New Star from Youngstown. NIE, (Newspapers in Education) Outing the Mainstream Media Ownership in Mahoning Valley. Bits and Bites at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. Sign Up to become a Change Bandit for Akron Children’s Hospital. And Opinion on the Trump Inauguration and Impending Presidency.
According to our local CBS affiliate, The star of the new show, “Hunted,” premiering this Sunday, January 22 on CBS, is a Mooney grad from Youngstown. While it might sound glamorous, life for Robert Clark started with everything stacked against him. His early years were nothing like that of a network TV star. Clark was born in Youngstown and raised on the tough streets of the south side, spending ages 4 to 12 in foster care. His father, Bobby Clark, operated the mob-owned Casablanca Night Club until January 15, 1980, when he was allegedly murdered. Robert Clark said his years as a high school student at Cardinal Mooney, Class of 1984, changed him. “They are a part of who I am. The motivation that I had to not just be different, but to be the difference that I want to see in the world,” he said.
Clark also played football at Mooney and was part of the 1982 state championship team under Coach Don Bucci.
Here is another story of people rising up to overcome adversity and history. Much like many of us here in the Mahoning Valley and indeed the Valley itself. Our Valley has a long and storied history of adversity and challenges. Struggles with our local economy, and struggles with less than scrupulous individuals who operated beyond the rule of law and spread fear and strife in our community. But some of us, myself included believe that those struggles can be things of the past. That it is possible to rise above the history of crime and corruption and face the challenges. If you believe that too, you should consider getting involved with this project. Even if you fail to see any reason to drop a couple of pennies in the coffers of this project to keep it going; you can like this and share it with your friends.
Here is something that many people who hear this podcast or read the transcripts may not be aware of. Free Educational Resources from the Vindicator.
For instance: Beyond Comprehension: The Newspaper and Critical Literacy
Dr. Sherrye Dee Garrett, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Introduction & Overview (mp3, 23 minutes) / Lesson Activities (mp3, 30 minutes)
Critical literacy involves the analysis and critique of the relationships among texts, language, power, social groups and social practices. It shows us ways of looking at written, visual, spoken, multimedia and performance texts to question and challenge the attitudes, values and beliefs that lie beneath the surface. (courtesy NAA NIE Conference) This is just one of the over 300 lessons designed to help your children learn about the world around you. And it is all free. Did I say that? Follow the link above and get in touch or start downloading and teaching them youngins.
Why would you want to download and listen to this particular item? Well, one reason I can think of is that many of your mainstream media outlets in this valley may be just about getting your money. No matter how much squawking they do about their local point of view, they may just be here to make money. Both our CBS and ABC Affiliates are not even owned by a local company. The people who run WKBN and WYTV and the other channels on these bandwidths like 27.2 FOX 27.3 ION and 33.2 and 33.3 live in other communities and have big fat paychecks so they can hire our local reporters and anchors and producers to act like they give a crap about this community. And the local people who work here probably do care about this Valley, but their employers may not.
Although there are a few local people who work for Media General and it is likely they do actually care about the Mahoning Valley; for the most part the editorial direction and personnel decisions are coming from another state and a big media conglomerate located over there in the fine state of Virginia.
Why am I talking about this? Because this company that owns a few of our local tv stations is a public company. That means they have no real interest in local issues or struggles. It means that they are beholden to their stockholders to make a profit and that is all. So that also means that anything they report to you should be taken with a grain of salt.
Let’s look at some other mainstream media companies here in the Valley so you can get an idea of where they are coming from too. The local Newspaper, The Vindicator and Channel 21 WFMJ. These two companies are owned locally. So when they say, “locally owned and locally connected”; they are not flat out lying. But they are also owned by a couple of wealthy people who live in Canfield and are about as connected to our community as a bank is to it’s depositors. As long as they are making money, they are as happy as they can be most likely. To be fair, they do employ some people here in this Valley and contribute economically in terms of taxes and fees and what not. But they also clearly have an vested interest in keeping up with the maintenance on their million dollars estates far removed from the struggles of the city.
Are you interested in knowing how to get in touch with these media mavens who run the show over there at the Vindicator and WFMJ? Here ya go. I figure if I let you know, and you don’t like the way they are doing it; then as a community we can hold them accountable. For the Vindicator, they are required to publish their names and positions and here they are. Keep in mind that Ms Jagnow and Mr Brown are also the people who own the company who holds the FCC License for WFMJ.
Whether or not the Mahoning Valley ever reaches its potential, or starts to grow and flourish due to their influence; that is the question that only they can answer for themselves.
And just so our neighbors in Trumbull County don’t feel left out, The Tribune Chronicle is published by a company out of Wheeling West Virginia. And for those of you in Columbiana County, the Morning Journal, also owned by a company out of Wheeling.
So although our mainstream media companies here do have a vested interest in the Mahoning Valley; with the exception of the millionaires who live in Canfield who own the Vindicator and WFMJ; our mainstream media is controlled by people who do not live here. And in many cases do not have any interest here in this community other then how much money they can suck out of us. So when you hear people talk about the media elite and the mainstream media as biased, it probably makes more sense.
I am actually an avid consumer of the media. Not just TV and Newspapers, but interactive media as well. I source much of the information for these podcasts from the local outlets. Sometimes I quote them to talk about the good things that are happening here. Well a lot of the time. That is because in order to talk about the good things that are happening here in the Valley,
I need to know about them. That is one of the things that you can do to help support this project. When you hear about something that is good, let me know. If you have an event that is not all about the money, then let me know. Or if you are doing events that do have a financial component to them like fund raising or raising awareness, at least send me a notice. Give me a chance to cover it here and link to it.
That is the difference between independent media, like this podcast and other independent information sources and the mainstream; I at least am not being enriched by this project greatly. I am doing this podcast as a community service that I have sentenced myself to do. Because I enjoy podcasting and publishing and I love this area. It is my home too.
I have received some feedback on content ideas for this podcast and most recently it was to discuss some history of the Valley. Well I got something even better for you if you are interested in the history of the Valley. A free discussion that occurs every third Thursday at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.
This Thursday, you can join the Mahoning Valley Historical Society for the new Bites and Bits of History Lunch Program. Bring your lunch to the beautiful Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center on the third Thursday of every month at noon for a historical presentation. These free lunchtime discussions will cover a variety of topics and give you a chance to explore local history in a new way.
The daily parking lot on the west side of the building is available for $2.00. Place money in the numbered slot which corresponds to your parking space in the white box on the Federal Street sidewalk. Do not park in the monthly lot on the east side. Street parking in marked spots is free. Additional visitor information.
Bring your own lunch, or visit Overture for their $6 Bites and Bits Lunch Special. Call Overture at 330-744-9900 to place your order. Coffee, pop, and water are available for purchase at the History Center.
Kimberly Kenney, Curator – William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
Learn more about the history of the most popular historic home in America! This presentation will cover the design and major restorations of the house, and features an in-depth look at the rooms of McKinley’s White House from the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum archives.
I encourage you to help the Akron Children’s Hospital this year by signing up to become a Change Bandit. Change Bandits “rob” their friends, family and co-workers of spare change to raise funds for Radiothon.
Children, individuals and families register to participate here.
Schools, businesses, community organizations and hospital departments register here.
We’ll mail your kit to you in early January. It will contain complete, detailed instructions to get your Change Bandit program started, including how to set up an online fundraising campaign for your collection efforts.
In a few days we will be swearing in a new president and vice president. Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Despite the fact that these good ole white boys did not actually win the popular vote in this county, we are going to have to endure another round of Republican Class divisionism. I know, that may not be an actual English Language word, but it does adequately describe what this country is in for now that the republicans are going to have a majority in the senate and the house and an executive to push through their let’s get ourselves and all of our buddies richer agenda.
Some people may think it ironic that me as a white male would be discussing this turn of events in such terms. In fact, some may think that it is a betrayal of my race or gender to even dare to call the republican party the good ole white boys party. But I just call it like I see it. It should not be called the GOP. It should be called the GOB. For Good Ole Boys.
I will clarify. According to the Wikipedia, this term can be positive or negative. Positive aspects: The term can be used for well socialized men who live in rural and generally Southern areas. If a man is humble and well thought of, he can be referred to as a good old boy, regardless of his age. It is also commonly applied to men from a family with multi-generational wealth or prestige, or to men who behave like a Southern gentleman.
Negative aspects: Pejoratively, the phrase can often suggest a man with an anti-intellectual bias or some other intolerant viewpoint. The phrase also can refer negatively to someone who engages in cronyism among men who have known each other for a long period of time. Collectively, these people are referred to by the slang term, good ol’ boy network (also known as an old boys’ club; however, note that in certain countries in the Commonwealth including the UK, an old boys network or club has a very different meaning involving alumni).
So if you don’t think that Donald Trump and Mike Pence and the Republican Party are a bunch of good ole boys, let me tell you as story. When I first moved here to the Mahoning Valley, I needed a job. Truth is, I probably still need a job, but that is not your problem. I started working at Infocision. One of the largest employers here in the Mahoning Valley.
If you are not familiar with Infocision, they operate call centers. They have a few here and a couple over in Western PA as well as over in the Akron Area. Large employer and actually not too bad as far as employers go. Decent wages back then and reasonable management with advancement opportunities. No they did not pay me to say this and that is why they get no link.
Anyway, I was initially assigned to the political division. Guess who was one of their clients? The Republicans. And a few of their various affiliations. And we called people. We called them at home, we called them at their offices, we called them from 8 AM to 12 AM seven days a week. We called them and told them all about how the republican way of life was under threat and how traditional values were going to disappear. We called them and lied to them about how they were the Business Person of the Year. We called them and tried to frighten them with tales of how the Second Amendment was going to be destroyed and they were going to have to give up their guns. We called them and told them anything we could to get their money.
It was and still is pathetic. In some cases it was exaggeration. In some cases it was outright deceptive. For instance, did you know that the only qualification required to be the Business Person of the Year is do be registered as a Republican and to donate money. That’s all the Republican Party needs you to do to be recognized as a Business Person of the Year. Some days I signed up 20 or so new BPOY’s. If that does not tell you something about this new administration, then maybe this will give you some clues about the kind of people we are going to be calling President and Vice President. Did you know that Donald Trump is still fund-raising? Yes, he is. He is running a store selling presidential bobbles and keepsakes. Inaugural Glasses and other trivial items. To raise money. HUH? No link to that either cause he is not sponsoring this project today.
I am not going to make any bones about it. I do not like modern American politics. I don’t like the democrats or republicans. I don’t like the tactics or agendas of either party. I, like many people think that national politics are not actually representative of my personal interests. But I am not saying we can just ditch the whole thing. As many people say, American Representative Democracy is an experiment. It was born in a noble ideal. That people should be equal and have liberty that is endowed from above.
That is a noble ideal. But it has been playing out like a good ole boys club. And the richer will keep getting richer. And the rest of us will be scrambling around trying to get a hot dog dinner for our families while we work 80 hours a week to put money in other people’s pockets. And trying to take care of our own. There is not a single shred of evidence that Mr. Trump’s Presidency is going to change things much for most of us. Sure, there will be changes. And many people may benefit. But most likely many people will lose too. And at the end of the day, our new President will likely get richer from his experience. And that is good for him. But is it good for you?