Thursday, June 19, 2008
Historic Boundaries and Senile Stimuli
Today involved sending out some interview stuff for some stories, and in the PR internship, it involved more research than anything. Today was supposed to be the meeting to finalize everything for the town's museum project, so I spent the day looking through the historic locations and information that will help me be able to work on that project. Yeah, call me the resident expert on the town's historic buildings and such. Oh, I also sent a FOIA request to the DRS so they have to get back to me within five days on the data I need to finish determining a market share for the rehab center.
Speaking of PR, one thing we as practitioners must be sure of is that we don't confuse media relations with public relations. While our titles often involve only public relations, the traditional role of press agentry is what comes to mind when most people hear about our field. Sure, getting media coverage for our clients is one of the best ways to get noticed by the public, but we can't ignore that personal, two-way symmetrical relationship either. In a related field, advertising (who can tell the difference anymore?) is likely to increase in video games, considering the market is growing more than any other entertainment media. In fact, recent studies show that gamers don't even mind in-game ads. What do you think? I know I don't mind seeing a Coca-Cola billboard in the background of a racing game, but I'd be a little pissed if they put a big ad as a loading screen just for the sake of some extra bucks.
The fight for Fair Use rights against the Associated Press is in full swing, as the AP continues pressuring bloggers about quoting too much of their stories. However, Fair Use is a very vague doctrine, and there is no set amount. In fact, if the material's owner doesn't lose money, it's probably going to be considered fair use. Regardless, the Media Bloggers Association is set to meet soon with the AP to perhaps set some guidelines, which may include a word limit when quoting AP stories. However, even if these guidelines are set, the AP will still have to sue bloggers who break the "rules" if they think it's a violation of Fair Use. This issue may likely end up in the courts before it's all said and done. The MBA is fighting for bloggers' rights, and they even plan to offer discounted liability insurance to members in the future, similar to the insurance newspapers have to cover libel lawsuits and such. The MBA isn't accepting members until the end of the summer, citing working out bugs in their membership rules and such, but they have a form you can fill out to receive an e-mail when the time is right.
My Society of Professional Journalists newsletter today actually mentioned this whole bloggers vs. AP deal, which is interesting... considering where the journalism industry stands right now. The lines are blurred, and with Wikinews and iReporters, who knows what really constitutes a "journalist." Does someone have to have a degree to be a journalist? Are citizen journalists and bloggers journalists? This whole ordeal of some bloggers getting into legal trouble just goes to show a little media law education could have done these folks some good, and maybe blogs and iReports don't require AP Style — but can we really say these people aren't legitimate storytellers? Of course they are, but journalists? That's a tough call, and I'm sure not going to make it. The addition of blogs to most newspapers' Web sites and the emergence of convergence journalism just adds to this whole complexity, and when the dust settles, we'll likely be moving on to Web 3.0 (whatever that entails) and still not know the answer.
Most importantly, there's unclaimed money out there! Seriously, old people, I know you may think filing taxes just to get a stimulus check takes too much work or whatever, but I'm sure there are plenty of ways you could utilize the extra dough. Here are just a few ways:
Top 10 Things to do with Your Stimulus Check Once You Get Off Your Geezer Keister and Cash It:
10. Tell the IRS to reroute the deposit to my account.
9. Buy a new set of false teeth.
8. Quit your job as a Wal-Mart greeter.
7. Renew your platinum AARP membership.
6. Quit trying to convince young Jedi to come to the Dark Side.
5. Get that hair transplant you've always wanted.
4. Refill your Viagra prescription! (And get your prostate examined while you're at it.)
3. Get Ben Franklin a belated birthday present.
2. Put some new tires on your Hoveround!
AND, THE NUMBER ONE THING TO DO WITH YOUR STIMULUS CHECK, YE OLDE PERSON...
1. Buy yourself something nice, and quit running as the Republican presidential nominee!