Thursday, September 20, 2018

Al Tompkins from the Poynter Institute at Palm Beach State College.


[Below are some ‘takeaways’, observations, and quotes from Al Tompkins’ very well-attended presentation.

However, please note, this is very important: The two images below are not from Tompkins’ presentation but images posted on this blog many times before demonstrating how far the press and media will go to confuse and manipulate the public.

This is certainly not all in the press and media. Thankfully, this is just a very few people. Most reporters work very hard to be fair and report things as accurately as possible. Hope you find this blog post helpful.]

Two important takeaways from the session by Tompkins are:

Just because it’s accurate doesn’t mean it’s true.

And,

When your eyes and ears are in competition the eyes will win.


The 2014 Christmas season in Lake Worth was not a high point for journalism.

A newspaper headline, for example, can contain accurate information but not report the truth. Many of the Lake Worth public will remember this:

The Post reporter Kevin Thompson did not use the word “curfew” in his article. But his editor did in the headline. This is an example of loaded language.


How many people saw the word “curfew”? And how much of an effect did that have on the public? That’s hard to know but many in the community went to work real fast to get the truth out.

Mr. Tompkins also had this interesting line about what politicians say when they have no answer to a question:
“That’s a great question.”

And he emphasized this point about Free Speech and pull quotes:
“Pull quotes are Fair Use.”

He went on to say that the use of pull quotes drives journalists crazy.

The video below focuses mostly on TV political ads and specifically the extremely effective attack ad by President Obama against Romney on health care. The ad was so good Romney was forced to respond back with his own ad quickly. But the damage had already been done.

Tompkins talked about Super PAC’s too and Free Speech. As much as he detests them he went on to make this point, paraphrasing:
The public needs to sort out what’s accurate and what’s true. And voters need to be responsible in understanding how they are being persuaded.

Enjoy the video, it’s very enlightening. And much thanks to Al Tompkins for taking the time to visit us in Palm Beach County. We look forward to another session some time in the future: