Past Issue

The Flack for Friday, January 29, 2021…

By January 29, 2021March 2nd, 2021No Comments

The Flack highlights changes and trends in the news, examples of communications practices, and content we at BYRNE PR thought you might find useful.

We hope you enjoy, and we always welcome your feedback.

The Photographer Behind Image of Bernie Sanders Reflects on The Moment and Its Virality — We’ve all seen it. It’s the viral picture that has entertained a nation. The sight of bundled, mitten-clad, mask-wearing Senator Bernie Sanders sitting on a folding chair was just one of many snapped by veteran photographer Brendan Smialowski at the inauguration. Little did he know the seemingly innocent view of the proceedings would go on to break the internet wide open, becoming an iconic peek into an event like no other and sparking a tidal wave of creative memes the world over. This is the story behind the famous photo that almost didn’t happen.

More Americans Are Getting Their News From Social Media As social media companies struggle to deal with misleading information on their platforms about the election, the COVID-19 pandemic and more, Americans continue to rely on these sites for news. About half of U.S. adults (53%) say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes,” and this use is spread out across a number of sites, according to a recent and insightful Pew Research Center survey. 

Is America Divided? Perhaps, but TV News May Be Contributing to This Perception — Major network and cable TV news outlets have given the most airtime to members of Congress with the most extreme views, creating a perception there is greater division among elected leaders than actually exists, researchers have found. Their analysis indicates broadcast news outlets — Americans’ primary source for political news — are partly to blame for growing political polarization in the U.S. and for voters’ heightened dislike for members of the opposing political party.

Boston Globe Starting “Fresh Start” Initiative as Part of Rethinking Criminal Justice — It’s been said, “you can’t rewrite history.” Or can you? Last week, the Boston Globe introduced its new “Fresh Start” initiative. The purpose of the program is to allow people to ask the newspaper to update or anonymize past coverage of them online. The newspaper said this program is part of a “broader effort to rethink the Globe’s criminal justice coverage and how it affects communities of color, amid a national reckoning over racial inequity.” This feature from Forbes explores the new program and the challenges it presents. 

Why Swearing is a Sign of Intelligence, Helps Manage Pain and MorePolite society considers swearing to be a vulgar sign of low intelligence and education, for why would one rely on rude language when blessed with a rich vocabulary? That perception, as it turns out, is full of, uh … baloney. In fact, swearing may be a sign of verbal superiority, studies have shown, and may provide other possible rewards as well. “The advantages of swearing are many,” said Timothy Jay, professor emeritus of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, who has studied swearing for more than 40 years. CNN gives five reasons to consider swearing.


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flack noun : one who provides publicity flack verb : to act as a press agent or promoter for something The word flack was first used as a noun meaning “publicity agent” during the late 1930s. According to one rumor, the word was coined in tribute to a well-known movie publicist of the time, Gene Flack.