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Be the Media


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In 59 B.C. the first newspaper — called Acta Diurna (latin for  Daily Acts or Daily Public Records), was published in Rome. Carved into wood or stone, verdicts and outcomes of legal issues were publicly posted to inform the city’s citizens. Soon the “Acta” was a source for news including announcements of births, marriages and other happenings. Etched at the end of each text was the saying,  “publicare et propagare” or “make public and propagate“. It wasn’t until later that this new means to propagate was used for propaganda.


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For a long time our media has not been what it should be. Words like “reputable”, “fair”, and “honest” are not words to describe current day media. We have given corporations and governments the power to manipulate through information. It’s unfortunate that there are still some people who believe news outlets are their friends and a great public service.

Many people do not know this, but the media can legally lie. It’s true! In February of 2003 a Florida Supreme Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. The appeal had been signed onto by most of the other main stream giants.

Very little real “news” is presented and instead the media operates like one big giant Op Ed paid for by those who have something to gain by their manipulation. How much more are you willing to lose?


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It is up to us to be our own media, but that doesn’t mean run out and play “reporter’. It means we have to be smart and thorough and above all we have to be honest; all of the things today’s media is not.  We cannot make the same mistakes or fall into the traps of corruption and or showmanship like the mainstream has and in order to be the best we can be — as well as be socially responsible in our writings, we need to learn.

I have spent a lot of time educating myself on the issues of our day. I have also worked in the media for more than twenty years. We have a moral duty as citizens of this country (any country) to pay attention, if not then we have no right to bitch.  It is up to us to make our reality better. When it comes to media, we can make a difference. Corporate media may have the muscle, but we have the masses.


Image Source: Be the Media

One of the best ways to get it all figured out is reading Be the Media. This book has hands down been one of the biggest influences on me in the past several years.  David Mathison — former Vice President for Syndication for Reuters, offers solid, practical and proven techniques in how to inexpensively create and widely distribute your content on every page. In addition, there is a Be the Media radio show where you can listen to and learn from some of today’s top thinkers like Squidoo’s Seth Godin, Craig’s List‘s Craig Newmark, Wired’s Kevin Kelly and many more. If you really want to take it to the next level the webinars are phenomenal. They even have webinars that teach you how to easily use social media in ways that save time and still benefit you.

David’s a great guy. I first met him at a 2007 media summit in Santa Cruz, CA. He is incredibly knowledgeable and connected yet very accessible and humble. It’s been a real pleasure knowing him and having his guidance. I trust him and I have used many of his methods over the years. If you are looking for ways to become a better journalist, I highly recommend checking out Be the Media. If you have a slew of writers working under you, you may want to check out his consulting or speaking services.

Writing is important to me. Writing accurately and well even more so.

9 comments on “Be the Media

  1. Charles Yallowitz
    March 29, 2013

    I think I remember hearing about that 2003 case. Honestly, I’ve gone along with too many news reports only to find them proven false to believe them any more. I’m tired of feeling like I’m knowledgeable and being made to feel like an idiot a few days later. Out of curiosity, are there any news sources that don’t lie?


    • CheriSpeak
      April 2, 2013

      Charles I think there ARE news sources that do not lie. The key though is when you hear “news” you need to vet it yourself, especially before you pass it on.


  2. diannegray
    March 29, 2013

    I find that most ‘news’ (and I use the term loosely) articles are snappy and bold to catch our attention. After getting past the headline it’s amazing how incorrect or just silly that headline is. I’ve dealt with the media a few times and they’ve never got my story ‘right’. I think , if they can’t get what I’ve told them right, what else are they getting wrong.

    This book looks great. I’ve been thinking of starting up a small (blog type) news site in the town I’m living in now and reading something like this may come in very handy 😀


    • CheriSpeak
      April 2, 2013

      Yes the headline are so deceiving!!! You would love this book (and David) very much Di. It’s fantastic.


  3. theINFP
    April 15, 2013

    Your post opened my eyes, thank you


  4. theINFP
    April 15, 2013

    Reblogged this on theINFP and commented:
    I wonder how many countries legally allow the media to do this?


  5. CheriSpeak
    April 15, 2013

    Thank you. How so?


  6. Pingback: Are You Following Me Or Am I Being Paranoid? | Cheri Speak

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