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Ethics

‘We the People’ of the Web? An Internet Bill of Rights May be a Thing

save the internet

It’s been bantered about in tech circles for the last few years, but since the Edward Snowden kerfuffle highlighted how the NSA can impede on anyone’s rights they deem appropriate on the Interweb, the discussion of an Internet Bill of Rights is now in serious consideration.

And if you think we are leading the charge for this global consideration, then you would be wrong.

Congratulate Brazil (Huh?) for surpassing the United States of America there, as the country of complete debauchery during Carnival, got its president to sign this into a law as Internet Bill of Rights late last month.

Maybe that has something to do with Congress wanting to discuss this too.

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FOX News Offers a New (and Terrible) Way to Cover Presidential Press Conferences

no accurate newsAs we know in the world of media and national reporting, “Breaking News” doesn’t quite have the same authority as it used to hold in the minds of consumers. In fact, when a “Breaking News” stinger hits, many viewers just assume it will feature someone else squawking their disapproval for the administration or leading people down a rabbit hole somewhere.

Lately, the only thing sacred would be a presidential press conference. Unfettered access to the leader of our country’s every word. Every TV camera glued to his message. And then the pundits on any station can vomit at will.

Those days are gone, thanks to FOX News. We are just reporting. You get to decide…

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‘Hip Spectacles and No Testicles.’ Meet the Furry New Face of Pet Population Control

scooter-neutered-cat-2-hed-2014

When we think PSAs about pet population control, we think 30-second guilt trips brimming with the sad faces of caged, abandoned animals and statistics that would make even the hardest heart bleed. But the latest spots from from givethemten.org and agency Northlich/Cincinnati approach this serious issue in an entirely different way; his name is Scooter the Neutered Cat, and what he lacks in virility, he makes up for in attitude and sheer smoothness.

In one of the campaing’s videos (after the jump), Scooter — in his deep, Shaft-like voice — shares insights like: “It’s hip to be snipped,” “I no longer mark my territory; it comes to me,” and “getting my berries picked didn’t just make me a cooler cat; it helped in the fight against feline overpopulation.”

We think this humorous twist on a decidedly-unfunny issue is actually quite effective; the problem with heart-wrenching PSAs is that people flip the channel so as to avoid having their entire day overcast by gloom, and thereby miss the message. This campaign, however, manages to use wit and entertainment to keep viewers, but also mixes in the necessary dose of reality. For instance, while the main page of the website amusingly offers a free T-shirt to anyone who pledges to “go gonad-free,” it also features a countdown at the top of the page informing readers that every twenty minutes, a kill shelter takes the life of a cat.

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Prince George’s PD Gets #PRFail for Live Tweeting Prostitution Sting

PGPD carIn the Commonwealth of Virginia, nestled in political ballyhoo and apparently a fair amount of skanks is Prince George County. Evidently, some of the upper crust in the metropolitan suburb have noticed said trollops gallivanting about during the midnight hour.

The proud men and women of the Prince George Police Department (PGPD) have decided to take on the world’s oldest profession (around some of the world’s oldest men avail oneself of said profession). Like they do in other cities, the police department is putting on some clandestine sting operation.

Oh yeah, and unlike other cities, they are live tweeting the festivities.

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Florida School Stops Providing Mountain Dew Shots Before Standardized Tests

mountain dripping dew

Bottoms up, kid! Your grades count on it.

Next up in “Jacked-up Standardized Testing” News, we go to Melbourne, Fla. HELLO!

According to a story broken by Brevard County’s News 13 and later covered by NPR, some parents questioned officials at Dr. W.J. Creel Elementary School after they found out that teachers made Mountain Dew “available to the students” before they took part in the Florida Comprehensive Assessments Test (FCAT).

Oh, and this practice to get elementary school children amped up for the big test has been happening for the past 10 years. 

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Houston School Creates ‘Wall of Shame’ for State-Mandated Test … Motivation?

shame on you

We believe children are the future. Unless they are taking tests, then they’re idiots!

If you know a teacher, you have heard how deplorable some public schools are in terms of state-mandated, standardized tests. Some say that they are prejudicial. Others believe they are foolish. Overall, they put more of an edict of suckage on the teacher than the student. If the student fails the exam, the teacher gets punished.

He or she should have done better. The student may have poor study habits, apathy about whatever is in the classroom, or maybe an undiagnosed learning disability. None of that matters when it comes time to yank the teacher into the principal’s office.

And that’s why a group of teachers in Houston decided that public ridicule and shaming would be a great way to motivate students into doing better. Wait, what?

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How Did We Become ‘Spin Doctors’ Anyway?

what-is-public-relationsSo, there I was reading PR Week recently when I noticed its quote of the day: “PR professionals hate spin and what it stands for.” The fact that said PR professional shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition notwithstanding, the sentiment is right on!

Candidly, I have never been so smug with this craft to think I am beyond being called a “flack.”

It’s our nickname and it’s a term of endearment. Many journalists respectively celebrate their status as “hacks.” However, one term that is universally frowned upon in this establishment is “Spin Doctor.” 

Why? The term connotes ne’er-do-wells, people who suck at PR, and borderline used-car salesmen or, in the worst case scenario, lobbyists.

Unfortunately, the literal meaning of the term is even worse…

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CNN Asks Marketing Experts If the KKK Can ‘Rebrand’

CNN KKK rebrandWe don’t blame you at all.

If you had a blog, and said that one of America’s largest and “most trusted” news sources asked such a heinous question, we would have thought it was you smoking Rob Ford’s crack. Nonetheless, there’s the screen grab asking the earnest question “Can the Klan rebrand?”

In an effort to strike a chord with viewers (or strike a match and burn the network to the ground), CNN decided on a secondary story that would be fitting for a 73-year-old-bigot named Frazier Glenn Cross, a white supremacist and avowed anti-Semite, in the back of a police car, spitting, “Heil Hitler!”

And from there, we get a marketing question?! Yeah.  Read more

Yelp Going to the Virginia Supreme Court for its Fake Reviews

yelpHaven’t we been here before?

It seems like it was just March 21 when we brought a #PRFail editorial about Yelp and its fake reviews. In the post, we brought three lawsuits to your attention under the premise of Yelp’s plight of “free speech debate” could cause some serious drama for the ubiquitous ratings and reports website.

Whelp, we should have called Vegas because Yelp is in the news about its reviews. You know? Again. And this time, they are visiting the highest court in the land cloaking itself in the warm embrace of the First Amendment. (Well, highest court in Virginia, but you get the point. The s#!t is about to hit the fan.)

Good luck with that…  Read more

More #McFail: Managers Admit to Stealing Employee’s Money

mcdonalds-im-not-lovin-it

They’re baaaaaaaaaack! 

Unfortunately for the Clown, McDonald’s just can’t stay out of the #PRFail spotlight.

When we last left this saga, McDonald’s was accused of kicking some old couple out on their keisters – canes, walkers, and all — for sitting too long. And as shameful as that was, there’s also the open case of slave labor under the veiled threat of deportation because that’s good for team morale.

Next up in the Clown’s PR issues, we have a story of former managers admitting they stole money from their miserly paid employees. This should be good.  Read more

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