MEDIASTRAIGHTalk-August 2014 Edition

August 26, 2014

OLD-FASHIONED NEWS COVERAGE STILL COUNTSThe demise of David Gregory as host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” came as no surprise to those newsers who still have a medium-to-long attention span and crave experts who can actually provide insight and depth to a national or international story. Gregory’s lack of heft, mediocre to lousy guests and inability to ask pertinent questions plummeted MTP from a #1 to a #3. His replacement? Chuck Todd along with other new faces according to NBC News President Deborah Turness. And, of course, the usual blather follows a change. “We have some exciting plans to evolve (?) and update the broadcast under Chuck’s leadership,” Turness said. The answer to success of a Sunday morning talk show may come from a white-haired smiling old news reporter, Bob Schieffer who hosts CBS’ “Face the Nation”. He’s been chatting with all kinds of insiders and outsiders on this who-what-where-why-when and how simple format for 23+ years. Oh, by the way, the show does well among 25-54 viewers too, according to Nielsen. Schieffer, in a Variety interview, didn’t see any reason to add show segments or incorporate tweets into the program. “If you are trying to get behind the headlines,” Schieffer says, “I think the way you do that is by sitting people down in a calm way and talking to them. We still try to do do what they did on the first show: Figure out what the topical news of the is and try to get the key players in front of the camera and sit them down and ask them questions. It’s not much more complicated than that.” For news-makers who want to do media: Ask yourself “what would I ask if I was the reporter?”– Do I have stories/examples to share with the audience? Am I prepared to tell the truth? Do I have a KEY MESSAGE?

IF IT LOOKS LIKE A PIG AND SMELLS LIKE A PIGNotre Dame’s football mavens have added new ‘stuff’ to the smothering political correctness of the 21st century. Players who didn’t do college work but turned it in as if they did. A president and athletic director who call it ‘academic dishonesty’ instead of what it really is—CHEATING. ND’s president said an ongoing investigation wasn’t an “athletic issue”. What kind of an issue is it? What’s more important—going for a national football title or a univer$ity’s integrity in 2014? We’re waiting for your PC answer.

GM OPPOSES PLAIN ENGLISH FOR SAFETY REASONSSixty-nine words that GM engineers were told not to use by its legal eagles when discussing product safety. Here are some: asphyxiating, death trap, disemboweling, powder keg. Instead use watered down stuff like ‘does not perform to design’ instead of defect and ‘condition’ instead of problem. Understandable because GM is still deeply involved in WHAT DID IT KNOW AND WHEN DID IT KNOW ABOUT about serious defects in a number of GM vehicles that resulted in deaths and injuries. U. of Michigan Business School Prof. Dana Muir says “ the best way to balance the goal of communicating clearly while also avoiding future regulatory or legal trouble is to use factual statements to describe issues.” And we would add—be careful of what you say on social media. It can come back to bite you.

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