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Archive for January, 2008

Thursday, January 31st, 2008


by A.man.I


I’m watching CNN’s Presidential debate right now… On the Internet. This is a little piece of history for me. My TV is off, and I’m watching all of the action live, on my wireless laptop. YouTube is one thing, but this is something different.

The stream is perfect. No buffering issues or drop outs. Obama and Clinton are both holding their own. It’s a very civil discussion so far. Both candidates have put a new face on Presidential politics.

Thursday, January 31st, 2008


by A.man.I

I attended my first ever Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Atlanta last night. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Georgia. It was politics as usual. Awards were handed out and folks were handshaking, and shoulder rubbing.

Most media types were wondering who was going to get Senator John Edwards’ endorsement now that he is out of the race for President.

I ran into some of my mainstream friends, Ken Watts, Mario Page, and Jeff Moore with HDNews, and I had a friendly exchange with WAGAs anchor/reporter Art Franklin.

There were some bloggers and podcasters in the house as well including Rusty Tanton, and Grayson Daughters (InternetNewsAgency).

I managed to snag a few interviews with a couple of political notables including Martin Luther King III, the Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus Al Williams, and Dekalb County CEO Vernon Jones who is running for a U.S. Senate seat.

Though this was a night for all Democrats, Hillary Clinton supporters were out in full force. Clinton was the keynote speaker, so what do you expect?

Clinton gave Edwards his props, and touched on all of the other hot issues like the war in Iraq, universal healthcare, and the economy.

Rusty Tanton did a great job live blogging from the event, and last I checked, Grayson was uploading her clips to the InternetNewsAgency.

If you want to see what went down, check the video below.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008


by A.man.I

It looks like John Edwards is saying “adios” to his bid for President. That means that Democrats will choose between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. I saw Obama speak at a rally in Atlanta during his early campaigning. Now I’ll get the chance to check out “Billary.”

Sen. Clinton is spending some time in Georgia. First she is speaking at the National Baptist Convention in downtown Atlanta. Then she’s going to speak at the Georgia Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.

MyUrbanReport is credentialed for the second event, so I’ll do my best to get the video up in a timely fashion.

The media coordinator with the Democratic Party says they are new media friendly… that’s good news.

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008


by A.man.I

SpeakMediaBlog has an interesting post about a certain situation involving a blog and Target’s PR folks. For those of you who have a traditional news background, you know that having strong relationships with PR pros is often your lifeline.

During a crime story, a police department spokesman will provide the “nuts and bolts,” of what happened. Nearly every corporation has a public relations/media relations/communications department, and its job is to provide the press with timely info. For smaller companies, the president or owner often acts as the chief spokesperson.

Blogs though have added a new dimension to the media mix. While some, if not most blogs are simply opinion journals, others provide original content and timely information. Some of the more established blogs are starting to look more and more like traditional online news outlets.

When I started this blog, I wondered how traditional news and PR folks would react. After checking out SpeakMediaBlog’s post about Target, I’m glad MyUrbanReport never had to request any info from the company (check this NYTimes story for the 411).

The gist of the situation is that Target’s PR folks refused to respond to a request from a blog called ShapingYouth. The blog’s founder wanted to know why a certain Target ad depicted the company’s bulls-eye over a woman’s crotch. According to the NYTimes, the company responded this way:

Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets,

Well I guess Target missed the memo that the blogoshere has become a force to be reckoned with. Some PR pros understand.

For example, about a year ago I blogged and linked to CNN.com about a civil rights special that aired. Next thing you know, a PR rep from CNN sent me a press release. The news man in me followed up with a phone call and next thing you know I was interviewing anchor/correspondent TJ Holmes. Since then, the network, has been very open to me interviewing other talent, and MyUrbanReport often receives press releases from the company.

When I asked CNN why the company is so open to bloggers, I was told, “If we don’t respond to bloggers, they’ll write what they want anyway.”

In Target’s case, the company may refuse to deal with bloggers, but it had to respond to the media anyway.

The NYTimes asked the question: Do you think bloggers should expect to be treated the same as traditional media outlets?

That’s a tricky one. Blogs like TalkingPointsMemo, and HuffingtonPost, draw a lot of traffic, and the content is credible. In general though, most bloggers have no training in the fundamentals of journalism. As a journalist and blogger, I’ve found that establishing relationships, being truthful, honest, and as accurate as I can be (without an editor) is the best way to gain the trust of PR folks, and publicists.

Monday, January 28th, 2008


by A.man.I

The Washington Post launched a Web magazine that features content for Black readers called “The Root.” Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., is one of the creators.

The Root will be a 21st-century version of a national black newspaper, Gates said, featuring articles from notable black writers, such as the New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell.

The site features blogs, news, opinion, and a tool to trace your family history. Check it out. I’m adding it to my roll.

Sunday, January 27th, 2008


Obama’s win is being called a “route.” [TalkingPointsMemo]

Why Obama won. [Politico]

Obama is endorsed by JFK’s daughter Caroline. [NYTimes]

Friday, January 25th, 2008


by A.man.I

Though teens are often portrayed as being rebellious, trouble making rogues, some Atlanta students are proving to be anything but that.

I recently had the chance to work with a group of Atlanta teens who are involved with a non-profit organization called Project South.

Every year the organization hosts a “Youth Day,” which is a day long workshop involving games, civil rights lessons, and the teens are responsible for examining an issue in the community and developing a plan to help foster change.

Project South’s Youth Council wanted to create a newscast for their presentation, and asked me to help them produce it. They tackled the juvenile justice system in Georgia, and researched the issues related to the trends of youth incarceration.

When it came time to tape, the teens were prepared, their script was written, and they listened to my suggestions and directions.

Unfortunately there were some technical problems during the presentation, but overall I think they did a great job.

BTW, this Saturday, Project South is participating in The Up & Out of Poverty Coalition’s 28th Annual Poor Peoples’ Day Assembly in Atlanta. A day of activities are planned.

Actions on Saturday, January 26 will include a caravan through downtown Atlanta; rally at the State Capitol; and the Poor Peoples’ Assembly. These activities respond to the World Social Forum’s call for a Global Day of Action. This year’s event is called The Poor Peoples’ Movement, Caravan & Assembly. It also commemorates the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor Peoples’ Campaign.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008


Lil Wheezy is in trouble with the law in Yuma AZ after being arrested on drug charges. Wayne, whose full name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. was apparently traveling on a bus that was stopped by a border patrol check point.

DEA spokeswoman Ramona Sanchez said a Border Patrol canine unit alerted agents to the presence of illegal drugs on the bus. A search yielded nearly four ounces of marijuana, just over an ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of Ecstasy and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.

Read full story here.

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