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“Don’t believe anything you read or hear, and only half of what you see.”— John Jankovich (1890-1971)
There has been an uproar as of late about fake news stories.
Fake news is nothing new. It started with Willian Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer I when Pulitzer’s New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal vying for the top paper began to change their stories by adding more sensationalization to their content including the increased use of cartoons.
This became known as “yellow journalism”, this was the beginning of what is called tabloid journalism, that one sees at grocery line checkout stands.
There was once a time where journalists like Walter Cronkite, Clete Roberts, Edward R. Morrow and others were considered trustworthy sources of news.
Somewhere along the rating battles for the top news source, advertising, and dwindling newspaper readership, television viewership started to create an instant news environment but the in-depth reporting found in newspapers was no long viewed in the same manner before television was invented.
Today, anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet along with Internet access can post a story, no fact checking necessary. It’s called “citizen journalism” and not held to any standards.
“Rumors are like songbirds; they sound filling but make a poor feast.” MICHAEL GEAR & KATHLEEN O’NEAL GEAR,People of the Nightland
Can you believe in the veracity of the author of articles read online or heard on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or other sources where people incur their news?
Is there reporting bias?
Is there a concealed agenda from topmost management?
What obfuscation is potentially perpetrated by so-called sources that do not vet references with exhaustive fact checking via multiple sources before branding a story as legitimate news?
Many may not remember, but both CBS and NBC have been scammed with so-called news only to find out that is was more hoax than legitimate news because they did not perform due diligence and vetting their sources with multiple sources because of tight deadlines and trying to get the story out first for ratings instead of getting it correct.
This is not an indictment of citizen journalism. As a receiver of news, it behooves that one relies on more than one source.
During the 2016 Presidential Election, the veracity of the candidates was called into question on numerous occasions and found false statements under the scrutiny of fact checking.
The gist of this post to follow the quote attributed to John Jankovich above.
Many of you have never heard that name, he was someone born in 1890. He was a special person in my life and someone whom I greatly respected. He was my maternal grandfather. I can’t think of anyone I respected more than him.
John Jankovich taught me many life lessons. He also taught me many techniques of how to prepare certain types of seafood from shell to table. He was a man of many talents, working with his hands and lessons learned just by living through some catastrophic years in his 80 years on the planet (1890 – 1971), I turned 26 in September of 1971.
What is your opinion about “Fake News?
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader and Reviewer
“I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.
Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.
To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand. ”
—- Robert Medak
There are many job boards and opportunities for academic writers. I have chosen to never write academic articles.
You would probably ask me why?
For me, it is about a moral code I developed decades ago. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, and quality.
If I were to write an academic paper and a student were to turn it in as an assignment: He/She has plagiarized. It isn’t his work.
He/She hasn’t learned anything. This is the purpose of an academic paper. Research and fact finding thus gaining experience and knowledge.
He/She has not learned how to rely on themselves.
He/She is taking the easy way out by cutting corners.
Even the possibility of academic articles being used for this purpose is enough for me to have no desire to write academic articles.
A number of years ago while in college, I wrote a paper on Microwave Vaccum Tubes. I designed an electronic schematic showing all formulas concerning the parts list and how I derived the values for the components.
There were reasons that this work was assigned. What would I have learned if I had ordered an academic paper?
I also did a review of a book for a political science course taken for my major.
These were for separate courses that showcased my work, not someone else, the grades received were earned my me.
By doing the work I proved that I am not part of the almost 50 percent of today’s freshmen applying to community college must be remediated because they are unable to perform college-level work.
Businesses are spending 3.1 billion dollars a year remediating employees because colleges students do not have adequate communication and math skills for today’s businesses.
Being an old-school grammarian, there are times when visiting websites, readers should be appalled by the grammar and punctuation errors, verb-subject agreement, and poor writing.
Granted, that typos are impossible to catch everyone. The point is, that before anything is posted to the internet or any media it should be thoroughly edited and proofread.
Read and you will find words being used that show a lack of the basic understanding of English.
Where have native English speakers learned that it is okay to use learnt when they mean learned?
Just because a word has been added to a lexicon doesn’t mean it should be used instead of the proper word.
Social media and texting is the downfall of proper English, I can’t speak for other languages since I don’t speak any.
How are your communication and math skills?
Do you read?
Do you practice your communication and math skills?
Do you spend time expanding your vocabulary?
Through the use of judicious use of proper English for verbal and written communication will help in clear and concise communication to establish what the communicator is trying to say and have it understood whoever hears or reads it.
© 10/24/2016 All Rights Reserved
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader,and Reviewer
Are Tomorrow’s Leaders of Business, Journalism, and Politics Ready to Communicate Effectively. What about Tomorrow’s Authors?
Think about this, the students in middle school today will be tomorrow’s leaders. Shouldn’t we prepare them for the world ahead?
You only need to visit the Internet and most social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others to recognize that command of written English is losing ground. There are typos, shorthand, and errors on sites that offer us news, educational and technical information for consumers, hobbyists, and the general public. Would you trust someone whose communication skills are lacking?
US News and World Report, “How to Fix America’s College Remediation Issue – More than half of community college freshmen are told they aren’t ready for college-level work.”
An Inc.com article about remediation, “Report shows more than $3.1 billion is being spent annually on remedial writing training.”
The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy’s article by John Maguire, “Why Many College Students Never Learn How to Write Sentences.”
There is a movement, if it is, I choose to be a hoax, or not to eliminate the teaching of cursive writing being taught in schools. Parents should check their child’s curriculum and verify that cursive handwriting is being taught to their child or take it upon themselves to request it of the school district. If that fails, it is the parents’ duty to teach their child cursive handwriting.
Check out this article by about cursive handwriting in The Washington Post’s article, “Cursive handwriting is disappearing from public schools.
Are college standards being dumbed down to accommodate students as this article states? Remediation and the Dumbing Down of Campus Standards article by Paul Trout, English MSU-Bozeman.
Who is at Fault for the high need of Remediation of High School Graduates?
There is more than enough blame to go around from parents who don’t look at their child’s homework, teachers who are over-worked and underpaid, bilingual education which exacerbates not assimilating into English, core standards, the government’s no child left behind report sent to President Regan and the Department of Education to the rewriting of books that the far right in America is trying to do to the point of ignoring history so as to not offend someone. There are some that still deny some history like the holocaust and genocide conducted by governments to various religions. There is an old quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Originally attributed to George Santayana.
Another thought, The United States of America stands as the only industrialized nation without a designated language. That’s right, although English is taught in schools, the United States Congress has never passed a bill to make English the designated language. There have been many bills generated to create a designated language, no bill has ever made it to the desk of the President of the United States for signature.
The dumbing down of standards actually began in the 1960s with the emphasis on test scores rather than actual learning how to study, writing, reading, math and science. There was more emphasis on test scores than learning what students need for the real world like learning how to comprehend what they read in their textbooks and basic computation and communication skills.
With both parents required to work to survive the new economic reality, some have scant time to make parent teachers meetings that were held in the 1940s and 1950s when one parent could afford to stay home. Parents not checking the curriculum of their children and involved in what was being taught to their child.
The statistics about reading are abysmal, most parents and children do not read other than what is required for a class and nothing more, the loss of reading comprehension and reading level is one reason for remediation of college freshmen. How can one develop reading comprehension if they don’t read to gain both comprehension and vocabulary expansion?
How can parents who don’t read expect their children read?
In the 1940s and 50s
Students were held to higher academic standards for extra-curricular activities. There were dress codes, children showed respect to teachers and administrators. Misbehavior was dealt with swiftly. Parents were kept abreast of their children’s discipline and behavior misdeeds.
This does not mean corporal punishment but sent to a separate classroom allowing the class to continue learning. The use of school detention with a note to the parents was the rule of the day.
Parents were more involved with their child’s education.
Is your child’s school offering parent-teacher conferences and do you attend?
All schools should hold parent-teacher conferences. Parents should demand to speak to their child’s teacher(s) and work at helping their child with core knowledge in reading comprehension, writing, math, and science. If their child is lacking in a specific area, asking the teacher for more work or requesting how a parent can help their child is in order.
Ultimately, the concept of solid core education is what will help the child in the future when they are ready for college to not have to be remediated to handle college-level textbooks and writing assignments. Some courses require blue book tests where the student must write a short essay dealing with the question on a test while others may require a term paper.
In college, part of a student’s grade is how well they can communicate in writing to explain a position or concept related to the course matter.
Written and oral communication is important for everyday intercourse but more so in the college environment.
A person’s command of writing and vocabulary strength are requirements for their ability to clearly express and explain their meaning at work or in classroom discussions with their college professor.
You or your child can build a larger vocabulary by the simple act of reading and use of a lexicon for words that are unclear, unknown or unusual to find their meaning and proper usage.
Reading not only helps you and your child, you also help authors by purchasing their book, checking out a book at your local library and posting a review. If you enjoy a specific book, please be kind enough to tell your friends why you liked it and recommend that they read the book. They might recommend a book for you to read that they enjoyed reading. Spreading the word at the office is an excellent way to practice oral communication skills and public speaking albeit one-on-one building interpersonal skills comfort.
We all need to practice or upgrade our basic communication skills unless we begin to backtrack on our abilities and failing to maintain our written and oral communication with others. Practicing also helps the continual growth of our vocabulary to make our meaning clear and concise to the person you are communicating with to understand your meaning as clearly as you think you are presenting the information in your mind.
Practice and preparation are the two main ingredients in communicating your thoughts to readers and through interpersonal intercourse among friends, teachers, and business associates. This also leads to being comfortability when communicating orally and in your writing.
Nathaniel Hawthorne said it best about written communication, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
There is no substitute for learning the basic core skills of reading, writing, math and science to create a will rounded intelligent person able to communicate with others and not be misunderstood.
Think about it and share your opinion in the comments.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning branding and marketing.
What to do when Health Issues Ruin Your Week
Living with a number of diagnosed medical and emotional conditions:
Anxiety, Diabetes Type 2, Gout, Hypercholesterolemia, Meniere’s Disease, Neuropathy, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Pernicious Anemia, and Supraventricular Tachycardia. I have a small pharmacy in my home because of these conditions.
The week of November 15, 2015 was not a good one for me. This is not an excuse for not keeping up with reading and learning about how to increase traffic and marketing my services online. It just takes longer.
On Wednesday November 15, 2015, my wife and I needed to run some errands. While out of the house, many physical manifestations began to arise. Their toll felt for days afterward.
I am grateful to be able to work from home with no supervisor hovering over me, wondering why I’m not busting hump on the latest project. I did have some problems with supervisors at my job with PacBell, a contributing factor to my retiring early. I retired at age 58.
As age crept up on me, so did other medical conditions. Cataract surgery for one. These are the “Golden years”.
If you are living with health issues
First, create a sick day plan.
The sick day plan should include working on some aspect of your business. Being under the weather doesn’t mean you give up. It only means you may have to rearrange your schedule.
Second, keeping up with clients.
If a time comes when you are not 100 percent, you need to contact your client and let them know, especially if any illness may adversely affect the timeline you’ve given them for their contracted project.
Looking like an amateur to your client is horrendous to your business and personal reputation by not keeping them up to date on their project.
Third, always keep as healthy as possible.
When working, you must consider making time for yourself. You must eat, exercise, and take mental health breaks to maintain optimal health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for you and your business. If you are not 100 percent, your business won’t be either.
Your health is more important than your business if you work from home as a freelancer or consultant.
I can attest to this from personal experience.
Consider creating a wellness program for optimal health that will allow you to run your home based business efficiently and effectively.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.
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What do I mean by “You are Your Platform”?
Are you online?
Whatever you post, how you interact, are you helpful and engaging, have you built trust with your contacts, do you add value, and this is your platform (You).
Are your interpersonal skills good or do they need work so potential clients want to work with you.
What happens when someone Googles your name, what will they find on sites like Facebook and other social sites. Are you sure that everything you post portrays you in a good light and someone that is a good fit for people searching for what you offer.
You must always guard your reputation because it is all you have to put in front of potential clients. Do not post pictures or rants that portray you as someone extreme with views that might reflect a negative persona. This could hurt your chances to convert visitors to your site.
You as a platform, may be a foreign concept but think of it as applying for an open position. The open position is your client has and you want it. You have to present yourself as the best choice or their open position. The question is does your online and offline person reflect you as the best choice because you are in a competition with others. Why are you the best? Do you bring value?
Does your persona reflect confidence and trustworthiness? If it doesn’t, you could lose out on jobs you might like and feel are in your wheelhouse.
You must always put you best foot forward at all times. One way to do this is to answer questions that others online and offline may have. Be helpful and pay it forward. You’ll be surprised what you get back in return. Be the go to person for your niche.
If you are helpful and offer value to clients, your chances of getting referrals and testimonials increases without have to work at it, happy clients are your best advertising.
Consider being a lifelong learner by keeping up with the changes in your niche and the Federal Trade Commission rules if you are in the United States.
Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.
The first step is to consider your niche and the content relevant to that niche.
Content is not about your product or services. Content is about educating, engaging, helping, and informing your readers to build relationships, not sell your stuff.
This may sound counterproductive, but content is establishing relationships to build trust. Would you buy something from someone you don’t know or engage in a business deal with someone you don’t know? Then why should your readers?
The art of selling online is building trust through establishing relationships, not trying to sell your product or service to everyone that visits your site. You start by helping them through their pain point first before you try and sell.
I may be in the minority, but I believe in helping visitors to my blog and social sites over trying to sell them my services. I am willing to answer questions or offer suggestions to everyone; do you.
Don’t use jargon or large words in conjunction with complex sentences when plain English will suffice. Readers of your content should get the point you are making with ease by the use of concise writing.
Content marketing involves all content from social sites, blogs, and websites with relevant content to your product or services. Your content is your chance to position yourself as an expert in your niche and build trust with your traffic by engaging with visitors.
Your content must be relevant to what people are searching for by using search engines. Also, remember, nothing happens overnight. It takes some time to build a following and trust. If you expect instant sales, you are going to be disappointed.
Be engaging and helpful first before trying to sell products or services. A chance for you to talk more about your product or services is via newsletters when a visitor signs up for it on your site.
Content marketing might be an email if visitors opt in to receiving emails for special sells or special coupons or email only products or services and have an easy way to opt out of emails.
Send a free item if they opt-in to receiving a newsletter or emails. Many people like getting something free, and are probably willing to share their email address with you to receive it.
Free should mean free, not free if they pay shipping and handling. Something you can send an electronic copy of, and always be courteous with a thank you note when the sign up to your list of people willing to receive your emails or newsletter.
This is how to run your content marketing.
Freelance writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader and Reviewer learning marketing
Whether a freelancer, entrepreneur or business, you need content marketing for awareness of your presence as an entity offering products or services.
There are forms of content marketing mentioned in a previous post.
As the search bots check for fresh content, if you are keeping up with fresh relevant content to what people are looking for, using content to explain what you have to offer them to help them with either a product or service they need.
Fresh content on a regular basis will help you climb the search engine latter.
If your content is relevant, visitors may consider your product or service. Your content must be relevant, engaging, easy to read, and establishes you as someone that has the right product or service people are looking for.
Your content should put the visitor at ease and work at building relationships with possible buyers of your product or service because customers will buy from someone they trust.
Your content should not always be about selling but showing what you do and how you have what people are looking.
If your content is about products, there should be pictures of the products. Pictures are content. This way, visitors can view your physical products and get a sense of what is looks like.
Again, I must stress that content be relevant to the product or service. Using tricks or “black hat” maneuvers is not a good tactic unless you want to run the risk of being unindexed by search engines or worse.
All content should be honest and authentic, you are the content and the content is you.
What would you do if someone offered a product and when you click to find out you find there are hidden costs or some other condition? You would probably leave and never return. Don’t do the same to your visitors. Always be open and honest.
Somewhere in your content should be a way to contact you for questions or comments.
Testimonials on your site are also content that will show visitors what others that have purchased from you think of the process and the product or service.
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing