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The Flack

The Flack™ for Friday, October 21, 2022

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.


‘Disinformation Weekly’: How Midterm Newspapers are Failing the Electorate – The Cane County Reporter looks like a newspaper. It has articles, reporters on the payroll and it emphasizes the importance of local journalism. But dig a little deeper and you will find something else. The organization’s “Core Beliefs” read: “We believe in limited government, in the constructive role of the free market and in the rights of citizens to choose the size and scope of their government and the role it should play in their society.” So, in reality, the Cane County Reporter, like many other publications, is pink slime journalism. And it has the potential to impact political outcomes. The Columbia Journalism Review takes a closer look.

Florida Fire Marshal Calls on Elon Musk and Others for Answers About Vehicles Catching Fire – Electric vehicles are a great idea…until they spontaneously combust. The flooding that resulted from Hurricane Ian left several EVs submerged in salt water, and, as it turns out, that can cause the lithium-ion batteries to catch fire. Orlando Weekly digs into Elon Musk’s latest P.R. problem.

Inside Noah Shachtman’s Raucous Reinvention of Rolling Stone – For decades fans waited anxiously for their next issue to arrive in the mail. Rolling Stone was filled with legendary reporters such as Ben Fong-Torres, P.J. O’Rourke, Hunter S. Thompson, Cameron Crowe and so many others who delivered news on music, politics and popular culture aimed at its younger audience. You could not get such content anywhere else. Today, things are different. With so much free content online and so many subscribers getting older, it’s become harder for publications like Rolling Stone to stay relevant. That said, Noah Schachtman, the magazine’s new editor, has a plan. Vanity Fair takes a look.

The 5,000-Year History of Writer’s Block– In his memoir “On Writing,” Stephen King reflected, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Almost everyone has experienced writer’s block. And for those who write for a living, it’s just a daily hazard of the job. But writer’s block is nothing new. The Conversation looks back at the interesting history.

Simple Writing Pays Off (literally) – In the 1990s, SEC chairman Arthur Levitt championed “plain English” writing. He argued that using simple, easily-understood language would help investors make informed decisions. But now an accounting professor at Cornell University has proven that simple language is more effective, and it can also save money. Harvard Business Review has the story.

The Evolution of Late Night  – Late night talk shows may be at a crossroads. Recently Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central and James Corden of “The Late, Late Show” on CBS have announced they are stepping down while “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on TBS has been canceled. Meanwhile, Fox News has “Gutfeld!,” its own late night show with Greg Gutfeld, which is outpacing almost every other shows’ ratings; John Oliver is getting more political on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” and Jon Stewart is starting his second season of “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on Apple TV+. That’s a lot. How we long for the days of just Johnny, Dave and Arsenio! Columbia Journalism Review takes a look at the state and future of late night.


Feed Your Head:

How to Become a Better, Braver Public Speaker




: one who provides publicity



: 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.