Tom Fiedler, Dean of BU’s College of Communication and 2-time Pulitzer-winning former executive editor of The Miami Herald, discusses Helen Thomas‘ comments and calls her departure from the White House Press Corps “long over-due.”
Federal regulators insist they’ll keep a close eye on the proposed merger of Comcast, the country’s biggest cable-TV operator, and NBC Universal, with its vast content-production empire. Law Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, says the feds need to make sure the merger won’t crush competition or harm consumers.
“But the government should try to make sure that the conditions imposed on the merger do not reduce the potential benefits to consumers.”
Contact Keith Hulton, 617-353-8959, email@example.com
Tiger Woods, who has been in hiding for the past three months, will speak publicly for the first time tomorrow, marking the beginning of what his agent calls “the process of making amends.” What does this mean for the golf legend with the once squeaky-clean image? Frank Shorr, professor of sports journalism and director of the Boston University Sports Institute, and Peter Morrissey, a veteran PR and reputation management expert, give their ideas:
Shorr: “This is Tiger being Tiger…trying to limit his access at every turn. If he thinks he can do one news conference with a handful of reporters, picked by his own people, he’s in for a shock when he hits the golf course for the first time. The media will hound him and you’re going to see the fans very vocal on the situation – and much of it won’t be positive. But, he is obviously positioning himself for a return to competitive play.”
Morrissey: “It’s funny how both Tiger Woods and Toyota appear to be pushing the edges of the forgiveness envelope with the public. Public figures and public companies always want to get bad news behind them. They want to apologize and move on, but they forget an important phychological and human healing factor — people forgive and forget on their terms.”
Contact: Frank Shorr, 617-353-5163, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Peter Morrissey, 617-353-1020, email@example.com
In response to a recent article in AdAge magazine reporting that the Spanish government is planning to ban some diet and beauty TV Ads before 10 PM:
“This is a terrific first step in easing the constant visual reminders of the unrealistic, body weight often portrayed in the media and viewed by young, vulnerable individuals who feel pressured to be ‘thin at all health costs.’ Continued monitoring and viligence of these unhealthy media messages needs to continue to avoid a shift from television advertising to Internet advertising, especially on popular social media websites that are heavily used by this age group.”
The TV network world is buzzing about former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos accepting the offer to co-host ABC’s “Good Morning America,” succeeding Diane Sawyer, who heads to the anchor desk of the network’s “World News Tonight.” Journalism Professor Bob Zelnick, a long-time ABC News correspondent, says he sees Stephanopoulos as smart, hard-working, and adaptable to the new show.
“Still, I have this nagging notion that he and Diane Sawyer are both landing with the wrong shows. He belongs at WNT, she at GMA. Watch for a charge by Katie Couric.”
Contact Bob Zelnick, 617-353-5007, firstname.lastname@example.org
Google has agreed, as a concession to publishers of paid content news, to let them limit the number of free articles accessed through the Internet search engine. Journalism Department Chairman Lou Ureneck calls it a positive development for the media indusry, and ultimately for consumers.
“The free traffic in articles that news organizations have put significant money into developing is unsustainable in the long term. This moves the Internet and media closer to a consumer-paid model.”
Contact Lou Ureneck, 617-353-4095, email@example.com
Golf superstar Tiger Woods took responsibility for the nighttime SUV accident in which he suffered minor injuries. But because he declined to speak with police, speculation erupted about what “really” happened. Prof. Peter Morrissey, a PR reputation-management expert, says Woods’ reputation could be severely damaged if something comes out that he was hiding.
“The news media feeds off this type of delayed response. Tiger and his folks should get the truth out to defuse the situation. He is an institution but he is still not larger than the game that got him there.”
Contact Peter Morrissey, 617-353-1020, firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone says the social-networking site is looking to make more acqusitions, may eventually be taken public, and is definitely not for sale. School of Management Professor N. Venkat Venkatraman, head of the Information Systems Department, says he applauds Twitter for maintaining its independence.
“During 2009, Twitter has emerged as a serious and credible ways for social connections to become part of the economic landscape and I expect to see in 2010 the functionality become as central as search-engine optimization.”
Contact N. Venkat Venkatraman, 617-353-7117, email@example.com
The YouTube Direct channel has been launched to let “citizen journalists” conveniently feed content to TV and online news editors. Broadcast journalism Professor Susan Walker, a veteran TV producer, says if these videos aren’t vetted by news professionals it could unleash a wave of ambush videos from vigilante “reporters.”
“I’m with newspaper editor Ben Bradlee who once said he feels the same way about citizen journalism that he does about citizen surgery. YouTube could be enabling cell phone videos which don’t inform but rather produce more heat than light.”
Contact Susan Walker, 617-353-5806, firstname.lastname@example.org
With both newspapers and local broadcasters in deep financial trouble, the FCC reportedly may be looking to loosen media-ownership rules in 2010. Mass communication Professor T. Barton Carter, an expert on the FCC and communication law, says the difficulty is identifying what changes are needed and finding enough evidence to satisfy any court challenges.
“Making the whole process much more difficult is the rapidly changing media environment. By the time the rules are passed and survive appeal they may no longer be appropriate.”
Contact T. Barton Carter, 617-353-3482, email@example.com