Mark Grimm


Media Bias Caught on Tape: Chalian is Tip of the Iceberg

Yahoo News fired its Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian for explosive remarks he made caught on tape. Chalian said Mitt and Ann Romney are “happy to have a party with black people drowning.” The statement came during the GOP convention while Hurricane Isaac was causing havoc.

Yahoo acted quickly to fire Chalian. Chalian later posted an apology for what he described as his “inappropriate and thoughtless joke.” That’s spin, of course. He wasn’t joking. He blurted out an honest expression of his bias. What’s really frightening is that Chalian was the political director of ABC News from 2007-2010. He essentially directed the political coverage of President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Gives you a lot of confidence in their objectivity, doesn’t it? Are we to believe no one at ABC News or Yahoo was aware of his bias? Of course, not.

Even after this disclosure, some journalists rushed to his defense. PBS’s Gwen Ifill calls him, “God’s gift to political journallism.” NY Times reporter Adam Nagourney calls him a “first-rate journalist.” You think there’s any chance they’re voting for Romney this year?

ABC News nightly newscast is so bias I really can’t watch it anymore. Across the news channels, so many reporters are mixing news with commentary, I don’t think people know the difference anymore. Journalism training used to mean seeking the truth, conveying it, and allowing the consumers to form the opinions. Those days are gone. Media bias occurs every day in America. Reporters are usually not foolish enough to get caught on tape with such over-the-top expressions of it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The response is to get your news from as many different sources as possible and always consider the source. Ask tough questions about objectivity. Media savvy is a like a muscle. You have to exercise it to have it work at full strength.

The writer is a former TV news anchor/reporter and current media professor. He owns a firm that offers media consulting.

Low-Cost Video Must Be Part of Your Plan

When you snooze, you lose. That’s the mentality any business or cause should have now when it comes to using video as part of the way they communicate.

Technology has changed everything by lowering the cost of entry for video producers. Low-cost video production is now available to everyone and every marketing/social media plan should include video. It is an important way to tell your story, a visual way that will attract viewers if done well. Also remmeber that for getting more viewers you can use a SEO service with a professional agency, in you can find a website that ranks for Lake Geneva SEO and call them.

Everything you need is affordable and online. Find a simple camera the size of a smart phone (example: FlipVideo). Choose the model that’s best for you. A tripod and two studio lights can be purchased inexpensively. Green screens and their frames are also available. This allows you to place any background you wish behind you (see how this is done here). You can even add the sights and sounds of a parade.

The camera, tripod, lights, green screen are for under $400. Editing software likes this is less than $100. It’ll take a little work to learn it. A couple of lessons may be needed there.

There is a need for high-end video and the professionals are worth the money. But you can make your own videos to update content, and post them to YouTube. If you’re planning on choosing for a good web hosting to host your website, there are varieties of plans you can choose, take a look their Tsohost review latest and contact them.

You need to be in the video game. That’s where your competitor is headed. Let me know if I can help.

The writer is a former TV anchor/producer who runs his own communications business.

Cut “Umms” and “You Knows” from Your Speaking

Umm, I want to write today, you know, about how to reduce, ahh, the unnecessary words in our speaking.

Like, nearly all of us are, like, guilty of some use of these pesky words that add nothing to the message. Their overuse can, like, really drive listeners crazy. Let’s try to fix this.

First, tape yourself speaking. You’ll be surprised how you sound and become more conscious of the unneeded words. Awareness is really a key. Most people don’t even realize they are doing it.

Second, have a friend or family member hit a bell or tap a glass every time you say one of the words.This is a wonderful exercise and the more you do it the better your chances of reducing the clutter.

Third, recognize silence is OK. People feel they have to fill every moment with chatter so pauses are often filled with umms and you knows. Pace yourself and be more comfortable with a little dead air.

Please try these out and let me know how you do. I think they’ll, like, really help, you know, with your speaking.

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