New Media and Building a Brand

I had the pleasure of listening to Brian Stetler, current Reliable Sources host and former New York Times media writer, talk a total of three times in one week while he was visiting Mizzou.

I hadn’t really heard of him beyond vaguely remembering the news of his hiring by the New York Times in 2007, plus his appearance in the Page One documentary about the Times. So getting to hear him talk about how he started the blog that launched his career was a pretty neat experience.

Probably the biggest takeaway for me was his advice that media is actually under covered – and that anyone could do what he did. Also, he said he wouldn’t have tried to cover all of cable news but instead focus on one channel, like Al-Jazeera.

“I think it took off because it was filling a void in the marketplace,” Stetler said. “I’d much rather be the only person working on some other story.”

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Mizzou Honor Medal Winner Charles Lewis Investigative

“Go out and investigate the bastards!”

That’s how Charles Lewis, investigative reporter and the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, ended his talk at the Missouri School of Journalism on Oct. 29, 2013. He was there to accept a Missouri Honor Medal for his achievements.

He spent some time talking about his past work and future book slated for publication in 2014. The driver behind several of these efforts – the Iraq War investigations into military contracts, the behemoth project chronicling 935 false statements by public officials about the war, and the book The Future of Truth: Power, the News Media and the Public’s Right to Know – was Lewis’ reaction to the complete lack of truth available in the Iraq War. In 2005, after the invasion, he said he remembers some polling that showed 60 percent of Americans still thought there really had been WMD in Iraq.

“So you’re a journalist, but information doesn’t matter anymore,” Lewis said. “So instead of going to a shrink, I decided to go deep.

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‘Fix the Debt’ ads run in Missouri

The Missouri chapter of the national ‘Fix the Debt’ group has some pretty high profile members. Former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, former Gov. Bob Holden chair the committee and current state treasurer Clint Zweifel and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder are listed as steering committee members.

The group plans to run part of the ad campaign targeted at the current budget standoff in Congress in Missouri and nine other states, according to the St. Louis Beacon. Missouri and the others were chosen partially because of their bipartisan, active steering committee members.

The ‘Fix the Debt’ group evolved out of the famously failed 2010 debt reduction plan produced by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. I believe that was the beginning of the long-running (still-running?) “Gang” era, when groups of legislators were likened to criminals because it sounds cool.

The ad itself is actually… kind of bland.

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Missouri business groups pile on

Just heard a new radio ad supporting the override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the income tax-cut bill from a national business group.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce hosted Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the St. Louis area yesterday.

Some local chambers – at least in Springfield and Columbia – have decided to oppose an override of the tax-cut veto.  The St. Louis Regional Chamber hasn’t taken a stand either way.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Voice of Free Enterprise affiliate has been supporting the efforts to override the veto along with the Missouri Chamber and Grow Missouri. They released a new ad on August 6, which you can listen to here.

Radio Ad – NFIB VFE

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Rick Perry’s new political campaign

The target? Missouri businesses.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears in television ads paid for by TexasOne, an economic development marketing non-profit he helped start. The ad is airing in St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia-Jefferson City.

The message? Texas is better for businesses – less regulation, no income tax, more incentives.

States market themselves and compete with each other to be the “best” for a company to locate in all the time. The difference here, though, is the public nature of Perry’s pitch to businesses. At least that’s the issue Missouri’s Secretary of State Jason Kander emphasized in an interview for MDN/KMOX, calling Perry out for “poaching” jobs and trying to “depress Missouri’s economy.”

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Tools for Tracking the 2012 Race

You have your Politico and your Drudge Report and your Instapundit and your Gawker and your Mother Jones and your lamestream media.

There’s also RealClearPolitics, whose poll database is quite impressive. I especially like to look at the extremely bumpy, crazy-looking graph of the national poll numbers for the GOP presidential candidates over the course of this primary. It’s pretty entertaining. And you get to reflect on all the different not-Romney front runners we’ve enjoyed. Read more of this post

Unions, Healthcare Reform, and Coal: ads seen during the Arizona debate

The lively Republican debate with many fact-challenged statements also had some excellent commercial breaks with some issue ads. And one issue ad that, if you didn’t know the extremely narrow definition of express advocacy for or against politicians up for election, you’d think was a campaign ad.

Take a look at this one, from the cleverly named “Center for Union Facts.” Read more of this post