‘Fake news’ rally cry arrives in Mississippi

By Charlie Mitchell

mitchell-charlieOXFORD — State Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton) has his toga in a knot because a Delta newspaper publisher offered his opinion — opinion — that Gipson, who chairs House Judiciary B, went too far in mixing religion and public policy.

On a Facebook page (Mississippi Responsible Journalism Initiative) he launched earlier this month, Gipson says the column by Ray Mosby of Rolling Fork’s Deer Creek Pilot, pushed him into action. Gipson said he will spearhead a quest enlisting citizens to expose journalists who fail to verify facts before publishing.

Last week, Gipson said 28,000 people, similarly fed up, had signed on. (Note: This figure is being repeated without verification.)

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President’s Column: Roast a big success; attention turns to convention

By Don Norman

Norman, Don
MPA President Don Norman

STARKVILLE — The year started off for our Association with another successful roast to benefit the MPA Education Foundation and Mid-Winter Conference with terrific sessions on sales techniques and revenue growth.

Roasting Clarion-Ledger cartoonist Marshall Ramsey was a blast for those of us in the audience and a dream come true for some of the politicians on the panel. Gov. Phil Bryant, in particular, seemed to really enjoy the chance to turn the tables on the honoree.

Marshall, as expected, took it like a champ and gave as good as he got. He’s been a fixture on the panel for many years, and it was fun to see him in the spotlight. A couple of the roasters showed off some of their own artwork in an attempt to prove what Marshall does is actually pretty easy. But we know better.

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With media, President Trump has his cake and eats it, too

By Layne Bruce

2017-bruce-layne-copyPresident Trump wants to have it both ways, and, for now at least, it looks like he’s getting what he wants.

He excoriates the media as an “enemy” of the people, but gorges on it – even the purveyors of what he maintains as “fake news.” He clearly subscribes to the line of thought that any kind of publicity is good publicity.

What else could be behind the melodramatic move barring The New York Times, CNN, and Politico from a Feb. 24 briefing by press secretary Sean Spicer?

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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”