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TODD SMITH — News driven by technology, new journalism report finds

Growth around online video news has been largely driven by technology, publishers and platforms, instead of strong consumer demand, a new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism finds – but breaking news events may hold clues to success. The report, The Future of Online News Video explores the explosion in online video news seen over the ...

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JEFFREY GITOMER: The most coveted prize in selling besides a sale … is a referral

Everyone tells you to get referrals. And most people tell you to “ask” for them. “Don’t forget to ask for a referral.” Horrible strategy. Totally offensive for the most part. Borderline rude. And asking the same customer twice is a death wish. MY DEFINITION OF A REFERRAL: A name and contact information provided proactively by someone you have a relationship ...

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BOBBY HARRISON: Taxes make possible the best of government work

A reader emailed to point out that while reporting that the 3 percent tax on insurance premiums was a growing source of revenue for a beleaguered state budget, I did not explain that the levy most likely was resulting in people having to pay more for insurance. Granted, taxes do not occur in a vacuum. They cost somebody extra money ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: 2016 puts Reeves’ fiscal credibility at risk

Lieutenant Gov. Tate Reeves has put his fiscal credibility on the line.    The former investment banker told voters in 2011 he was “a true, proven fiscal conservative with a record of executive leadership who will take the difficult stance necessary to ensure our state makes the right financial decisions.”    Reeves appeared to make the right financial decisions during his ...

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TODD SMITH: CDC launches comprehensive Zika communications plan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pushing hard to spread the word about Zika, the first new cause of birth defects identified by the CDC in 50 years and the first time ever that the cause has been spread by mosquitos. CDC communications professionals are working side-by-side with scientists and emergency responders as the Zika hazard grows. And ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Smartphone apps for public officials

Nearly two-thirds of Americans now have smartphones. And on those smartphones are so-called apps of every description. How extensive are smartphone apps? From July 2008 to June 2016 there has been a cumulative total of 130 billion apps downloaded from Apples app store. What does it all mean? And what are the must-have apps for a smartphone? So what is ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: As K-12 performance improves, what about colleges and universities?

Education is the pathway to success. It starts early. More children succeeding in kindergarten means more have a chance to succeed in school.       Children in every school district are doing better in kindergarten, reports the Mississippi Department of Education. “Our schools’ and teachers’ focus on literacy is making significant impact on student learning,” said Kim Benton, chief academic officer.  ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — It’s high time for a good watermelon

I know a fella who as a youngster had an unusual — no, unique – closer for selling watermelons. It wasn’t where they were grown – whether Smith County, Mississippi; Hope, Arkansas or his grandpappy’s patch. My friend is now in his 80s but he was about the age of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s tricksters. Back in the ...

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TODD SMITH — 10 steps to better writing from David Ogilvy, father of advertising

Perhaps Earnest Hemingway said it best: “Writing’s easy, just sit at a typewriter and open a vein!” Great wisdom from one of the greatest writers of all time. It’s been said that the ability to write well helps a person achieve focus, which leads to better, clearer thinking. Great writers are gifts, but good writing can be achieved through constant ...

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