Censorship, Cover-Ups & Corporate Control, Oh My!

Shadows of Liberty ScreeningThis Friday, Mississippi Center for Social Justice, Mississippi NAACP, the Computer Co-Op and DocFactory will bring the internationally acclaimed ‘Shadows of Liberty’ documentary to Jackson, Mississippi.

I have the pleasure of being part of a panel discussion after the film.  The event is free and open to the public so bundle up, and come join the conversation…

Here are the details from the press release:

Date: FRIDAY, February 27, 2015

Time: 7:30 PM at the Rainbow Plaza

                                       2807 Old Canton Road, Jackson, MS 39216

Shadows of Liberty will make its Jackson debut with a FREE film screening.

The documentary film Shadows of Liberty reveals the extraordinary truth behind the news media: censorship, cover-ups and corporate control. In highly revealing stories, renowned journalists, activists and academics including DANNY GLOVER, JULIAN ASSANGE, DAN RATHER, AMY GOODMAN, DAVID SIMON, NORMAN SOLOMON, BOB BEAR, ROBERTA BASKIN, JOHN MACARTHUR, ROBERT McCHESNEY, DANIEL ELLSBERG, JANINE JACKSON, CHRIS HEDGES, KRISTINA BORJESSON and JOHN NICHOLS give insider accounts of a broken media system.

Controversial news reports are suppressed, people are censored for speaking out, and lives are shattered as the arena for public expression is turned into a private profit zone.Shadows of Liberty is dedicated to the journalists and information freedom fighters, the heroes of our time, who dedicate their lives to our right to freedom of information – the central pillar of a free society. Shadows of Liberty provides a platform for voices that have been silenced and in doing so, attempts to inspire change and accountability. This film champions the idea of an independent media where truth and integrity are the norm, not the exception.

The Mississippi Center for Justice is pleased to co-sponsor the screening in Jackson. A non-profit law firm devoted to racial and economic justice in Mississippi, MCJ has offices in Biloxi, Indianola and Jackson. Beth Orlansky, advocacy director for MCJ, said the screening is a great opportunity to promote thought on the ideas explored in the documentary.  “We all naturally are skeptical from time to time about where our information comes from, even in the democratized internet age,” Orlansky said. “We hope thoughtful folks in the Jackson area will come to the Shadows of Liberty screening with open minds. A robust dialogue on this subject is something we all can benefit from.”

After the film, there will be a panel discussion with Dierdre Payne with the League of Women Voters of the Jackson Area, Donna Ladd Editor-In-Chief of the Jackson Free Press, Robert Shaffer President/Secretary-Treasurer of the Mississippi AFL-CIO and Dr. Sunny Fridge, a former producer, reporter and anchor in her 14th year of university teaching in the department of Mass Communications at Jackson State University.

The panel will be moderated by Beth Orlansky, Advocacy Director for the Mississippi Center for Social Justice.

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/events/1659113660982707/

For more information: (702) 917-4900

Chevy TV Commercial technical glitch stunt not funny to Superbowl XLIX fans

Millions of viewers watching Sunday’s Superbowl XLIX almost had a panic attack when they thought their signal to the big game went black. But alas, it was only part of a commercial by Chevy.

Although the commercial was annoying, it got people’s attention.


Twitter “heat is on” during #Ferguson Decision


CartoDB tool

Wow!  What an evening on the Twitterverse last night as millions of eyes were on Ferguson, Missouri awaiting the Grand Jury’s decision on whether or not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black, unarmed teenager Michael Brown.  According to Twitter, there were more than 3.5 million tweets about #Ferguson during that time that included comments, pictures, videos and links. It’s a conversation that will definitely continue to grow as folks weigh in on such an emotional and sad story.

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Here is a great geotagged graphic illustrating the millions of tweets across the country mentioning “Ferguson” or “#FergusonDecision” leading up to the Grand Jury’s decision. The info graphic was created using a heat map tool by CartoDB.

Click on this link to a related article by PBS about how Ferguson spread across the country via Twitter back in August.

If you’re a blogger or journalist, what other technology tools impressed you during the coverage of #Ferguson?


Videolicious is a cool digital tool for storytelling!

videolicious logoI’ve been experimenting with an app called Videolicious.   At JSU we’ve been empowering our students to do  mobile storytelling. According to the creators, you can instantly weave together interviews, videos, photos, music and more into a sophisticated video production—in seconds. Just talk and tap—or watch and tap—to make the perfect video.

Alan Haburchak

I tried it out and found it to be a really useful tool to tell stories, quickly! And this week I took part in a Poynter newsu webinar.     The webinar was hosted by Alan Haburchak is Director of Video Evangelism at Videolicious, as well as a member of the faculty at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  Among the topics discussed:

  • What types of stories are best suited for telling with mobile video.
  • How to plan for reporting video stories with a smartphone or tablet.
  • Best practices for reporting video stories with a smartphone or tablet.

So far, I’ve done a demonstration for several mass comm students and faculty in preparation for a Homecoming project and can’t wait to see what they share during next’s weeks activities.

Today the JSU Student Chapter of NABJ will be hosting high school students from the JPS Career Development Center when they visit the Digital Media Center at the MS e-Center@JSU. Our NABJ members will share the tool with the students. Stay tuned for some of their videos later today! In the meantime,check out the demos below and if you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod, try the app yourself…

JSU Mass Comm students and faculty win at AP Awards Banquet

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Jackson State mass communications students and faculty were among the winners at this weekend’s Mississippi AP Broadcasters annual awards presentation.  The MAPB honored the state’s best in professional and college broadcast journalism on Saturday evening, April 26, at the Capitol Towers building in downtown Jackson. First, second and third place winners were announced at the banquet.

The MAPB also honored civil rights leader Medgar Evers posthumously as the 2014 MAPB Pioneer.  The award recognizes individuals who have broken color barriers in tv and radio newsrooms across the state.  “Mr. Evers was a true trailblazer for African Americans and the broadcast industry,” said MAPB President and WLOX news director Brad Kessie. The tribute included an inspiring video by retired CBS Correspondent and 2011 MAPB Pioneer honoree Randall Pinkston. The report, which was Pinkston’s final story for CBS, was aired in May 2013 and tells how Medgar Evers made a significant impact on the efforts of African Americans to have a voice on Jackson TV.

Kessie also said many of today’s journalists are not aware it was Evers who fought the WLBT establishment and finally got the forum he desired, so his point of view could be heard on Jackson’s airwaves, or that his efforts paved the way for Pinkston and other African Americans to appear on local stations in Mississippi and across the country.  Pinkston presented The 2014 MAPB Pioneer award, which was accepted by Ever’s wife Mrs. Myrlie Evers-Williams.


College Competition Results:

Octavis Lawson, Tiara Lavender, Derrick Walton and DaShawna Wright – 1st place Best Website TigerTV

Crystal Killingsworth  1st place best newscast- RADIO-  Daily news on WLEZ

Kourtney C. Paige honorable mention best newscast – WJSU Radio

Kourtney C. Paige 3rd place best feature WJSU Radio

Professional: Radio

Dr. Sunny Fridge  along with L.A. Warren and Kourtney C. Paige- 2nd place- Best Sound – “2013 Year in Review”.

Gabriel Babineaux, L.A. Warren and Dale Morris- 2nd place WJSU Radio- JSU Grambling Homecoming Game

Dr. Sunny Fridge along with LA Warren – 3rd place spot news story WJSU Radio for an interview conducted via phone with JSU alumnus Dr. Sitole in South Africa on reaction of the death of Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

Dr. Robert Franklin and L.A. Warren – 3rd place  WJSU for Best Documentary or stories.

For a complete list of AP winners click here.



Getty Images allows free use of photos

Getty Images

Getty Images

The world’s largest photo agency is allowing you to use its images,– free .  Whether you are a journalist, ad agency, blogger or student, anyone can now visit the Getty Images website, select a photo, grab some embed code and display the image on blogs and social media pages without paying a licensing fee. And they’re also dropping the opaque square watermark on the majority of their stock.

Previously, if you used an image, you risked receiving a scary letter threatening to sue you if you didn’t own the licensing rights to the photo.  So what’s the catch, you may ask?    Click here to find out why the agency is now letting you have free access to millions of its images.

Cheers,                                                                                                     @SunnyFridge

Ok Glass: “Please come to my class”

I recently got the opportunity to try on Google Glass while at a recent IRTS seminar during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. The technology is really amazing, allowing you to wear this tiny computer like a pair of glasses. You can access information through voice commands without using your hands. It works on the iPhone but seems to be more Android friendly.  One website I checked out listed more than 70 Google Glass apps, and one in particular, Google Now is pretty impressive. The app acts as a virtual personal assistant (think Apple’s Siri) and automatically generates Gmail cards with customized information based on your location, interests and search habits.  It also retrieves travel and restaurant reservations from your Gmail account and lets you know what the weather or traffic is like before you head out the door. The beauty of this technology is that the information is shown literally before your eyes without having to reach for your smartphone. There is a touchpad on the side of the frame but you can also activate Google Glass by simply tilting your head up. Once you say the words “Ok Glass,” a screen appears and you can tell Google Glass to make a call, send a message, email, access contacts , music and much more.

And you have access 24/7 to taking photos and recording videos and immediately sharing to social media.  There’s even an app that allows you to simply “wink” to take a photo. There are drawbacks and privacy issues, but that’s why Google has been allowing consumers and developers to test the product.
I signed up for the Google Glass Explorer Program and am hopeful I will soon be selected to beta test Google Glass, so that our mass comm students at Jackson State will have a chance to experiment. The sky’s the limit, as you will see in this video that shows the super cool ways Google Glass can be used.

“Ok Glass, please come to my class!”