Tag Archives: Richard K. Rein

Richard K. Rein: Princeton newspapers

drive-papers-2-534x462Here’s Rein’s indepth account, admittedly from his point of view, of the history of newspapers in Princeton, including his own. It’s published in his monthly paper for Princeton, the Echo, and on the website of Mercerspace. Confused? Read the post.

I tagged it “Memoir” because I lived through it too.

Living in Trump World

The cover story for this week’s U.S. 1 Newspap1-4 Cover & Front (1-11).indder offers four suggestions for “Living in Trump World.”

Cybersecurity aka soon-to-be-Princeton-resident-again Ed Felten 

Obamacare re  Uwe Reinhardt and Heather Howard

Climate change, re Palmer Square based Climate Central, which also had some pertinent and dismaying comments about Trump’s cabinet picks.

Influencing Congress, re Sam Wang’s views on redistrcting.

Richard K. Rein, in this column entitled Trump Won, You Lost, There’s Still Lots to Do, offers more suggestions for ‘how to fight back.” What struck me was his suggestions  that the organizers of the January woman’s march come up with a particular cause. Because it is a grassroots effort, joined by many different organizations, one clear message is not coming through.

Rein hopes for that clear message:

 What’s the point of this protest? Without one, the Trumpian response will be a Tweet to the effect that “a million women gather in Washington because they lost and don’t know what to do.

He suggests:  increasing the federal minimum wage to $12.50 an hour (it’s been stuck at $7.25 since 2009). What particular cause do YOU suggest? 

Mix cricket with honey – or eat crow

Alternate 11-9 Cover & Front (1-8).indd

“In Trump’s America, don’t look for lurid conspiracies in the shadows. Beware of the dull ones that are right out in the open.” 

So says Diccon Hyatt in a column about conspiracy theories in a November 16 column in U.S. 1 Newspaper one of the more rational of the florid post-election conversations. “The Podesta e-mails revealed a truth that was much more frightening than a conspiracy. Most of the e-mails were routine campaign strategizing, and it is in these e-mails that a picture emerges. The campaign had no idea how to beat Donald Trump.”

Richard K. Rein also commented on the national politics on November 9 and November 16. 

Politics?? I tell people I meet,  at the chamber and elsewhere, that U.S. 1 “doesn’t do politics” and then I have to add “except when it does.” Back in the day we did a cover story on Rush Holt. And though the issue went to press on the DAY of the election Tuesday, Rein put prognosticators Sam Wong and David Daley on the cover.wang_pic

Wang has always been one of my favorite researchers to listen to and write about. As a Princeton University neuroscientist, and the author of books with broad appeal like “Welcome to Your Brain,” he doesn’t put on airs. One of his several passions is his effort to expose the bad effects of gerrymandering. “So no matter what the outcome of the national election, Rein wrote, “expect Wang to continue his work on the gerrymandering issue, which he shares with the public at gerrymander.princeton.edu.

The cobbled-together story in U.S. 1 combined excerpts from Wong’s blog at Princeton Election Consortium with quotes on Wong from David Daley’s book on gerrymandering plus bits from Wong’s lectures to alumni. But it was a way to cover national politics from a Princeton perspective,  so it worked.

Wrote Rein: “So if Wang is wrong in this tumultuous year, he will not only eat a bug (as he promised to do in 2012 if Romney had upset Obama), but he will surely go back to the statistical drawing board, to figure out where and what he and the collective public opinion polls had missed.”

Here is the New York Times column today where he explains why he had to eat the bug. Here is the CNN video of Wang eating the bug. It was a cricket, mixed with honey, as Wang noted, in the style of John the Baptist. Would it be unkind to suggest that his sources, the pollsters, eat crow?

 

Top Two Buttons? Rein and Hilfiger

tommy-three-tommy-and-rich-rein
Rich Rein and Tommy Hilfiger (photo by DiGiovanni Photography)

I have my own story about meeting a celebrity at the Princeton Chamber event at the Hyatt but Rich Rein’s is better.

He interviewed Tommy Hilfiger about his book American Dreamer and muses on that experience in his U.S. 1 Newspaper column last Wednesday.  .

For the occasion, Rein had outfitted himself in a T.H. shirt and tie from Macy’s, but apparently that wasn’t enough.

You’ll have to ask me in person about my own embarrassing story, it’s not something I want in print. But I can heap praise on the spectacularly displayed goodies at the VIP reception

food2031and the enthusiastic crowd of 400 that filled the Hyatt ballroom to capacity. Fashion students from Philadelphia, attending on free tickets but buying Hilfiger’s book, were thrilled to be there, along with many many on the Chamber email list, some U.S. 1 readers, and people who heard about it on the radio (I polled those standing in the booksigning line that curled around the room.)philly-students-imgp2045

To my somewhat surprise, since I am not a fashionista, I liked the book, a tale of derring do. I particularly liked the part where one of his buddies recognized that the river would flood the town of Elmira, so they enlisted everybody — family and fellow high school students — to move inventory from the basement to the top floor. After the flood, the Hilfiger stock was the only dry clothing for sale in submerged Elmira. Everybody — grandparents and teens alike — bought and wore his tie-dyed shirts.

Hilfiger’s is a Horatio Alger story of overcoming — not poverty, but dyslexia. It’s just amazing how talent and focus — and maybe a little luck and grace — can conquer disability.

You’ll have to read Rein on the top two buttons. I can’t tell it as well as he did.

 

11 Green Street

11-green-really

My dilemma about 11 Green Street was explained well by Vincent Xu in this edition of the Princeton Echo . Can the historic preservation ordinance ‘save’ the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood.

Starting out small

I really like the advice in this week’s Richard K. Rein column in U.S. 1. 

Believe that what you are doing is important — to you if not to anyone else, no matter how trivial your current assignment might appear to be.

I also like knowing that — no matter how far Rein seems to veer from where he begins, he always ties it up at the end. This week’s ender is more subtle than usual.

 

Reverberations in speech and print

In his U.S. 1 Newspaper column this week, Richard K. Rein reprises his chamber speech and referred to this blog’s report on his speech.

So if you missed the chamber event, this column gives you a taste of how he used silence.

Here’s how he ended the column, but you have to read the whole thing to ‘get it.’

The lessons of an oral presentation linger after the applause and post-presentation chit chat has ended. Hopefully a printed piece will reverberate for a few moments, as well:

 

If I’m lucky maybe even for four seconds.

 

Silence and Scooplets: Eileen and Barbara

HERE’S A DUAL POST — FROM ME AND GUEST WRITER EILEEN  N. SINETT.  EILEEN GOES FIRST...

“Stories Still Matter: In Print and Online” was the theme of the Princeton Chamber’s Business before Business breakfast networking meeting this morning.  Richard K. Rein, founding editor of  U.S. 1 Newspaper, shared stories that only dig-deeper news people would know. His speech was informative, entertaining and well-delivered.

As a Speech Coach, I was especially taken by his smart opening which was void of verbiage.  Yes, Rein opened with silence, four seconds worth (as the audience later learned).  He created the “verbal white space”™  that level-sets audience attention and highlights opening remarks.  Silence is often scary for societies that talk a lot.I noticed one or two people in the audience getting antsy after 2 seconds of quiet, but saw the other 90 people in the audience palpably poised to listen and patiently await the stories that would soon unfold.

Starting a speech with silence makes perfect sense.  It can feel risky and uncomfortable at first, but the positive impact is quite rewarding. Silence is to speech, what margins are to writing.  The ability to be present without words in speaking and in life, can be a strong differentiator.

eileen and rich
Eileen Sinett  with Rich Rein

Rein pointed out that his four seconds of silence equals the four seconds needed to read a Tweet of optimal length, 100 characters. Other statistics show that our focused attention is just 8 seconds, one second less than that of a goldfish. We want instant gratification and can google just about anything and be instantly satisfied.  

In this digital age, we have become great multi-taskers and short-cut communicators.

However, I’m not sure that these gains offset our low tolerance for silence or our reduced listening attention.

— Eileen N. Sinett, Speaking that Connects

Narratives can change opinions, said Rein, citing the late John Henderson (a former reporter who built his real estate business on the lyrical descriptions of his listings) and Jerry Fennelly, who issues real estate analytics in story form. Long form narratives can also clarify the thinking of the writer (as well as the of the reader) and help establish credibility for both writer and subject.

me rich michele
Barbara Fox with Richard K. Rein and freelancer Michele Alperin

Then it was story time:  Rein told of almost-missed stories about Colin Carpi, lawyer Bruce Afran,  and Muhammed Ali (as written by himself and fellow Princetonian sports writer Frank Deford) and he related a bit of gossip about Larry L. King. (Based on observing Ted Kennedy at a party, King vowed to do everything he could to keep that Kennedy from being president.)

In a lively Q&A Irv Urken asked about the value of print in a digital world: Brandishing the articles he used in his speech, he said, “you don’t have to worry about your batteries going down.” He also cited “the science of touch” and suggested that some presentations and pictures “require a bigger screen.” That print media has a limited space means that somebody must edit it to fit the space, and when editors get to do more than just run a spell check, readers read more carefully. Then Rein gave a shout out to Urken’s offspring who have media careers — one works for Newsweek and Street, the other for Yahoo.

vickie
Hurley-Schubert

Former reporter Vickie Hurley-Schubert (now with Creative Marketing Alliance) asked which was his favorite story. Hard to pick, but Rein cited one early in his career, for New Jersey Monthly, on the scandal surrounding Circle of Friends.

I liked his answer about whether the media has a liberal bias: “When you spend time with people, you begin to assimilate their values. Media does have an ego, but it also bends over backwards to present other points of view.”

So — down with ‘scooplets,’ which, as Rein explained, are what Jill Abramson calls the focus on quick content that spawned $1.9 billion in free publicity to the Trump campaign.

Up with narrative journalism. Long live the long form stories in the likes of U.S. 1 and Princeton Echo.

But I still get good info from Twitter.

— Barbara Fox 

 

Tuesday and Wednesday

madnessRich Rein (Princeton, Class of ’69) will speak at the Princeton chamber breakfast on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to my former boss telling stories old and new. And I also like the tradition, at the breakfasts, that everyone gets to stand up and introduce themselves. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

The day before (Tuesday) is the chamber’s  Midsummer Marketing Showcase  starting at 4 p.m. In past year’s it’s been plagued with weather cancellations, but predictions are good for tomorrow. And it’s one of my favorite Princeton Regional Chamber events, in part because it’s free.

 

Sly grin: Reporters as deliverers?

lisbon delivery boy
In Lisbon, Portugal, a delivery boy is featured on the monument for  newspaper magnate Eduardo Coelho

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that Boston Globe reporters, frustrated by delivery problems, volunteered to get out and actually deliver Sunday’s paper themselves. Article here, courtesy of my Twitter feed. In 1986, for my first week at U.S. 1, everyone on the staff (plus the freelancers) loaded up with papers and headed out from Mapleton Road to their delivery routes.

As Rich Rein used to say . . . “When you deliver, you get to know your readers.” Our deliverers are also paid to be reporters — to note when companies come and go. Even when we moved “up” to Roszel Road, cheerful willingness to pitch in on delivery was a condition of employment.

I couldn’t help but be sad when I realized that the Globe fired 600 people who worked for its former delivery service. Yes they hired 600 more  but the previous workers were surely living on the margins, some struggling to learn a new language in a new country. You don’t work midnight to eight, putting miles and miles on your car or your feet, unless you really need the money.

Then I remembered how gratifying it was for those of us who wrote the paper to actually deliver a paper that is warmly welcomed by its readers.  In virtually all the buildings, I would be greeted by — “Oh good, U.S. 1 is here, thank you!”

Globe reporters got thanked too.

boston globe photo
from this Tweet https://twitter.com/HappitoBurrito/status/683497867626049536/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw