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Why You Should Take Citizen Journalists with a Smartphone Very Seriously

[by Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications] There are always raised eyebrows in our media training sessions when we tell participants they are always on the record – that in today’s social media world you’re not only on the record with reporters, you’re on the record whenever you talk about your company at the grocery store, on […]


A Brief History of Television Interviews – and Why Live TV Helps Those Who Lie and Want to Hide

From Michael J. Socolow, Associate Professor, Communication and Journalism, University of Maine, writing for The Conversation: First, it happened on Fox News. Chris Wallace asked White House adviser Stephen Miller about the president’s decision to use private lawyers “to get information from the Ukrainian government rather than go through … agencies of his government.” Miller’s response began, […]


Pagers, Pay Phones, and Dialup: How We Communicated on 9/11

By Garrett Graff, writing for Wired The voice message that Lauren Grandcolas left for her husband, Jack, on September 11, 2001, would puzzle a generation raised with smartphones. Two months pregnant with their first child, the 38-year-old Grandcolas was returning home to California when her flight from Newark Airport—United 93—was hijacked, and she, along with […]


The Consequences of ‘Horse Race’ Reporting

By Denise-Marie Ordway, writing for the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy When journalists covering elections focus primarily on who’s winning or losing — instead of on policy issues — voters, candidates and the news industry itself suffer, a growing body of research has found. Media scholars have studied so-called […]


Dark Side of Communications Turns Darker: Epstein, Twitter and Takeaways for Crisis Response

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications Even in this era, when the news barrage can be numbing, the report that Jeffrey Epstein had apparently hanged himself in jail and the immediate flurry of conspiracy theories took a run at qualifying as “shocking.” The least surprising element: Much of it started and played out on Twitter. In an […]


Take the Opportunity to Tell Your Story – After You Prepare and Practice

Q.  What do I do if the media wants to talk to me? A.  Start by asking yourself what you think when you read or hear that the subject of a story – particularly a story in which others are critical of the person or the person’s organization – says “no comment” or that the […]


The End of the Ad World as We Knew It

By Ken Auletta, excerpted in Nieman Reports: While covering the media business for The New Yorker for more than 25 years, Ken Auletta has profiled many of the most important leaders of the Information Age and reported on the disruption roiling the industry. Among his books are “Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way” […]


The Audience in the Mind’s Eye: How Journalists Imagine Their Readers

By James G. Robinson, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review: A central irony of the newsroom is that while many journalists’ decisions are made with readers in mind, the audiences for their work often remain unfocused, imagined abstractions, built on long-held assumptions, newsroom folklore, and imperfect inference. This is not particular to journalism. Writing, like […]


An Independence Day Salute to Our Founding Fathers of Fake News

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications This 4th of July, amid the fireworks, hot dogs and parades, let’s remember another grand American tradition: making stuff up. Or, as John Adams noted with delight in his diary in 1769, he’d spent the evening in “a curious employment. Cooking up Paragraphs, Articles, Occurrences etc. – working the political Engine!” […]


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