Mets should look in mirror, not blame social media

Wilmer Flores

Social media is not to blame for the latest Mets’ debacle. Instead, Mets’ management just needs to look at itself in the mirror.

For those unfamiliar with the story, a report broke during Wednesday night’s game indicating the Mets had traded Wilmer Flores  and Zack Wheeler and to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Gomez.

While news of the blockbuster trade spread quickly on social media, Flores remained in the game and became so emotional he actually cried on the field – not all that surprising since the Mets have been family to Flores ever since they signed him as an international free agent out of Venezuela when he was just 16 years old.

Although the Internet was buzzing about the trade during the game, Continue reading

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‘The Donald’ seizes on Christie’s missed opportunity

Need evidence to support the theory that Chris Christie would have been better off had he run for president in 2012 rather than 2016? Look no further than Donald Trump.

In the early days of the 2016 campaign, The Donald has risen to the top of several GOP presidential polls by employing a style and a tone quite similar to Christie’s. These same tactics once helped the New Jersey governor earn high approval ratings and land on the cover of several national magazines. They also might have helped him become a top contender for national office in 2012.

As governor, Christie has called a U.S. Senator a partisan hack, a state assemblywoman a jerk, an openly gay legislator numbnuts, and a former Navy Seal an idiot. He once told reporters to “take the bat out on” a 76-year old state Senator and grandmother who was critical of his administration.

Today, it is Trump stirring the pot by Continue reading

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Tension on display between public officials and the press

Hillary Clinton is not the only public figure trying to put journalists in their place.

Earlier this month, the former Secretary of State angered reporters when staffers from her presidential campaign kept the media at bay – with a rope – while she marched in a Fourth of July parade in Gorham, New Hampshire.

This week, two highly visible exchanges illustrated the less-than-affable nature of the relationship between today’s public figures and the men and women who cover them. Continue reading

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Online news proposal accepted for conference

The Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association has accepted a proposal that my wife Anne and I submitted for the association’s 2015 conference.

We titled our proposal “Have online news sites altered our sense of community?”

It will be included in the Journalism and News Media area of the conference, which will take place at the Sonesta Philadelphia from Nov. 5 to 7.

In our presentation, we plan to discuss whether the growth of the Internet has shifted the sense of community from physical, geographically-defined communities to communities formed around subjects such as sports, theater and public policy.

To explore this question, we will track the manner in which individuals access stories on The Convergence, an online news site covering several communities in Western New York State. The Convergence is staffed by students at St. Bonaventure University as part of the journalism school’s experiential learning curriculum requirement.

During the fall, students will track whether visitors to the site access stories by clicking on the name of one of the communities The Convergence covers or by clicking on the name of one of The Convergence’s sections (news, features, sports, etc.). The results will be supplemented by anecdotal information gathered by the students as they cover their beats, which will be defined both geographically and topically.

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Let’s liven up the All-Star game with a fantasy sports feature

After its 2002 All-Star Game ended in a disappointing 7-7 tie, Major League Baseball decided to add more drama to the midsummer classic by awarding the winning league home field advantage in the World Series.

In theory, the move should have resulted in more exciting games by giving players an added incentive to win. In practice, I’m not certain the change has made much of an impact.

For starters, other than a few notable exceptions, the concept of home field advantage is overstated. And those few exceptions generally do not occur on a baseball diamond. Continue reading

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Do we have a ‘Big Foot’ problem with the news?

When I worked in public relations, we called the process “big footing.”

If we knew some damaging or negative news was likely to break on a given day, we would plan our own announcement and hope it would big enough to divert attention from – or “big foot” – whatever announcement was likely to -play poorly with the press and the public.

Given the convenience of the Internet and social networks, the process of “big footing” is even stronger today, and sometimes it takes place without a push from a PR or communications pro.

Continue reading

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Recalling the Challenger tragedy

When the space shuttle Challenger exploded 29 years ago today, killing all seven astronauts aboard, I was working as a State House reporter for The News Tribune of Woodbridge. It’s one of those days a journalist always remembers because it involved reporting a historic event — – and in this instance an extremely tragic one.

For me, there were several additional reasons why Jan. 28, 1986, remains a vivid memory. Continue reading

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