(Long Island, NY) Before the advent of cable television news and the Internet, your average joe had perhaps one or two sources to get their news, and often found themselves on a first-name basis (one-way, of course) with their local newscaster.
Fast-forward to the modern day, and the public often finds themselves inundated with bursts of news from every conceivable outlet with countless news channels, websites, blogs, radio programs PodCasts and more, all vying for their attention every minute of every day; it can certainly be maddening at worst, and confusing as best.
Hundreds turn out at FMC Connection Day, 2013, to meet with media and news makers. This year’s conference kicks off with keynote speaker Steve Rubel, Executive Vice President, Global Strategies and Insight, Edelman, discussion sponsored content and native advertising and how it’s changing news. Photo credit: FMC staff.
Enter the Fair Media Council, one of the oldest and most successful media watchdog organizations in the country; their goal, according to CEO & Executive Director Jaci Clement, is to keep the media engaged with the community that they serve, and vice versa.
“A big portion of what we do is educating the new consumer themselves…to make them media savvy,” she said. “In our K-12 school structure, there is no focus on media in the required courses, so it’s just assumed that you understand what the media does, the differences between news, talk, and an advertorial, which is basically an ad disguised as news. So, the general public is very much unaware of what to do with all the news that is coming at them 24/7 from every single angle. That’s where we come in.”
Attendees get the opportunity to meet news reporters, editors, producers and community relations professionals. Here, an attendee speaks with WABC-TV Vice President Saundra Thomas. Photo credit: FMC staff.
Started in 1979, the Fair Media Council has been holding their annual Connection Day event for over 20 years; this year’s event is scheduled to be held on Friday, October 24, and according to Clement, it’s the only conference in the county that focuses on bringing the media and the public together.
“The entire day is built around the premise of allowing people to have an open dialogue with people within the news business and for them to create a mutual understanding,” she said. “We take people behind the scenes of the news business so they can understand how news decisions are made…what is newsworthy, what stories are they working on now, and why. It’s also a chance for both the media and the public to learn from each other…the Fair Media Council serves as the bridge for this.”
Exhibitors from media, business and nonprofits fill the corridors at FMC Connection Day. It’s an extremely high-profile opportunity to network in an exclusive atmosphere. Photo credit: FMC staff.
Keynoting the event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Briarcliffe College, Bethpage, N.Y. is Edelman’s Global Strategies and Insight Executive Vice President Steve Rubel. In addition, other featured speakers will include representatives from major news outlets such as the Associated Press, WABC-TV, CBS New York, NBC New York, FOX5/WNYW, WPIX, WLIW/WNET, 1010WINS, WCBS Newsradio 880, 77 WABC, New York Daily News, New York Post, Long Island Business News, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, FOX News Channel, RNN, FiOS1, WLNY/TV55 and many others, Clement said.
“There will be over 100 speakers, including Edelman’s Global Strategies and Insight Executive Vice President Steve Rubel, who will deliver the Keynote address,” she said. “In addition, there will be 16 panel discussions which will cover topics such as the news coverage of the recent Ebola outbreak and the danger that the crisis in the Middle East poses to journalists in light of the recent beheadings there.”
Clement also said that, in addition, there will be reporter roundtable discussions to give people an inside peek at upcoming headlines, and discussions on using the power of multimedia and social networking sites to promote a business or non-profit.
“We will really focus on the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the elements that you need to create a successful viral campaign,” she said. “The Ice Bucket Challenge really helped illustrate how to get in touch with the masses, the people who may contribute maybe $50, as opposed to a private foundation which may donate more in one lump sum, which is far harder to get to happen these days. The impact that ALS had on fundraising will be looked at very closely.”
Because of the way technology has changed and how the media has continued to evolve, Clement said that the Fair Media Council is really needed now more than it ever has been; and she said they will continue with their mission to help make the public media savvy in any way that they can.
“Nowadays people can turn on their computers or their cell phones and have instant access to news, but there’s so much information out there that people don’t know where to turn to or who they should trust,” she said. “We try to have an impact on a day-to-day basis to help people…Connection Day is a major conference, but we also hold smaller workshops and other events throughout the year to help both the public and non-profits…in that regard, what we do is invaluable.”
To find out more about the Fair Media Council’s Connection Day event, click here: http://www.fairmediacouncil.org/fmc-connection-day-2014/