51 minutes | Mar 23, 2023
“Masking” conceals unsafe commercial drivers making roadways hazardous.
“Masking” is a term used for when people with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) get lenient treatment in our nation’s courts. This allows offenders to hide their traffic offenses and stay on our highways without retribution. Masking, although too often commonplace, is actually a violation of federal law and prohibited and states could get in trouble if their judges do not comply, according to retired Judge Gayle Williams-Byers. Too often, however, a person with a CDL may be cited for a traffic offense in his/her private vehicle. When the violator appears in court, they claim that they will lose their job if the offense is reported to a state Bureau of Motor Vehicles. As a result, says Judge Byers, prosecutors and judges too often reduce the original charge to a minor offense that is not reportable to the state, or which does not carry any points against the offender’s license. This masking process is prohibited yet in some places it is the norm. It is being opposed by the National Highway Safety Administration. To promote compliance, Congress passed the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 which requires the withholding of certain federal dollars from states who are not in compliance. Yet too many judges do not know that “masking” is illegal. The National Judicial College and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are teaming up to raise awareness and thus make our highways safer.
14 minutes | Mar 12, 2023
Fran Lebowitz: writer, intellectual and humorist shares her views.
Before traveling to the Midwest, New Yorker Fran Lebowitz talked with Spectrum’s guest host Emily Votaw and share her views on life, mortality, friends and smartphones. Lebowitz is a writer, humorist and intellectual. A child of the 1950’s, she shares her social criticism with wit, wisdom and a dose of sarcasm. In 1978, her first book of essays “Metropolitan Life” was published followed by another book of essays in 1981 called “Social Studies.” Since then, she has been a frequent talk show guest and public speaker due to her engaging banter and her sometimes skewed slant on the world and pop culture. Lebowitz spoke with Votaw recently before a speaking engagement in Marietta, Ohio.
28 minutes | Mar 1, 2023
WCPO’s Ramsay Fulbright heads the logistics of local television news
Local television newsrooms are often chaotic with breaking news and even routine stories spreading news crews and reporters across a wide geographic area. All are gathering news for both digital distribution and broadcast purposes with multiple and constant deadlines. Someone must coordinate this mayhem and that person in the tri-state area of S.W. Ohio is Ramsay Fulbright, the Assignment Desk Manager for WCPO 9 News. He daily is sending reporters and photographers to stories across Cincinnati, SW Ohio, Indiana, and northern Kentucky. Once the news is gathered, Ramsay also leads a team of assignment editors who feed the news products to various producers of multiple local television news shows every day. Experience pays off for Ramsay. Over the years, his news judgment has been honed by his time as a news photographer. Prior to jumping to the assignment desk, Ramsay spent 11 years as either a photographer or the head photographer at stations in Arkansas, Tennessee, Arizona and at his home station of WCPO News 9 in Cincinnati. He lives in a fast-paced professional world, but he relishes the challenges. He boasts that no two days are the same and that the variety makes his job fascinating. Learn more as you listen to this edition of WOUB’s Spectrum Podcast with Tom Hodson.
39 minutes | Feb 20, 2023
Special skills are necessary to manage a newsroom full of reporters.
In the third of our Spectrum Podcast series on the inner workings of local television news, Janelle Bass gives us insight on being a managing editor at an urban television station in Cleveland. Bass not only manages the reporters at WEWS News 5, but she also heads an award-winning podcasting project at the station. It is part of local television’s entrée into all forms of digital media: print, social media, podcasting and video. She says every day on the job presents different situations and new challenges. There is no time to be bored or to rest. She compares her job to trying to organize chaos, especially on breaking-news days. Earlier in her career, Bass served as a wedding planner in North Carolina. She admits that many of the skills she honed coping with couples about to get married are the human relations skills she now uses managing the newsroom staff. As an African American woman in media management, Janelle also has encountered some special challenges over her career even though she has a communication degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace University. Some employees have balked at taking direction from a woman who is also Black, according to Bass. She says that this prejudice, however, cannot get in the way of delivering the news. She says when that happens, she reminds them of the job they must do first, and then, after the job is completed, they can discuss whatever gender or racial issues are bothering them.
34 minutes | Feb 10, 2023
Challenges face News Director in changing news culture in Norfolk
This the second in a series of episodes of WOUB’s Spectrum podcast focusing on the importance of local television news in our news consumption. Allison Herman is a young news director. She only graduated from journalism school at Ohio University in 2010 yet she has climbed the ranks quickly in the news busines. Already in her brief career, she’s worked in Huntington-Charleston, West Virginia, Louisville, Indianapolis, and Raleigh-Durham until she landed at WTKR-News3 in Norfolk, Virginia in 2021. About seven months ago, she was promoted to news director. In just a short time, she has changed the news coverage from leaning more towards soft news to a more hard-news format. Allison endeavors to service a large sprawling geographic area taking in numerous cities along the Virginia coast. Her viewing area also includes the country’s largest naval base in Norfolk. The region is quite diverse, racially, and economically. It also includes urban and rural areas. To meet the news needs of such a large and diverse footprint is a real challenge, according to Allison, but one that she happily embraces. Hear how this young news director attacks her job every day and get a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes in a local new room. Listen to how reporters, photographers, editors, directors, and producers work together to bring you the latest in local news.
39 minutes | Feb 3, 2023
Local Television News is trusted far more that national news outlets.
A study conducted by Gallup and the Knight Foundation has found that local television news is trusted by more people than national news outlets. The latest poll showed the gap between trust in local and national news has grown by three percentage points since Gallup/Knight’s findings on this measure in 2019. “In 2021, Americans were 17 points more likely to say they trust reporting by local news organizations “a great deal” or “quite a lot” than to trust reporting by national news organizations,” the report said. As a result, WOUB’s Spectrum podcast is doing a special series on the impacts of local news by talking with representatives of three television stations: WEWS TV in Cleveland, WCPO TV in Cincinnati and WKRT in Norfolk, Virginia. We are trying to learn how local news stations operate, how they determine their content, and how they meet the needs of their audiences. Our first guests are Joe Donatelli, digital director at WEWS and Mark Ackerman, Investigative Executive Producer at WEWS in Cleveland. They discuss the need for strong investigative reporting on the local level as well as the demands of constantly changing and updating digital content. We also learn of their individual career paths.
47 minutes | Jan 12, 2023
Prison reform should include the right to vote, says advocate.
Donald Wiggins is an attorney and an advocate for prison reform, expanding voting rights, and restorative justice. He is working to get prisoners the right to vote, not only in his home state of Ohio but across the nation. If prisoners can vote, they will have a voice in bettering the conditions of the correctional institutions in which they are incarcerated, according to Wiggins. He claims that most prisons are old and generally need major upgrades to correct what he calls deplorable conditions. He gives an example of an Ohio prison that has had brown and smelly water for prisoners to use because the system supplying water is antiquated. Wiggins also presses for changes in the criminal justice system which would restore inmates to some dignity and help them upon their release to prevent recidivism. Wiggins is currently in private law practice but continues his history of advocacy. Over his career, he has been associated with several political action groups.
37 minutes | Dec 20, 2022
Matt Barnes of NBC4 Columbus shares the secrets to his career.
Journalist, reporter, and morning news co-anchor Matt Barnes has found his career sweet spot in Columbus, Ohio. It also just happens to be his hometown. After graduating from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and leaving his four years of work at WOUB Public Media, Barnes, in 2008, was convinced his life work would be in sports broadcasting. He headed to his first professional job in Augusta, Georgia at WRDW-TV where he covered local sports and the Master’s golf tournament. In 2010, Matt returned to WCMH4 in Columbus as a sports reporter and anchor, a position he relished for 6 years. Then an opportunity presented itself to change his broadcast focus. In 2016, Matt gave up the sports microphone and instead jumped to be the morning co-anchor of NBC4 Today. He has been there for the past six years. When asked about whether he wants to move to a bigger market, Barnes shared that he already has turned down some notable offers but for now, he loves broadcasting in Columbus, the city he loves. Barnes has become highly involved in civic and charitable projects and in 2020 was named Ohio Big Brother of the Year. Barnes shares with WOUB’s Spectrum Podcast some of the ups and downs of his career and what it’s like to be a young black male in today’s broadcast industry.
39 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
“Herbert Corey’s Great War” gives insights into being a reporter in WWI
Hidden in the archives of the Library of Congress were two memoirs of an American reporter, Herbert Corey who covered the World War I from its start in 1914 up through the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. He was the American reporter who covered the war the longest, from a full three-years before participation by the United States. The memoirs were discovered by two authors, historians and journalists, John M. Hamilton, and Peter Finn. They decided to edit the memoirs, annotate them with notes and footnotes and put the memoirs in perspective for a 21st Century audience. Herbert Corey’s Great War: A memoir of WWI by the American Who Saw if All was released in June 2022 by the LSU Press. It contains first-hand accounts of Corey’s adventures covering both sides of the war from the German frontlines to the trenches of the allies. He covered the angst and travails of the foot-soldiers and the war lives of non-combatants. He viewed the war from nine European countries as he traveled for the Associated Newspaper chain. Corey’s memoir reflects the many obstacles that reporters faced in covering WWI, especially censorship from the Allies. He also was a keen observer of misinformation campaigns by the British and others to urge the Americans to get involved in the war. John M. Hamilton is the Breazeale Professor of Journalism in the Manship School of Communication at LSU. He also is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and an award-winning author.
39 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
Meryl Gottlieb of Insider touts the value of great journalism in today’s world
While surveys show that many people are regretting getting degrees in journalism and communication, Meryl Gottlieb, Senior Partner Manager, Business Development at Insider believes just the opposite. She says that the diversity of media and multiple and innovative ways to tell stories has never made journalism more diverse and open to creativity. Gottlieb, a 2016 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, is excited about new delivery systems for stories and completely new formats that are on the horizon for storytelling. Although the media landscape is changing so quickly, she finds that the rapidity of change to be both challenging and exhilarating. Gottlieb recently was the first speaker at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication in the Joe Berman Lecture Series on the Future of Media. She talked with nearly 300 students, faculty, and staff about the “power of the pivot.” She says that to survive and thrive in the media world, one must be able to change course quickly and embrace new and sometimes untraditional methods of storytelling. Gottlieb claims that to be successful in today’s media world that one must be flexible and be able to quickly adapt to new delivery systems. That adaptability has been evident in her career as she has gone from an intern at Insider to a senior partner manager in just six short years. She also was one of the leaders of Insider’s social media distribution.
35 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
Podcaster, Author, & Career Coach talks about Women’s Rights in 2022
Beverly Jones is an executive coach, author, attorney, and host of WOUB’s popular podcast “Jazzed About Work.” Jones also is a long-time veteran of fighting for women’s rights since the 1960’s. She talks with WOUB’s Spectrum Podcast host Tom Hodson about today’s conditions facing women, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent anti-abortion ruling. She also discusses whether advocacy strategies employed by women and feminists in the 1960’s and 1970’s are still applicable today or whether technology and social media have changed the way advocacy must be conducted. They also chat about what comes next in the fight for women’s rights and the rights of various minority groups in this country. Jones spent the bulk of her professional career as an attorney in Washington, D.C. and since leaving her practice, she has concentrated on career counseling and executive coaching. She also is the author of two books: Find Your Happy at Work: 50 Ways to Get Unstuck, Move Past Boredom, and Discover Fulfillment and Find Your Happy at Work: 50 Ways to Get Unstuck, Move Past Boredom, and Discover Fulfillment
36 minutes | Oct 24, 2022
Three-time Pulitzer winner discusses new book and the power of investigative reporting.
In this episode of the Spectrum Podcast, Walt Bogdanich, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, emphasizes the importance of investigative reporting while explaining his new book: When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm. Bogdanich and his co-author Michael Forsythe have unveiled the secrets behind one of the world’s most powerful consulting firms, McKinsey and Company. They show how the firms tentacles ensnare and entangle almost all aspects of American life from our largest cities to our smallest town. For example, the firm has worked with companies to promote opioids while at the same time representing the Food and Drug Administration assigned to regulate the industry. McKinsey also represented cigarette manufacturers long after cigarettes were targeted as a major health hazard. Until Bogdanich and Forsythe started digging, the company had been cloaked in secrecy since its inception in 1926. No one knew the firm’s clients or their fees until these investigative reporters started peeling back the layers of secrecy. In the interview, Bogdanich also touts the need for good investigative reporting in the 21st century. He notes that with all the social media and political news silos, investigative reporting is more important than ever to look deeply and factually into issues. Bogdanich, now with the New York Times, won his first Pulitzer in 1988 while at the Wall Street Journal for a series about substandard medical laboratories. His second was for the Times in 2005 for a series about the safety record of American Railroads called “Death on the Tracks.” His most recent Pulitzer was in 2008 called “Toxic Pipeline,” a series about dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients coming into American from China.
31 minutes | Oct 18, 2022
Former Asst. U.S. Attorney talks about the rule of law, his career, and giving back
Marlon Primes served more than 30 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio before recently joining the law firm of Brennan Manna Diamond handling complex civil litigation. Primes has risen to the heights of the legal profession while at the same time, giving back to his community. He stresses the importance of the rule of law in a democracy and orderly society. He notes that no one should be above the law. His sterling legal career reflects that dedication. He has been active in both work for the legal profession and community improvement work. Primes is the Past President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association ("CMBA"). It is one of the largest associations of lawyers and judges in Ohio. He was the first African American attorney to serve as president of the CMBA and the first government attorney to do so. He also served as national Vice President of the National Bar Association, which is the nation’s oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges. Primes also was the Chairman of the Litigation Section of the Ohio State Bar Association and has spent countless hours educating young lawyers and K-12 students on the importance of the law. In 2020, he received the first ever Craig Tame Award for Excellence in Community Outreach based in part on his teaching of high school students about both rights and responsibilities under the U. S. Constitution. In 2022, he was named one of Crain’s Cleveland “People on the Move.” He received his undergraduate degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
35 minutes | Oct 4, 2022
The Midwest is Converting from the Rust Belt to high-tech haven says author
The Rust Belt of the Midwest is transitioning to the Tech Belt of the heartland and that story is being told by author, CNBC contributor, and media entrepreneur Rebecca Fannin. Her latest book, “Silicon Heartland” paints the picture of “fly-over country” emerging from the depression of the collapsing Rust Belt industries to a new entrepreneurial spirit with high-tech companies. Fannin views this transition with a seasoned journalistic eye. Her career has spanned from New York to Silicon Valley to Asia. She has been a guest on the BBC, Fox News, and NPR. Her writing has ranged from three previous books to articles for the Harvard Business Review, Inc., Fast Company, and Forbes. She also has been a guest speaker at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, the Brookings Institution, and the Asia Society. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fannin explored her homeland, the Midwest. She tells the story of Midwestern rebirth that everyone else has ignored. Hear her talk about her journeys and the many interviews she had with people trying to rebuild with high technology concepts.
28 minutes | Sep 27, 2022
Chris Witherspoon is an entertainment journalist and entrepreneur
Chris Witherspoon has become a powerful entertainment journalist who has interviewed top-level celebrities throughout his career. He also appears as a regular on MSNBC, the TODAY show, the Wendy Williams Show, and NBC’s Nightly News giving his insights on entertainment news. But his latest project shows his entrepreneurial side. He has created PopViewers, a website and an app. According to its website, https://popviewers.com/, “PopViewers is the platform that helps you find what to watch next, invites you to react to the TV shows and movies you’ve watched, and encourages you to share the experience with fellow content-lovers.” Witherspoon’s intent is to give the common person a voice in content creation and the direction of entertainment media…just like the established critics. PopViewers democratizes public opinion about media content. He also wants to give a forum for diverse voices to be heard about media produced by major media companies and register those diverse opinions. You can see more about PopViewers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Guest host Emily Votaw talks to Witherspoon about his career and his projects.
69 minutes | Sep 14, 2022
TIME Washington Correspondent previews the upcoming mid-term elections
Philip Elliott, Washington Correspondent for TIME, says the mid-term elections have become a toss-up as to whether the Democrats will lose power in both the House and the Senate. He explains that across the nation surprise Democratic wins in special elections, the rise in President Joseph Biden’s popularity, and the abortion issue have turned the tides from a sure Republican victory in November to races that have become much closer. Elliott, the author of TIME’s newsletter “The D.C. Brief”, spent August traveling the country to feel the pulse of real voters in the heartland. Two issues stood out above all others, he says. The reversal of Roe v. Wade has put abortion front and center as the primary issue followed closely by people fearing for democracy and the stability of our country. Elliott notes that the abortion issue is expected to bring Republican, Independent, and Democratic voters to the polls to express anger over women’s reproductive rights being eroded. He also noted that other groups fear future curtailment of rights such as interracial marriage, same-sex marriage, minority rights and voting rights for minority groups. He says these fears are expected to bring people out to vote. Elliott also notes that there are some fringe Republican candidates in important races especially for the Senate. These candidates have been hand-picked by former President Donald Trump. Elliott notes that it may give Democrats an advantage in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona. However, he expects all races to tighten between now and election day in November and that any of the hotly contested Senate races could flip Republican at the last minute. You may subscribe to “The D.C. Brief” for free and it will be delivered to you via email. https://time.com/tag/the-dc-brief/
37 minutes | Jul 28, 2022
Bringing respect and dignity to the forgotten: “Who Lies Beneath: The Asylum”
A new limited podcast series has been released by WOUB Public Media. “Who Lies Beneath: The Asylum” tells the true-life stories of people who were buried in numbered graves at an abandoned mental health facility. Host and creator Cheri Russo describes to Spectrum host Tom Hodson how she and a team of experts identified those buried in certain graves and fleshed out their lives through the help of voice actors. It is her hope to bring dignity and respect to those who were abandoned by their families and reduced to numbers upon their deaths at what was once called a “Lunatic Asylum.” She talks about how women were often institutionalized and abandoned for problems like postpartum depression and other childbearing issues. Men, who were veterans, were often put in the asylum for what we now call post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Through the help of a library archivist, a medical historian, a counsellor and others, the lives and situations of these individuals have been reconstructed. It is the desire of Russo to expand this series to help people across the nation bring recognition to forgotten loved ones. If you would like to share your story with the Who Lies Beneath team, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
75 minutes | May 24, 2022
The rise of racism, replacement theory and the growing fear in Black Americans
A recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll conducted after the killing of 10 blacks in Buffalo in a racially motivated shooting spree indicates that 75 percent of Black Americans “are worried that they or someone they love will be attacked because of their race.” In addition, after the attack, “only 10 percent think the problem of racism will improve in their lifetime, while a 53 majority think it will get worse.” The Poll also found that a “70 percent majority of Black Americans think at least half of White Americans hold white supremacist beliefs” and 75 percent say, “white supremacists are a major threat to Black Americans.” Such is the state of race relations in America. Considering this rise in racism, racial violence, and escalating fear, WOUB’s Spectrum Podcast reached out to two Black women professionals to get their unique perspectives. We talked with Dr. Janice Collins, an author, scholar, teacher, and journalist. Dr. Collins is the author of “250 Years and Still A Slave.” She also is a multicultural humanitarian. Also joining the conversation is Judge Gayle Williams Byers of the South Euclid Ohio Municipal Court. Judge Byers also is a Judicial Fellow at the National Judicial College and is president-elect of the American Judges Association. They outline the rise of racism in America, the dangers of those espousing “replacement theory” and the growing fear of Black Americans. They also discuss the role of media in promoting dangerous conspiracy theories.
45 minutes | May 12, 2022
"Comic Storytelling" in journalism: a new trend for new consumers
The terms “comic storytelling” and “journalism” may sound a bit discordant to the average news consumer. Yet, “comic storytelling in journalism” is rapidly becoming a growing trend to get younger eyes on the news products of mainstream media. It is the marriage of drawn images and text to tell serious stories in a series of drawn panels similar to a comic strip. Hannah Good and Rachel Orr of the “Washington Post” are strong proponents and practitioners of this form of journalistic storytelling. Good is a journalist and a comic artist and Orr is art director and comics editor. Good curates Gender and Identity coverage and Orr leads the visual identity and social strategy for Gender and Identity. Currently, they help contributors tell their personal stories through graphic images and text in 10 panels. Good and Orr also are working with other groups at the “Washington Post” to expand this graphic form of storytelling to other topics. This form of storytelling brings younger eyes to news products. It attracts people who are drawn to visual images more than linear narrative reporting. Good is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and formerly was the social media producer at the “Washingtonian Magazine” before joining the Post. She also has worked for HaperCollins Publishers, Apple TV+ and Barnes and Noble as an illustrator. Orr is a graduate of the Ohio University School of Visual Communication majoring in graphics and publication design with a specialization in magazine journalism. She worked at the “Arizona Republic” before joining the Post in 2013.
16 minutes | Apr 20, 2022
Lewis Black discusses his comedy of rage and the importance of education
Veteran comedian Lewis Black is on the road with his “Off the Rails” tour. While traveling, he took some time to have a conversation with Spectrum’s guest host Emily Votaw of WOUB. They talked about his philosophy of comedy, the importance of education in our society and his work with the Kurt Vonnegut Library and Museum. Even though he is known for his outrageous ranting humor on stage, he also professed some cautious optimism that the human condition can improve. He will perform in Cincinnati at the Taft Theater on April 21 and in Akron at the Goodyear Theater on April 22.