Media errs by making itself the story

By Charlie Mitchell
Syndicated Columnist

mitchell-charlieBig mistake.

To use an overused word, “Yuuge.”

The Trump administration has suckered the media into allowing itself to become the story.

Big mistake.

Every president, every congressman, every Mississippi official, every mayor, every town councilman and more than a few litter commissioners have lamented not getting a fair shake in the press — some more often than others. The well-tested response by journalists has been to admit errors when made, then refocus on the issue at hand, which is never the press. Never.

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Advertising is all about motivation

By John Foust

foust_johnWhen you peel back the layers of advertising philosophy and technique, it all comes down to one thing: Motivation. People buy things because they are motivated. And the most effective ads are those that appeal to the right motivation.

There are two basic motivators: (1) desire for gain and (2) fear of loss. Think about your own experience and it’s easy to see that your purchases can be traced to a desire to get (or maintain) something you want or to prevent the loss of something you don’t want to lose.

This goes for big and small buying decisions. Why do you move to a new house? (Real estate experts say the three biggest reasons are location, location and location.) Why do you buy new tires when your old ones wear out? (Fear of an accident.) Why do you go to the movies? (Desire for entertainment.) Why do you wait for something to go on sale before buying? (Desire to save money.) Why do you buy a convertible? Why do you join a gym? Why do you buy an insurance policy?
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The language of the Twitterverse

pettus-garyBy Gary Pettus

An invasion has been loosed upon this nation, and the intruders are not sending us their best.

They’re sending their syntax murderers, their text assaulters and, most of all, their really bad spellers.

They “prey” to God, down on their knees at the “alter.” They believe certain segments of society should be “reigned” or “rained” in, and their explosive tendencies “diffused” before there’s a massive “erupsion.”

They “roo” the fact that many people exercise bad “judgement” — especially “cereal” killers.

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Watch for chance to localize stories

By Al Cross

cross-alAt The Rural Blog we watch events and issues, but also trends and ideas in rural America – especially those that offer opportunities for localizing stories. We’ve had several examples lately.

The Wall Street Journal reported on a trend you also may have noticed, but didn’t see as a story: a rural boom in electronic commerce, which makes it easier for your readers to buy goods that may not be available locally. The downside is freight charges, which are often higher for more remote areas, and the damage that e-commerce does to local retailers. We excerpted the story at http://bit.ly/2ci7X15.

Stateline, the wonderful news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts, had an interesting story about the difficulties farmers and independent repair shops face because manufacturers aren’t required to make parts and repair information available to customers and independent repair people. I’ll bet you can find some such people among your own readers. Read the story at http://bit.ly/2d46Tzr. Continue reading “Watch for chance to localize stories”

Deer Creek Pilot: We can’t endorse

We are not sure that newspaper endorsements mean what they once did, but if a weekly newspaper is going to make an endorsement in a race as momentous  as that for president, with election day on Tuesday, now is the time and this is the place for that paper to do so.

And yet, in this year, in this presidential election, we at this weekly newspaper find that we cannot. We simply cannot, in good faith, in clear conscience, recommend to our readers any one of the field of candidates—perhaps the weakest in the history of the republic—for the highest office in the land and the leader of the free world.

While there are other minor party candidates on the ballot, the unsettling fact is that either Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump is going to be elected the next President of the United States. One of them may be capable, but neither of them is worthy.

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Why do we endorse candidates?

By Tim Kalich

timkalichGREENWOOD – USA Today broke a tradition that goes back to its founding 34 years ago.

It made for the first time an endorsement in the presidential race.

The national newspaper says that every four years its editorial board has revisited its no-endorsement policy on presidential races, the only contest it would consider weighing in on. Until now, it has come to the conclusion that it should keep its opinions to itself. It says it hasn’t wanted to risk the charge of political bias, voters have no shortage of information on presidential candidates to make up their own minds, and its ideologically diverse board could rarely agree on an endorsement anyway.

But this year, the fear of a Donald Trump presidency has caused the newspaper to offer an endorsement — although technically a non-endorsement might be a more apt description.

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Nixon and The Tylertown Times

By Charles Dunagin

charles-dunaginThe New York Times, whose slogan is “all the news that’s fit to print,” finds itself in the news recently for publishing some of Donald Trump’s tax documents.

Disclosed were the first page of Trump’s 1995 New York state resident income tax return, the first page of his New Jersey non-resident tax return and the first page of his Connecticut non-resident tax return. They show a $916 million loss that might have allowed Trump to legally avoid paying any income taxes for up to 18 years.

In addition to the political ramifications of the report, there’s a debate over whether the newspaper violated the law in publishing the documents. That will be probed from all sides until something else in this bizarre presidential election captures the headlines and the attention of the talking heads on the cable news networks.

For me, whenever the New York Times is in the news, I’m reminded of my friend of decades ago, Paul Pittman.

Continue reading “Nixon and The Tylertown Times”