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Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment Center’

The witty woman behind the People of Wal-Mart music video has a musical take on the declining newspaper industry.

Ken Paulson‘s Freedom Sings programs are a popular feature of the First Amendment Center, where he is president and CEO. On his last evening as American Society of News Editors president last week, Ken hosted an evening program at the Newseum examining parallels between the music and news businesses, starting with Robert Levine, author of Free Ride, and then turning to musicians.

While I enjoyed the veteran songwriters on the program, original Cricket Sonny Curtis (“I Fought the Law” and the Mary Tyler Moore theme) and Jim Peterik (“Vehicle,” “Eye of the Tiger”), the highlight for me was Jessica Frech, a young musical entrepreneur who has made her name with humorous songs on YouTube. Her most famous tune is “People of Wal-Mart,” a clever music video viewed by 6 million people. She entertained the editors with the premiere of her new song, “Where Have All the Newspapers Gone?”

It’s a silly song, but a fun one, with lines like, “I don’t understand how they can get all the news from the palm of their hand.” The “Subscribe” pitch at the end could be part of her newspaper humor, but I think it’s actually a pitch to subscribe to Frech’s YouTube channel.

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I haven’t spent this much time talking to journalism professors and students since I graduated from Texas Christian University (let’s just say some time ago).

I visited TCU last week to present seminars on the Complete Community Connection and journalism ethics in the digital age. And since I was sticking around for some memory-lane time, the curriculum committee at TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism asked me to meet with them and tell them what I think journalism schools should be teaching about our swiftly changing field.

I shared my views with them and will share them with you here shortly. The TCU meetings continued a heavy fall schedule of consultations with journalism faculty and students on a variety of related topics: (more…)

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