APPS

Ditch Messaging Apps and Force People to Communicate with You Less?

How addictive digital behaviors prevent deep work and what to do about it Our tech-fueled world begs for your attention. This is, perhaps, the most significant personal challenge we face on a day-to-day basis. The world’s smartest, most highly-motivated professionals in advertising, marketing, politics, news media, and technology are on a perpetual mission to gain

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JOURNALISM

The Political Advertising Ruse and the Electoral College [AUDIO]

A Taste: Critical Insight for Understanding Political Advertising   “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”   – Henry David Thoreau   If you like the following analysis, you’re going to get a lot out of this course and the text hereafter. We go deeper into these issues in Part

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Thumbs Down for Social Media

This past week featured several new reports about the state of social media and the public’s disenchantment with sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The big survey from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News rounded up all the negativity here. Generally, I agree. I don’t think social media is good for you. I don’t

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COMEDY

Why do Fortnite players dance?

Your “default mode network” needs exercise. I wrote about this in a previous post. In short, the DMN is the area of the brain that thinks about the self, friends and others in our lives. Whenever we’re not engaged in task-oriented thoughts, our downtime is used to reflect on ourselves and others. Developing this “muscle”

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OVERVIEW

How Social Media Kills Your Real Life Interactions

The neuroscience behind digital degradation and a prescription for change I’ve been reading a new book, and one particular chapter really struck a nerve. It’s about social media, texting, phone conversations and the default mode network, which is a fancy term for a region of our brains that manages in-person social interactions.  This portion of our brain does a lot

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TV ADVERTISING

Why Advertisers and News Programs Love It When You’re Emotional

I watched an episode of Black Mirror the other evening (“Crocodile”). It’s the one in Iceland, where the woman has to murder to cover her mistakes because of techie mind-reading devices. So, I got into the car to pick up one of the kids from water polo practice. The streets were wet, the skies dark

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Swimming with Sharks: Media Defense in Bloody Water

My children took swimming lessons when they were toddlers. It was one of those Australian schools where the kids jump right in and experience the difference and the trauma of water and the inability to breathe (and the ability to sink!). We also signed them up for lifeguard training at the age of 9 so

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Digital Media

Journalists and Education Reporters: Choose Your Own Media Literacy Topic

Choose your own adventure story pitch for you . . . my new book on media literacy helps HS and college prep students understand how media works (history, advertising, digital, native ads, targeting, etc.). Please take a spin through my blog posts and see if any topics in there catch your fancy: https://www.media-collusion.org/blog/ The Press

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APPS

Why Youth Screen Time and Video Game Obsessions Are Not the Issue

Psychologists, journalists and those in the health industry have been peppering you with messages about media consumption, screen time, and gaming. Yet, these people don’t quite understand how your kids work. They offer trite, simple advice like: Reduce screen time Set schedules Addiction is bad (black/white) Lock down devices Set-up security filters Don’t install certain

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PRESS

Ad Agency Launches Media Literacy for OC Students: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New courses offer rare insights into the advertising and news businesses Corona del Mar, CA— January 25, 2019 — Media Collusion, a media watchdog and educational resource led by local advertising executive Phil Dunn, announced media literacy courses for Orange County students. The classes and interactive workshops are based on the new book, Media Collusion:

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PRESS

New Media Courses Address Digital-Age Education Crisis: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Corona del Mar, CA— January 29, 2019— Media Collusion launched new classes and workshops that address a growing health and education crisis across the country. The organization is a media watchdog and teaching group that recently published an interactive textbook directed at college-prep students: Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Native Advertising Colossus! Marijuana Video Nails the Format

Honeydew Farms (and sponsors) beautifully showcased by Growers Network Cannacribs YouTube Video https://youtu.be/tA0Klgvv5wY Native advertising is an art form when done right. This particular video shows you the high bar.  There’s no trickery. The sponsors are clearly in there for a reason, and the sponsor that didn’t pay for the ad placement (the wine marketing company) gets

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

What is “Newsjacking?”

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News In the early days of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the revered marketing and persuasion author David Meerman Scott coined the term for the practice of including popular,

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Katie Couric Misses the Boat – Kid Advertising Is Where the $$$ Is

How totally naive is this?: “Children’s time and attention should never be used for profit.” From the article: What Our Brain On Tech Means for Kids and Adults Alike My view from the comments section: The final point seems a bit naive — “Don’t Target Kids with Ads.” One of Marvel’s biggest achievements in 2018 was introducing Thanos

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JOURNALISM

Media Motivation Mechanics – Persuasion Types

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News “The world is ruled and the destiny of civilization is established by the human emotions.” – Napoleon Hill Offline and Online Persuasion The types of

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

The Mythical Wall Between Editorial and Advertising

Excerpt from the book, Media Collusion (Available on Amazon today in paperback and Kindle formats) “Fear is freedom! Subjugation is liberation! Contradiction is truth! Those are the facts of this world! And you will all surrender to them, you pigs in human clothing!” – Satsuki There used to be a well-defined line that separated hard news and

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QUOTES

Mainstream Media – The $Billion Collusion Business

“. . mainstream media is a billion-dollar business that is created and operated as a conduit to sell products, not to inform you. The advertisers and corporations call the shots. Everything else is window dressing. You may as well get your news from a Macy’s clerk.” John C. Dvorak Technology Journalist and Co-Host of the

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JOURNALISM

Preventing Fake News – Why WhatsApp Throttled Virality

In the never-ending quest to help the public avoid “fake news,” WhatsApp is now limiting how many times a person forward messages. You can now share messages five times instead of the previous 20 limit. The platform wants to avoid rumors that spread on the app which lead to violence like last year’s killings in

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

The Absolutely Outrageous Scandal of Advertising

Excerpt from Tim Wu’s excellent advertising text, The Attention Merchants. This little bit of info is difficult to imagine these days. Yet, there was a time when Americans (world citizens, in fact) were unmolested by advertising pitches. FROM THE BOOK: As David Halberstam writes, “Whereas at the turn of the century, only an occasional door-to-door

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Digital Media

6 Telltale Signs of Fake News – Courtesy of Ryan Holiday

The way news is created has changed dramatically in the internet age. The old production and curation techniques of broadcast news have cratered, leaving this huge opening for salacious sites, fake news and suspect bloggers. The modern currency for news is now ATTENTION. Any story, clip or meme that floats through cyberspace has only a

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AUDIO

Climate Propaganda from Your Friendly Psychologist Expert

TRANSCRIPT: NO AGENDA SHOW HOSTS: And the CBC the current as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today special and on this special about climate change. They had a guest. The guest is Margaret Klein Solomon, and she of course is involved in climate change, but she’s not a climatologist. No, she’s a clinical psychologist of the

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Fortnite and YouTube Wrestle for Advertising Dollars [AUDIO]

[CLICK ABOVE FOR PODCAST INTERVIEW ON THIS TOPIC] Last spring, my son (15) shared some interesting news. The game he and his buddies play – Fortnite – got a new character feature that’s directly from the Avengers: Infinity War movie. In the game, he said, you can become the Thanos character from the movie and have all-dominant powers. Then

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Amazon

Can You Trust the Internet?

The “new normal”: Fake news, fake reviews and gamed algorithms put product and news consumers at risk. Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal’s latest article about fake product reviews on Amazon gives mainstream credence to a trend that’s been bubbling for years. The ultimate take-away confirms something all of us have suspected: the internet

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Digital Media

Tucker’s Tech Tyranny: What a Scam

Can you spot the irony? Tucker Carlson’s Tech Tyranny segment offers a huge opening for Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Council. [VIDEO Media Deconstruction]

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Opinion Vs. News: Trump Adviser Brad Parscale on the Big Media Shift

Political passions aside, this illuminating interview between Trump advisor Brad Parscale and PBS Frontline journalist James Jacoby describes the new media world we now inhabit where opinion and commentary drives ad revenue.  The interviewer and interviewee have much different opinions on how smart or stupid the American public is with respect to the way news

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JOURNALISM

News by Design: Surprise Addiction

The news media crafts news with two goals in mind – addiction and virality. If you’re not talking about certain topics and sharing it with your social groups, the media are failing at their primary job. The more they succeed with addiction and surpirse, the more relevancy they maintain. Of course, that means they can

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JOURNALISM

Blogs as the New, Deceptive News Wires

What are news wires? For most of U.S. media history (starting in the mid 19th century), news was collected and disseminated by a small group of news wires. When you hear the term “news wires,” it sounds like an antiquated concept, but outlets like the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) have been

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NATIVE ADVERTISING

Doritos: A Brilliant Native Ad and PR Play

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost-best-seller: Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News  This is a good one, buckle your seat belts. Once you start looking for these, you’ll see them every week if you have any exposure to

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Who are you? A Steve or a Ted? Two media consumer profiles

Excerpt from the book, Media Collusion (Available on Amazon today in paperback and Kindle formats) Think about all of this with a comparison of two people. Ted and Steve are recent college graduates. They attended respectable schools and graduated with 3.5 grade point averages, some party skills, and a slightly better understanding of females than

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JOURNALISM

Why Most News Is Fake

The term “fake news” has been pounded so furiously by both media watchers and the public. It’s become a term that’s bereft of meaning. But it’s worth exploring in more detail, because the reasons for the fakeness are somewhat complex and absolutely intriguing. First, let’s take look at what journalism has become in the digital

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AUDIO

PR Stunt – Baiting Millenials for Baseball [AUDIO]

FULL NO AGENDA SHOW WITH NOTES TOPICS: PR and promotion on mainstream programming. All news is good news for PR people. Get the story on the air and you’ve succeeded. Native Advertising.  Starting a shit-storm on Twitter. Using Twitter as direct quotes. They’re already written for you. Tuning out by ignoring media.

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NATIVE ADVERTISING

Kit Kat Bar Native Advertising

I was just driving around in my car and listening to KNX Los Angeles AM ratio 1070. Their news break was on, and I heard what can definitely be termed a native ad for the Kit Kat candy bar. The quick story told how the EU denied Kit Kat a trademark on their candy bar

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Digital Media

Institutionalized Media Manipulation

Last October the Scientific American published an eye-opening article on how the FDA manipulates the media with something called a close-hold embargo. Make sure you check out that article.  You’ll see how government agencies, large corporations and even non-profit orgs consistently manage the media and control the messages that get out into public consumption. Excerpt: “This

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Do You Trust Social Media “Editors?”

Do you trust that the following news outlets have your best interests in mind when collaborating to edit the news feeds of millions across the globe? Full story here. Facebook Twitter YouTube (Google) The New York Times Washington Post BuzzFeed News CNN ABC News of Australia ProPublica Agence France Press (AFP) The Telegraph France Info Breaking

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JOURNALISM

Why and How the “News” Became Broken – Part 1

As part of my job, I occasionally pitch “real news” editors and publishers with story ideas. Sometimes, I get back responses like this one: “. . we prefer writers with professional journalism experience. We don’t tend to work with corporate publishing contractors out of a concern that their corporate work will conflict with the role

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Digital Media

How to Stay Sane in an Insanely Ad-Driven Media World

Today’s modern media landscape is shaping and confusing the minds of young people at warp speed. They may not realize it. Even adults trained in critical thinking and academic analysis get confused with the incessant noise and suspect claims that flow freely across the multi-channel, multi-device media world.  One of the big problems is that

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Journalism #fail #CNN: Quoting a Person by Attributing to Them What You Think They Meant to Say!

The “news” comes at us fast and furious, but what sneaks by is often comical. Broadcasters and print journalists (to a lesser extent) frequently offer unsourced and anonymous quotes from who knows where in order to support their particular angle on a story.  Here’s one from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room program that’s pretty outrageous. Here’s the

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SOCIAL MEDIA

How Did You Become a Product?

The Great Network News Conspiracy and Why Facebook is Now the News Leader If you: Read an article Like a Facebook post Watch a TV show Watch YouTube Search the web for products and services Scroll through Instagram Sift through snail mail ads Glance at billboards Check in at Starbucks Talk to Alexa (Amazon Echo)

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Sharyl Attkisson – 5-Time Emmy Award Winning Investigative Journalist – Visits Media Collusion

Sharyl Attkisson of Full Measure interviewed CdMHS graduate and incoming Harvey Mudd engineering freshman Eddie Jacobs along with Phil Dunn of Media Collusion. We talked on camera about youth media habits, “fake news,” “fuzzy news,” Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live and lots more like Marvel’s Thanos in Fortnite and YouTubers in Bora Bora’s Four Seasons Hotel. The

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Micro-Celebrities: Who is Uncle Tito?

Case Study My older sons (13 and 15) have been following people on Instagram for a couple of years now. One of the first guys they glommed onto in a celebrity kind of way was someone who referred to himself as Uncle Tito. This is a surf industry guy, about 32 years old, who’s hyper focused

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PRINT ADVERTISING

Ad Agencies Get Smart

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   “It has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement and the more it looks like an editorial, the more

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DIGITAL ADVERTISING

Advertising Via Thought Leaders

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   “Ours has become a world where a tragic number of people have become more fascinated by materialism and the lives of distant narcissists

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YouTube

YouTuber Redux – Truman Show Didn’t Get it Right

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   A lot of media critics and futurists get a kick out of comparing the common state of things to the 1998 movie The

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HEALTH

Be the Guardian of Your Mind, Body and Soul

When I talk to people in my community about the Media Collusion book and course, they often think the content is mainly about advertising trickery and built-in media bias (it is on a superficial level). However, if you go deeper and get into the real goals and messaging behind the media examples, it really comes

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TV ADVERTISING

Eckhart Tolle on the Insanity of TV

In the Media Collusion course we talk a lot about how advertisers and marketers (across the web and the TV screen) go to great lengths to compete for our attention. With music, storytelling, high-chroma colors, weblinks, hashtags  and dramatic structure, they use every conceivable strategy known to the science of persuasion to suck us into their

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WEB NEWS

Your News vs. “The News”

Yesterday I woke to a strange sound. A cat was outside my patio squawking in a strange way. I investigated and found a mother cat with a huge pregnant belly. She saw me and darted away. Later that night, my sliding glass door was open, and I saw her peeking her head into the opening

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Why Should You Avoid Social Media? TWO *HUGE* REASONS [AUDIO CLIP]

TRANSCRIPT: MEDIA EXPERT: [TWO REASONS] One of them is for your own good and the other is for society’s good for your own good. It’s because you’re being subtly manipulated by algorithms that are watching everything you do constantly and then sending you changes in your media feed and your diet that are calculated to

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OUTREACH

FREE COURSE PREVIEW EVENT

FREE COURSE PREVIEW EVENT Thursday January 10th, 2019 6:33 PM Days Hours Minutes Seconds Save your seat LOCATION TBD Space is limited. Please enter your email and phone number to reserve your spot and receive directions to the event. Meet the Instructor B.A. History, UC Berkeley, M.A. Journalism, University of Southern California, Digital marketing pro

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MARKETING

Broken Web: Advertising and Ad Blocker Turn Off Requests

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News Since we’re on the web ads topic, let’s ponder what’s breaking the web – namely, ad-blocker subversion. These things are annoying, and they prevent

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TV NEWS

How to Evaluate News Pros that Want to Grab Your Attention

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   If you want to figure out who’s an expert and who knows what they’re talking about, the web is your friend. A Wikipedia search on

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TV ADVERTISING

Do Today’s Ads Influence Next Year Or Next Decade Purchases?

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   http://bit.ly/2qZKY0G Many of the things we buy are purchased months and sometimes years after we’ve seen an ad. This is particularly effective with

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TV NEWS

Mass Media Persona Profile – Who’s Extinct?

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   There’s a certain type of person that’s becoming extinct as digital media proliferates and mass media fragmentation continues. People are cutting cords, kids are

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HUMOR

Snarky, Fun Replies to “How are you?”

My friend Ted Larkins of Get to Be Happy fame tweeted a video about meeting up with people and staying present. It’s great advice. . . and it reminded me of some hilarious replies to “how are you?” that I came across recently. (See below.) These will shock your conversation partners into paying closer attention

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TV ADVERTISING

But who cares? Who watches TV anyway these days? Certainly not kids!

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News   Influence over the populace via network, cable and other broadcast outlets (including radio) didn’t just go away because the eyeballs are now focused

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PRESS

The No Agenda Show Plugs Media Collusion Course and Book

John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry over at The No Agenda Show had a nice chat about my new book and course that expose the crazy media machines that constantly badger our minds and bodies. Understand this stuff and you’ll have a healthier, more sane life. THE NO AGENDA SHOW is a podcast that dissects

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JOURNALISM

What are Newsjacking and Celebrityjacking? (Thank you David Meerman Scott)

Excerpt from the new Amazon almost best-seller  Media Collusion: Journalism and Marketing Experts Share the Secrets of Sneaky Advertising, Targeted Persuasion, AI and Tracking, Political Deception and Coercion, and Dishonest News In the early days of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the revered marketing and persuasion author David Meerman Scott coined the term for the practice of including popular,

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