OXFORD, UK — A visit to England provides a great way to learn about the Beatles, but for a group of American college students studying in Great Britain this summer, their best lesson about the Fab Four came from a familiar source – one of their professors from the states. Continue reading
We will be joined by four of our journalism students for a conference presentation titled “Baseball, Blogging and Beat Reporting: Using a Spring Training Blog to Teach Journalism Students How to Cover a Beat.”
Our presentation will take place in Philadelphia at the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association conference as part of a Journalism and News Media panel.
As the title of our presentation suggests, we will be discussing how we incorporate a baseball blog into the courses we teach in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. We use the blog because St. Bonaventure is located in a rural area of Western New York, where opportunities to cover local governments, school boards and other traditional news beats are limited. Continue reading
When I covered rock’n’roll in the early 1980s, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia were among the many performers I enjoyed interviewing. But my most lasting memory of the Grateful Dead took place 45 years ago this month long before my career in journalism began.
In the fall of 1972, my friend Bob Boyle and I made plans to see the Dead in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Sept. 19, the day after Bob’s 19th birthday. At the time, we were students at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York State about 350 miles from Jersey City. But we didn’t let the distance dissuade us. Nor were we concerned that neither of us had a car.
The solution? Hitchhike. more
The link was to a Rolling Stone story about the best and worst moments of the ceremony. A little more than halfway through the article, the authors wrote that one of the evening’s worst moments was when Gwen Stefani won a Grammy for integrated marketing.
Obviously, there is no Grammy for integrated marketing, but what Rolling Stone took issue with was the product of a campaign that involved a popular entertainer, a staged roller-skating accident and a live music video that ended with the logo of the store where consumers can purchase Stefani’s new album with four bonus tracks. All of this may have rubbed some folks the wrong way, but it did create a buzz and excitement about Stefani and her latest work.
The whole episode reminds me of the term pseudo-event, which was coined in 1961 by historian Daniel J. Boorstin. “It is not spontaneous, but comes about because someone has planned, planted, or incited it,” Boorstin explained in his book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America.
More than 50 years later, pseudo-events are more prevalent than ever. IMC professionals are likely to find it tempting to incorporate them into plans and strategies. Used properly, pseudo-events can be effective, but they also can lead down a treacherous path. To be successful in this field, one must be creative and innovative, but most important of all, one must be ethical.
# # #
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.
# # #
I am a big baseball fan – a New York Mets fan to be exact, and that has not been easy the past few years. On the other hand, thanks to their colorful and controversial off-the-field activities, the Mets often provide valuable lessons in public relations, which I’m teaching at St. Bonaventure University over the next five weeks.
Over the years, the team has presented plenty of challenges for Jay Horwitz, the Mets’ vice president for public relations. He’s had to deal with players who were involved with illegal drugs, barroom brawls, sex scandals and countless additional unsavory activities. Continue reading