Comment #6

Allan Lewis, Reasons Amtrak sucks 2-24-11

This was THE worst experience I have had with public transportation, without a doubt. It was understandable that the train couldn’t move because of a car on the tracks, that I get. But for the conductor, and every other Amtrak employee on the train, to pretty much disappear and force people on the train to call local police stations to figure out the status of what is going on is completely unacceptable. Unless there is no other option, I refuse to use Amtrak again. Also, I sent a complaint letter to Amtrak Monday, being told I would receive a response in 24 hours. Guess who hasn’t gotten a response and it’s almost the end of the week?

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Local bands with staying power

My name is Kari Williams, and I’m addicted to local music.

Tomorrow night, I will be attending the reunion show for a St. Louis band, Blinded Black. I remember in high school (before I got involved with local music) everybody was talking about Blinded Black and how great they are/were. Even when I got really into St. Louis music, I never listened to them, and I still haven’t.

I’ve heard people proclaiming BB’s greatness and bashing them for not even having the slightest bit of talent. But how many years after they broke up, people still talk about them. And I think that says more than what people are actually saying about the band’s talent.

They have staying power. I don’t know if it’s because of how they promoted themselves when they were still together or if it has to do with the quality of their music or even the personality of the band members. But whatever it is, the guys in BB have a knack for staying relevant, even when they’re essentially out of the picture. And, I can’t wait to see them for the first time tomorrow night.

Update:  After attending the show and seeing the dedication of the BB fans, it is completely understandable how they are able to keep themselves relevant after breaking up. But, I don’t think it’s a PR move or anything of that nature. They just care that much about their fans and the music they created that they have a built-in voice in their fans, which keeps the relevant.

Comment #5

Jenna Matzer:  Bieber Fever– 2-20-11

I think the fact that someone is able to post a video on YouTube and ‘be discovered’ takes away from the experience of paying your dues, so to speak, to get your foot in the door in an industry. Sure, Justin Bieber got lucky that someone stumbled on to his video. Good for him. But when someone becomes so successful, so fast, like he has, that really takes away from the hard work that other bands are actually doing. I know three local bands in the St. Louis area who are working as hard as they possibly can self-promoting shows, making their own CD/EPs and getting themselves booked on shows. They are working they’re way into an industry they love. The fact that someone can bypass all of that makes it look like all you need to do these days to be famous (or infamous) is put a video on YouTube instead of putting in the time and effort to make something of yourself like (at least) 90 percent of the bands, artists, etc. have done in the past. But sadly, that’s what seems to be happening, and I absolutely hate it.

Conventions keep people connected

Early this morning I got back from a journalism convention for the Alestle, and every time I go to a convention, I come back with ideas and knowledge to contribute to the newspaper. This one was no different.

Every session at the convention delivered something that would help all the future journalists at Illinois colleges–from beat reporting, to social media use to investigative reporting. But what is just as important as the knowledge we all take back from the conventions is the amount of connections we have the potential to make within the industry.

Journalists from newspapers around the state (thought largely the Chicago Tribune), are the ones giving presentations and willingly offer e-mail addresses, advice and other forms of contact information if anyone has questions, comments, etc. Having a major in a career where finding a job seems to be much more difficult than others, the ability to attend conferences (in or out of state) allows the opportunity to make connections and develop professional relationships with these journalists for help in finding a job after graduation, or even just to have some guidance in the field.

Networking environments like this are one of the best advantages to writing for a college newspaper. It gives you a foot in the door, so to speak, before you even graduate and opens up many more opportunities than a traditional graduate with a mass communications/journalism degree.

Comment #4

Robin’s Rants:  Anti-Flag promotes violence? I don’t think so. 2-11-11

I completely agree with this. I’ve never listened to Anti-Flag, but some of the music I do listen to has deep-rooted motivations or causes behind the lyrics. For the media to target any musician/band/artist and attack them because of actions taken by a fan of their music is ridiculous. Even if listening to Anti-Flag played a part in Loughner’s decision, that was one person. One person’s actions should not determine whether or not a band is persecuted by the media. Plus, every person interprets music differently, making accusations against Anti-Flag even more absurd.

Charter commercial lacks credibility

One of Charter’s most recent commercials makes the company look unintelligent and severely uninformed about the very product they sell.

The commercial shows people of different ages, races and cultures watching TV and talking about how important it is in their lives and how it connects them to events they didn’t even know they enjoyed. That part is good. That aspect of the commercial shows thought and gives a genuine interest in the product they’re trying to sell.

The part I have an issue with is when the characters state, “And there are people who love to tell you they don’t even watch TV. Really? Good. More for the rest of us.” Really? Everybody knows that’s not how television works. One television set being off doesn’t mean that a next door neighbor will get access to, for example, 10 more channels. Trying to create the idea that someone else can profit off of your lack of watching sporting events or sit coms is ridiculous. This makes Charter look like they don’t understand how their own product works.

Using the angle that television is a defining part of history? That’s great. Go with it. Use every avenue of that spin. It makes sense. But testing the intelligence of their customers makes Charter look like they’re out to scam the first gullible person who comes along. While that might be so, that’s not how they should market the product.

Comment #3

Carlie’s blog:  Is Traditional Media Necessary for Effective PR? 2-6-11

I completely agree with this. So many people go around saying, “Newspapers are dying” or “Traditional media is dead.” But if anything, the increase of social media is adding an element to the traditional media that has never been seen before. Newspapers are not dying; they are evolving and changing with the times. I admit that I get 99% of my news online, but I’m looking at websites for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Belleville News Democrat and the Alton Telegraph–all of which are social media adaptions of area newspapers.

Facebook privacy, not so private

A recent article on CBS News talked about a high school teacher in Georgia resigning from her job due to a photo on her Facebook profile where she was holding two alcoholic beverages and the ‘B’ word showing up on her profile.

Privacy on Facebook is an issue that has long been contested, and I’m sure it will be for years to come. However, the fact that a teacher was forced to resign because of a picture and one profane word on a profile she does not allow her students to see seems a little ridiculous. She did her job to ensure that her students could not see the photos and, in the article, said she would never use profane language with her students. I understand that  teachers should monitor what they post online, just as anyone else should. However, the fact that a responsible adult was forced out of her job opens up another area of controversy.

Adults (in any profession) have the right to post whatever pictures they want to. Obviously, the should use discretion, but as long as they aren’t posting something that goes against a work policy, an employer has no right to fire someone. The article did say teachers “were warned about ‘unacceptable online activities.'” But if the ‘unacceptable’ activities were not explained (the article does not say whether they were or not), how was the teacher to know she couldn’t post a photo from a night out while on vacation? There are much more ‘unprofessional’ photos of college-aged students online than on any profiles of former high school teachers that I am Facebook friends with.

Everyone should be aware of what they post and how it could affect them in the future, but for a photo from a simple night out to cost someone his or her job seems too restricting.