Charleston On the Rise

CHARLESTON, SC – South Carolina’s second largest city is slowly digging itself out from the “Great Recession.” Housing sales remain flat, but unemployment numbers are getting better (now 8.4%), and business prospects are improving. Tourists are returning to this beautiful city full of history. But that doesn’t mean everyone is happy with the way things are going.

Businesses we talked to in Charleston during the last week in March were mixed in their assessment of how the recovery is progressing.

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Can Computers Be Green? They Can When They’re Recycled

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Old computers don’t need to die. Many times they can be refurbished and recycled back into the community. That’s what Mac Recycle Clinic (MRC) – a new non-profit in Four Corners – is doing with donated Macintosh computers. The all-volunteer group recently opened a workshop at Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church – across from Montgomery Blair High School.

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“Moving the Chains” – The Story Of An Unlikely Civil Rights Hero

Darryl Hill and Mike Olmert

Darryl Hill was the first African American to play football for Maryland and in the ACC. Professor Mike Olmert documents his experiences at Maryland in a new play "Moving the Chains." (Photo by John Consoli)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – All Darryl Hill wanted to do was play college football. But when he became the first black man to play in the ACC as a Maryland Terrapin in 1963, destined to play teams from the deep south, he knew he would face hatred and racism like he had never seen before. That drama – that heroism – is captured in a new play called “Moving the Chains” by University of Maryland English Professor Michael Olmert. The Emmy Award-winning author and playwright calls Hill “The Jackie Robinson of Southern college football” – a young man who never wanted to be a hero – just another player on the football field.

“Moving the Chains” is the tale of a young man who took racism and used it to create an inner force of power and determination. One of the lines in the play has Hill saying “Bigotry was my steroids. It jacked me up into revenge, got the old juices flowing.” He needed that intestinal fortitude more than once. His life was threatened by a sniper, he was called the “N” word any number of times, cussed at by the Clemson coach. Even hotels would not open their doors to the team.

Yet in spite of it all – Hill succeeded at Maryland – and he succeeded in life. But not without a few bruises along the way.

“Moving the Chains” will have a stage reading March 21 at 7:45 p.m. at the historic Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C. as part of its “Backstage at the Lincoln Series.”  The performance will be followed by a Q & A with leading sports figures and journalists. Olmert says his ultimate goal is to have a staged production of the play – with Darryl Hill in attendance.


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Blogs and Facebook

“It’s always a good idea to keep your blog strong, but another great strategy is to push to Facebook as your information hub instead. Since people are already spending so much time on Facebook and may be reluctant to leave for your blog,  it’s a good idea to engage them where they are.”

– Shauna Causey, Communications Director/Social Business Stategist, Ant’s Eye View

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AudioBoos – Swedish Style

Swedish National TV LogoThe University of Maryland hosts media from all over the world. On Wednesday, February 16, Johan Romin, a producer for the Swedish National Broadcasting Company – also known as “UR” was in town to do two on-campus interviews with University of Maryland faculty members – History Professor Jeffery Herf and Senior Research Scholar Clay Ramsey (Center for International and Security Studies – School of Public Policy). The interviews will be part of a major documentary dealing with different aspects of media, news production, communication, PR and freedom of speech:

Romin said it was important for the documentary to include Professor Herf – who studies the intersection of ideas and politics in modern European history:

Swedish TV Reporter Erika B Lindvall told me by email that Senior Research Scholar Clay Ramsey would be asked about the relationship between social media and public opinion building – especially in relation to the findings of a recent poll: 2010 Voters misinformed on Key issues. Producer Romin says the documentary is set for broadcast this fall:

Romin videotaped his interviews in the Hornbake Media Studio using a Nikon digital SLR camera that had HD video recording capabilities. He said that in his travels around the world, having a digital camera – and not a video camera – was the difference in being able to get into countries like Burma.

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Audio News – Los Angeles Style

Being a California boy, I decided to head out to LA and monitor a station (through the magic of the Internet)  I had listened to for years growing up – KNX News Radio. I listened to the six PM (Pacific) hour – hoping that since it was drive time in LA, there would be some live / mobile reports. But I was sorely disappointed – other than traffic, there were none. In between all the commercials and formulaic weather/sports/traffic reports on a specific minute, I heard a number of well produced stories that offered more than just a six second sound bite. The reports and sound bites used were consistent and well produced throughout the hour.

There were also two segments taken from earlier interviews – one with a USC lawyer talking Iran’s interest in what was going on in Egypt, the other with author John Bradley discussing his book about Egypt. Another segment tried to humanize the Egyptian revolution through interviews with Egyptian Americans in Anaheim. One man said the desire was to see President Hosni Mubarak replaced with “something new, something fresh, something where there are going to be checks and balances in the system.”

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Is Mobile Computing the Answer to Foot Dragging?

Dave on his CNN Laptop - Dial-Up Only!

I truly feel like someone who has that proverbial foot racing to the future but still draggggging the other one in the past. I am a news junky – have been for decades and have to admit I love reading an old-fashioned newspaper. In earlier years it was the LA Times – there was no better paper then. Later it was the Washington Post mixed with a variety of other papers including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

I Watched Uncle Walter, listened to KNX News Radio and later WTOP, watched local TV news, read Time and Newsweek. It was part of what made Dave, Dave. One of the first jobs I had as a news producer at CNN at the original bureau was to pull wires off a real wire machine and prepare the copy for the writers when they came in at 4 or 5 am to write for the 6 am and later news cut-ins. I can still hear the machines clattering along.

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Five Key Performance Drivers for Mobile Media

I actually found this post by “timo platt” – on Twitter: @MyPoKos and felt it was worth passing it along as it is very relevant to our discussion of mobile media.

His post was in relation to this story suggested by Mark Potts in our business class: BBC drives engagement for Six Nations Rugby with direct mobile messaging.

Platt writes:

For mobile social, for example, there are 5 key performance drivers. The new mobile social media must:

  • blend with the consumers’ real-life activities;
  • respect their privacy;
  • enhance shared experiences; and
  • offer new and improved features to capitalize on existing behaviors, such as texting and IM; and offer no delays, distractions, check-ins or triple click-throughs.

The best and most effective mobile marketing will tell a story, keep the conversations real, bring people together, create shared experiences around the brand’s story, and deliver these results.

BBC should deploy the new social engines that deliver customized messaging to targeted groups, plus direct group and 1:1 chats, without check-ins, distractions, or delays

– Dave

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Start of Second Semester Class Blog for Mobile Journalism

I’ve split the blogs in two – this one if specific to Ron Yaros’ Mobile Journalism class. The second is for the Mark Potts Entrepreneurial Journalism class and can be found on – UPDATE the URL is: RecycleMac

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Assignment 6 Final – Interview and Sequence

TRT: 55

URL on YouTube

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