June 1 event: Renowned media critic Kennedy considers future of embattled community news

Note: This event has already taken place. We’ll see you in the fall for a new lineup of compelling guest speakers!

It’s a common lament: In a world that’s never been more connected, with boundless information at hand for any subject, our citizenry has never been less informed.

A fresh-from-the-headlines example is the national survey of nearly 3,000 adults asked to cite a prominent Asian-American. Even with breakthrough Vice President Kamala Harris among the options, 42 percent of respondents were unable to name one. The disturbingly few who could chose actor Jackie Chan, who is not a U.S. citizen, and martial-arts hero Bruce Lee, who died in 1973.

How did we get here? More importantly, is there a way out?

Few experts are better equipped to address those questions than The Communicators Club’s Tuesday, June 1 virtual guest speaker: Northeastern University journalism professor, WGBH-TV “Beat the Press” fixture, and highly respected media commentator Dan Kennedy. His presentation is titled, “Breaking Point: Local News Is in Crisis. What Can We Do to Fix It?” The special Zoom-based event will run from noon to 1:15 p.m., with a $10 fee.

Famed House Speaker and Reagan foil “Tip” O’Neill immortalized the observation that “All politics is local.” The same can be said for news.

“More than 2,100 newspapers have shut down over the past 15 years, and many of those that remain are failing to meet the information needs of their communities,” Dan notes in a preview of his TCC talk. “At the same time, a new generation of hyperlocal news organizations, mostly digital, is rising to fill the gap. What will the future of local news look like?”

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Audio Journal’s Frandsen volunteers wisdom

Audio Journal Executive Director Mary Frandsen goes over an information packet given to volunteer recruits during her Nov. 5 presentation.

Presentation provided advice to attract, nurture unpaid workforce

With two full-time staffers and a volunteer army of around 150 people, Worcester-based Audio Journal knows how to successfully recruit, train and retain those who want to assist the nonprofit organization in its mission of providing reading services for the blind.

Audio Journal Executive Director Mary Frandsen detailed some of the key strategies to attract and nurture volunteers for an appreciative audience at The Communicators Club’s Nov. 5 luncheon meeting.

Frandsen, who was promoted to the top job in early October upon the retirement of longtime leader Vincent dePaul Lombardi, estimated the group provides audio reading services for 3,500 clients in Central Massachusetts.

The service runs seven days a week, and content is communicated using 30-plus newspapers in the region, books, podcasts, a phone app and online streaming. A growing number of its clients are accessing Audio Journal through smart devices such as Amazon’s Echo.

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Shilling presentation
Attorney and cyber-threat expert Cameron Shilling addresses a question during his Oct. 1 presentation.

Shilling, TCC draw mentions in Worcester Business Journal cyber-hacking feature

Drawn by the timeliness and impact of The Communicators Club’s Oct. 1 presentation by data-security expert Cameron Shilling, a Worcester Business Journal reporter based a recently published article on information gleaned from that event.

In “The new wave of cyber attacks,” WBJ News Editor Grant Welker liberally quoted Shilling, a McLane-Middleton lawyer whose October talk offered TCC attendees an expert assessment of how to protect both your personal and organizational data.

Welker was among the guests who took part in the informative, wide-ranging discussion with Shilling at Worcester’s O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar. We thank WBJ for the coverage, and encourage others to take advantage of The Communicators Club’s first-rate roster of speakers on topics that matter to us all.


‘Cyber Attack!’ speaker Shilling offers data-protection strategies

Although the Communicators Club’s October luncheon program has taken place, we wanted to share some of the insight and actionable information on offer from our guest speaker: Data security expert Cameron Shilling.

We asked Shilling, an attorney for two-plus decades with a focus on cyber security, to address some of the big questions in data security and privacy; the McLane Middleton-based lawyer also provided some easily achievable actions to protect yourself online.

Needless to say, we asked Cam to save the most specific tips and strategies for his Oct. 1 audience. Still, he graciously shared some options that should greatly increase your ability to protect your personal and/or business data from the growing threat of cyber attacks.

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The Communicators Club Annual Meeting May 14 at Clark U included Nichols College sophomore Rosellen Quist receiving the $1000 Elaine Cencak Memorial Scholarship check from TCC’s Barbara Ingrassia.

Murray gives Communicators an economic backgrounder

The Communicators Club awarded its annual $1,000 Elaine Cencak Memorial Scholarship to Rosellen Quist, a Nichols College sophomore, at its May 14 Annual Meeting at Clark University’s Higgins University Center.

Former Lt. Gov. and current Regional Chamber CEO Timothy Murray was the featured speaker, getting us behind the scenes on challenges and successes in advancing Worcester’s economy – from employment to entertainment.

Rosellen has exhibited a sustained interest in a Communications career since she was in high school.  In her application for the Cencak scholarship, she exhibited a variety of communications skills and interests – and is highly regarded by her Nichols professors.

As a sophomore at Nichols, Rosellen works 20 hours a week in the school’s Visual Media Studio.  In addition to creating videos, she assists her fellow students with editing their video projects.  Accompanying her application for TCC’s scholarship, she submitted a video she made in high school on working with students who have special needs; a paper on “The Ethics of Violent Photographs in News Media”; and a presentation on the benefits of learning a foreign language.

Rosellen is focused on content creation, social media and public relations, and aspires to be a social media manager.

Clark’s School of Professional Studies was both presenting sponsor for the evening and also had a representative outlining the offer of graduate school tuition discounts for 2019-20 Communicators Club members.

Those very memberships are available now, with equivalent corporate rates making professional development a sweet deal for communicators and employers alike.

Learn more and join or renew a Communicators Club membership now