On Thursday, April 6, 7-9 p.m., The League of Women Voters of New Castle forum “Media and Politics: The Impact on our Democracy” will address the impact of these issues on the 2016 Presidential election and on future elections. Moderated by Jeanne Zaino, Ph.D., Political Analyst and Professor at Iona College with Panelists Jon Klein, Cable News and Internet Executive; Jerry McKinstry, Media Strategist and Journalist; and Phil Reisman Columnist/Radio Talk ShowFor more info, visit lwvnewcastle.org
Chappaqua, New York–The Chappaqua-based group, Left of Main Street, will host a round table panel discussion “Separating Fact From Fiction in Trump’s America” on March 3, 2017 from 7-9 p.m. The discussion will be held in the Assembly Room at Chappaqua’s Town Hall located at: 200 S. Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua.
Participating in the discussion are journalists from television and print media, including: Kristen Prata Browde former anchor at CBS News, Helen Jonsen former TV journalist at Fox 5 and WPIX 11, Peter Katz former producer, editor and Washington Bureau Chief at ABC News, and Kate Stone Lombardi a regular contributor to the NY Times. Chappaqua’s own, Grace Bennett, Publisher and Editor of The Inside Press, will moderate the discussion.
The influence of politically biased news on the outcome of the election will be examined as well as the role consumers play in the media. “A free and fact based press is essential for an informed and free society” said Cynthia Ware Metcalf, Co-Founder of Left of Main Street. “As consumers of news, it’s important to understand that we must hold the media accountable to report fact based news.”
Founded by Chappaqua residents Ann Styles Brochstein and Cynthia Ware Metcalf, Left of Main Street advocates for progressive issues and candidates nationwide. You can follow their activities on Facebook, Twitter @LeftOfMainSt, Instagram, and at www.LeftOfMainStreet.com.
By Bobbi M. Bittker
Photos by Grace Bennett
I realized there was a problem when my husband said, ‘how was your rally? I heard on the news Bernie supporters interrupted it.’ What? That’s what was reported?! Read on…
Commentary on yesterday’s Hillary rally at SUNY Purchase from someone who was actually there:
Why am I reading myriad articles reporting on the 40 minute speech with headlines, ‘Hillary Clinton rally interrupted by 20 Bernie supporters’ as if this is THE story? It’s not even A story.
Fewer than a dozen college kids, standing in the back, heckled her with ‘You Win We Lose’ for about 5 seconds, if that, and walked out. Hardly impactful, nor impressive. Seconds of no-substance interruption by a few almost-adults became the focus of media reporting on the packed, line-out-the-door, people-had-to-be-turned-away, Westchester County rally of a former FLOTUS, NY Senator, Secretary of State, front-runner Democratic Presidential candidate.
I’m wondering how they will lose if she wins. As Senators, she and Bernie Sanders voted together 93% of the time. That’s neither here, nor there. It’s simply a fact.
Hillary Clinton spoke to rousing cheers about a concrete plan for affordable college–free community college and debt-free public university; expanding full human and civil rights for workers, women and LGBT communities; clean water for all; expanding the job market and growing the national infrastructure with domestic jobs; raising wages; combating climate change; quality education for every child regardless of zip code, a focus on early childhood education; continuing the success of the Affordable Care Act; reigning in drug costs; restoring voting rights; ensuring gun safety protections. She talked about action and a proven record of accomplishment.
Controversy sells. Anger sells. Dissension sells. Bad behavior sells. It’s about clicking the almighty link. A candidate making promises she backs up with action, experience, plans and a room full of well-behaved supporters doesn’t garner the attention the media wants. But a strong candidate like Hillary Clinton IS exciting. Being in the room with her and the passionate supporters WAS exciting. Voting for her on April 19 will BE exciting.
Yet, the focus is on a sophomoric peanut gallery demonstrating disrespect as Clinton replied with cool aplomb, “We’re very sorry you’re leaving!” As if that’s all that happened. Forget the spirited women with the Hispanic Democrats of Westchester banner, the parents anticipating history being made with their children in tow, the crowded room, the cheers and the loud, wild applause for a solid candidate. The people trying desperately to touch her, shake her hand, speak to her. The energy and zeal people think is reserved for the Senator from Vermont, only something that can be conjured up by the most angry of college students was IN. THAT. ROOM. But who will know?
A recent article said Hillary supporters are the most enthusiastic, contrary to the image portrayed of the populist Trump/Sanders proponents. We are the sleeper enthusiasts who no one acknowledges. We are happy with our candidate. Not aggressively angry. Not poorly behaved, engaging in negative behavior. No one knows we are here, but we are and we are politically active and we are voters! But there’s no story in that.
Take the focus off the disrespect. Take it off the bad behavior in political discourse today. Not all of it is coming from Trump and his cronies. The media can craft its narrative but these are FACTS. Or should I just be thankful they’re not reporting on her hair and clothes?
Information is best gathered first-hand. Go to Hillary’s speech website for the full video.
Bobbi M. Bittker is a Stay at Home Mom and Attorney, on the Board of the Bedford Community Theatre, member of the Chappaqua Friends of Hill Group and a vocal supporter of Israel, Gun Safety and LGBT, Women’s and Civil Rights.
“And I am learning that writing truthfully and emotionally about my own experiences often resonates with readers the most.”
By Lindsay Hand
Being a young millennial is a truly unique experience. Born in the mid-90s, I have been privy to incredible technological and societal change and advancement. I am still young enough to never have lived without a computer in my house, but old enough to remember a world without smartphones, now staples. As a college student, I cannot even begin to imagine my life without my iPhone, Macbook, and constant access to e-mail, social media and the Internet. In our increasingly multi-media world, journalism is perhaps the largest field affected.
The way people access and read content is evolving, mostly moving online to various outlets. My parents still watch television news and read the newspaper, but I definitely do not. Especially since coming to college, though, keeping up with current events has become extremely important to me; I get daily news blast e-mails, and use Twitter and my phone’s News app to constantly keep myself updated between classes. I also enjoy and search out different ways to see my peers’ thoughts about events both on campus and around the world, and visiting the growing online outlets where college students express these opinions.
Part of the Change
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work directly with one of these groundbreaking new platforms. As Contributing Editor for Cornell University’s branch of the Odyssey, I have the privilege of playing an important part in the growth of this exciting new business. Founded by two Indiana University students and launched in 2014, Odyssey already has over 3,000 writers and a massive presence in campus media nationwide. According to Odyssey Editorial Director Kate Waxler, “We believe that the traditional top-down editorial model is broken, and created Odyssey to flip that model upside down. We’re redefining the way content is created, tapping into the relevance and engagement associated with hyper-local content and distributing our content in a unique and authentic way.”
Odyssey is unique in that it is both entirely online, and allows for the expression of diverse viewpoints and opinions. This was what initially drew me to Odyssey: the idea of writing each week about whatever I wanted, without limitations, constraints or assignments. It is a distinct platform for college students to speak their minds, explain their views, and discover how influential their writing can be. “We felt that there were many perspectives unrepresented and many voices not breaking through to the surface,” Waxler adds. “Odyssey enables those perspectives and voices to be heard.”
Advertisers love it, too. According to Waxler, since Odyssey is closely integrated with millennials, brands and agencies are “offered access to and insights about this sought-after demographic through our research and advertising opportunities.” What also makes Odyssey unusual is its reliance on social media and “shares” to spread content. “We are a hybrid between a publisher and a social media platform, and bring the best of both,” Waxler explains. “Our audience encounters Odyssey content (90% of the time) because someone they know shares it with them in social channels.” In this way, Odyssey is distinctly attuned to millennials–our lives, particularly our online lives, are defined by our mediated social circles, the way we hear about happenings local, national, and international.
Looking Toward the Future
Beyond gaining important leadership experience and practice meeting weekly deadlines, I have found in Odyssey an outlet to express things I would have never previously thought to write about. And I am learning that writing truthfully and emotionally about my own experiences often resonates with readers the most.
Possible topics are unlimited. I have written about everything from a review of “Supergirl” to heartfelt reflections about my sister and being a summer camp counselor. Interestingly, these personal pieces have clearly struck a nerve in others, based on the number of social media shares they have received. Other Cornell Odyssey pieces have ranged from campus libraries to the show “Friends” to the current conflict in Israel. Odyssey always gives students the opportunity to express their thoughts about absolutely anything.
Odyssey and its ilk represent the future of journalism. As a millennial and a Communication major, I know that I have an obligation and a challenge to bring traditional journalism into today’s world. It is a changing field, and my generation will help bring about this change. As Waxler says so well, “We are investing in the next generation of writers, and are using our proprietary technology and data science to bring content and ideas to the world.”
Interested? Check out theodysseyonline.com. Search for particular colleges on the Odyssey homepage.
Two-time Inside Chappaqua Guest Editor Lindsay Hand is a sophomore at Cornell University.