Dan Wood and Gloria Goodale of the Christian Science Monitor will conduct their third (out of four) lecture on the modern media landscape on Feb. 12 in Brentwood. Topics covered include information overload, “spin,” social media, the impact of professional sports and more.
The gatherings, held at the Tenth Church of Christ, Scientist, at 1133 So. Bundy (catty-corner from Ralphs), are very interactive, with audience participation encouraged. Westside Today recently caught up with Dan Wood and Gloria Goodale and learned more.
You are conducting a series of lectures on social media, media and political spin and the like. For our readers who haven’t yet attended, can you give us a quick overview of what this lecture series is all about?
This is intended to pull the curtain back on these topics to let the public see a bit more behind the scenes of how the news is generated and to give them a toolbox to help them decipher the process with more clarity, balance and depth.
What’s your “take” on all this? What should we all be thinking about when it comes to the new media landscape? Why is this topic important?
People are hearing more and more in conventional news reports that “new media” and “social media” are having an impact on events – such as the Arab Spring and in Ferguson, Missouri – in helping organizations and the lay public stage protests that are forcing officials to respond. What are these outlets, how do you find them? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
When are your next ones? What will be the topics?
Our next workshop is Thursday, Feb. 12, to look at “How sports drives the news.” We will look at prevalence of sports in America – as measured by the amount of money spent on basketball, football, baseball, tennis and others and show how the issues that come up in the sports world, suddenly become pivotal talking points for the entire country in other venues – such as domestic violence and sexual abuse.
How are things going at the Christian Science Monitor? How are you navigating the transition from old media to new?
As evidenced by covers stories in trade publications and elsewhere, the Monitor is considered a pioneer in the move of traditional physical newspapers to online, web incarnations. It was the first, major national newspaper to announce it was moving to a web newspaper. The move appears to be going well as measured by the new metrics which are “page views” and “unique visitors.”
We are attracting a bigger audience via the web than we ever had during our newspaper days; we’re currently ranked the 336th biggest US-based site on the web (https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites/US?jump-to=336 ), which makes us bigger than, for instance, abcnews.com, cbsnews.com, and hulu.com.
In terms of improving our financial position, the Monitor hasn’t broken even since 1957, but we’re on track to do so in the next few years.