belmont this week, two students debated the issues on C-Span. Ameshia Cross is a political science major and a journalism minor. We have discussed the conflicts of interest at length, she aspires to be a lawyer and get a position like George Stephanopoulus.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Obama campaign Manager

Spin alley

Media preparing to watch Debate in tent.

I will be liveblogging shortly.

Live Blogging Presidential Town Hall "Debate" at Belmont

Belmont Professor on CNN iReport

Belmont University Professor, Dr. Nathan Griffith weighs in on the campaign. He tackles the Town Hall "Debate", Negative Ads and Campaign Strategies. I posted this video as a CNN iReport and a senior associate producer contacted me about the clip. She said once they check the story, they put an "ON CNN" logo on it. Now, it should be one of the top stories some time this evening.

Belmont Debate '08 Preps

Better late than never, here is a quick slide show of Belmont students in action prior to the debate.

My Space Partners with Commission on Presidential Debates

My Space, the social networking site is partnering with the Commission on Presidential Debates on a new political website at The site will allow the user to log their opinion on 14 key issues in the Presidential campaign. Based on the answers, they will be shown whether their views are closer to Senator John McCain or Senator Barack Obama. The site is open to everyone whether you have a MySpace account or not.

Here's a Flip Camera clip from Lee Brenner, Impact.

Dr. Syb and ABC Chicago Reporter Andy Shaw

I was just interviewed by Andy Shaw. Ironically, I interned at WLS in
1989 and Shaw was there. Now my North Chicago family can see their
homegirl in action.

Monday, October 6, 2008 staff interviews mock candidates

Will the candidates shake hands tomorrow?

Town Hall Set-Up

Walked in on the mock debate with Belmont students playing the
candidates and moderator, Tom Brokaw.

Belmont Media Tent

There is nothing like the pure adrenalin rush of participating in the
media frenzy of the pre-debate rush. Tomorrow this tent should be

The Daily Beast

Former New Yorker reporter, Tina Brown has unleashed her answer to the Huffington Post and it's a real BEAST.

United Methodist Communications

Many religious organizations are interested in multimedia. They are
using the same tools as everyone else. The traditional media have got
to lead or get out of the way.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Getting beyond the politics, mobile indeed is the next frontier. It's funny that the politicians are using the tools while many in the traditional media are reporting on them and not using them. Thanks Monique for the heads up!!!

Obama takes campaign to the iPhone
Posted: 12:45 PM ET

From CNN Political Producer Ed Hornick

Barack Obama's campaign recently launched a new Apple iPhone application.
(CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama, who has made his virtual campaign as much of a priority as its real-world counterpart, is making a play for iPhone users.

Over the weekend, the campaign launched a volunteer-developed application that iPhoners can download. "Obama '08″, which is free through the iTunes store, features several options aimed at supporters and undecided voters.

– The "Call Friends" tab allows users to use their electronic phonebook to call contacts, with top priority given to contacts in local and battleground states. The application tells users no personal data or contacts will be uploaded or stored — though the number of calls made will be “uploaded anonymously."

– The "Get Involved" option gives iPhoners the phone numbers to Obama campaign
headquarters around the country, depending on where the user is located; they can also find out about “Local Events.” Both functions are based on the GPS feature of the phone.

– iPhone users can "Receive Updates" through e-mail and text message alerts.

– "News" features statements put out by the Obama campaign, separated by national and local categories; "Media" features links to YouTube videos put out by the campaign; Users are able to directly watch the video, as well as e-mail it out.

Dr. Syb with McCain and Obama

So I couldn't resist. Belmont is really buzzing now. Check out our
Debate site at

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Ken Burns

Hopefully, I'll have time to post notes from his talk some time
today. For now, he ended with the words of Abolitionist Frederick
Douglass, "Agitate, Agitate,Agitate!"

Belmont Debate '08

This is a photo of the facility that is being constructed for the
media. Belmont will be on Fall break during the Debate.

NowPublic Blog

So a few weeks ago I posted a Nashville Gas Shortage photo using my iPhone. Then, I started using my Flickr account.

Well, turns out a citizen journalism operation called Now Public searches the web for stories.

As a result, they asked me if they could use my photo and whether I could add some commentary. I did so here's my first Now Public report. The site is similar to the very successful Oh My News site in Korea.

Yes, I am apprehensive. I am a reporter who is used to getting compensated for reporting. However, my personal business model and strategy are changing. I am now a speaker and multimedia consultant who shares information as well as strategic plans to help others capitalize on the new media tools. In addition, I am working on other ways to monetize my wares. Stay tuned. The world is changing and so am I.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Desperate Times Mean Taking Deliberate Action

Alright, the gloves are off and it's time for the survival of the fittest. In less than twenty four hours, I changed my contribution to my retirement account in order to free up some extra funds to hopefully take advantage of some real estate opportunities.

In addition, I took the car with more than 205,000 miles on it to the shop to get the timing belt changed and the brakes fixed. I won't buy a new to me car until a deal is so good that I, the consumer benefits.

I also cancelled my birthday cruise. Why, because I'm thinking strategically. I know some would argue now is the time to buy as many stocks as possible while they are low. I am betting that they will still be low around the first of the year and then I can up my contribution to the retirement account again. With the extra cash, I can continue to build my emergency fund.

Call your phone company and tell them that you want to switch carriers and your bill is more than likely to be miraculously lowered. Consider getting rid of cable. You have movies on DVD, the Internet at work, friends who will call and keep you posted and bills that need to be paid. Sell everything that isn't nailed down to eBay, most people have hundreds if not thousands of dollars just sitting around in the house.

I've been bringing my lunch to work and drinking tea from home. If I go to a restaurant, I either have a tea bag in my purse or I'll just have hot water with honey and lemon.

Grandma would stuff money under the mattress. I haven't gone that far yet but my eyes are open. Let me know what you are doing to survive and hopefully thrive.

The media need to start covering the next leg of the story which is how to weather the crisis.

If you are in the market for story ideas, here are some thoughts:

Find people who are thriving in this economy and find out how and why.

Check out Al Tompkins Morning Meeting.

Here is just one of the highlights from Al's Report, there are many stories to follow here if the media will dare to cover themselves. Young Broadcasting owns WKRN in Nashville. I may have to cover the business of news online at some point especially since I teach the course in the spring. Wink to my dear friend and colleague, University of Connecticut Professor Rick Hancock creator of Rick's RSS .

Anyway, here is the media breakdown from Al.

MarketWatch reported:

News Corp. and Viacom hit their lowest levels in more than four years, while CBS and Time Warner fell to one-year lows.

Here's my summary:

News Corp. down 9.6%
Viacom down 7.83%
CBS down 7.14%
Belo Corp. down 4.27%
Time Warner down 9.22%
Walt Disney Co. down 9.22%
Gannett Co. down 6.59%
New York Times Co. down 3.82%
Media General down 4.33%
Washington Post Co. down 4.18%
McClatchy Co. actually rose 1.78% on news that a new debt agreement had been struck with lenders.

Hearst-Argyle Television was only down 2.87%
Meredith Corp. was down even less, only .69%
Charter Communications down 2.38%
Cablevision Systems Corp. down 5.47%
General Electric Co., a Dow Industrial Average component and parent of NBC Universal, saw a 8.51% stock price drop Monday.
MediaPost reported:

One of the worst [media stocks] was the financially troubled broadcasting station company Young Broadcasting. The thinly traded stock lost almost half of its stock price -- 38 percent, or three cents -- to end up trading at five cents a share.
Two companies actually had positive days today: Nexstar Broadcasting Group was up 14.5 percent, or thirty-six cents, to $2.84. Another broadcast group, Saga Communications, grew 10.9% -- or 55 cents -- to $5.60 a share.

More story ideas:

Go to some college campuses and find some students who may not be able to return to school for the spring semester.
Talk to sociologists to compare the impact of the Great Depression on attitudes, ideas, habits and culture to the reaction today to this pending meltdown.

Sidebar: Hopefully, this post makes up for my absence. My apologies for being missing in action for a couple of days. That's one thing about blogging, you have to be consistent. But between sinuses, allergies, a cold and the chills (living in the Tennessee basin is not for the faint of heart or those short of breath), I really didn't feel up to it (thanks to the posse for checking on me).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Media Tools

By the way, I covered the Seigenthaler event with my iPhone and my Flip Camera. I snapped a few photos and uploaded them to this blog immediately during the event. I mounted my Flip Camera on a tripod from Walmart and videotaped several clips. Then, I went back to my office and connected the Flip Camera to my PC and uploaded the video. I know there are many debates about the quality of the new media tools. However, the iPhone photos are respectable and the Flip Camera video is more than You Tube worthy. It's important that we use what we have in our hands. If I have a high quality camera available and sometimes I do, I'll use it. However, when I need to post information quickly, I am going to use the aforementioned tools.

Belmont Story and Photos at Seigenthaler Event

One of the best parts of being a journalistic historian is from time to time being able to take photos with some extremely fascinating people. Hopefully, years from now, I'll have the pleasure of looking back at this picture and teaching others about an amazing family that made a significant contribution to journalism. Here's the Belmont Story about Seigenthalers.

Friday, September 26, 2008

CNN iReporter

Alright, I just posted some Seigenthaler video as a CNN iReport. I'm pretty excited about it too.

Media Ethics

Great discussion about Media role and responsibility this election
year. With do many ways for information to be disseminated John
Michael Seigenthaler believes the Media should be more ethical.

John Seigenthaler (Senior) says that those three cable channels (FOX,
MSNBC,CNN) have shown aggressiveness that has not been helpful. They
have contributed to changing the media landscape.

John Seigenthaler and John Michael Seigenthaler at Belmont

Seigenthaler & Seigenthaler at Belmont on Media Ethics

Today is a banner day. The New Century Journalism Program in partnership with the Center for Business Ethics is hosting a program today called Media Ethics: Is the Media Helping or Hurting? The discussants are none other than John Seigenthaler, former publisher of the Tennessean newspaper and one of the founders of USA Today and his son John Michael Seigenthaler former anchor MSNBC/NBC. This is in line with the forthcoming Presidential debate to be held at Belmont University on October 7. Given all of the stories of the day from the bailout to McCain's decision to debate or not to debate, this discussion should be one for the history books. More on the talk later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Economy in Perspective

Alright, here's a tough love moment in time, Americans have got to stop living like we are the only people on Earth. The book Ishmael: An Adventure in Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn deals with this issue creatively. The main character is a gorilla who discusses the existential nature of man. Here's a quick paragraph (p. 84)worth pondering,"There's nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act like the lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will be bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now."

Right now, when it comes to finances and in many other areas, man is at odds with nature. Dealing with money specifically, what would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

Drastic times, indeed now call for drastic measures. I can't wait to see the details of the $700 billion bailout.

Presidential Address Live Blogging

Presidential Debate Ole MS Press Release

Thanks to my colleague and friend, Belmont Web Developer, Paul Chenoweth for the link to the Ole MS Press Release.

By the way, if you need to shorten a really long URL try Tiny URL.

Presidential Debate

Well, well, well, the plot thickens. Senator John McCain is suspending his campaign to help Congress decide on whether to approve a $700 billion bailout plan for the financial markets. This places Ole' Miss in a very precarious position. Given that my university, Belmont is the second stop on the Presidential debate trail, today's development has potentially far reaching ramifications. In many ways, it is really inconceivable that Sen. McCain would postpone the debate. With so many resources committed in MS as well as the economic impact of not having the debate, you would think he would attend. It's ironic that his decision could negatively impact a local economy.

A side note, who is going to bailout the millions of Americans who have lost or who will lose their homes regardless of the bailout? These are the stories that need to be told.

Chamber Pics

Nashville Chamber of Commerce

Presenting to Chamber on multimedia strategies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Twitter Filter

Need to find a certain topic on Twitter? Go to
Summize and type in your topic of choice. Thanks Dr. Barb Iverson, Columbia College.

The Age of Access

Contrary to popular belief, I did not spend my summer lounging on the beach making sand castles. Instead, I read and read and then read some more. One of the books, that I devoured was The Age of Access by Jeremy Rifkin. One of the subtitles is: Why You Spend More and Own Less. His basic premise for the book is that most of life will become a "paid for" experience. The news media MUST figure out what people will actually pay for in this new world economy.

This book was published in 2000 and way back then, Rifkin said that more and more people will lease life in order to have a simulated lifestyle. In other words, more people will lease cars because they want a change every six months and to feel like they have value. Yes, this is a terrifying notion that one's self worth is truly being equated to status and monetary wealth, real and imagined. Ownership is passe and too confining. More people will lease homes, apartments, etc. in order to be more mobile and to change more quickly. Brick and mortar businesses have too much overhead. Cyberspace is more economical and more networked.

In Rifkin's opinion and I agree, those who control access to distribution channels will rule in the network economy. As every major industry consolidates, the recording industry, airline industry, book industry, media industry, etc., power is being streamlined and placed in the hands of a few. So much for the Anti-trust laws.

This post is definitely to be continued. I have so many notes in my book, I can't type them all at once and I know you don't have time to read them all. So here are some parting thoughts from Rifkin for now:

1.Intellectual capital is worth more than physical capital. (Good news for academics, thinkers, analysts, etc.)

2.Culture is now a commerical resource. (People are paying for simulated real experiences.)

3.Time and attention become the most valued possession as a result. (As a faculty member, I must jockey for the time and attention of my students every class. I'm fighting text, random thoughts, hunger and who knows what else.)

4.Contractual relations in the form of paid memberships, subscriptions, admission charges, etc. have replaced traditional reciprocal obligations. (How can the media get the audience to pay for information? Note, I said information, not news.)

5.In a world of continuous innovation, everything becomes almost immediately outdated. (Great Scott, Batman!!!)

6."Experience Economy" "a world in which each person's own life becomes, in effect, a commercial market." (Think SELF as the product. Thanks Pam Johnson, Director of Journalism, Western Kentucky University.)

7.Commodification of Play-Paid for personal entertainment (Wii, Nintendo, etc. At Disney, they believe that gaming is the next frontier for an integrated wireless experience, the game box may become the conduit for connectivity.)

Seven is the number of completion so I'll stop there.
What are the implications? Think about it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Amazon Video on Demand

In case you didn't know, Amazon Video on Demand.

Audience 20/20 Manifesto

As promised, here is the beginning of the Audience 20/20 Manifesto:

1. Be Transparent: This means show the audience exactly what you are doing and why you chose to do it. Further, give the audience all of your research, interview transcript and/or video. With You Tube and other video uploading sites available, there really isn't any excuse not to provide the entire interview. Your credibility will dramatically increase, in addition, they will come back to you because they know they will get the whole story.

2. Give more than you receive: Beyond letting the audience see your process, give them the tools they need to participate in the process. CNN really is onto something with the CNN iReport.

3. Interactivity: The audience must be allowed not only to contribute video reports, you should include them in every part of the process. Why not invite some really informed members of your community to supply story ideas on a regular basis. You could conference them in on Skype. You could accept their ideas via phone, text, email or any other means possible.

4. Real Time: Give them relevant information. They do not want to know that gas prices are high. They do want to know where the gas is right now. During the Nashville gas shortage, the Twitter community provided up to date locations to find gas. They also want to know where the cheapest gas is when it is available. The notion of appointment news consumption is DEAD.

Well, that's all for now, I'll add a few more later. Of course, you are welcome to provide your thoughts as well.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blogging Blind

This morning I had my first eye exam in about seven years. Fortunately, I still have 20/20 vision, however, right now, my vision is sorely hampered. My eyes were dilated. The Doctor suggested I read a magazine until the eye solution started to work. Of course, that wasn't possible because my focus was changing by the second. So, I decided to use my recorder application on my iPhone. I recorded my thoughts instead of writing them. I responded to a disruptive technology by adapting. This is what traditional media have got to do. It's not a matter of trying one thing and then saying, "okay, we've tried it and it's done." That is a completely unrealistic and unacceptable approach.

The traditional media have had their "eye dilated." They can't see things the same way anymore. Things are out of focus. For a time, they couldn't and or wouldn't see the value of the new media. I wanted my notebook and paper so bad when I couldn't see but I was forced to record my voice instead.

As I sat in the chair in the doctor's office, the notion of The Audience 20/20 Manifesto was birthed. Traditional media must be transparent and allow the audience to see exactly what they are doing, how they are doing it and why they are doing it. The last point lends itself to the notion of objectivity which I will explore more deeply at another time. Suffice it to say, that our colleagues in Europe dislike the American media in some ways because they disclose their biases in the press whereas we do not do so formally.

At any rate, back to the idea of transparency. In television news, local stations are still teasing stories. This is an insane practice when I as a viewer can google the answer immediately and then bypass the news completely. A better strategy may be to tease the fact that you have resources and ways to investigate the story that they audience may not know.

When choosing story ideas, let the audience know why that story was selected and why others were not. Put some of the stories you don't chooose to cover at large, on the Intenet. I made some of these suggestions, years ago and many others have said the same.

The media as well as the faculty at America's colleges and universities are now facilitators. We need to give people ideas about what to think about and then where they can gain more in-depth information and insight.

The fundamentals have not changed. Good journalism is good journalism. However, much of what is being produced today isn't journalism, it's sensationalism, think Pulitzer versus Hearst. If traditional media will continue to produce compelling, well thought out pieces, the audience will consume it and pursue a deeper understanding.

It's funny, when you can see clearly, you take a lot of things for granted. When your vision is suddenly and unexpectedly blurred for a prolonged period of time ( I still can't see clearly as I type this entry) you are forced to adapt. Embrace the change. More on the Audience 20/20 Manifesto to come.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wall Street in Peril?

I am not a Wall Street Player but common sense tells me to pay attention when more companies like Lehman and Merrill Lynch are in dire straits. My advice to anyone who will listen, kill the credit cards, pay off the debt, buy what you can afford, save enough to survive, have more than one stream of income, be sure to have something that makes money while you sleep and if it all goes to heck in a handbasket, pray that you have a wonderful family and friends to see you through. Apparently, Monday is going to be a very challenging day on the Street.

ONA '08 Ends

Well, the ONA '08 conference has officially ended. Now, the real work continues. What new strategies should one implement? My suggestion is always to try one thing and store the other ideas for later use. I have already joined which I blogged about in my live blogging session on Robert Scoble. I also took the time to update my linkedin profile. So many people get overwhelmed by the very thought of new media technology and tools. This is no longer acceptable. I know I have to read more, play more and really get more adept with new media tools. At least, that's what I encourage others to do.

I have to review my notes, touch base with some friends to get their notes, get some new software, figure out how to help my students get comfortable with some of these concepts and keep on moving because standing still is NOT an option.

Below is one more thing I decided to at least look at this morning. It's a website that allows you to compare concepts and then embed the chart code on your site. It's TwistFlaptor.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Experimenting with Coveritlive from the ONA 08 Student Newsroom

Belmont Journalism Junior Abby Selden

Abby is working on a video piece on what people think are the best new
tools to aid in the news gathering process. Check out