Category Archives: Media

Merging Traditional And Social Mediums To Better Serve An Audience

Standard
Photo courtesy Steve Inskeep's Instagram account: @steve_inskeep.

Photo courtesy Steve Inskeep’s Instagram account: @steve_inskeep.

 

There was a wonderful example of merging-the-mediums storytelling today, 2-4-16, with Steve Inskeep reporting from Tehran, Iran.

First, I got a “publicity” preview and teaser of what Inskeep and his NPR crew were up to in Iran from interesting photos of Tehran’s subway system on Inskeep’s Instagram account. I happen to be particularly intrigued by photos of subway stations and people using them, so the Instagrams caught my attention right away.

Framing his radio story around exploring Tehran’s economic realities on hand, Inskeep wove a fascinating tale of Tehran’s cultural and economic life, and the various divisions of such, through his more traditional radio medium on today’s NPR Morning Edition show. I’m glad I had the visual preview beforehand though, as then I could “go along” with them in a much more visually imaginative way.

I need visual prompts. I’ve never, despite years of work in visual mediums, been all that visually imaginative. I’m a text-oriented person who works (and writes) better with literal prompts and signs and messaging of a more graphical interpretation.

In other words, radio storytelling, especially in a culture and city as intriguing and vital as Tehran, has its limits despite even Inskeep’s mastery of the medium. And he’s nothing if not a visually-minded storyteller and reporter when he’s on the move. Snapping interesting, contextual photos for Instagram (or wherever) clearly was a perfectly natural response to his new geography.

Thus, social media served as a natural enhancement to and for traditional forms of broadcasting. Especially within a place I’ve long been intrigued by and had often heard stories about from relatives who’d lived there ages ago (Shah times). And hope to one day visit myself.

Reporting about a place and a people with an enhanced level of audience comprehension and service can only help forge a stronger, intriguing, and respectful relationship between two cultures.

Advertisements

Delta Bashing Makes Editorial Data Fly High

Standard
Delta Bashing Makes Editorial Data Fly High

Here’s a fun, Atlanta-specific, advertising/sales v. editorial modern media dilemma!

Clearly, anything related to Delta-bashing, particularly Delta‘s frequent flyer program SkyMiles, makes data go hog wild. As it did with some impressive CTR numbers I sent to the Atlanta Business Chronicle from my Facebook alone. (See graphic below. If you don’t know what CTR means by now, you shouldn’t be in the ad/sales side of the media biz. However, old fogey journos, I will give you a pass on it.)

DeltaFF

I’ve yet to notice the AJC cranking out any of this trendy SkyMiles-bashing editorial product as did, rather gleefully, the Biz Chron. WABE also seems to have caught an editorial-minded whiff of blood in angry Delta customers’ waters.

(I can only dream of one day running a company whose profit margin and stock price chronically deflect the hatred of its own customer base! But let’s move on.)

And why would the AJC jump on the I Really Hate Delta! bandwagon? Delta’s a fine, legacy, ad-buying customer for the AJC and all of Cox Enterprises. I expect what Delta wants by now, editorially speaking, at the AJC or WBS, Delta’s going to get. Or have quietly overlooked. Barring plane-related disaster media, of course.

But there’s your data-driven media rub right there. As what the people want, editorially and as displayed by the numbers, is hardly what your dearest ad buyer would like to have lying around the house.

Torn loyalties. ATL style.

The Craptastic Digital Life Of The AJC

Standard

ComingSundayAJC

Don’t vote? Then don’t complain about politicians.

No doubt you’ve heard that one before. Exactly why I never miss a voting opportunity, as I sure don’t like missing out on a good political whine.

But the matter of digital at the AJC.com (and other Cox digital products too, but I’ll worry about the others later) has gone beyond whining to just embarrassment at and for our flagship, hometown, news delivery outlet. (I’d call it a paper, but I’m not referencing any print product here. Just the digital stuff.)

I think of gorgeous pictures from the Atlanta Beltline lantern parade last night that could have enticingly filled out a compelling homepage this morning, 9-7-14, shifting to exciting sports-related photos later in the day to enhance the Falcons’ season opener, alongside the numerous political stories from the week in some kind of overview wrap-up. And, yes, even that craptastic Ross Harris (the dad accused of murder-by-hot-car) story somewhere in an appealing homepage-in-my-head Sunday edition presentation… and well, I just wanna cry for what could be AJC.com. And WSB-TV.com too. (They should be one e-product really, but that’s another rant altogether.)

When you don’t give a shit about digital, guess what? It shows! “Coming Sunday” on Sunday, plus all the cliched copy and grade school headlining imaginable? Gawd, today’s AJC digital product is so pitiful I wouldn’t dream of sharing it with my social network; I’d rather bury it out behind the woodshed.

My head is reeling, because the hard-working journalists, the few left around there, the proud, have done plenty of heavy journalistic lifting all through the past week, especially regarding the nasty level of corruption all through Georgia state and local politics. There’s been great work from numerous Cox employees reporting a massive amount of hanky panky straight out of DeKalb County, our bustling courtrooms, the AG’s and the governor’s offices, etc.

Only to piss it away on digi-crap you see a sample of in the above picture/screen grab. And on a Sunday too, the prime news reading and media consuming day for a serious journalism audience. And I’m not even highlighting their hideous homepage, whatever’s there, or not, now. Nor the online AJC’s rampant level of daily copyediting (or lack thereof) boo-boos. I’m scared to go back to their weekend-neglected homepage.

Since I gave-up on the AJC’s digital presentation with my croissant, second cup, and screens this morning, I thought about buying the paper product with which to properly absorb the Georgia political and otherwise news of a busy past week.

Not now. I’ll just put my $2.50 towards a NYT and call it a Sunday.

Launching The Southern News Network

Standard

2014-07-23 19.34.29

 

Help me launch the Southern News Network. To give to the build-out effort, go to the Southern News Network’s Go Fund Me page for more information. And thank you!

GPB Claims Stealing Is Giving – To Georgia.

Standard

On the long-gone back of possibly the most hardass military freak known to war history, General William Tecumseh Sherman, GPB is trying hard to raise money to support its limited supply of quality programming. As they simultaneously grab WRAS’ programming from GSU college students learning a trade and give it to a self-absorbed mouth-in-a-suit, Bill Nigut.

GPB’s chairman, Michael H. McDougald (yeah I know, Mike who?) banged-out a windy reply to Dr. Louis Sullivan’s, chair of WABE/PBA’s board, recent sound and decisive condemnation of GPB’s theft of WRAS programming. Here’s a self-congratulatory, defensive sampling of McDougald’s letter to Sullivan. (You can trudge through the entirety here if you wish.)

We [GPB] produce original programs which enhance the learning experience, such as a 365 segment series titled, Today In Georgia History, which covered a year’s worth of Georgia history; and more recently, 37 Weeks: Sherman on the March, which is a week-by-week chronicle of Gen. Sherman’s march through Georgia.

Odd way to go about asking Atlantans for their money, eh? By evoking the name of General Sherman?! Good series, though. I watched some of it; before GPB killed WRAS, that is.

But the hard, cold, cash-based fact of the matter at hand is that donors and their money are what will keep GPB alive, well, and perfectly able to dig-in like a Yankee in North Georgia for the we’re-never-ever-giving-WRAS-back-to-the-GSU-kids long haul.

Mikey knows that. We know that. And yeah, we also know the odds of winning any fight to get back WRAS for the kids of GSU are as meager as Gerald O’Hara’s cotton fields circa 1865 or thereabouts.

But of course stealing WRAS away from just kids is a great way to encourage even more donating to GPB. Use those WRAS 100K power watts for what they can really do: be the best fundraising bully pulpit GPB’s got in its money-raising arsenal now. Hear Bill Nigut roar. Oh god but will we. I’d rather Sherman himself stomp across my patio. Trust me, they sure know that value-added fact around the dingy halls of GPB, or they’d never have gone to all the bother of stealing WRAS in the first place. So now they’re giving nothing back.

Also from Mikey’s letter to Sullivan:

Clearly, our intention is to offer Atlantans an alternative service to WABE, and we believe our differentiated programming will bring new donors to the public media table. As a result, we do not see this partnership as you suggest, as “a waste of taxpayer’s money.” GPB has no intention of using taxpayers’ money to support this new initiative. We fully anticipate, as with WABE, that the marketplace will support our programming on GPB Atlanta.

If you’re tired of Mikey, Teya Ryan, and Bill Nigut’s hideous march through WRAS, burning out the kids of GSU from the music programming they’ve commanded and championed for 40-years or thereabouts, there’s really just one thing you can do now to fight back: hit the GPB weak spot, the market place, and cease all giving to GPB.

Oh, and be sure to stop by the #SaveWRAS protest of GPB’s takeover of WRAS today, Friday July 11 from 3:30-6:30pm at the GPB headquarter in Midtown Atlanta, 260 14th Street. Bring a clever sign or three, some water, and a good attitude. No bullhorns or amplification or bad manners allowed. Parking is free on the third floor of the GPB building. But don’t go into the building! Go outside to 14th street to peacefully protest in front of GPB.

Show Atlanta how you really feel.

 

fuckGPB2

How To Be An Old Media Bully. A Primer.

Standard

Nigut

UPDATE: Seems GPB has abandoned their attempt at a “two way street” and removed all comments and commenting from Bill Nigut’s blog post referenced in this post and associated hyperlinks. Too bad. Loved the “Whatever Saruman” one! 

Bill Nigut is “thrilled” to be back on the airwaves of radio, via WRAS. That makes one person in Georgia. The rest of us? Not so much. (See the comments, coming fast and furious, at his blog post trumpeting his latest broadcasting theft thrill.)

Mr. Nigut’s on-air and in-real-life persona has always been loud, large, and obnoxious. He’s that person who insists on being heard through the din of a crowded networking event or cocktail party. Sucks the wind right out of any space, and takes it all for himself.

It helps that he’s a tall guy, but Nigut can bray and preen with the best of ’em. I once made the mistake of walking past Bill Nigut and Neal Boortz chatting together at some random Atlanta Press Club event. I was hurled three city blocks away by the gasbaggery posturing alone.

Nigut makes claim to being a champion for pretty much everything and everyone he can think of: the helpless, the homeless, the voiceless, the poor, but especially Richie Rich Chamber-types, in his windy GPB blog post declaring his latest radio show intentions with WRAS, awww shucks, ma’am style:

I am thrilled to be back in radio and hope you’ll join me to meet extraordinary people, hear important ideas and explore the rich arts and cultural work being done in Atlanta and Georgia. It should be fun; it should be illuminating, and if I do it right, it should make us all just a little more aware of what a remarkable place we live in.

Beware a wolf in sheep’s clothes. Nigut is merely an old media bully worming his way into a place, space and time where he is not wanted because he believes his own hype, and is still in love with the sound of his own voice, and has sorely missed hearing it bellowing hither and yon from whatever Atlanta microphone he can grab first before anyone else has a chance to get there. Everyone knows this, because they’re watching it happen. In real time, more or less, given the enduring popularity of the #SaveWRAS hashtag.

GPB stole programming out of the mouths, minds and hearts of numerous Georgia State University students, and took it for a very select, very few one old media talking heads. No one’s believing a wisp of spin put on the matter by anyone at GSU or GPB leadership. They’re operating in an echo chamber, as that deafening sound you don’t hear anywhere in Atlanta is anyone other than Bill Nigut and Teya Ryan themselves coming to their own sorry little defense of what they’ve done to raid WRAS.

The best thing Bill Nigut can possibly do for his rapidly fraying Georgia media legacy, and trust me, he surely thinks he’s still got a shot at one, is to give the programming of WRAS back to the kids of GSU. Now.

Crisis Management As Reality Show

Standard
Photo by Brett Zongker, WIVB.com

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier

A crisis nowadays brings out the hardcore working women in positions of leadership. Unfortunately, that’s the only time we really see them in wide media, as they are certainly not pop stars, singers, actors, dancers, and two-bit celebs and such.

Two we met yesterday, via mass media, were District of Columbia Police Chief, Cathy Lanier, and Dr. Janis M. Orlowski, chief operating officer at Washington Hospital Center.

Youths, these are the faces of career women in positions of genuine leadership. Not made-up and styled-up for a TV show or a date-night-out, but caught out doing their jobs. And in a crisis at that.

There’s your reality show.