5oh1: The Zack & Robert Show

Good luck, guys.


‘Caught on Tape,’ In This Week’s Arkansas Business

This week’s Arkansas Business, available now. Among the highlights:

Haven’t you heard? Today’s the lottery! Let’s all go buy a ticket and become millionaires! Before that, though, read George Waldon’s story on all the security surrounding the lottery and the insane levels of security on each of its tickets.

And speaking of security, businesses are using fancier and fancier surveillance equipment to nab the bad guys. Jamie Walden has much more.

Media mogul Mike Huckabee signs a deal with Redlasso, a Philadelphia-based media firm that will bring all of the former governor’s media content to the Web.

Fear not. The next time you choke on a chicken bone at your desk, there’s likely to be someone in your office who knows CPR or, for the fun of it, can use one of those electronic defibrillators on you.

Jeffery Scott Rand of North Little Rock is getting closer and closer to having federal charges filed against him. The Securities Department has already accused him of using millions of investors’ well-drilling dollars to buy a duck-hunting club and indulge a racehorse hobby.

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross’ deal to sell his pharmacy to USA Drug has given Arkansas Business a whole new outlook on just how much the Stephen LaFrance company takes in per year.

Heifer International is close to marking its 65th anniversary.

Come Out to the SPJ Blogging Academy and Learn Something, Why Don’t Ya?

The local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (the people who brought you this) is taking you bloggers seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they’re ready to help you learn the tricks of the trade in an earnest bid to encourage a new crop of citizen journalists to raise up, start their own WordPress blogs, hopefully do some actual reporting and lure you away from time-wasting vanity projects like these!

That’s right: This Saturday, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., SPJ is putting on the SPJ Blogging Academy, billed on its Facebook events page as

For any current or aspiring bloggers, an intro to community journalism. We’ll tell you about how to avoid ethical and legal pitfalls, how to get better access to government entities, and how to make the best use of fresh reporting on your blog.

The event features helpful hints from uber-bloggers like Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times, Rep. Steve Harrelson of Under the Dome and — lord help us — David Kinkade of The Arkansas Project.

Check it out Saturday at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School, Room 305. Get more info on the Facebook page right here.

Molding Young Minds at UALR High School Journalism Day

Much thanks to the Sonny Rhodes and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for inviting me to speak during two sessions of UALR’s annual Journalism Day event, which took place Thursday.

Andrew DeMillo of The Associated Press gave the event’s keynote address on “Why Journalism Matters,” and other session leaders included Frank Fellone of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Kelly Kissel of the AP and Malcolm Glover of KUAR-FM, 89. 1, the Little Rock NPR affiliate.

I spoke in two sessions, the first on “Why Your High School Newspaper Needs to Be Online,” and the second on ” … So You’re Online, Now What?” The students were great and asked some solid questions.

I also took the opportunity to ask some questions about teen media habits. And needless to say, everything you’ve heard about how teens engage (or don’t engage) with media is probably pretty close to true.

  • Most of them don’t read newspapers — less than half of the 20 in my first session said they read the local daily on a weekly basis, and none of them read it daily.
  • Many of them said they spend at least 4 hours a day online. One student said he’ll often spend half a Saturday online.
  • They text message one another like crazy. When I told them about a study that showed the average teen sends 2,000 texts a month, many told of numbers double that. And because they’re heavy texters, their parents are, too. One student said his Mom sent 5,000 messages one month.
  • Facebook is the hotness, but MySpace is dunzo.
  • They watch TV, but usually while surfing the Web.
  • Many of them say they read magazines.
  • Oh — and none of them Twitter.

None of their high school papers were online, but a couple of schools seemed poised to invest in the Web soon. One of the big concerns for students and their advisers was finding a way to fairly moderate reader comments.

In all, it was an enjoyable session. Despite the turmoil that traditional media (newspapers, TV, radio) find themselves in, I still believe it’s an exciting time to be a journalism student. The possibilities the Web offers young reporters and editors are boundless. No longer are students defined by the medium for which they work. On the Web, the lines have blurred, and they can each be involved in writing, video, photography, audio production, Web programming and more. And given the current state of media, with all the economic and organizational challenges that exist, they have a chance to help reshape the profession as it asserts itself on mobile and online platforms.

It’s a thrilling time for those kids, and 14 years out of high school, I’m a little envious.

The Week We Forgot About This Blog!

Holy crap, was that a week that just when by? No, that was two weeks! Who’s running this show around here, anyway?

But thanks for remembering us! We’re about to ramp things back up around here, for what’s it worth. Regular posting, such as it is, begins again soon.

Meanwhile, enjoy this latest slice of wonderful weirdness from the new newness that is St. Vincent. Help me, indeed.


Back later this week.

Back later this week.

Construction, Dillard’s & Target in This Week’s Arkansas Business

This week’s Arkansas Business is online. Among the highlights:

Dillard’s Inc. of Little Rock board member R. Brad Martin of Memphis is just pleased as punch to see J.C. Watts back on the board.

Developer Jim Strode wants to jump-start his new Park Avenue development in midtown so bad that he’s given prospective anchor tenant Target Corp. an 8.5-acre section of land for free.

Jeff Hankins on Sam Walton, David Glass, Baldor Electric and other business news items of the day.

Construction costs have fallen so low that you’d think everyone and their mother would be lining to building something. So far, only the government is biting. And that’s done little to spur the construction sector and offset its job losses.

Remember all those condos and townhouses in central Arkansas? All that’s left to do now is sell them.