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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 03, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 48 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS continued _____________


The British press needs a tougher regulatory body to rein in abuses such as the hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, according to a highly anticipated report released Nov. 29 by a U.K. judicial watchdog.

Judge Brian Leveson did not call for a governmental body to monitor the media, rather an independent group empowered to fine wrongdoing. “Putting a policeman in every newsroom is no sort or answer,” he said.

Leveson is not out to muzzle the freedom of the press. The media serve the country “very well for the vast majority of the time,” according to the report.

He recognizes “most of what the press does is good journalism free from the sort of vices I have had to address at length.” He believes “it is essential that the need for a fresh start in press regulation is fully embraced and a new regime thereafter implemented.”

Of the current press code, Leveson said: “There have been too many times when, chasing the story, parts of the press has acted as if its own code, which it wrote, simply did not exist.” That has caused “real hardship, and on occasion, wreaked havoc with the lives of innocent people whose rights and liberties have been disdained.”

Leveson, which began in probe in July 2011, considers it the “most concentrated look at the press this country has ever seen.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for the inquiry, said he welcomed Leveson’s findings, but has “serious concerns and misgivings” over the statutory regulation recommendation.

The report wants a body regulatory group with power to fine offending newspapers up to $1.6M. Members would not be from the media, legal or government community.


Recommendations from friends and family are a key factor in vacation decisions worldwide as social media has taken a key role in planning, according to a study by Text 100.

In the U.S., 43% say friend recommendations are a main reason for choosing a travel location, second only to relaxation (57%) and well ahead of convenience (28%). Only 35% of Europeans, by contrast, rely on friend recommendations, while 47% rely on relaxation for vacation choice.

The main reason for choosing a destination remains value for money. When Americans search online for travel information, price/room rates are the most sought information (58%), followed by surrounding attractions (42%), quality of facilities (37%), cleanliness (36%), and service (30%).

Social media has taken a key role in travel planning

as a whopping 87% of people under age 34 said they use Facebook for travel inspiration, according to the study.

The firm found that 64% overall consider recommendations from family and friends the top factor to spark travel plans, advice commonly sought via social media. Following friend/family recommendations were Internet searches (55%), individual provider websites (49%), sales/promotions by airlines and hotels (48%), and online travel sites (46%). Only about a third said mileage/loyalty programs influenced their decisions.

The PR firm tapped Redshift Research for the survey, which polled 4,600 consumers in 13 countries.

Text found social media plays the largest role in the first and last phases of travel – inspiration and experience. Eighty-eight percent said they take a mobile device on vacation – 34% of Americans take a laptop – with 52% posting photos or videos during travels. Another 25% said they write reviews while away. Nearly half said they would get involved if they had access to Wi-Fi while on vacation.

In the U.S., 37% said they consider travel blogger reviews first and 44% overall said they agreed that blogger reviews helped with an initial decision on a destination. Online travel forums (37%), Facebook (27%), YouTube/Vimeo (24%) and Pinterest (22%) followed.

U.S. travelers prefer “stay-cations,” vacations within their country more than the rest of the world at the rate of 88%, compared with 73% in Europe and 74% in the Asia-Pacific realm, Text 100 found. American also more frequently engage in weekend getaways – 26% compared to a global average of only 15%.


Grayling’s Dutko Worldwide unit has picked up government relations and communications strategies duties for The Inspiration Network, which began its existence as the PTL Satellite Network founded by born-again Christians Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Following the Bakkers’ exit in the 1990, San Diego-televangelist Morris Cerullo acquired the bankrupt cable TV network and ultimately rebranded the Indian Land, S.C.-operation as INSP.

According to its website, the network's mission is “using the medium of television to equip, empower and entertain.” It is “compelled to bring a new voice to TV, one that celebrates the joys of father, family and the freedoms that are uniquely ours.”

INSP runs a mix of religious programming (“In Search of the Lord’s Way,” “Always Good News with Billy Graham,” and “The Jewish Jesus with Rabbi Kirt Schneider” and family entertainment (“The Waltons,” “Brady Bunch,” “Happy Days” and “Little House on the Prairie”).

It reaches more than 70M households and targets more than 79M Baby Boomers, of which 35M self-identify themselves as “socially conservative.”

Dutko’s team includes Kim Bayliss (former staffer to the late Congressman Mike Synar and VP-government relations at United Video Satellite Group), Steve Perry (Dutko’s ex-CEO) and David Murray (National Telecomms. & Information Administration veteran).

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