Did You See That Press Release? Family of Uzi Shooting Victim Speaks Out; Microsoft Acquires Minecraft; Toys”R”Us Unveils #TRUHotToyList

With thousands of news releases published each week on PR Newswire for Journalists, no one can possibly keep up with every one of them. Here are some from the past week that you might have missed.

If you’re not already a registered member of PR Newswire for Journalists, you can register at prnmedia.prnewswire.com.  Customize your profile to get the news releases you want before they make headlines. It’s free and takes only a few moments.

Source: PRNewsFoto/Fennemore Craig

Source: PRNewsFoto/Fennemore Craig

Victim’s Family Writes Letter to 9-year-old Female Uzi Shooter

The four children of Charlie Vacca, who was tragically shot and killed last month by a 9-year-old girl learning to shoot an Uzi submachine gun, have released a video statement. That statement is directed to the 9-year-old and can be viewed at http://lambergoodnow.com. The Vacca children, ages 11, 14, 15 and 19, each deliver a message in the video describing their father, how they feel about the young shooter, and what their dad would want. See the full release to learn more.

Interested in receiving more legal and public safety news like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to get releases sent to you by email on the topics you cover. Get started now.

Minecraft to join Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. announced Sept. 15 that it has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang, the celebrated Stockholm-based game developer and the company’s iconic “Minecraft” franchise.  The Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which includes the studios behind global blockbuster franchises “Halo,” “Forza,” “Fable” and more.

Microsoft’s investments in cloud and mobile technologies will enable “Minecraft” players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the “Minecraft” community. See the full release to learn more about the terms of the deal.

Want to make sure you don’t miss releases like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to have releases emailed to you about gaming, consumer tech and other topics you cover. Get started now.

Photo source: PRNewsFoto/Toys”R”Us, Inc.

Source: PRNewsFoto/Toys”R”Us, Inc.

Toys”R”Us Unveils the 2014 #TRUHotToyList

With the holiday shopping season approaching, Toys”R”Us on Sept. 16 revealed its highly anticipated 2014 Holiday Hot Toy List.

The annual list of 36 items, determined by Toys”R”Us play experts after months of extensive research, is packed with a wide range of new toys, games, and other playthings expected to be at the top of kids’ wish lists this year. For the full list, visit Toysrus.com/HotToys or follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #TRUHotToyList. See the full release to learn more.

Don’t miss other toys and retailing news like this. Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to get releases sent to you by email on the topics you cover.  Get started now.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced on Sept. 16 that in 2013, the poverty rate declined from the previous year for the first time since 2006, while there was no statistically significant change in either the number of people living in poverty or real median household income. In addition, the poverty rate for children under 18 declined from the previous year for the first time since 2000.

The results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement. See the full release to learn more.

Interested in receiving more economic news like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to receive releases by email on the topics you cover. Get started now.

Source: AP Photo

Source: AP Photo

Playboy Magazine Releases 2014 Top 10 Party Schools Rankings

Playboy Magazine on Sept. 15 released its highly anticipated Top Party Schools rankings. This year’s list includes 10 schools, with the University of Pennsylvania taking top honors.

The much-talked-about rankings are featured in the magazine’s October 2014 college issue (on newsstands and iPlayboy.com Friday, Sept. 19). This is the ninth time Playboy has published its party school rankings, and the first time the Ivy League institution has made the list. See the full release to learn what other schools made the list.

Want to make sure you don’t miss releases like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to have releases emailed to you about colleges, magazines and other topics you cover. Get started now.

Larry Grady is online content manager at PR Newswire for Journalists. He has worked in business media for nearly 30 years and enjoys reality TV and daydreaming about travel and wine.

Around the Wire: Newspapers Follow BuzzFeed’s Lead, J-School Moves from Print to Medium & More

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing stories from the past week.

ASNE Twitter

1. Advice for Newspaper Editors: Pay Attention to BuzzFeed (Poynter)

Newspaper editors and other media executives gathered in Chicago this week for the 2014 ASNE-APME conference where they discussed trends in digital and legacy media, how to save community journalism, the importance of news literacy, and how to better serve African-Americans and Hispanic news consumers.

During one of the presentations, Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia Group, advised editors take a page out of BuzzFeed’s digital strategy playbook.  A cross-platform approach, a deep understanding of audience and analytics, and specialization are just a few of the strategies editors must incorporate to be successful. Poynter has put together a great Storify from this and other ASNE-APME panels.

2. Four Ways to Crush Your Email Challenge and Build Your Blog’s Subscriber List (ProBlogger)

Second to fantastic content, it’s become clear that a strong email list is essential for blog success. However, there are four major challenges facing bloggers who are trying to build that list: collecting emails, providing the right kind of content, and keeping your email open rate up and unsubscribe rate down. Luke Guy offers steps to help you crush those problems.

3. From Free to Fee: How U.S. Dailies Decide to Use Paywalls (American Press Institute)

The decision to shift to a paywall model is a major one.  It impacts not just site traffic and business, but also the news organization’s audience. But a new study from the University of Missouri School of Journalism reveals that publishers are not researching and consulting with their audience when making this decision.  Could this be why paywalls are seeing mixed results?

4. Thirteen Questions About the Future of Participatory Journalism (Groundswell)

After moderating a panel on the legal, educational and practical debates around citizen and participatory journalism, Josh Stearns put together a few recordings from the discussion. The segments are worth a listen, touching on issues around net neutrality, citizen journalists’ safety and rights, participatory journalism’s critical role in human rights work, and the steps some j-schools are taking to educate students on this growing form of journalism.

5. Journalism School Shuts Down Print Newspaper, Will Publish Everything on Medium (Gigaom)

At Mount San Antonio College near Los Angeles, the school’s print newspaper was not being read. So a journalism professor there decided to try something different. Toni Albertson reached out to Medium, and the publishing platform proposed a partnership. Although it’s an experiment in its early stages and getting mixed reactions from media critics, Albertson’s students now are excited about producing stories and learning valuable lessons in digital journalism.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines in the sidebar or add our RSS feed to get media trends, journalist interviews, blog profiles, and more sent right to your inbox or feed reader. 

Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager with PR Newswire for Journalists. Follow her at @ADHicken for tweets about the media, comic books, and her love of Cleveland.

Journalist Spotlight: Rachel Weingarten, Lifestyle Writer and Style Columnist

Welcome to Journalist Spotlight, a Q&A series with a journalist and ProfNet user. This installment belongs to Rachel Weingarten, an internationally recognized lifestyle writer, style columnist, and award-winning author. Weingarten currently pens a style column for Parade.com and opinion essays for NYC’s most widely read daily newspaper amNewYork.

Rachel Weingarten

Rachel Weingarten

Although Rachel Weingarten has written for CNN Digital, Esquire.com, Men’s Health, USA Today, and other top media outlets, her career path has not always been so straightforward.

“I’ve learned a lot from my interesting career trajectory which included stints as a celebrity makeup artist to founding the first low-fat mini muffin company approved by the FDA,” she explains. “I’ve taken the skills that I’ve learned and found a way to pull them all together in my writing.”

Weingarten’s beats include beauty, fashion, style, business, travel, luxury, spa, marketing, pop culture, and trends. You can learn more about her here.

What was your first professional writing job?

I started answering this question several times in several different ways. It occurs to me that there’s no one way to be a professional writer these days. So while my magazine writing started under a pseudonym, my copywriting/speechwriting/ghostwriting started when I was still part of the corporate world.

What type of stories do you cover?

I used to use the tagline “Style is my business,” but I feel that I’ve expanded beyond that. Then I’d sometimes describe myself as writing about “Business and style and the business of style” which opens things up to the business world and business of fashion and beauty.

I like to think that I cover all aspects of style, from what you wear to what you say, to where you travel, the things you choose to consume and surround yourself with.

I love pop culture and trends and breaking them down to figure out how to help my readers feel more in tune to evolving and emerging trends.

So in a nutshell – I’m a style writer with a very elastic description of the word style. I love covering consumer issues, shopping, gifts, the kinds of things that people splurge on. In this way, I can advise them on what’s hype and what might be a worthwhile investment.

Can you tell me what a typical day is like in the life of a freelance writer?

There is no typical day. And just when I think I’ve got a routine going – it changes.

I guess the closest I could tell you is the guy they’d show in old movies who would be at some sort of carnival and spinning dozens of plates at one time. That’s the typical day.

Brainstorming stories. Reading through the latest releases. Noticing something in my neighborhood or grocery store or various social media feeds and wondering if this is part of a larger trend and then thinking about how to pitch my various editors a story about it. Interviewing sources. Distilling my notes. Answering feedback from my readers.

I love the fact that no matter which publications I write for, my readers feel that they can write to me for further clarification, need for more information or even with questions. I get so many emails with questions about what to buy or wear for a special occasion. Advice needed on everything from fragrance to home decor.

Writing stories. Revising stories. Analyzing my most popular pieces and trying to figure out how to keep on top of my game. Bemoaning the publications in the world that find it acceptable to underpay writers. Taking notes on every conceivable surface and texting myself thoughts at all hours. And then trying to sleep and remembering that I have about 83 emails that I still haven’t answered.

Oh. And sometimes just trying to write essays for the pleasure of it all.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about freelancing?

That it’s a breezy venture where you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and that that’s all it is. I’m a business person whose stock in trade happens to be feature stories. I’m my own boss, but I also have many bosses to answer to in the form of editors and publishers.

What has been the most difficult assignment to cover?

I was recently asked by The Guardian to write an editorial about women and money as part of their Money + Feminism series. I’d been reading a lot about how younger women have rejected the notion of feminism and I find it by turns depressing and anachronistic.

Without strong women paving the way for us, we wouldn’t be able to make our voices heard professionally. It was hard for me to be dispassionate about the subject and try to present a logical and practical reason to understand and embrace an ongoing conversation about evolving feminism.  (You can read Weingarten’s article here: http://bit.ly/rcwguardian)

How do you use social media as part of your job?

I both love and hate social media. I keep tapped into the pulse of popular topics from TV shows to snack foods and also try to gauge the authenticity of trends. I love sourcing quotes and resources as well. And then there’s the shameless self promotion aspect!

What’s your advice for someone thinking of going into freelance writing and also for someone who’s just starting out in the business?

I think you have to really know your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re a great writer but poor with time management, it won’t work for you. If you have a super thin skin, you’ll have a hard time dealing with potential rejection from editors and outlets.

And please, whatever you do, don’t accept jobs that don’t pay you or underpay you. There’s been a horrible downward spiral for far too long in the industry with major players undervaluing skilled writers by either refusing to pay writers or offering them crumbs instead of payment worthy of their talents.

New writers are made to believe that it’s worth trading their integrity and talents for exposure. It isn’t.

Have you ever thought of doing something other than freelance writing? 

I do! I lead workshops and teach about personal branding and cosmetics and fragrance marketing on the graduate level. I also am a pretty popular public speaker and lead workshops on subjects including business etiquette, communication and personal branding.

If I had the head for it or could afford to, though, I’d probably go to culinary school. I’ve taken some classes at ICE and it’s transformed the way I interact with food and food preparation. I was always a great cook, but I’d love to become a vegan chef. Either that or starting a non-profit. I’m always finding causes near to my heart and wish I could commit a chunk of change to something I truly believe in.

What do you do in your free time?

I’m an avid crafter (my mother opened up a crafts/yarn shop when I was only two) so I’m always crocheting or needle pointing and want to start painting again.

I also love traveling and rediscovering my neighborhood and city. I’m a native Brooklynite and I vow that this will be the year that I finally finish my first mystery in what I hope will be a series set in and around my ‘hood, The Real Brooklyn Girl mysteries.

Evelyn Tipacti is a community relations specialist at ProfNet, a service that connects journalists with expert sources.  She is a former broadcast journalist with years of experience behind the television camera and radio mic. Members of the media can register for PR Newswire for Journalists to begin using ProfNet and other free media tools.

9 Headline Writing Don’ts for Online Journalists and Bloggers

Writing headlines for an online audience poses different challenges than print. Here are 9 headline don'ts for digital journalists and bloggers.

Writing headlines for an online audience poses different challenges than print.
Here are 9 headline don’ts for bloggers and digital journalists.

You spent hours laboring over an article or blog post.  You did your research and fussed over sentences until they were just right. The only thing standing between you and your next assignment is a headline.

Or maybe you’re an editor tasked with rattling off a dozen headlines before you leave for the day.

You take a few seconds, jot down the first thing that comes to mind, and move on.

Don’t do that.

You’re cheating yourself by not applying the same effort to your headline, as you did to the rest of your piece.

At a recent storytelling workshop, Michael Pranikoff, PR Newswire’s global director of emerging media, likened an article’s headline to wrapping paper.  If you were giving someone a gift, would you wrap it like the picture on the left or the right?

Wrapping paper images by Lara604 (left) and Queen Bee (right); both used under CC by 2.0 license

Images by Lara604 (left) and Queen Bee (right); both used under CC by 2.0 license

It’s likely you’re not going to stick the present in a paper bag.

Rather, you’ll probably spend time selecting ribbon and wrapping paper. Sure, the paper eventually ends up in the recycling, but it will have fulfilled its purpose to build excitement about the treasures inside.

Similarly, your headline is the first – and sometimes only — thing a reader sees before deciding to open your article or blog post.  It needs to be good.

Here are nine things you shouldn’t do.

1. Don’t write a long headline. Although online journalists and bloggers are not limited by a newspaper’s narrow columns, you do need to consider the web’s equivalents: Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) and social media.

After Google’s most-recent SERP redesign, Moz released new guidelines for page title/headline length.  There’s no magic number due to the varying widths of letters on Google. However, under the new design, Moz says 55 characters is a safe bet before your headline gets cut off in SERPs.

If your headline is close to or more than 55 characters (including spaces), make sure the most important information is near the front.

2. Don’t get cute.  I LOVE puns, so it pains me to say they’re better left out of your online headline.  Your headline has to live on its own in search results, as a tweet, or in a mobile news reader. You don’t have the luxury of a photo or subhead on the newspaper’s front page to explain “Scrape Me Up Before You Go Slow.”

If you saw that in your search results, you wouldn’t know the article was referring to a car accident involving George Michael.  Even if you can decipher the article’s topic from a pun, wordplay takes up room you don’t have. Clear, descriptive language that explains what the article is about would be more useful.

3. Don’t lose sight of why.  The who, what, when, and where of your story are very important to the headline, but you also need to demonstrate why your audience should care to click on it.  Is there an emotion this story taps into? What is the larger meaning or impact this news has on your audience and its community?  Ask yourself what would make you click on your own headline.

4. Don’t forget about audience research. Keyword research and website analytics give us insight into our target audiences’ behaviors. We don’t have to guess (as much) about what our audience will or won’t respond to.  By studying the different topics your audience is interested in, the words they use to search for those topics, and the headline triggers they respond to (numbers and calls to action are a good place to start), you can craft a headline that’s found, clicked, and shared.

5. Don’t be tone deaf. Once you’ve identified the ‘why’ of your story, you must consider the topic’s tone. Is it serious, informal, sentimental, or irreverent? Make sure that’s reflected in your headline.  If, like me, you struggle with capturing a funny tone, comedian Michele Wojciechowski offers advice on adding humor to your writing. Cultural differences also should be considered when determining what’s acceptable.

6. Don’t be inconsistent. In addition to recognizing the appropriate tone for your story’s topic, you need to understand and be consistent with your site’s overall voice.  Know how offbeat and radical you can be. How authoritative you should sound. You set your audience’s expectations. Although it’s sometimes OK to challenge those expectations, if your piece is going to seem out of place on your website, make sure it’s for a good reason.

7. Don’t fill it with “headlinese.” Because of newspaper formatting, some journalists developed a reductionist headline style, favoring short synonyms and jargon not typically used by their audience.  This ‘headlinese’ has led to many examples of unintentional (and hilarious) ambiguity.  Ambiguity doesn’t work online. Instead, use language you’d use in ordinary conversation.

8. Don’t stop after one headline. Congratulations if your first attempt at writing a headline is perfect. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case.  I like writing three to five headlines because it forces me to focus on all of the details in my story.  Your headline variations need not be dramatically different. Sometimes, it’s a slight tweak or combining of elements from the other versions.  It also can mean flipping the action’s point of view.

9. Don’t save your headline until the end.  There are valid arguments on both sides of the “write the headline first vs. write it last” debate.  I used to advocate for waiting until the end to write my headline. Then I tried writing it earlier in my blogging process and found it helped the rest of my post.

I still do my newsgathering first; however, after reviewing my notes and seeing what the story is, I write the headline before anything else.  I’ll edit my headline after writing my first draft, but having one early on helps me organize the article and find my lede.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t. There’s art and science to headline writing and the only way to get better is with practice. I leave you with the one piece of advice that has helped me the most.

During a Web Headlines seminar by Poynter Institute, John Schlander, the Tampa Bay Times’ digital general manager, shared an easy-to-remember approach to online headline writing.

Your headline has three goals, he said. If it captures deeper meaning, reader interest and search value, you’re in good shape.

If you think you need a headline refresher, check out Poynter’s Web Headlines and SEO Essentials seminar with Schlander which will provide hands-on headline writing and an in-depth understanding of online best practices. You can find more information about this and Poynter’s other online classes at newsu.org/courses.

Looking for your next story? PR Newswire for Journalists can help. Register for PR Newswire for Journalists and get breaking news right from its source. Customize newsfeeds around the specific topics you cover, or use our ProfNet service to connect with subject matter experts. It’s free and takes only a few moments to sign up. Visit prnmedia.prnewswire.com or email media.relations@prnewswire.com to get started.

Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager with PR Newswire. She also blogs on Clue Into Cleveland. Follow her at @ADHicken for tweets about the media, comic books, and her love of Cleveland.

Blog Profiles: Hispanic Heritage Blogs, Part 1

Hispanic Heritage Month Blogs - Food

Hispanic Heritage Month Blogs We Love

Welcome to Blog Profiles! Each week, PR Newswire media relations manager Christine Cube selects an industry or subject and a handful of sites that do a good job with promoting and blogging about the space. Do you have a blog that deserves recognition? Tell Christine why on PR Newswire for Bloggers.

National Hispanic Heritage Month begins today.

For one month, Americans celebrate the histories and cultures of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Here’s a brief history lesson, care of the Hispanic Heritage Month site hosted by The Library of Congress: “The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. … Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.”

To honor National Hispanic Heritage Month, PR Newswire dedicates this and next week’s blog profiles to fantastic examples of Hispanic blogs.

What we found in our search this week was a great many Hispanic bloggers who cook! So, this week we’re covering some of the incredible dishes that they are cooking up.

Venezuelan Cooking is the cooking blog of graphic designer and photographer Melissa Wolowicz.

“This is a blog about Venezuelan cooking and authentic Venezuelan food, by a non-chef, simple Venezuelan girl, who just misses her country and food,” Wolowicz writes. “An authentic Venezuelan who wants to share anecdotes, tips, ingredients, and photos of her own journey in creating and finding authentic Venezuelan flavor in the US.”

Wolowicz recently shared one of her favorite recipes – Hervido o Sancocho De Gallina – Venezuelan Chicken Soup. I appreciate that Wolowicz takes some time to explain that “all soups are not created equally, and they do not serve the same purpose.”

“The word sancocho comes from the Latin sub-coctum, which means to cook at a low heat,” she said. “That is precisely what sancocho is, and even though it is also called hervido, which means boiled, in order to make sancocho, you must never let the water actually come to a boil. People also call sancocho the actual family gathering where they meet to enjoy this delicious dish.”

Another blog post I enjoyed was Recipe: Perico Venezolano – Venezuelan Scrambled Eggs.

Follow @mwolowicz on Twitter.

Sweet Life is the blog of a “proud Tejana who feels lucky to have the best of both worlds” – raised in Texas by Mexican parents.

Vianney Rodriguez is the award-winning bilingual blogger and recipe developer behind Sweet Life.

“Sweet Life is a delicious blend of tastes and flavors from my life,” Rodriguez says. “On Sweet Life, I express my passions for food, photography and familia gathering at the table to enjoy soul satisfying meals together.”

A couple of my favorite posts include Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos, Black Bean Tostadas with Green Chile Kiwi Salsa, and Cilantro-Lime Rice (incidentally, I’ll be making it this evening. Thanks, Vianney!)

Follow @sweetlifebake on Twitter.

Peru Delights showcases the “ins and outs of Peruvian cooking.”

It’s managed by mother-daughter team Morena Cuadra and Morena Escardo.

“Ever been to Peru? If you have, you will know this to be true: we are all obsessed with our food,” they write. “We are proud of it, long for it, and love to share it! After all, food always tastes better when it’s shared.”

This is the kind of food blog that makes you hungry from just the pictures.

Some of my favorites include Rice with Pork Lima-Style, #MeatlessMondays – 30 Peruvian Dishes Every Vegan Should Try, and Turron de Chocolate (where has this been all my life?).

Follow @PeruDelights on Twitter.

Laylita’s Recipes is the blog of Layla Pujol, who was born in Vilcabamba, Ecuador and today resides in Seattle.

“My recipes are inspired mainly by traditional Ecuadorian dishes that I grew up eating in Ecuador,” Pujol says. “However, my love of food – and therefore the recipes posted here – go beyond Ecuador and include anything from Latin America, my mom’s spicy New Mexican cooking, my grandmother’s homemade Southwestern dishes and Texas style BBQ, my husband’s (and his family’s) delicious French food, new dishes introduced by my amazing group of international friends, and of course the great variety of seafood, vegetables and fruits available in the Pacific Northwest.”

So, it’s a mix – and an incredibly good one at that.

What immediately caught my eye were the food categories that Pujol covers: Ecuadorian recipes, empanadas, plantains, ceviches, main dishes, summer salads, and summer drinks.

Let’s start with the gorgeous (and likely tasty) Kiwi Blueberry Mojito that was inspired by the Seattle Seahawks. Also a couple of recipes I will be testing: Green plantain patties stuffed with cheese (Tortillas de verde) and langostino ceviche.

Follow @Laylita on Twitter.

P.S. Ever wonder how we come up with ideas for our blog profiles? Our handy list of industries and subjects on PR Newswire for Journalists stays top of mind. If you’re a blogger or journalist looking for food and beverage news or Hispanic-related news, let us know. We’re happy to customize that feed for you on PR Newswire for Journalists.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. She’s going to be holed up in her kitchen for a few days, trying her hand at a variety of Hispanic food dishes. Unfortunately, she does not plan to share. Follow her @cpcube.

Did You See That Press Release? Rudolph Turns 50, Corden Replaces Ferguson, Wine Consumption Hits Record

With thousands of news releases published each week on PR Newswire for Journalists, no one can possibly keep up with every one of them. Here are some of our favorite releases from the past week that you might have missed.

If you’re not already a registered member of PR Newswire for Journalists, you can register at prnmedia.prnewswire.com.  Customize your profile to get the news releases you want before they make headlines. It’s free and takes only a few moments.

Source: PRNewsFoto/ DreamWorks Animation

Source: PRNewsFoto/ DreamWorks Animation

The Most Famous Reindeer of All Celebrates His 50th Anniversary on Television With a Collector’s Edition DVD and Blu-ray

One foggy Christmas in 1964, Rudolph flew straight into the hearts of millions of Americans for whom watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer became an indispensable part of the holiday season. Fifty years later, children of all ages can celebrate the magic of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with a new 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD and Blu-ray, available Nov. 4.

The collector’s edition adds an unforgettable glow to the music, beloved characters, and heartwarming story of Rudolph’s historic Christmas Eve ride and the mystical Island of Misfit Toys.   See the full release to learn more.

Interested in receiving more movie and entertainment news like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to get releases sent to you by email on the topics you cover. Get started now.

U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2015 Best Colleges

U.S. News & World Report on Sept. 9 released the 30th edition of its flagship Best Colleges rankings, which measure academic excellence. For the second year in a row, Princeton University claims sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the Best National Universities category.

Williams College tops the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, making it No. 1 for 12 years in a row. University of California—Berkeley holds onto its spot as the Top Public School among National Universities. See the full release to learn more.

Want to make sure you don’t miss releases like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to have releases emailed to you about the higher education industry and other topics you cover. Get started now.

Source: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Source: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

CBS Announces James Corden as Host of The Late Late Show

The CBS Television Network announced Sept. 8 that James Corden will be the new host of The Late Late Show. Corden – a multi-faceted performer, host, writer, and producer with accomplishments that span television, theater, film, and comedy – will take the reins of the daily late night show in 2015.

The 36-year-old Corden comes to American late night television with a growing list of award-winning and critically acclaimed credits. He is a Tony Award-winning performer on Broadway, a BAFTA-winning star of a UK television series, a feature film actor with two releases this year, and an acclaimed host, writer, and producer in several genres of television. See the full release to learn more.

Don’t miss other television news like this. Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to get releases sent to you by email on the topics you cover.  Get started now.

U.S. Wine Consumption Expands for 20th Straight Year, Surpasses France as Largest Wine Market

The U.S. topped France as the world’s largest wine market last year as Americans continue to develop a greater appreciation for the libation. According to the Beverage Information and Insights Group’s 2014 Wine Handbook, the wine category increased 1.9 percent to 325.4 million 9-liter cases last year.

Production and consumption levels also are at an all-time high. Relaxed restrictions on direct winery shipments contributed to the wine industry’s success in 2013. Direct shipments increased 9.3 percent to 3.47 million cases, and dollar sales of winery-to-consumer shipments increased 7.7 percent to $1.57 billion. Shipments from Napa Valley represented almost half of the total value, with Sonoma County and Oregon experiencing the largest growth of direct shipments. See the full release to learn more.

Interested in receiving more wine and beverage news like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to receive releases by email on the topics you cover. Get started now.

Source: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Source: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Electrolux to Acquire GE Appliances

AB Electrolux announced on Sept. 8 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the appliances business of General Electric, one of the premier manufacturers of kitchen and laundry products in the United States, for a cash consideration of $3.3 billion. The acquisition enhances Electrolux’s position as a global player in home appliances, offering an unparalleled opportunity to invest in innovation and growth, which will benefit consumers, retailers, employees, and shareholders. See the full release to learn more terms of the transaction.

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Larry Grady is online content manager at PR Newswire for Journalists. He has worked in business media for nearly 30 years and enjoys reality TV and daydreaming about travel and wine.

Around the Wire: Newspaper Reporters Turn to TV, 5 Tips for Hypnotic Writing and More Media News

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing stories from the past week.

Image of broadcast newsroom by Adele Prince; used under CC by 2.0

Image by Adele Prince; used under CC by 2.0

1. Seeking to Bolster Websites, TV Stations Hire Away Newspaper Journalists (Poynter)

As local TV stations look to improve online presence and add long-form articles to their sites, the skills and experience that newspaper reporters have are in demand. In recent years, stations have begun recruiting journalists from their regional dailies, hiring them not as on-screen talent, but as contributors for their websites. Poynter speaks with a few of these journalists about why they made the jump and what it’s like now to work in broadcast.

2. Hypnotic Writing: 5 Effective Strategies To Put Your Reader In A Trance (ProBlogger)

There’s more to hypnosis than being tricked into quacking like a duck in front of hundreds of people. Hypnosis happens all the time – when we’re driving, watching movies, and reading.  There are words and techniques you can use in your blogging to stir strong emotions and induce a state of higher suggestibility. In this post on ProBlogger, Thai Nguyen outlines five strategies to mesmerize your readers.

3. 16 Reasons Why This Research Will Change How You Look at News Consumption (Online Journalism Blog)

Journalism professor and media expert Paul Bradshaw argues that surveys on media consumption are flawed. As with any survey, he writes, “the problem is people misremember, people forget, and people lie.” Instead, we should be “watching people and measuring what they actually do – not what they say they do.”

A recent paper has done this. After examining various observational and interview-based research from the last decade, two Dutch researchers have reported on how engaged people are with the news and the different behaviors — like watching vs. viewing — they are exhibiting.

Bradshaw summarizes these news consumption activities and their impact on how we publish news.

4. Wall Street Journal Turns Subscribers into Members with WSJ+ (Nieman Journalism Labs)

To drive subscriptions, the Wall Street Journal launched WSJ+ this week. The membership program is free for subscribers to the paper and brings with it a number of perks. Behind-the-scenes tours, panels with Journal editors, film screenings, and access to discounts and giveaways are just a few of the benefits Wall Street Journal subscribers will now get.

This is the latest move in a growing trend of media companies using the membership/club model to keep current subscribers happy, attract new ones, and build revenue.

5. Building Your Personal Brand Through Books (ProfNet Connect)

Last week, we were joined by Greenleaf Book Group’s Ashley Jones for ProfNet’s latest #ConnectChat, “Building Your Expert Brand Through Books.” Jones offered excellent tips for bloggers, journalists, and other experts about the biggest mistakes beginner authors make, whether you need a lot of money to promote your book, and much more.

If you missed the Twitter chat, a transcript is available on ProfNet Connect. You also can find more tips for book promotion in our recent Beyond Bylines post 6 Ways to Promote Your Book Beyond the Traditional Media Pitch.

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Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager with PR Newswire for Journalists. Follow her at @ADHicken for tweets about the media, comic books, and her love of Cleveland.