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.