Forbes_Article_100114Forbes recently found itself on the wrong side of the national dialogue around college campus sexual assault when site contributor Bill Frezza posted a blog entitled, “Drunk Female Guests Are the Gravest Threat to Fraternities.” The post was quickly removed from Forbes.com, but not before generating controversy and leading to strongly worded responses on both sides of the discussion from Bloomberg VIEW, TIME and The Boston Globe, in addition to the usual suspects.

Regardless of where you stand on the frat bros vs. drunk girls debate, there is a bigger journalistic issue at play. How could a blog post of this nature end up on Forbes.com, a publication that purports to be the must-read magazine for business leaders and billionaires? And how much editorial control does Forbes actually exert over its hundreds of contributors?

Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

October Save the DateOctober is the month for Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness. Additional information can be found here and here.

Bookmark these non-fiction book launches in October: The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson (Oct. 7), Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace by Leon Panetta (Oct. 7) and Yes Please by Amy Poehler (Oct. 28). It’s not too late to also mention that in September, Sir Richard Branson launched his latest book on leadership called The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, and Peter Thiel published his second book called Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. Happy reading!

Gorkana’s Media Briefing event is back in October with an opportunity for folks based in San Francisco to meet the USA Today West Coast team (Oct. 1). Details here.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives and academics at their annual meetings on Oct. 10-12 in Washington, D.C. Topics of discussion will include the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.

Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

As the dust settles following the Scottish referendum on independence, analysis will surely follow about how the campaign ran, the tactics used by both sides and how effective these were.

However, one of the more unlikely stories that has emerged from the campaign trail may find itself overlooked in the annals of history. Yet, that story, which could come from some sort of political soap opera, holds a number of valuable lessons about turning defeat on its head and reinventing oneself. That story is the rebrand of Gordon Brown.

When Brown left Downing Street following a defeat in the 2010 General Election, his popularity was at an all time low. After spending 10 years as Chancellor of the Exchequer and three as Prime Minister, Brown was taken to task for everything from his leadership skills to the global recession. After leaving office, he regularly featured highly in polls of Britain’s worst Prime Ministers.

However, fast forward four years, and Gordon Brown has experienced a political resurgence at the helm of the “No” (to Independence) campaign. No longer seen as an incompetent statesman lacking charisma, Brown has successfully reinvented himself as a leader and a man of conviction; passionate about Scotland, positive about the Union and, quite remarkably, the man that saved the “No” campaign from the brink of defeat.

So what changed and what lessons can we learn from Brown’s inconceivable turnaround?

Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

Media Navel Gaze The Week Unpeeled

Although the controversy at the NFL continued to hold the media’s attention stage most of the week, financial news shifted its focus late to the Alibaba Group stock listing, with the Chinese e-commerce company pricing at $68 per share, and surging some 38 percent, making it the largest IPO in the US, raising at least $21.8 billion with a market value of $231 billion, and as The Wall Street Journal noted, larger than Procter & Gamble.

Elsewhere:

  • Oracle founder Larry Ellison stepped down as CEO, the tech behemoth’s only chief since it was launched in 1977;
  • The Scots voted to stay in the UK following a closely watched and heated campaign and British Prime Minister David Cameron quickly announced a surprise proposal that will give more powers to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England;
  • The Royal and Ancient Golf Club voted to admit females, reversing a 260- year-old policy;
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced a new conduct committee at a press conference last week amid the second week of the domestic-violence scandal that has hit the league; The Baltimore Ravens organized a Ray Rice jersey exchange, while Nike terminated its endorsement deal with NFL star Adrian Peterson but no word on the company’s NFL partnerships;
  • The Dow Jones recorded another new high, ending the week 1.7 percent higher to close at 17,279 based in part of comments from Fed Chief Janet Yellen that rates will stay low; and
  • Vogue has made it official, announcing we have made it to the “Era of the Booty,” which only means the editors missed out on the Sir Mix-a-Lot era who went there a long time ago. End of Story
Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print

cheeseburger_day_2014The cheeseburger. Along with apple pie, it has, perhaps more than any other foodstuff, become synonymous with not just America, but what it means to be an American. With ‘National Cheeseburger Day’ upon us today, it is time to refresh our memories as to the journey taken by this patriotic platter.

Its origins are disputed (there are three towns across the US claiming to be the birthplace of this bovine delicacy) yet the symbolism was, initially, the same. It is a dish for the nation of plenty. It became a symbol of American virility, a testament to its enduring commitment to a meritocratic, no nonsense society. Read early British press reports on the opening of the first McDonald's and the responses were confused, even somewhat scandalised – indeed one diner, a veteran, is said to have remarked: ‘These Yanks never change – too large and no taste.’ That diner was my Grandfather.

However, in 2004, ‘Super Size Me’ was released. Suddenly, almost overnight, the humble cheeseburger went from being a cultural achievement to a byword for gluttony. No longer did it highlight America’s virtues, but rather came to symbolise its decadence and hedonism.   Europeans guffawed into their foie gras fondant at American indulgence.

Continue Reading »

Share:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • email
  • Print