The newspaper industry’s changing landscape

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Today’s broadcast is recorded from a previous Smart Talk program

The newspaper industry has undergone a transformation over the last 10 to 15 years. With the advancement of the internet, newspapers jumped on board to develop a web presence offering ready access to their customers.

While print customers paid for subscription services, the web version was free to anyone with access to a computer.

Eventually, the industry’s advertising-based business model felt the economic pressure of newspapers giving their product away for free. The thinking went that if subscribers can access the news free online, any time of day, why would they pay for a newspaper that arrives hours after the news events occur?

Some say that by offering a free product, the industry set itself up for potential failure.

Today, some newspapers around the country, and in the mid-state, have cut staff and production schedules, while others are placing paywalls between their product and customers.

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Dr. Kyle Heim, Alex Hayes, Cate Barron, Ted Sickler and Scott LaMar

Joining Smart Talk on Friday to talk about the newspaper industry’s changing landscape are Cate Barron, Vice President of Content with PennLive and the Patriot-News, Ted Sickler, LNPMedia Group, Inc.’s Managing Editor of Features and Special Projects, and Alex Hayes, Managing Editor of the Gettysburg Times. Also joining the conversation is Dr. Kyle Heim, Professor of Communication/Journalism, Shippensburg University.

Gun culture in America and ‘Well-Behaved Taverns Seldom Make History’

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Mel Chin, Cross for the Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Multiple, 2012, AK-47 assault rifles (cut and welded).

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 29, 2018:

Guns in America are ubiquitous. They are part of our national identity; the right to own a gun upheld by our very Constitution.

Guns are a source of fascination, status and disgust, depending on who you are speaking to. And they are, literally, everywhere; in the news, part of our recreation, and the subject of national debate.

Dickinson College’s Trout Gallery is wading into this debate in an exhibit titled, “Unloaded – An Exhibition Exploring Guns in Our Culture.” The exhibit is displayed in the Emil R. Weiss Center for the Arts on the Dickinson College Campus through February 16, 2019.

Appearing on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss the exhibit and its reflection of America’s gun culture are Trout Gallery Director Phillip Earenfight and Susanne Slavick, exhibit curator, artist and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Susanne Slavick and Phillip Earenfight

Also, what do the American Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion, and Prohibition have in common?

Pubs. In each historical event, the plans were hatched, and conspiracies formed, in a Pennsylvania pub.

Author M. Diane McCormick joins us on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss her book, Well-Behaved Taverns Seldom Make History: Pennsylvania Pubs Where Rabble-Rousers and Rum Runners Stirred Up Revolutions.

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M. Diane McCormick

Cap and Trade in PA? / Pennlive nursing home investigative series

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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, November 28, 2018:

Led by the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council, a group of 61 petitioners is calling on state regulators to establish a cap-and-trade program in Pennsylvania to reduce carbon emissions that contributes to climate change. The Constitutional Amendment that says Pennsylvanians have a right to clean air and water is the tool they’re using to force the issue.

Appearing on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to discuss what could be a significant action are John Dernbach, Commonwealth Professor of Law and Sustainability, Director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center, Widener University Commonwealth Law School and Marie Cusick, StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter.

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Marie Cusick and John Dernbach

Also, a Pennlive investigative series into nursing homes is garnering attention for exposing problems in what’s often called a broken system.

In 2015, the state attorney general filed a lawsuit against several nursing home chains after findings of widespread mismanagement and failing to provide basic care. At the time, the Pennsylvania Health Department promised a “crack down” of the offending companies, but an eight-month PennLive investigation has found that little has improved.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the report is Pennlive investigative series managing producer Ron Southwick.

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Ron Southwick

More PA school superintendents are men but women earn more money/Providing musical instruments to kids


What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, November 27, 2018:

Walk into a Pennsylvania public school classroom and you’ll probably see a woman teaching the class. In fact, 73% of teachers in Pennsylvania schools are female. However, the number of women teachers hasn’t translated into females becoming principals or school superintendents. Only 28% of superintendents are women and there are Pennsylvania counties where there are no women superintendents at all.

On the other hand, women superintendents are paid more than their male counterparts on average probably because more women superintendents have their doctoral degrees.

The online PA Post researched and reported on Pennsylvania school superintendents and reporter Ed Mahon joins us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk with more of what he found.

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PA Post reporter Ed Mahon

Also, the number of schools offering music education in Pennsylvania, and the nation, is in a steady decline and has been for more than a decade. Reduced budgets and shifting priorities are often to blame. Music programs are expensive, and many school districts have made the difficult decision to cut extracurricular programs, in order to save money.

Music for Everyone is a Lancaster-based non-profit working to raise awareness and resources to strengthen the role that music plays in schools and the community, in the face of declining music programs.

Music for Everyone provided over 6,000 instruments to Lancaster County schools since 2006, but they soon realized there is little money in school budgets for repair of the instruments. MFE recognized the need and began a program to repair and catalogue every instrument of every public school in Lancaster County.

Joining us on Smart Talk to discuss the program is Dr. John Gerdy, founder and executive director of Music for Everyone and Lisa Sempsey, music teacher and K-12 art and music curriculum coordinator, Columbia Borough school district.

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John Gerdy

World AIDS Day / World is Classroom author

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, November 26, 2018:

World AIDS Day takes place on the first day of December each year, and this year the recognition falls on Saturday.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

AIDS is still considered an epidemic by the CDC and world health organizations. An epidemic is characterized by a disease that’s occurence rises above what is expected in a population area. AIDS infections continue to occur at an alarming rate, world-wide and in the U.S.

  • An estimated 1.8 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2017 – about 5,000 new infections per day.
  • More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1,170 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania ranked 10th among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses in 2015, the most recent statistics.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss advances in HIV treament and prevention are Rosemary Browne, president and CEO, Alder Health Services and Dr. Jarrett Sell, family medicine physician, Penn State Health; medical director, Alder Health Services.

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Rosemary Browne and Dr. Jarrett Sell

Also, Cindy Ross is known as a ‘Triple Crown Hiker.’ To earn this distinction a hiker must complete three major U.S. trails: the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. Finishing one of these trails is an admirable undertaking, but completing all three places a hiker in an elite category.

Now, imagine taking your family along for your hike on the most difficult of the three.

This is exactly what Ross and her husband Todd Gladfelter did when they led their young children, Sierra and Bryce, on their journey along the Continental Divide Trail; the most remote of the three systems.

Ross says she felt this trip created a whole new way of nurturing and supplementing her children’s education, by exposing them to the natural world and travel.

Cindy Ross wrote about their experiences and joins Smart Talk to discuss her book, “The World is Our Classroom: How One Family Used Nature & Travel to Shape an Extraordinary Education.

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Cindy Ross

What to know about PA driving laws

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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, November 21, 2018:

Are you traveling by car this Thanksgiving weekend? AAA says more than 54 million Americans have travel plans and about 48 million of them will drive to their destinations.

That means there will be a lot of vehicles on the road. More than a few may be breaking laws such as speeding, not yielding to traffic, texting while driving, or passing in a no passing zone. During a high traffic volume weekend when bad weather is a possibility, we’ll also ask about laws concerning driving too fast for conditions.

Those are amongst the laws most often disobeyed by motorists. However, there are other laws that drivers simply aren’t sure of. For example, when is it lawful to pass on the right side or when must a vehicle yield to a pedestrian?

That’s where Wednesday’s Smart Talk comes in. With Thanksgiving week being the biggest travel period of the year, Pennsylvania State Police Corporal and Public Information Officer Adam Reed and Penndot District 8 Safety Officer Fritzi Schreffler appear on the program to answer questions about the laws of the land related to motor vehicles and driving.

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Fritzi Schreffler and Corporal Adam Reed

Smart Talk talks Thanksgiving dinner

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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, Nove,ber 20, 2018:

Food, football, family, a nap, turkey, a chill in the air, newspapers bursting with holiday advertisements, which pie to eat for dessert, wine, the kids’ table, the aroma of turkey in the oven and thoughts of what you and your family are thankful for and appreciate in life. These are all images that come to mind when thinking about Thanksgiving. Take one or two away and Thanksgiving may not be the same. But if there is one constant with Thanksgiving, it is the food and dinner with family. Maybe more so than any other holiday.

It’s one of the reasons we always look forward to Chef Donna Marie Desfor’s appearance on Smart Talk just before Thanksgiving and this year, she is joined by her Now That’s a Mouthful podcast co-host Cherie Krause. Cherie and Donna.png

Cherie Kraus, Scott LaMar and Donna Marie Desfor

If you’re the kind of person who plans ahead, Donna and Cherie may have ideas for something to add to the Thanksgiving menu. For those who like to wait until the last minute, they may change the direction your Thanksgiving dinner will be going in. Or maybe it’s just a dessert or new holiday breakfast they will suggest.

Tune in Tuesday’s Smart Talk and be ready to call in with your own ideas or Thanksgiving traditions.

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Selection of desserts brought by Chef Donna Marie Desfor and Now That’s a Mouthful podcast co-host Cherie Krause.

Reducing energy consumption / Forest management


What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, November 16, 2018:

Winter weather arrived in Pennsylvania last week and with it, higher energy demand from area homes and businesses.

The PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center recently released a guide to help Pennsylvanians conserve energy and reduce waste. The energy-saving measures in the guide titled, It’s Time to Take Charge: A Citizen’s Guide to Saving Energy, focus on energy waste, particularly during colder weather.

By using better technology and eliminating waste, American’s can reduce energy consumption 40-60% in the next 25 years. And in the world of conservation, energy that is not used is considered a resource.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss the guide and practical recommendations for reducing energy consumption are Allie Astor, clean energy fellow with PennEnvironment, Mark Hand, energy program specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and Dave Althoff, director of energy programs, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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Mark Hand and Dave Althoff

Also, the California wildfires are capturing the nation’s attention, with death and destruction of historic proportions, and large areas of the state’s forests destroyed.

In Pennsylvania, more than 2.2-million acres of state forests comprise about 13 percent of the forested area in the commonwealth and are one of the largest expanses of public lands in the eastern United States. Managing this important resource and preventing fires in “Penn’s Woods” falls to the oversight of the State Forester.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss forest management and fire prevention in the Commonwealth are Matt Keefer, assistant Pennsylvania State Forester, and Michael Kern, chief of the Forest Fire Protection Division.

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Matt Keefer and Michael Kern

Smart Talk road trip: The Extraordinary Give


What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, November 16, 2018:

Sponsored by Lancaster County Community Foundation, the 2018 Extraordinary Give is the region’s largest day of online giving to directly benefit more than 450 participating regional nonprofit organizations.

For 24-hours only on November 16, individuals can visit and donate to an organization of their choice; supporting kids, health and education, the environment, animals and the arts. Every dollar donated will be “stretched” by $500,000 from the Lancaster County Community Foundation (LCCF) and sponsors Rodgers & Associates, the High Foundation, and other supporters. A full list of participating organizations from around Central Pennsylvania, including WITF, is found here:

Extraordinary Give is Lancaster County’s largest day of giving. In just six days of giving over the past six years, the Extraordinary Give raised more than $31 million for more than 500 organizations.

Smart Talk is live Friday morning from Tellus360 in the heart of downtown Lancaster. Tellus360 is an Irish pub and music venue, with a focus on a “community-driven life where everyone is equal, where anything is possible, and where life is good for all at the expense of none.”

A community-centered business in Lancaster County is a perfect location to highlight the seventh annual Extraordinary Give fundraising campaign.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss the campaign are Sam Bressi, CEO Lancaster County Community Foundation, Tracy Cutler, VP Communications & Donor Cultivation Lancaster County Community Foundation, Rick Rodgers of Rodgers and Associates, and Robin Stauffer, Executive Director High Foundation.

Also, joining Smart Talk is Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace, Evalina Dombrowski, executive director Clare House, Karen Peiffer, executive director Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and Heather Hinkel, director for the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster.

NPR Correspondent Melissa Block and the role of media

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Photo by Allison Shelley

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 15, 2018

Melissa Block has seen a lot of change in the more than 30 years she has worked for NPR. She began her career in 1985 as an editorial assistant for All Things Considered and rose to become senior producer, and eventually host from 2003 to 2015.

Block covered some of the most important people and stories of the last three decades. Her reporting following the attacks of September 11, 2001, helped earn NPR a Peabody Award, as did the coverage of the massive earthquake in Sichuan, China, in 2008. Block happened to be there and reported events as they took place.

Most recently, she completed a project called “Our Land,” profiling communities to capture how people’s identity is shaped by where they live. Block also recently completed a project on gun rights versus gun control for suicide prevention, and how to find a middle ground.

Melissa Block appears on Thursday’s Smart Talk to relate her thoughts on the role of independent media in America today.


Melissa Block

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Scott LaMar and Melissa Block