Monday, December 15, 2008

Code of Ethics

A journalist’s personal code of ethics is his or her guide of morals and objectivity to create a sense of, if anything, personal credibility. Through such a code, the journalist establishes a trust and understanding with the stakeholders.

As a student of the public relations side of the profession, I believe in order to obtain the highest moral standard of excellence; elements of both the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) code of ethics and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) code of ethics must be fused. They are but shadowy reflections of each other and to reach what is best for the stakeholders requires a constant reflection of both standards.

When considering an ethical situation, there are ways to focus your decision making process. First ask yourself how you would feel if the story were written about you. Consult others as well. Co-workers can provide great insight with their own experiences. See what the community thinks. What are their values? Getting the opinions of those outside the workspace is a great way to get perspective. Also, view the editor’s opinion. Whether a journalist agrees or not, it will help better his or her understanding before making the final decision. But most importantly, journalists should listen to their own instincts.

Free Flow of Information, Acting Independently and Seeking the Truth
Free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society. As a journalist/agent of PR, it is our duty to always keep the interest of the public our number one goal.

Even when the effects of such coverage may do self harm, the outcome creates higher credibility with the stakeholders. Failing to do so is unethical and leads to overall failure. Newspapers have lost credibility from withholding information and corporations have collapsed.

Minimizing Harm and Competition
A journalist must show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Stories dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects must be held with care. Those involving tragedy must also be handled with sensitivity. Journalists are not in the business of bringing harm to others.

The same aspect goes for public relations. Professionals in PR should promote a healthy and fair competition among its rival entities. Intentionally bringing harm is immoral to the professional and a poor representation of the corporation he or she represents.

A journalist/ agent of PR must always seek to retain and grow in their moral standards. It is important to encourage public critique and to invite open discussion over journalistic and corporation conduct.

They must abide by their standards and expose the unethical standards of others. A newspaper or corporation must know when to admit their mistakes and act positively to correct themselves. Accountability is a direct influence to stakeholder credibility.

Privacy and Safeguarding Confidences
A journalist should respect the boundaries of public and private information if it is not information concerning the community. This especially applies to information that is potentially harmful to the subject. Obtaining information through questionable means is immoral.

As an agent of public relations, it is crucial to safeguard the confidences and privacy rights of present, former and perspective clients and employees. This includes privileged, confidential, or insider information gained from a client or organization. The only exception to this principle is if the information is harmful to the public. Otherwise, leaking such information is an unethical procedure.

Understanding diversity is a key element to any journalist/ Agent of PR when in the field. It is always important to stay in tune with the cultural, racial and gender concerns of others that we work with and write about. By doing this, The professional practitioner creates a stronger sense of trust and respect among his or her peers and stakeholders. Failing to keep these aspects in mind can result in personal harm to the reputation of the individual, the corporation or newspaper, and possibly the community's moral.

As a Rule
As a rule it is important to always retain advocacy, honestly, expertise, independence and fairness.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My NYC Playlist

To continue in showing a personal side of myself on my blog, I wanted to share one of my favorite playlists on my computer. This my collection of songs about New York City.

  1. “Welcome to New York City” – Cam’ron and Jay Z
  2. “New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra
  3. “On Broadway” – George Benson
  4. “Hey There Delilah” – Plain White t’s
  5. “Once Upon a Time in New York City” – Huey Lewis
  6. “Marching Bands of Manhattan” – Death Cab for Cutie
  7. “A Heart in New York” – Simon and Garfunkel
  8. “Angel of Harlem” – U2
  9. “New York State of Mind” – Billy Joel
  10. “Nights on Broadway” – Bee Gees
  11. “In a New York Minute” – Eagles
  12. “Another Rainy Day in New York City” – Chicago

Each song has a different feeling genre to it; including alternative/indie, rap, disco, swing, pop, acoustic, and classic rock. I miss New York and every now and then I need these songs to help keep me focused on finding my way back there again. And Let's face it, these songs put me in that "New York State of Mind."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Designing the J-Dept t-shirt

So as the Vice-President of the Ole Miss chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), I will be designing the Official Journalism Department t-shirts SPJ will be selling next semester.

Department t-shirts are common at Ole Miss. I have seen shirts for the Business and Pharmacy schools as well as the Psychology Department. I'm especially proud because this will be the Journalism Department's first shirt.

Based on specifications from our advisor, Dr. Wickham, and some preferences of my own, I have come up with three basic concepts. The color scheme for each shirt is royal blue with white text to set a more imperial feel. Though each front and back can be mix matched, I've purposefully laid them side by side with the design they best compliment.

The front for the first design is a combination of the Journalism Department logo and the school crest. The back is the first amendment of the constitution. Its look is more of a slight regal tone. Down side is that when I finished it I realized the front was almost a rip off of the university's presidential debate t-shirt.

The second design focuses on the the Journalism logo itself on the front. Since it is much more simple than the other, I needed to make the back of the shirt much louder than the first design. On the back, the three major student organizations of the Journalism Department are featured; SPJ, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Public Relations Association of Mississippi. Since the shirt is SPJ sponsored I did show a little favoritism towards the size of our logo.

The third design for the shirt is definitely my favorite of the three. It is a combination of all of the previous elements for a great overall effect. The front is similar to that of the department's desktop backgrounds in the computer labs and will be more familiar with students. That layout was originally created by Noah Bunn. On the back of the shirt, all of the organizations are once again displayed and the first amendment is below them. As far as which design is used, I would bank on this one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Very Superstitious

Superstition is a relatively silly concept. The idea that something as trivial as a black cat crossing your path, breaking a looking glass, or wearing that lucky pair of un-washed boxers could determine your fate is pretty un-circumstantial and un-realistic.

Yet so many athletic team members and high powered business executives are some of the worst when it comes to superstitious ritual.

But who am I to judge... I'm just as bad as they are!

When it comes to the number 13, I'm about as superstitious as it gets. I never allow my radio volume to rest on 13. I never finish any quantity of things to total the number 13. I'm especially reluctant when it comes to Friday the 13th. Mostly I justify this by that fact that bad things have actually happened to me when this number is involved. July, Friday 13, 2007 was one of the worst days of my life.

This journal entry is my 13th which is why I'm ranting about “Superstition.” But let’s face it, "Superstition ain't the way."

P.S. That whole "the tail side of a penny is bad luck" is just insane. How is that bad luck? Who cares what side you found it on! You are ONE cent richer than you were before you found the penny! That sounds like good luck to me!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Man of the Man Committee

Recently I was appointed as the new head of the Man Committee in our fraternity of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. In Sinfonia, there is the Executive Committee (EC) followed by three separate committees to help bring more focus and organization to our fraternity's mission. The head of each committee reports to the EC.

The individual committees include the divisions of Music, Money and Man. In the Man Committee, we focus on social coordinated events such as brotherhood builders for the probationary and collegiate brothers.

As the new head of the committee, I have two major goals for next semester. The first is Sinfonia's first annual spring formal. The other is "Sinfonia Battle of the Bands."

The formal is a spring semester social event that is designed for optimal brotherhood interaction. This event also serves purpose in showing that the Lambda Xi chapter has grown and matured as a chapter to where we are capable of hosting such an event. We are also co-hosting the event with our sister sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota.

It is an event that I have been personally planning since last spring and up until now I have been considered the "unofficial" coordinator of the event.

The other is a project that Sinfonia has been doing for some time.
"Sinfonia Battle of the Bands" features local bands in competition for a framed golden record award. The event serves as a great venue for the bands as well as big event for Sinfonia.

My intent is to gear the event more towards our philanthropic goals by raising the funds we earn from concessions for the VH1 "Save the Music" Foundation.

Both projects are in their early stages of development and I will be focusing a good bit of time during the holiday break to get them further in motion.

The committee has already discussed some brotherhood builders for next semester so we're definitely off to a great start on that as well.

Above design: formal concept logo by me.
Below design: Battle of the Bands concept logo by Matt McNulty.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Obama Drama" Analysis

In the scope of things, to me the greatest triumph in President Elect Barack Obama’s election campaign was the 30 minute infomercial. I definitely want to give a personal analysis of its affect on voters.

In the end, 33.5 million people watched the 30 minute "Obama-drama" Wednesday, October 29th during prime time. The infomercial aired on seven networks including: CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, MSNBC, BET and TV One. The show, estimated to have cost more than $4 million, marked the first time a presidential candidate used an infomercial to press his candidacy since Ross Perot in 1992.

To be frank, it was a very moving commercial; Romanticized yes, but idealistic and surreal. And for some strange reason, Americans love amber waves of grain across a television screen. The infomercial did not just focus his goals but gave the story of Americans he met along his campaign trail and how his plans will help benefit them.

A key subliminal scene was when you were with Obama in the office. Notice that office seems to resemble that of... an Oval Office! By doing this, Obama was able to give Americans the ease of comfort in seeing him in such a position. It was a very key element that gave undecided voters the appearance of Obama being more than "ready" to step into the role of a world leader.

The infomercial also clearly presented the specifics of Obama's plans to address the most pressing issues. When it comes to undecided voters, they want the “specifics.” Within the biographical parts of the piece, Obama's life story was reiterated as epitomizing the American dream. This was a great way of re-enforcing the “I’m just like you” ideology.

Also, I couldn't help but get hysterical when McCain retaliated to the infomercial saying that Obama's ad was paid for by “broken promises.” If McCain had the funds, he would have done something similar. Maybe he should have paid more attention to Obama's fundraising stategy.

His whole campaign, maximizing the use of the media and internet, was brilliant. Obama definitely put a bench mark in political campaigning by using the internet to raise funds and support.

Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if the Obama infomercial came out on DVD with an Extended Director's Cut and Bonus Features including deleted scenes, a gag reel and the Official Obama Soundtrack considering the millions of dollars he spent just producing and broadcasting this on the networks.

But in the end, such a bold marketing move did exactly what Obama needed for a final push on undecided voters to win the election.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Great Collapse

A recent in depth report I wrote for THE OXFORD EAGLE concerning the current decline in the local automobile industry.
"Local dealerships cope with soft economy"
By Andrew M. Scott
EAGLE Contributor

One of the many effects of the dramatic drop in the stock market is the corresponding drop in vehicle sales being felt by dealerships every where.

“With a combination of credit restraints and the fear factor of the crash of the stock market, people have essentially stopped car sales,” Oxford’s Chandler Motor Co. President Lawrence Chandler said.

In a recent report from Reuters, in the coming months as many as 3,800 U.S. car dealerships could fail, or nearly one in five across the nation.

As a reminder of the times, an automotive magazine is sprawled across Chandler’s desk with the bold headline, “The Great Collapse.” Consumers and lenders seem to be tightening their belts more these days, he said.

“People who are credit worthy are not buying because they have experienced significant losses in their net worth,” Chandler said. “And people who have lower credit scores who could normally get financing are now finding the door is closed.”

At Cannon Motor Co., 1801 W. Jackson Ave., new car manager Randell Naramore said Cannon is feeling the same effects.

“It’s a lot slower and most of all of your lenders have gotten a lot tighter on who they’re going to lend money to,” Naramore said.

Both, however, remain positive about the customer.

“It’s obviously a buyer’s market and they know they’re getting a great deal and you’re encouraging them to shop around,” Naramore said, “Most dealerships are really competitive right now. We need to move inventory — its no secret.”

“We are taking action to control inventories and reduce expenses where possible,” Chandler said, “It’s a national economic crisis and actions of individual car dealers have little impact on the overall consumer confidence.”

Dekki Jones, assistant sales manager at Belk Ford Mercury Toyota Inc., said they are also increasing incentives.

“ Last month was the first it had really affected us with a sales drop of 41 percent,” Jones said.

“What I think is, people sit at home and watch too much TV,” Jones said about consumers’ wringing their hands over the economy. “Forget about it. Just go out and work and live your life.”

Despite the current crisis, the company’s new and pre-owned sales representative Dennis Freeouf is optimistic.

“I agree with the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel — history is cyclic and so is the economy,” Freeouf said. “If you’ll go through a text book, you’ll see that though times are rough, there is a light on the other side.”

His main confidence remains in the product.

“Despite the current situation, from what we’re doing, we’ve remained in the top 20 in the state in sales,” Freeouf said. “We do not like turn over; customers do not like turnovers. Customers like a product bought from a company they like and that will follow through.”

But, according to The Detroit Free Press statistics remain low. Across the nation, Toyota sales dropped 32.2 percent, Chrysler sales fell 33 percent and Honda sales were down 28 percent in the past few months. With Ford, sales were down 33.8 percent, 22.5 percent at Lincoln, 43.2 percent, Chrysler sales at 33 percent, and Honda sales down 28 percent.

Chandler said he believes this is a problem the whole nation will have to contend with in order to make change.

“It’s such an enormous issue that I think everyone is frustrated whether you own a dealership, restaurant, small business or factory,” Chandler said. “The solution rests with the combined efforts of all Americans.”

Reports were circulated last week that poor market conditions had convinced Toyota officials to delay the opening of the company’s Blue Springs plant until 2011, but the company is dismissing these media reports, according to Toyota officials are saying that for the moment at least, the company plans to continue with preparations to open the facility in 2010.

Published: November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Going to Jail

So last Friday I went to jail at the Lafayette County Detention Center. It was a very cold and bleak place. It was probably the most creeped out I have been in quite some time.

In two separate cell blocks were the DUI and public drunk arrests from the night before. One was for the guys to sleep in, the other for the girls. The one girl I saw was quiet and hid behind her blanket. The guys on the other hand, were very mocking.

Other cells had convicts in them. Theirs were dim and most of them were asleep except one who was sitting on the floor next to the bars. He just kept glaring at me. His staring would have been more disturbing if he had not been starring at the other eight members of my Advance Reporting class.

Yes, I went to jail as part of a class field trip. I bet I had you going there for a minute. The detention center was just one trip we made in relation to Dr. Kathleen Wickham's emphasis study on criminal case reporting. Our other trips included the federal and circuit courts.

But the detention center was probably the most spine-chilling field trip I have EVER been on. While on the first floor, we viewed the fingerprinting station, the visitors booths, and the maximum security holding cells for prisoners that go out of control. Every other room we went through was another checkpoint for clearance.

On the third floor we saw the court yard and the library which the prisoners choose between for their one hour of free time each day. Then we went to where the year long convicts who were a danger to society are held.

It was strange looking at them as they came to the window to look at us through the 18 inch glass that divided us. The glass itself had a crack in it where one of the prisoners had punched it with his fist two weeks earlier. For the convicts, seeing people was a change from the everyday of sitting in a cell and doing nothing but watch television and clean. For the class, it was a very disturbing sensation of feeling as though we were looking into a human zoo.

Interestingly enough, I learned that convicts can have a small allowance to purchase books and candy. Jails do not provide toilet paper, so convicts have to purchase their own toiletries as well. The conditions are very constricting with their day to day schedule. Each holding area holds a max of 12 cells with one shower. The lighting is dark and the walls are gray. Just being in there for a week would seem dismal when some people stay there for a year.

Hope that you never find yourself on the other side of the 18 inch glass.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dreams of New York City

So let's talk about the one aspect of the future that is always on my mind, New York City.

Back in the first week of April, I got the chance to go to NYC for the NIT tournament with the Ole Miss basketball team "Rebel Rebound Sound" pep band. The three short days that we were there opened my eyes to a world of opportunity I had never truly considered before.

I fell in love with everything about New York. The constant sense of adventure and excitement was intoxicating. Getting to play in Madison Square Garden was incredible. Broadway and Times Square were amazing. I could spend forever in Central Park. There were even moments where I road the subways by myself.

One time on the subway, just as the doors were closing, a group of young black men jumped on at the last minute. The leader yelled out "Listen up everyone, we've got a very important announcement!" Then they broke out into doo wap a capella for the rest of the ride to the next station. It was great. Mostly it was about political propaganda and the count down until Pres. Bush leaves office. I couldn't help but laugh. They did it in a unique way that drew interest.

The most wonderful moment for me was from the 80th floor of the Empire State Building. It was almost midnight and I could not stop thinking about how I wished none of this would end and I could stay in New York. I thought about a lot that night while overlooking the cityscape. Mostly, I thought about the future. The trip was an epic event that pushed me to dream for something more...

So what's the Plan? I have developed two options.

THE FIRST: is the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. For that I've started researching admissions standards, funding and housing. The great aspect to CUNY is that it is located in Times Square and the journalism school helps to provide you with a paid internship during the summer of your spring and fall semesters.

THE SECOND: is probably the most daringly insane aspiration I have yet to conceive, the NBC Page Program. to quote the New York Times, "7,000 people apply for 60 to 85 slots each year, making the page program about 10 times as competitive as admission to Harvard or Yale."

Both of these dreams will take a lot of hard work to accomplish and my focus is on BOTH of them. To be honest, I have never been filled with so much Hope and Fear at the same time. But I believe that you should use fear to compel you; otherwise, it will destroy you. It will be difficult but the odds have never stopped me before.

Someday I will wake up again in the city that never sleeps and it will be so much more than just a dream, but instead a reality.

"Keep your dream alive
Dreaming is still how the strong survive
Once upon a time in New York City."
(Huey Lewis, Oliver and Company Soundtrack)
Above Photo: O'Bryon Pams, Holli Lancaster, me, and Becca Roberts in Times Square.
Below Photo: The south side New York cityscape from the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The NBC Internship

It is a very cold 6:30 a.m. on September 26 and the four shot espresso and two skim milk lattes in my hands are not getting any warmer. At this point in the day, the magnetometers (Mags) are not allowing liquids in the building. At this point, there is only one way to resolve the issue.

“Sir, we’ll let you pass through this time,” the secret serviceman said, “But you’re going to have to taste test them first.”

Without any other choice, I took a sip from each coffee. The espresso was horribly strong. Needless to say, I would not be telling NBC News (CENSORED) what I had to do to get her coffee that morning.

That was just one of many obstacles I faced as a University of Mississippi Presidential Debate intern during the week of the first debate, rushing from one corner of Oxford to another, making constant supply trips to whatever store still had supplies, and always making it just in time.

On average, I made three to four supply trips to Wal-Mart and other businesses each day during the week. Every time I was at Wal-Mart there were always other network interns rushing about as well.

During the internship, I worked for NBC Nightly News and Specials Senior Production Manager Maralyn Gelefsky. It was amazing to work for Ms. Maralyn. She had a lot of experience for me to learn from.

The work that the other 11 NBC selected interns and I did for Gelefsky usually varied from picking up reporters to shuttle different locations, writing emails to correspondents, helping set up equipment, and making various supply runs. Fellow intern Sarah Cure and I even had to chart the best travel route from (CENSORED).

But despite being constantly busy, I did take the time to learn from the experience as it unfolded throughout the week. It was pretty exciting getting to see NBC news in action. The diligence and the work speed of the crew was amazing.

During my time, I kept up with as much of the process as I could during the week; including assembly, production and dis-assembly. I also got to work directly for retired news anchor Tom Brokaw and anchor Brian Williams.

The funniest moment for me was when Brokaw and his wife, Meredith, and I were at a gas station early Saturday morning. As he and I stepped up to the entrance of the Chevron, a little old man in a cap walked up to Brokaw and asked “Are you who I think you are?” Brokaw jokingly said “No, I’m not Eli Manning.”

And believe it or not, I passed through the Mags so many times on Friday that Secret Service and I knew each other on a first name basis by mid-day.

And then there was the night before the debate. It was about 11:30 and we had packed up for the night. Before I left I sat outside in front of the NBC workspace and just watched the people go by as well as the changing colors of the Gertrude Ford Center. Starring up at it gave me memories of when my family would go to Disney World. We would always finish our last night at the Magic Kingdom and I would stare at Cinderella's Castle one last time in awe. I could feel that same peace and contentment looking up at the Ford Center. I could feel the magic...

Overall, with very little sleep throughout the week, the internship was worth it for me. I took every opportunity to be a part of the experience. If it was up to me, I’d still be a part of it right now and maybe one day, I will.

Above Photo: Anchor Tom Brokaw, Me, Senior Production Manager Maralyn Gelefsky.
Below Photo: The Gertrude Ford Center the night before the debate.
NOTE: parts of this entry were censored and other events left out in the interest of the NBC/Universal privacy statement.

Debate This, Ole Miss Entries (Election Day)

A compilation of entries from election day.
The Obama Nation / You Stay Classy, America
Well... it's time to come out of the political closest...
I voted for Obama!!!!! Surprise!!!!!...
Wait, what do mean you could already tell? (Blushes)

Anyway, Last night was an epic night in American history with the election of the first black man to be President of the United States of America. It was a beautiful moment, with the results coming a lot sooner than most elections in the past. It is definitely one of the greatest presidential elections of our time. The world knew it was over when Ohio turned, but the defining moment was when the entire western seaboard came in pushing him over the 270 electoral college votes needed. When that happened, it was over, The Presidency was Barack Obama's. We now find Obama's 349 electoral votes to McCain's 173.

Sadly though, I was disappointed that my home county and Mississippi's electoral votes went Republican for McCain. Here's the kicker though, I didn't vote all Democrat! For Mississippi I voted Republican for Roger Wicker who also won! That is my testament to the ideal that you should vote for what the candidate believes and not necessarily the party.

I'll never forget the anticipation of sitting here in my apartment at Campus Creek with my roommates awaiting that wonderful moment. And across the country, scenes of rejoice filled the television screen. MSNBC's pan of the citizens across the city Chicago was amazing and they even showed a candid shot of Jesse Jackson crying in the crowd. Rockefeller "Election Plaza" in New York City was beautiful as crowds cried and cheered in glee. It was a moment the world would not forget.

And even in all the celebration, Obama has already started choosing his staff with the acceptance of Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel with the job of Chief of Staff for the Obama White House.

Both candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama have been outstanding in their strides over the past few months. And I greatly respect McCain’s support and good will to Obama’s election. As President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden now prepare for a difficult future ahead, I pray that they find the right path to lead us. I believe in a brighter future and I believe that with God's help, Obama can guide the way.

But it is not just up to Obama to do so. This is our nation and together we can bring change and heal our wounds. Together we will find that path through faith, strength and wisdom. The future is for us to decide.

Change... is here!

Posted by Andrew M. Scott 11/05/2008 02:12:00 PM

Debate This, Ole Miss Entries (Thoughts on Music)

"I Can Go the Distance"
So like an idiot, I did not get my absentee ballot application accepted in time for the election.

But because of the significance of this election and the integrity of my positions til this night, I would not back down and I am voting in this election.

Earlier tonight, as soon as I got out of band, I made the long 4 hour drive from Oxford, MS to my hometown of Brookhaven, MS. Along the way I made only one stop for gas and I drove straight on from there. Thankfully I have no classes other than band on Tuesdays. Later today I will go to the lodge building near my house and cast my vote for the next presidential candidate. Very shortly afterwards, I will take my next 4 hour trip back to Oxford just in time for band. Afterwards, I'll sleep.

To be honest, It's worth it to me! This election and our future are too important not to find a way to vote. To not vote would make me a hypocrit to everything I have said and written in the past few months. For me, I have literally "gone the distance."

"I know ev'ry mile
Will be worth my while
When I go the distance
I'll be right where I belong."
("Go The Distance" - Michael Bolton, Hercules Soundtrack)
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 11/04/2008 12:57:00 AM

"If You're Out There"
Grammy Award winning recording artist and concert performer John Legend premiered his new song, "If You're Out There," during the opening of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado earlier this semester.

The song is an amazing call-to-action and evocation of human potential. "If You're Out There" reflects the themes of hope and change, responsibility and leadership, and commitment to a better tomorrow expressed in the principles of Barack Obama's campaign and the hearts of the American people.

In these troubling few months, the words of this song have become more meaningful in our need for inspiration and hope. Legend has definitely set the tone; one I can feel coursing through my veins in anticipation as the moment draws closer until a new President is named and America prepares for an uncertain future that will rely not only on a president, but ourselves.

When you listen to this song for yourself, let it light the darkness and give you inspiration.

"Oh I was looking for a song to sing
I searched for a leader
But the leader was me
We were looking for the world to change
We can be heroes
Just go on and say
If you're out there
Sing along with me..."
-John Legend
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 11/04/2008 12:09:00 AM

Debate This, Ole Miss Entries (Synonyms for Stupid)

So apparently in Pittsburgh, a 20-year-old college student by the name of Amy Todd made the claim that an Obama supporter physically abused her.

In her story, Todd, who is white, described being robbed, pinned to the ground and having the letter "B" scratched on her face. She described the attack as a politically inspired battery by a black man who told her he was going to "teach her a lesson" for supporting the Republican presidential candidate, and that she was going to become an Obama supporter.

She later admitted to authorities on Friday that the story was a hoax.

Todd is now awaiting arraignment on the misdemeanor false-report charge, which is punishable by up to two years in prison. She is claiming to be mentally unstable… Yeah… Sure…

The most obvious factor to me as I first saw pictures of Todd was that the letter "B" was backwards! Why would someone write the "B" backwards? Someone who is scratching it into themselves in a mirror maybe?! *cough, liar*

And of course there was the ATM surveillance video that showed no such assault. *cough, liar*

Either way, Todd is a Republican who was trying to help McCain/Palin to win the state, or she is just desperate for fame. The most troubling aspect is the racial element and implications in her story. Whether to fuel racial divide to help a presidential campaign or a sick stunt, the incident is sad and pathetic.

And her actions have now caused voters to view the Republican Party as desperate in its attempts to derail Obama at the last minute. And it sets a shameful mark on College Republicans. Also, I’m sure Texas can’t be very happy about her either. Honestly, she should have thought more about the consequences of her actions and how it would affect the party she so cares to help.

I have friends who are College Republicans, and this incident is an insult to their integrity and honor. One of my closest friends is a Texan and this is an insult to him as well.

Needless to say, Todd should be ashamed of her actions, the effects they will have on others, and the lack of personal dignity in herself as a person.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…”
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 10/25/2008 12:38:00 AM

One thing that still frustrates me from time to time is continued, uninformed ignorance. Last week while leaving a gas station I heard a statement I thought was finally over.

"I'm not voting for a Muslim."
- elderly woman

Honestly, I believed that kind of narrow minded, ill-informed viewpoint had finally been smothered and the thought that there are still people in America under this assumption appalls me. It makes sense though, despite the media's "mostly" successful effort to smother this ridiculous rumor, the Internet has played a vivid role in keeping that concept alive.

To make matters worse, this morning on facebook I came across a group titled "the country was founded in god we trust not Allah so FORGET OBAMA!!" In the group's recent news:

"All the same I have discovered something that the court doesn't know, the fact that I pray to God in American (HIS language) makes me more American than other people. "In God we Trust" means that I, as a white Christian, am entitled to reign over lesser Americans, and I'll be [CENSORED] if those lesser Americans try to elect some uppity [CENSORED], elitist that tries to act like the universe wasn't invented solely for the pleasure and comfort of Real Americans. (TM.) Americhrist Over All!" - Josh Beran (UNL)

When I read this, my stomach wrenched.

The group is ridiculous and has had no activity for some months now. The realization that there are still members in association with this group and the views it stands behind is horrible. Another prime example of this continued ignorance was found in the chat thread of the facebook group "Stop Barack Obama (One Million Strong and Growing)" photo 24 concerning Obama's election.

"Because my dear friend its the easy way to get the other terrorists into the country and take us over. the terrorists want obama to win because hes muslim. just like them."- Kathryn Hughes, June 21st, 2008

An older example of this dare I say "Backwoods" type of commentating I discovered in a youtube video back in February. The video was taken by Rocketboom field correspondent and The Uptake producer Chuck Olsen who talks to Christian Fundamentalists about Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, and the End Times in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Needless to say, the video is so horrible the viewer can't help but laugh at the level of ignorance in the interviewees answers. In the video, Obama is accused of wanting to take oath from the Koran, not saluting the flag and other trite, misinformed statements.

One of the members of the church's congregation even says that her information was from "one of our church members who has been keeping up with what Obama's comments are."

It is scary to know that there are individuals like these across the country with such a deformed scope of truth. There is no excuse. The fact of the matter is individuals need to hold themselves to a higher standard of knowledge and not ignorant assumptions and rumors. If an individual is going to say something, fact check it and know the truth of the information before hand.

Ignorance = No Respect
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 10/23/2008 08:55:00 PM

Monday, November 10, 2008

Debate This, Ole Miss Entries (Economic Crisis)

This is a general coverage of the current economic crisis and Wall Street. I'll cut to the chase about the moral of these three blogs... STAY IN SCHOOL!
The Reasons Three and the Future After
So in a recent New York Times article 'Three Trends and a Train Wreck' by TYLER COWEN, he covers three basic elements to the economic crisis.

He first goes on to state that "The crisis is global in nature and its causes are more general and less country-specific than is commonly reflected in the political discourse of any single nation. Many countries — not just the United States — came to have fundamentally unsound banking systems. If Japan remains an exception, it is only because it already suffered through similar problems in the 1990s."

The effects are global and just about everyone is suffering. In the article he gives the 3 underlyng resons. His first trend is cited as a positive one: an enormous growth in wealth that needed to be moved into investments. Of course, the trouble is whether that wealth has been invested in an effective and prudent way. This leads to the second trend, the greater willingness of both individuals and financial institutions to take on risk. The third component has been weak governance and oversight, including inadequate control and monitoring. In the end, the government's and the market's fail!

So what does this mean for us? Stay in school!!! The world just got alot scarier. Actually, in light of all that has happened I have taken a much more specific interest in my own future. From what classes I have to take to graduate, to what I have to do and where to go for graduate school. I've taken a long hard look at exactly what I have to do in the five years after I've finished all of my schooling. I hope the effects of this current crisis have done the same for my fellow classmates, because the day is coming!
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 10/18/2008 10:17:00 PM

Bailout of the Future?
In the words of Dr. Emmett Brown from the movie Back to the Future, "GREAT SCOTT!"

Since the government's landmark $700 billion bank bailout on October 3, I've had alot of time to watch the continued lack of effectiveness and a still faultering economy.

To be honest the U.S. is not really in a position to rescue bankrupt companies. The fact of the matter is that it is itself bankrupt. And just as the financial industry has been an enabler of consumer deficit spending, foreign governments have enabled the U.S. government to spend more than it brings in, by buying up U.S. debt. Foreign countries now own more than half of U.S. debt, compared with 5 percent 20 years ago. The biggest outside holder of U.S. debt is China.

A $700 billion bailout only scratchs the surface of our debt. We cannot continue to grow, based on borrowing against the future. The domestic finance is lack, and our foreign enablers are picking up on it. The economy will sqeeze, our standard of living will decline, and more people will become poor and unemployed. Unfortunetally, we're in for tough times and the road is rough ahead.
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 10/28/2008 02:22:00 PM

Bailout of the Future? Part II
In the words of Marty McFly from the movie Back to the Future, "This is heavy!"

In the blog precursing to this, I addressed the bleak aspect of the economy's fate. But what about "us" as individuals? What about us in the general college bracket of 18-25?

The best advise that I have gotten from my teachers is simple and to the point. Stay in school! With the economy and stock market in a constant state of flux, the best thing for students in college to do in order to insure a financially secure future is to focus on building our qualifications for the job market. Get a degree that will get you somewhere in life. Go further and get a Master's that will push you above the crowd. And by all means, find good, quality internships. I'm not talking about working at McDonalds or Burger King for the summer. I'm talking about something that will strengthen you in your career path. This all may sound redundant but it's true.

With financing almost impossible, the homeowning market slowing to a hault, corporations going bankrupt, and a constant increase in cost of living; it is time to hold our ground as individuals to determine our own fate. Think smart. Build a better future. Stay in school!
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 10/28/2008 08:53:00 PM

Debate This, Ole Miss Entries (General Issues)

What a Woman!
After having watched Senator Hilary Clinton's DNC speech last night and reading it repeatedly today, I can not help but remain impressed by her eloquence and passion for her supporters to in turn give their support to Senator Barack Obama. And she couldn't be more right when she stated that "This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win."

In her speech she talked about our nation's current crisis concerning job loss, houses gone, falling wages, and rising prices, all of which are major concerns for affecting our middle and lower class. And for McCain to believe that 47 million people without health insurance is not a crisis is disturbing at the least. No good shepard would dare leave any one of his flock lost in the darkest of the woods to be devoured and no president should let any of his people suffer without feeling it a crisis worth ending. In the words of Sen. Clinton "No way. No how. No McCain."

And say what you may about Sen. Clinton (which there have been some pretty nasty things said) but on that stage, she showed us through the powerful emotions and the impact of her words that she is a true leader and if she believes in Obama, we should listen. Paving the way for a new era, she and Sen. Obama have both given our nation's children the reason to believe that any child regardless of sex and race can one day be president of THIS America.

A belief found in her closing statements as she said "That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great - and no ceiling too high - for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and in each other."
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 8/27/2008 09:36:00 PM

"The Next President" the energy crisis
Major note before I begin! If you have not read "The Next President," spoiler alert: it's mostly pro Obama!

So unless you've been living under a rock for the past "8 years" you've probably noticed our gas prices have sky rocketed. Under Holbrooke's Foreign Affairs section of "The Next President" he covers this issue in great deal concerning our use of petrodollars. Of course under the Bush administration there has been little urgency to create more efficient alternative energy sources. Not only is this an economical crisis for our country but an environmental one as well.

Currently, both the US and China are the world's major polluters. Holbrooke writes that in a recent trip to china, he brought up the issue of climate friendly technology with senior Chinese officials, who showed interest. Initially there is serious work to be done on both parts to make this happen and China's scepticism of us trying to hold them back is a problem, but that's why we need a strong leader to initiate a successful start to such plans. That's why we need 'the next president'.
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 9/01/2008 11:48:00 AM

America's SPR & Obama
With energy consumption being a key issue with this year's election, Obama has started putting together his own plans to focus on an untaped idea that would prove benificial.

Called an exchange, the plan would help lower the price of oil for consumers, increase the amount of oil in America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), increase energy security, and leave taxpayers paying less and being better set at about $1 billion.

The U.S. created the SPR in 1975, after the Arab oil embargo to protect against oil supply disruptions. The SPR's drawdown capability of 4.4 million barrels of oil per day greatly passes the daily production capacity of Iran, Iraq or Venezuela. So the benifits even out.

Being run by the Energy Department who will allogate pricing, "swaps" that help energy security, refiners and consumers should be a routine part of managing the SPR.
With both the House and Senate having considerered legislation to create such a swap, Obama has now adopted the idea as part of his energy plan.
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 9/13/2008 09:54:00 PM

Slinging Dirt
It happens every four years. No matter who the candidate, the issues, or the credibility of the accusations, it always happens. Campaigns get tense and some times it resorts to "slinging dirt" at the other candidate.

To quote The New York Times, "After back-to-back attack ads by Mr. McCain, including one that misleadingly accused Mr. Obama of endorsing sex education for kindergarten students, the Obama campaign is planning to sharpen attacks on Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin in an effort to counter Mr. McCain’s attempt to present himself as the candidate of change with his choice of Ms. Palin."

McCain, as the instigator of this unfortunate but sadly predictable change in ad campaigns also proded Obama's campaign for saying that Palin is a pig. Leaving the media to frenzy on it, any person with common sense could see that it was a reference to the McCain platform and not Palin.

It's sad to think these ads about pigs and insults are from a candidate who promised to avoid negative campaigning.

But unfornately, even Obama slipped in one of his latest ads, claiming McCain repeatedly cut funding for schools, when McCain had actually voted three times to increase education spending.

If this type of campaign distortion continues, the "dirt" may get so "muddy" we will not know who to trust anymore.
Posted by Andrew M. Scott 9/13/2008 11:19:00 AM

Sunday, November 9, 2008


To begin with, I'm the big schemer who’s always concocting some crazy idea. The guy who no matter what people say, always believes that “there is no impossible." The one who’s gonna make something of himself in this world. I’ll always be in awe of the arts; from the canvas to the sheet of music. I love hanging out with my friends. I love God and my family. I happen to be the oldest of five children. I was born in the Crescent City (New Orleans) and have lived most of my life in a little city called Brookhaven. One day I see myself retired, on a beach, re-learning how to play the guitar again. For now though, I’m just taking life one day at a time.

Recently I just finished my internship class for this year's first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi. As part of that internship, we blogged about events before, during, and after the debate until the election on November 4. This blog is meant to fill the void now that my time has ended at

With this blog, I'll briefly reflect my old blog entries and the debate internship. But for the most part this is more of a guideline to keep me focused on my current endeavors; mostly those concerning public relations. Like the chair of our Journalism Department, Dr. Samir Husni "Mr. Magazine" I hope to make something of myself in Public Relations, hence the title "Mr. Public Relations." Or you can call me "Mr. PR" for short, ha ha.

Seriously though, the self proclaimed title is not out of arrogance. It's a desire for a sense of purpose and attainment that I hope to accomplish. By doing this, I'm further pushing myself into what I wish to become. Here I'll talk about issues concerning that aspect of my life as well as others... But I'll mostly focus on the PR side of things.

The banner for my blog is provided from a desktop background image from and is their copyright. I chose it because it reminds me of New York whenever I'm blogging.

Beyond the shadow of a doubt and in every fiber of my being, I know I will one day live and work in New York City doing the thing I love most: Public Relations! This is my blog! This is my journey! Watch me grow!”