Donald Trump and the media’s ‘epic fail’

There’s been a lot of reporting about the media’s “epic fail” in the recent election, and one of the most insightful articles is by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

One of the most egregious failings of the media in the US election was their chase of audience share at the expense of substantial reporting. Struggling with ever-declining advertising revenues, newspapers chased the stories that brought them the clicks.

At the heart of divided societies in both the US and Britain is a newspaper industry in precipitous decline. The true “epic fail” is of the journalism industry as a whole: that the sector has been unable to find an alternative commercial model to the one that has sustained it for so long. As print readers migrate online, few newspapers have been able to persuade them to continue contributing to the cost of producing news; and neither have they been able to convince advertisers that their online versions are as worthy of investment as their print products.

The article also referenced  the shocking reduction in journalists in the U.S. As reported in The Guardian, the number of people employed in the US newspaper industry has fallen by almost 60% since the dawn of the internet age – from nearly 458,000 in 1990 to about 183,000 in 2016. This loss has been felt most seriously among regional papers which have either cut their newsrooms back to the bone or shut down altogether.

Major media platforms did fly their own journalists around the country to interview supporters at Trump rallies, but these reporters “rarely got out of the campaign bubbles. They had not lived among the many communities that voted for Trump” the way local journalists had–before their jobs went away.

Based in London, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism understands the important role investigative journalism must play in the years to come. “Now more than ever, we need strong, independent, fearless and deep reporting that holds power to account. We need journalists who have the time and the resources to properly investigate the stories that matter.”

It’s now more urgent than ever that we support the legitimate sources that provide our news. Those journalists can’t work for free.

Meanwhile, are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success–through reputable news outlets.

 

Greenwashed products exposed on Groks Science Radio Show

The current “greenwashing” of viscose products as being eco-friendly (rayon fabrics, sponges, cellophane products) is exposed in FAKE SILK: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon by Paul D. Blanc, M.D. (Yale University Press).

A highly toxic chemical, carbon disulfide, has been the life blood of this industry from the start. It also has meant a death sentence for many of its workers. For a more than a century, making viscose has been linked to severe illness, including mental derangement, heart attack, and stroke.

Dr. Blanc discusses the history of the industry and its current rebirth in greenwashed eco-friendly products on the Groks Science Show. He emphasizes the importance of skepticism about “green” products on the market, not just in terms of potential hazards for consumers, but also up the chain in its manufacturing, and where it goes after the consumer is finished with it.

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

 

CJR: Tips for Journalists Covering Trump

“The Canadian media now knows how to report on a post-truth, journalist-bashing politician, and they have some ideas for their American counterparts struggling to keep up with Trump,” according to a fascinating article in  the Columbia Journalism Review.

In “Canadian Journalists Who Covered Rob Ford Offer Tips on Trump,” their first piece of advice is that visuals speak louder than words:

No one knows that better than Robyn Doolittle, the now Globe and Mail reporter who was one of two Toronto Star journalists to see the infamous Ford crack-cocaine video. She was only allowed to watch the video on an iPhone in the back seat of a parked car—she couldn’t take pictures or the video with her. While that seemed good enough at the time, when the story came out thousands of Torontonians, including Ford and other city counsellors, said it was fake. “I was shocked that the half the city would think that the Toronto Star made up the story,” she says.

About a year later, now at the Globe and Mail, another drug dealer called saying he had a second video of Ford smoking crack. Once again, she could only watch the video on a mobile phone, but unlike with the first video, her paper agreed to pay $10,000 for several screenshots. When the story came out the next day, Ford checked himself into rehab, something he had never done before. “I have a newfound appreciation for photos,” she says. “In the days of Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, people expect to see footage.”

The article also advises journalists to start standing up for themselves, and emphasizes the importance of support from news agencies.

It’s also critical for reporters to know their editors and their newspapers will be there to defend them, says Irene Gentle, managing editor at the Toronto Star. “Reporters have to believe they will be supported despite the attacks on them personally, despite the attacks on the integrity of the news organization and the news industry,” she says. “The editor has to make that completely clear. The reporters have to know their job is to keep going.”

At Carney & Associates, we’ve specialized in working with journalists for more than 20 years, and it’s our job to remain abreast of the monumental changes that are reshaping today’s media landscape.

Now it’s more urgent than ever that we support legitimate sources that provide our news. Journalists can’t work for free, more on this in future posts…

Meanwhile, are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success–through reputable news outlets.