The MediaMiser Blog

Gawker’s demise: Justified or an attempt to quash free speech?

“F*** it”.

The headline donning the front page of Gawker in its last days is fitting, given how the outlet ran for nearly fourteen years. Having declared bankruptcy and been sold at auction, the website which crowd-sourced funds to purchase the Rob Ford crack video, introduced readers to the Silk Road, and outed many prominent public figures as gay, has finally (unsurprisingly) been hoist by its own petard.

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Content CPR: 3 quick ways to bring your blog back to life

Confession time: I really like to bake. There’s something magical about putting together a bunch of boring ingredients that don’t taste so good on their own, adding heat, and being rewarded with a delicious slice of sugary, buttery heaven. The problem with baking is that one small mistake can ruin the entire thing. I recall accidentally using chive cream cheese in a pastry recipe once as a child, rather than stirring in the regular non-oniony stuff. It could not be saved.

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Could brand mascots replace celebrity endorsements?

More than just recognizable characters associated with a brand, today’s brand mascots seem to have lives of their own.

Brand mascots such as the Aflac Duck and Geico’s Gecko may have made their first appearances on television, but have since moved on to social media. Not only do these characters have their own social media accounts separate from their companies’ accounts, where they provide followers with backstories and adventures that, presumably, help Aflac and Geico sell product.

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Lochte and the Boys: Timeline of an Olympic controversy

Sometimes, the biggest story at the Olympics is not actually the Olympics. Sometimes it can be tragic or scandalous, but occasionally these kinds of stories can be something ridiculous that just got out of control.

This past Sunday, August 14, U.S. Olympic swimmer and multi-gold medalist Ryan Lochte made international headlines, claiming that he and three other members of the U.S. men’s swim team had been robbed at gunpoint in Rio by individuals posing as police officers. This led to heavy coverage on athlete safety, the security conditions in the city, and the integrity of the Games themselves.

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Olympic robbery scandal: Note to athletes and organizations—don’t strive for the gold in lying

As new details and surveillance video emerge shedding light on what exactly occurred with the four U.S. Olympic swimmers who claimed they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio, we get yet another lesson that lying or trying to cover things up is never a good strategy.

The news that the swimmers fabricated their story, perhaps to mask their embarrassment about vandalizing a gas station bathroom door early in the morning of Aug. 14, is surprising only in that they were so naïve to think they’d somehow get away with it. Because even in a developing country like Brazil, security cameras, eyewitnesses and police investigative techniques do exist.

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Going for the PR gold: How to execute a medal-worthy campaign

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are underway and, like most of America—the world, really—I’m fully engrossed in the action…and the drama. How would Michael Phelps’ historic Olympic journey end? Is the current U.S. women’s gymnastics team the best ever? What will the commentators say next and how will social media react? For two weeks every four years, we all stumble into work each morning—groggy from staying up late the night before glued to our TV screens. We suddenly become fans of sports we hadn’t even heard of the month prior, like Race Walking, Trampolining and Handball; and, in this day and age, we use patriotic Snapchat filters and share memes that highlight the Games’ most humorous moments—like Aly Raisman’s nervous parents and Phelps’ baby boy in the stands.

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‘Cultural clash’ or unity through sport? A text analysis of coverage of Egyptian beach volleyball team

Last week, Germany’s women’s beach volleyball team defeated Egypt at the Rio Olympics. But what made the game newsworthy for many outlets was that one of Egypt’s players, Doaa Elghobashy, played in a hijab.

Throughout Olympic history few women have competed while wearing the hijab; the IOC’s dress code regulations have traditionally prevented this. Regulations stipulated that female beach volleyball players were required to wear shorter bikinis or one-piece swimsuits to compete.

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Facebook is working to eliminate clickbait—and you won’t believe what you can learn from this!

Facebook announced last week it would tweak its timeline algorithms to weed out obnoxious “clickbait” posts. This is long overdue, as no doubt we’ve all become jaundiced from reading those breathless headlines that populate our screens, even if we don’t actually go for the bait and click through.

But reading how, exactly, the social media giant plans to do this offers an enlightening look at what qualifies as annoying to the vast number of people—and what communications pros and business professionals of all stripes can take away from that.

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