What Do You Do When The News Collides?

Sports, crime, entertainment, politics, style, business, technology and many more topics are covered by a vast amount of media outlets. This extensive news coverage is made even more possible due to the digital age that we are currently in and will be in a for a long while.

Newspapers carry different sections that cover different topics. Their website counterparts do the same. While standalone websites often cover a certain niche, or specific news concentration – whether it be politics or entertainment, or one of the many others to they have to choose from.

While these niche sites do well to garner audiences with a specific interest or taste, what happens when the news collides? When Arnold Schwarzenegger decides to enter the political world? When Tiger Woods is caught having his affairs? When Rob Thomas decides to use the latest website obsession, Kickstarter, to fun is Veronica Mars movie?

It is easy for an audience to get confused when there are too many ideas being thrown at them. Or when a seemingly hard-news company begins covering entertainment stories that trickle into the style and business categories. But it is inevitable.

While there are gossip sites, often considered low on the totem pole, and there are renowned sites like The New York Times that are considered higher on the totem pole, it is not possible for the two to never dip into the same topic, or write about the same situation or cover a similar idea. While The Times may refer to its entertainment section as the “Arts” and MTV may just call their entertainment blog “MTV Buzzworthy,” they both cover entertainment.

Niches are great for defining a certain market or audience that a website or media outlet wants to cater to, but markets change and expand. Audiences often want more or want to feel like they are learning more without any added effort on their part. On the blog or blogger’s side, it gives the writer more freedom in her pieces and her detailing.

Do you think it is a good idea for websites to be able to tap into different audiences or niches? Or should they just stick to a single, minute market? Should writers be able to cover topics of different categories or simply be an authority of one topic? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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My [A Journalism Student’s] Reaction To Ryan Holiday’s ‘Trust Me, I’m Lying’

While it may not be customary to give opinion in news articles or to write a personal response on a news platform, this is a blog. A 21st century blog, which allows the blogger to write about any topic that fits the overall idea of the blog.

This is my blog, where I share mostly “news about the news,” but also where I can give my input on these news topics, as well as anything else I stumble upon. One major topic that has crossed my path, is the book “Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday. I mentioned this book in passing in my article about news outlets picking up Screen Rant’s April Fools’ Day article, but I feel it is necessary to be talked about a bit more.

This tell-all book by a college drop-out who went on to become a self-professed “media manipulator” is intriguing and educational. The amount of hyphenated words in that last sentences means it MUST be true. While the book itself is about 100 pages longer than it should be, the actual content is organized well and discussed with many examples.

What exactly is this book about? The media industry as a whole, of course. But to be a bit more specific, it is about how easy bloggers can be manipulated, how often they are manipulated and manipulate others and why it is important to know of this manipulation. If you can’t already tell, manipulation is the recurring theme in this step-by-step guide to taking over the blogging world with a few simple tactics.

Holiday discusses his strategies for marketing American Apparel clothing for no, or minimal, cost to the company by sending fake emails to blogs with “banned” company advertisements. He tells of his extravagant ploys to get his client Tucker Max to the top of the bestseller’s list and to the top of the box office.

While his tactics are unconventional and incredibly deceitful, they get the job done in getting web space from news sites looking for an easy story, from bloggers not looking to verify information and from media outlets simply copying and pasting the fake tips that Holiday or one of his aliases sent in.

The book drags on-and-on about a topic that could’ve, and was, summed up in about two chapters, but it’s still a good read for anyone in, or looking to get into, the media industry. It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into, and to possibly pick-up a few tricks along the way. But use them responsibly, of course.

Do you think it was smart or necessary for Holiday to write this kind of book? Is the media industry truly as gullible or as easily manipulated as Holiday makes it out to be? What’s the worst case of unverified information that you’ve seen? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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Katie Couric Chooses Yahoo! As Next Destination On Her Career Path

It seems Yahoo! is Katie Couric’s search engine of choice, as the long-time, daytime TV journalist is in the process of completing a contract to join the Yahoo! team. Couric’s held her current position as the star of the talk show, The Katie Show, on ABC since 2011, but the journalist and media giant look to be ending their current joint-venture, TVNewser reports.

Before ABC, Couric was the co-host of NBC’s Today show for 15 years before joining CBS News as the anchor of the Evening News. The experienced media reporter has been a part of some of the largest media corporations and is now looking to join yet another.

Yahoo! has been scooping up some of the top talent in today’s news industry. Recently, CNET reports that David Pogue, former tech columnist at The New York Times, left the well-known publication to accept a position in the tech news field over at Yahoo! News.

While both held positions at two very different companies, Couric is leaving ABC broadcast and Pogue is leaving print-minded The New York Times, they are both headed to the fully-digital world of Yahoo! to bring their respective experience and knowledge of the media, tech and entertainment industry.

Why do you think top journalists are leaving very well-respected companies and publications to accept roles at the Yahoo! company? Do you think the hiring of these types of professionals will improve the news output for Yahoo! News? Let me know in the comments below.

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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Three Cheers For NPR’s Listener Interactivity

As NPR’s first news program, All Things Considered is also of its most well-known and highest-rated programs. Another show that fits into the latter category? NPR’s Morning Edition. Both cover news stories, but both cover them fairly differently.

While Morning Edition has stories that are all pretty long in length, All Things Considered often has shorter news pieces. Both of these programs helped to create a news station that is very different from others. Besides NPR being publically funded, it is also partially run by the public. This doesn’t mean that any random listener can go into the NPR studio and run a news program. It means that the station often opens the listen line for people to call in and voice their opinion and offer up additional facts to news stories the station is covering.

Interactivity is very important with any form of media, but not many excel in the area. With radio, the main form of interactivity is having listeners call in to request a song, make a news suggest, offer advice or comment on a topic the radio host is talking about. NPR is very good at this. Not only do the radio hosts often allow their audience to call in, but the host usually has an actual conversation with the caller.

On many radio stations, listeners will call in, give their input and then the phone call is over. It is completely one-sided and not very interactive or collaborative. On NPR, an actual conversation and, sometimes, debate ensues when an audience member calls in to the radio station.

As a public radio station, NPR truly does run for the public, especially by including the public in its on-air conversations. Not every news story is worth opening to listeners, but many of the larger stories are opened up for discussion. This sort of collaboration helps to grow interactivity, increase positive public opinion of the station and to really inform the public of all sides of stories.

What do you think about the different news programs on NPR? How often do you listen to NPR and do you ever call in to join the on-air conversations? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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Adweek Celebrates Its Big 3-5 Birthday With Family Photos

Adweek, a magazine that has been covering news about the media industry for the past 35 years, is celebrating its momentous anniversary with a new issue that FishbowlNY calls a “Collector’s Edition.”

This new issue of the popular trade magazine features Ron Berger, former brand-building exec for Euro RSCG, and his sons, Ryan and Cory Berger, on the cover. Adweek decided to celebrate its 35th anniversary with an issue all about media executives passing on the baton to their children.

Deemed the “The Family Business” photo collection, pictures of royal media families are inside the latest version of the weekly magazine. As the magazine celebrates another year older, it decided to run this issue all about passing on one’s wisdom, welcoming a new generation and sharing the love of the media industry.

Joanna Coles, Editor-In-Chief of Cosmopolitan wrote a guest essay about her role in the industry and some of the advice that she has to offer. Another essay was written by Bob Pittman and his role as CEO of one of the largest media companies, Clear Channel.

Do you like the way Adweek created its 35th anniversary issue? What would you like to have seen in the latest edition and what do you want to see more of in the future from Adweek? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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Full House Sequel? How Screen Rant’s April Fools’ Joke Got Picked Up As News

Many news sites take it upon themselves to post fake articles on April Fools’ Day and the stories are sometimes outrageous and other times completely plausible. This is the one day that it is acceptable for news sources to make up extreme attention-grabbing headlines and stories with no factual information.

Screen Rant did exactly this on April Fools’ 2013 when an article was written by Anthony Ocasio about a Full House sequel being in the works. He cited fake articles as his sources and blatantly told his readers that this whole article was a prank.

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Now, seven months later, Disney Treasures posted the same Screen Rant article word-for-word and link-for-link, but laid it out as if it were real news. Then, this article became the source for larger new sources and blogs, like Perez Hilton and Broadway World.

The fact that this April Fools’ Day joke article became serious news, and got picked up by some larger blogs, goes to show how easy it is to manipulate some online news sources. Ryan Holiday talks about this extensively in his book, “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” and this a perfect example of all that he explains in the book.

While a simple Google search reveals the true nature of the Disney Treasures article, some sites picked up the news without the simple verification that is available to them online.

There is no information or source that reveals that a Full House sequel is in the works. Maybe one day there will be, but not as of today. But the news is exciting and, therefore, news sites pick it up. Doesn’t matter if the information is true because it garners views, views garner ads, and ads bring in the revenue.

How do you feel about news sites not verifying easily verifiable information? Do you expect more from online news sites? Would you like there to be a Full House sequel, though? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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Brides Mag Adds Drew Barrymore, Marks The Latest Magazine To Add Celeb Columnist

Brands have always used celebrities and icons in commercials to boost their awareness, but lately it has become common for magazines to hire celebrities as columnists for either their print publication or their online counterpart. Brides Magazine is the latest to do so, adding Drew Barrymore to their columnist masthead.

The new column, Ask Drew, will feature Drew Barrymore giving beauty advice and answering reader-submitted questions. Barrymore has had many years of red-carpet beauty practice and has her own beauty line, Flower, as well. Her experience with the beauty industry gives her the background for helping Brides’ readers prepare for their wedding day.

This Conde Nast publication is only the newest to introduce a celebrity as a contributor. Hearst’s Seventeen Magazine has had a slew of Hollywood “It Girls” contribute to its publication, including: Demi Lovato, Kendall and Kylie Jenner.

The email address, askdrew@brides.com, has been set up for readers to send their beauty questions to Barrymore. The first issue to include her column will be the February/March 2014 issue, on stands at the end of December. This news of a celebrity writer for a Conde Nast publication comes after the news that the large media company has decided to end its internship program.

What do you think about Drew Barrymore contributing to Brides Magazine? Will you be sending in any questions? What other celebrity would you like to see as a magazine columnist? Let me know in the comments!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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