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The Newsroom of the Future Is In Your Hands

“Nothing will ever replace the collective power of a newsroom. But, there is a way you can still do what you love & quite frankly—it’s at your fingertips.”

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From sea to shining sea.

From Seattle to Boston from Tampa To Detroit.

Poynter is trying to keep up with a list of bad news about the news right now, as they attempt to collect layoffs, furloughs & closures of newsrooms across the country. It’s a task that’s a laundry list long.

“Coronavirus has closed more than 50 local newsrooms across America. And counting.”

Long time employees, who’ve dedicated most of their lives to one newsroom are coming to work and finding their things packed for them—with no warning. I received a message the other day from a woman, who had put half her life into producing television, who was told on her 50th birthday: “We won’t be needing you anymore.”

Newsrooms that date back to the post-Civil War era. Gone. Newsrooms that survived a Depression, wars—but didn’t stand a chance against a pandemic, coupled with increasing technology.

Small weekly newspapers are taking a big hit. Those are the people that go to the school board, planning board and city council meetings. In losing them, communities lose transparency and accountability. No more reporting on the news that most affects you on a daily— the things happening at the local level.

It’s hitting local newsrooms hard, but no one is immune. Larger newsrooms have also been impacted at BuzzFeed, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times have cut back.

And, there’s uncertainty for the ones still with a job.

As with office workers across the country, journalists have been forced to work from home. But, now the very real possibility they make not ever work in a physical newsroom ever again has presented itself.

Tribune has informed journalists that the newsrooms of five newspapers will permanently close. Affected are the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, which was already still reeling from a mass shooting that took five of their colleagues only two years ago, and New York Daily News, The Carroll County Times of Westminster, Maryland, the Orlando Sentinel and the Aurora, Ill bureau of the Chicago Tribune.

A newspaper with no newsroom.

It’s like baseball with no dugout.

It’s like football, basketball & hockey with no locker room.

Newsrooms are where bonds are created, where chemistry and collaboration begin, where the day’s playbook is written.

As a former local morning television producer, I booked 75 segments a week for a live, 6-hour, Monday-Friday show. Our little morning show office was my happy place, filled with quirky, but brilliant people. I’d float an idea and the people in the room would take it to another level.

It’s where you found the missing piece of your puzzle.

It’s the magic movies are made of: All The President’s Men, Broadcast News, The Post, Spotlight, Network, Citizen Kane…

On television from the Mary Tyler Moore Show to The Newsroom to The Morning Show. By the way, Jennifer Aniston deserved every bit of that Golden Globe.

That kind of drama. It all happens in newsrooms.

Now it’s the newsroom itself that’s the center of drama.

I’m nostalgic over the loss of the newsrooms I see in the news.

Without a small weekly newspaper that gave me a job while I was in college, I don’t know that I would have spent more than 20 years in television after that. I googled the newspaper I used to work for today. I’d moved 1,000 miles away soon after I graduated from college, so I had no idea the paper folded just a few years after I left. That was more than 20 years ago.

It hurts my journalistic heart to the core.

But, for those of you looking for a job, contemplating a new job, there is hope. I own a social media content creation business now, and I know this to be true: Your skill set isn’t tired. It’s wired.

 “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity—not a threat.” -Steve Jobs

Small, medium and large businesses NEED journalists right now.

They need people who can write and communicate effectively. Media is no longer just relegated to a newsroom, if you’re still lucky enough to be in one. It’s EVERYWHERE.  

That’s because the business of building brands is becoming more and more like a newsroom.

Companies need content in perpetuity. They need content produced en masse. It’s a fine art. And, you’re the artist.

Every company is a media company.

Even school districts are hiring storytellers and journalists.

Stories are the essence of communication.

It’s how we relate to one another. It’s how we make decisions.

Entrepreneur and best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuk says this: He believes there’s a scenario where “Chief Marketing Officers” will be an old phenomenon. He wouldn’t be surprised if down the line, the major brands in the world will have, instead, an Editor-In-Chief.

So, maybe you’re not going to work for a newspaper, a TV station or your favorite magazine. But, what about your favorite brand?

Great storytelling never goes out of fashion regardless of the platform.

How do companies build credibility? They don’t sell. They tell.

Vaynerchuk goes on to say: It’s not hard for Nike not to mention their product in an ad. It wouldn’t be difficult for a coconut drink to talk about health and wellness without mentioning its drink, too.

But, they don’t…

“This is why I want them to hire journalists. You hire a marketer, they’re going to want to sell. You hire a journalist, they’re not going to want to sell out.” -Gary Vaynerchuk 

Nothing will ever replace the collective power of a newsroom. No zoom call. No phone call. No text. No email. But, there is a way you can still do what you love & quite frankly—it’s at your fingertips. It’s called your phone.

Start telling.

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BNM Writers

‘Chicks On The Right’ Critical of Biden, Inauguration, Calls For Unity

The Chicks on the Right weren’t pleased with Chris Wallace praising President Biden’s inaugural address, and pushed far right theories that Biden is mentally ill and a figurehead for others to run the country.

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Newly inaugurated president Joe Biden called for unity during his inaugural address and some members of the conservative media have adopted a more conciliatory tone toward the new administration.  Others have yet to get the message. Such is the case for Chicks on the Right. Amy Jo Clark and Miriam Weaver, who are also known by the pseudonyms “Daisy” and “Mockarena”, posted a vlog late Thursday night sharing their reactions to the inauguration. In the nearly 30 minute vlog, they leveled criticism toward Fox News’ Chris Wallace for praising President Biden’s inaugural address, while also pushing far right theories that Biden is mentally ill and is a figurehead for others to run the country.

Before launching into criticism, however, The Chicks did take time to praise one aspect of Inauguration Day: The music.

“I have to say it (the music) was really good,” Weaver said. “Dave Ghrol was fantastic. John Legend, I loathe him because he is such a Commie, but he sang I’m Feeling Good, probably the best I have ever heard it.”

That’s where the praise ended though, as the duo were critical of everything else from security to President Biden signing Executive Orders on his first day in office and all points in between.

“It had a very Soviet feel to it with all the barbed wire fences,” Clark said. “Welcome to the Gulag…. His speech was very telapromter-y. He did not even know what he was saying and then Chris Wallace saying it was the most amazing speech he had ever heard was absolutely ridiculous. It was nothing but canned bullcrap.”

Weaver took issue with the way in which Mr. Biden signed the Executive Orders.

“He had little index cards to prompt him what to say before he signed each one of the 17 orders,” Weaver said. “The press was allowed to be there for the first three and he could not complete a coherent sentence. After the third one when he was really losing it, it looked like he did not know where he was, they were literally shoving the press out the door. The people in charge knew he was fading fast.”

“The guy is so freaking old,” Clark said of the 78 year old Biden. “It looked like he needed a nap and some Geritol. They were propping him up all day which is a microcosm of his presidency. He is going to be steamrolled through the next four years, if he even makes it that long. He is not the real leader of the country. The real leaders are the A.O.C.’s (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). They will say he is in charge, but he is not in charge. He has no freaking clue what he is doing. This country is being run by a bunch of Socialists.”

Throughout the rest of the vlog, The Chicks touched on several talking points and conspiracy theories that are popular among the ALT-Right, including that China “unleashed” the corona virus on the rest of the world while comparing Mr. Biden’s call for unity to an abusive relationship.

“The Democrats have battered us for four years,” Clark said. “And now they are like, ‘Come on baby. Let’s get back together’. Heck no! I’m packing my crap and moving in with Mom.”

In addition to vlogs and other posts on their website, Chicks on the Right have a radio program that airs from 9 a.m. until 11a.m. on Indianapolis’ 93 WIBC.

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BNM Writers

Bill Spadea: People Have Forgotten How Important Martin Luther King Jr. Was

“Spadea said that one of the main reasons people don’t realize that race relations are improving in the United States is due to media coverage.”

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Local radio hosts from across the nation spent Monday honoring and reflecting on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Bill Spadea, host of New Jersey 101.5’s AM Drive Time was no different, but he offered an interesting thought during his opening monologue. Spadea says that thanks to Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders, race relations in the United States have improved in spite of media depictions to the contrary.

 “I think people have forgotten how important Martin Luther King Jr., and what he did, was,” Spadea said. “I’m glad most people get the day off of work, but I am afraid that is all it has become for a lot of people.”

Spadea followed by explaining Dr. King’s role in ending the “Separate But Equal” precedent that was established by the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court casein 1896. That legal doctrine remained prevalent through Jim Crow Laws until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, in which Dr. King was a central figure.

“I think as time has passed, people have forgotten how evil Separate But Equal really was,” Spadea said. “People were discriminated against just because of their skin color, gender or sex. We have come so far. People just don’t recognize it.”

Spadea says that one of the main reasons people don’t realize that race relations are improving in the United States is due to media coverage.

”All we have seen and heard over these past months are pictures and reports of riots and destruction,” Spadea said. “If that’s all we see, people will think that things have not improved, but we have come so far. We are in a much better place than we used to be.”

After his monologue, Spadea took calls from listeners who shared their opinions on race relations, mask mandates and other news topics of the day.

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BNM Writers

The Shifting Media Spotlight

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs had an insightful conversation Friday with Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. The two recapped the lasting achievements of Donald Trump’s administration, the media’s deceptive coverage of his Presidency and journalism’s once-revered role as our nation’s watch dogs.

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2021 brings a new focus for the media, as frustration and anger linger across the country relating to journalism’s role in the rancor and discord enveloping American life over the past couple decades. 

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs had an insightful conversation Friday with Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. The two recapped the lasting achievements of Donald Trump’s administration, the media’s deceptive coverage of his Presidency and journalism’s once-revered role as our nation’s watch dogs.

“The President again is being fraudulently impeached by the Dems, and there is not even a whisper of dissent or opposition to that in the national left-wing media,” Dobbs said, also pointing out the recent attacks on Jeffress by some members of the Republican establishment. 

“Lou, this is something we’re going to see more and more over these next four years,” Jeffress began. “That’s an attempt to shame people like you and me who strongly support this President, and to repenting of our support of him. Well I’ll guaran-dang-tee you I’m not repenting of anything, certainly not my support of this great President.”  

Jeffress told USA Today this week that he had no regrets in supporting Donald Trump. None whatsoever.

“I told him this week that I believe he is the greatest President of my lifetime, and he will go down as the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty President in American history,” Jeffress added. “Nothing anyone says is going to change that. Lou, he’s leaving office next week with his legacy intact.” 

Dobbs, who has for four years pointed out nonstop media deception relating to  President Trump’s accomplishments, went further to recap the incessant attacks on the 45th President of the United States.

“It’s an extraordinary legacy all the more because of the efforts of the radical Dems, the deep state, from the beginning almost of his candidacy for the office – they tried to deny him – and then their efforts to overthrow him and block his agenda throughout. He accomplished more than any President in the first three years of his term. His four years in office are remarkable in achievement, all the more so because of the naked, corrupt opposition of the radical Left and the deep state,” Dobbs said.

Jeffress, an early and consistent supporter of candidate and then President Trump, added that the President knew what he was in for, as the entire establishment swamp of both parties was not simply going to sit back and allow him to disrupt the normal way of doing things in Washington.

“I remember sitting in the oval office and telling him ‘Mr. President, you have an axis of evil that is going to conspire to take you down. Not only the media and the Democrats, but the establishment Republicans,’” he recalls telling Trump. “And that proved to be true. They conspired together but they couldn’t stop his tremendous achievements in spite of all of those headwinds. I am grateful, eternally grateful, for what he has done for our nation, even though he’s leaving office for now. His legacy will endure.”

The news over the weekend was how Dobbs summed up the conversation in his synopsis of the non-stop attacks from the left and the media, designed to take down Trump politically and personally.

“It is the most vile, venomous assault ever conducted against a President in our country’s history,” Dobbs pointed out. “Short of the assasignation of Abraham Lincoln. This is a nation that cannot heal, that cannot come together, until we understand the truth and reality of what we have witnessed over the course of the past four years of this man’s presidency.”

“We’re going to depend upon you over these next four years to point out what is going on – the darkness, the lies that we’re going to see,” Jeffress implored Dobbs. “Yes, we need to pray for our new president, president Biden. The Bible says we need to pray for all of our leaders. But we also need to be ready to push back against the unGodly policies that are sure to come. These are days for God’s people to stand up and be courageous like never before.”

If recent history is any indication, both Dobbs and Jeffress will remain standing strongly on the front lines, illuminating the truth, as the next chapter of our nation’s history unfolds.

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