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Irresponsible Journalism?

By | Industry Perspective | One Comment

OK, so this is going to be a jumbled mess of part rant, part confusion. It’s the Friday leading into yet another holiday weekend, and my brain is pretty much shut down. However, I’ve been meaning to blog about this for awhile, so here goes.

So, I was back at my in-laws in Iowa over Thanksgiving, casually reading the Des Moines Register. I came across a picture of a little Taco Stand in Davenport, Iowa. In a split second before even reading the headline, I assume it is simply a cute human interest story that no doubt was letting people know about the place and probably help attract some business.

So, I read on. HEADLINE: Wife Killer Opens Taco Stand. WTF!? I read it again to make sure it wasn’t just the after effects of my holiday libations from the previous night. Yes, I saw it right – Wife Killer Opens Taco Stand. Shocked, and fully alert, I keep on. I’ll let you read the article for yourself by following the link below, but let me give you a quick re-cap. Basically, this dude James Klindt not only killed his wife, but “dismembered” her…with a chainsaw! After serving only 20 out of his 50 year sentence for “good behavior” (sweet justice system) – he came back to his hometown to start over, live the American dream of owning a business, and opened up Eats & Sweets Taco Stand. How uplifting.

He was interviewed and provided some quotes that were pure gems. The journalist, curious about why his tacos were so tasty, asked him how he learned to cook. Klindt responded with “I learned to make Tacos from the Hispanics while I was in the joint.” Lovely. Pressing on, the journalist wants to know how his return home has been received by the locals. Klindt expressed that some people have been really hard on him, and recalls a recent trip to the local bar when patrons complained and asked him to leave. “It was just so vicious, pure hate.” OMG seriously? When I think of acts of pure hate, things come to mind like, oh say, KILLING AND DISMEMBERING YOUR WIFE! I laughed out loud in disbelief.

Besides ending with menu items and prices that was the gist of the article. Now, I am all for people starting over, making a life etc, but not people who only spend 20 years for killing their wife. What was the point of this article?
As a PR person, I think that editorial generally does two things: inform and persuade/dissuade. In my opinion, it clearly was meant to be a “starting over” story, but to me that is irresponsible. This article pressures people into feeling compassionate and forgiving, when they might not be ready to, and might not want to help him or buy his damn food. As for me, I’ll be passing on the all-beef tacos.

Read AP story here that was reprinted in the Des Moines Register

What are your thoughts on this story? Informative, irresponsible, or inspirational?

Breaking News – I'm Kind of a Big Deal

By | Industry Perspective | 3 Comments

We have big news here at BLASTmedia. We just scored our biggest, most prestigious media hit to date. I, Sabrina Cook, have been named TIME’s Person of the Year! That’s right, ME! I was casually strolling through the newsstand at Borders when I came across the most recent issue of TIME and whose face did I see staring back at me on the front cover? Mine! I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even know I was nominated. My mom and dad are going to be so proud.
time.JPG
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What have I done within the last year that makes me worthy of this award? Well, I’ll have you know that I posted a YouTube video back in June. It was quite a monumental feat. I also got my very own MySpace account and I’ve started blogging over the course of the last year. And, my blog has tens of readers! As I was loading the video of my Donald Trump impersonation onto YouTube, I never would have dreamed that action would land me smack on the front page of TIME magazine.

OK, now really. The one question I find myself asking is – why am I so disappointed in TIME’s generic choice for Person of the Year? A few short weeks ago I was writing on this very blog about how social media was here to stay and singing the praises of YouTube and MySpace as a new medium for the news – me and all the rest of the world! I can’t believe that TIME is just now jumping on board and bestowing this honor upon me (ok, all of us). The story is stale. Everyone knows that we’re getting our news through new mediums and that ordinary citizens wield a new power in the industry. TIME is just now figuring this out?

In the media industry everyone walks a fine line between providing innovative cover stories and being overly gimmicky. Unfortunately, TIME has come across as the latter. There was way too much hype behind this year’s selection only to present us with a tacky, mirrored cover. CNN and TIME partnered together and ran a series of short pieces about the possible choices for the Person of the Year. TIME conducted online polls to allow people to “vote” on their Person of the Year. How clever! All of these things added together came across as a bit too gimmicky. The media has torn TIME to shreds over the selection. And unfortunately, this has probably tarnished a lot of people’s view of the annual selection.

Oh well, I’m going to live it up while I can! Feel free to leave me a congratulatory comment below – and get in touch with my people early to be a keynote speaker for your next event. I have get to work on my acceptance speech and getting this issue framed at Hobby Lobby for my mom.

Breaking News – I’m Kind of a Big Deal

By | Industry Perspective | 3 Comments

We have big news here at BLASTmedia. We just scored our biggest, most prestigious media hit to date. I, Sabrina Cook, have been named TIME’s Person of the Year! That’s right, ME! I was casually strolling through the newsstand at Borders when I came across the most recent issue of TIME and whose face did I see staring back at me on the front cover? Mine! I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even know I was nominated. My mom and dad are going to be so proud.
time.JPG
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What have I done within the last year that makes me worthy of this award? Well, I’ll have you know that I posted a YouTube video back in June. It was quite a monumental feat. I also got my very own MySpace account and I’ve started blogging over the course of the last year. And, my blog has tens of readers! As I was loading the video of my Donald Trump impersonation onto YouTube, I never would have dreamed that action would land me smack on the front page of TIME magazine.

OK, now really. The one question I find myself asking is – why am I so disappointed in TIME’s generic choice for Person of the Year? A few short weeks ago I was writing on this very blog about how social media was here to stay and singing the praises of YouTube and MySpace as a new medium for the news – me and all the rest of the world! I can’t believe that TIME is just now jumping on board and bestowing this honor upon me (ok, all of us). The story is stale. Everyone knows that we’re getting our news through new mediums and that ordinary citizens wield a new power in the industry. TIME is just now figuring this out?

In the media industry everyone walks a fine line between providing innovative cover stories and being overly gimmicky. Unfortunately, TIME has come across as the latter. There was way too much hype behind this year’s selection only to present us with a tacky, mirrored cover. CNN and TIME partnered together and ran a series of short pieces about the possible choices for the Person of the Year. TIME conducted online polls to allow people to “vote” on their Person of the Year. How clever! All of these things added together came across as a bit too gimmicky. The media has torn TIME to shreds over the selection. And unfortunately, this has probably tarnished a lot of people’s view of the annual selection.

Oh well, I’m going to live it up while I can! Feel free to leave me a congratulatory comment below – and get in touch with my people early to be a keynote speaker for your next event. I have get to work on my acceptance speech and getting this issue framed at Hobby Lobby for my mom.

A Game of Hide and Seek

By | Industry Perspective | One Comment

I heard a report on NPR this morning that the beginning of 2007 represents the highest company demand for college graduates since 2000. The report went on to say that, due to such strong demand for college graduates, companies are resorting to major signing bonuses in hope of commitments. I say “Hooray” to both college grads and the companies who are in need of their services, as this must be a solid indication that the economy is up and running.

Here’s what I can’t figure out: If companies are gobbling up college grads as fast as they can (and paying above market rates for them), we can only assume it means that these grads are qualified to work at these companies and can come in and add value day one. Right? If my assumption is correct, then where are these grads hiding? We advertise for jobs (at above market!) here at BLASTmedia on Monster.com, on campuses and in the local Midwest papers…and we can find qualified grads about as easily as a blind bat can see its cave.

So, I ask this question to recent college graduates who have studied PR/Media Relations: Where are you? Under what rock are you hiding? We are contemplating a nationwide scavenger hunt in search of qualified College grads. I’m thinking something along the lines of “The Amazing Race,” where we race from city to city with maps, GPS units and mug shots of recent grads all looking for the elusive “qualified college graduate.” That’s it….I’m calling Mark Burnett.

Body of James Kim Found

By | Industry Perspective | No Comments

Our deepest symphathy goes out to the family and friends of James Kim. James was a CNET senior reporter that went missing over two weeks ago as his family was traveling in Oregon. James’ body was discovered this afternoon, two days after his wife and two daughters were rescued from their car, stuck on a remote road. James had set out on foot over the weekend to find help for his family.

Several of us worked with James at CNET. He was always very kind and professional. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.

Like Christmas Morning

By | Industry Perspective | One Comment

Christmas Gifts

Windows Vista is here…well almost. Yes, the much maligned and often delayed Vista will finally arrive on Thursday. Unlike the local Target on “Black Friday” not many people are fighting to be first in line. Most pundits are cautiously optimistic and most companies are taking the old wait and see approach. Why – well a few reasons: Redmond’s failure to launch the product on time has many people wondering what took so long – five years between XP and Vista is an eternity in the software industry. Microsoft has also been notorious for the amount of bugs and gaps in their software…we all know that Firefox has exploded because of the many weaknesses in IE. Finally, the pure pain of transferring operating systems has many corporations weighing the expected upgrades versus the potential compatibility issues that may arise with other software, therefore making the early assumption it is just not worth it…yet.

Although we won’t be jumping on the Vista train anytime soon, I am excited about the upcoming changes. I love when companies innovate. Sure, you can knock that Apple has had many of these features with their OSX Tiger system, but I love to see a huge company like Microsoft take time to make changes and really want to create a better product. Will it have bugs? Probably, but innovation is exciting. Whether it is from such internet darlings as Google or behemoths like Microsoft – innovation will only breed innovation and force others to create around the new product offerings. Maybe I am optimistic, but here is hoping that Redmond gets it right. I can’t wait to see the new Aero design, the new expanded search features, the new photo and movie creators. Let’s usher in a new era and hope that, like Christmas morning, we awake not knowing what to expect and leave a little happier with the new surprises we just unwrapped.