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

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

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.

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.

The election is over; what lies ahead for Pennsylvania?


What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, November 9, 2018:

The election is over, and you may have heard, Pennsylvania Democrats picked up some new congressional seats–and helped flip the U.S. House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the state House and Senate also made progress. The Senate flipped at least five seats and ended a Republican supermajority–and the House snagged at least eleven–thought to be their largest pickup since 1974.

That’s not enough to give them majorities in either chamber, but it will mean some changes in how Harrisburg operates.

Appearing on Smart Talk are journalists Marc Levy, Associated Press, and Charles Thompson, Pennlive to discuss the implications.

Democratic State Representative Patty Kim and Republican Representative Greg Rothman also join Smart Talk to explain how their caucus’s prospects will change–and what the shifting numbers mean for collaboration between the parties.

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Charles Thompson, Katie Meyer and Marc Levy

Also, this election saw four states voting to change their redistricting methods–Carol Kuniholm with Fair Districts PA will discuss what that will mean for stalled efforts to do the same in Pennsylvania.

The state of education and ‘Going Home’ series

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A WITF original production

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, November 5, 2018:

Smart Talk continues a conversation we began on Monday on the state of education in Pennsylvania. Teacher shortages and budget pressures are two issues that loom large on the public education landscape.

Public schools across the commonwealth will celebrate American Education Week November 12 – 16. Great things are happening in schools today and organizers hope to highlight some of these during this nation-wide event.

Joining Smart Talk on Tuesday to continue the conversation about the challenges in education are Jeff Ney, Pennsylvania State Education Association treasurer and Ronald Cowell, from the Education Policy and Leadership Center.

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Jeff Ney

Also, individuals with intellectual disabilities face many challenges in life, including the right for social inclusion. For decades, many were forced to live in state institutions without the right to leave. Today, most people with intellectual disabilities are living in the community. But, does living in the community mean you’re truly a part of it?

Going Home is a WITF original production and a follow up to the award-winning documentary i go home. The documentary examines the journey towards inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities and asks the question, are we there yet?

Appearing on Smart Talk is Keira McGuire, Going Home producer and Dr. Dennis Downey, Ph.D., Millersville University Professor emeritus of history and disability advocate.

Watch Going Home on November 8, at 8pm on WITF-TV.

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Keira McGuire and Prof. Dennis Downey

Congressman Scott Perry (R) / Why is everyone so angry?

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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, November 1, 2018:

Smart Talk continues candidate conversations today with Congressman Scott Perry, a Republican incumbent running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th District. The 10th District includes portions of Cumberland, Dauphin, and York counties.

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Congressman Scott Perry (R)

Smart Talk invited the candidates for the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Governor’s office to appear on the program so that voters can hear where they stand on the issues. Hear the candidates here.

Also, have you wondered why everyone seems so angry? Politics are often polarizing but it seems there is more hostility than ever before. What is causing the blatant anger in the political discourse? How can we speak with civility while still disagreeing with one another?

Joining Smart Talk is Darcy Maier, co-chair of the Better Angels Alliance of Gettysburg, along with members Kerr Thompson and Chad Collie. Better Angels is a bipartisan citizen’s movement working to unify individuals with different political outlooks.

Also, on Smart Talk is Lanae Ampersand, clinical program manager for psychiatry at the outpatient psychiatry clinic, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center who counsels patients with anger management issues.

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Darcy Maier and Lanae Ampersand

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Kerr Thompson and Chad Collie

Public Defender Series and solutions on climate and energy


What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, October 4, 2018:

Anyone accused of committing a crime and facing criminal charges in the U.S. has a Constitutional right to be represented by an attorney and as the famous Miranda warning says, an attorney will be appointed for the defendant if the defendant can’t afford one.

Indigent defendants are often represented in court by public defenders.

An investigative series by PA Post reporters finds that Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that doesn’t provide state funding for public defenders. It’s up to the state’s counties to pay for public defenders. The PA Post series also found that many public defenders are stretched thin because they handle too many cases and as a result may not provide adequate representation for their clients. At least one lawmaker is concerned that Pennsylvania isn’t meeting its Constitutional responsibilities.

PA Post reporters Emily Previti and Katie Meyer appear on Thursday’s Smart Talk to describe what they found.

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Emily Previti and Katie Meyer

Also, Dr. Richard Alley’s research as a Geoscientist is focused on studying the past to have a look into the future. His research with the Greenland ice sheets and Antarctica allow him to make forecasts of the future in the midst of climate change. Alley says that by looking at global warming framed against the bigger picture of energy and the environment, we can also grow economies. The economy, health, jobs, national security, and the environment all intersect. As do the ethics of it all, because the people causing global warming are the ones who are least affected by it.

Joining Smart Talk to discuss insights to climate and energy solutions is Dr. Richard Alley, Ph.D., Professor of Geoscience, Pennsylvania State University. He is appearing at a local event with the Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Harrisburg Rotary Club on Wednesday, October 10.


Dr. Richard Alley, Ph.D.

12th Congressional District Candidate (D) Marc Friedenberg and Lincoln Lyceum awardee

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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday October, 1, 2018:

The 2018 mid-term election is set for Tuesday, November 6. The midterms take place in the middle of President Donald Trump’s first term and many see the election as a refenrendum on Trump. Nationally, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested. Pennsylvania voters will also decide on between candidates for governor, as well as the state House of Representatives and half the state Senate.

Smart Talk has invited the candidates for the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and governor to appear on the program so that voters can hear where they stand on the issues. The conversations are intended to allow candidates to state their positions and to provide information to voters to help them decide which candidates to support.

The first candidate is scheduled to be on Monday’s program.

Marc Friedenberg, is a Democrat, running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 12th Congressional District. The 12th District includes Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Snyder, and Union Counties and parts of Northumberland and Montour Counties in the WITF listening area.


Marc Friedenberg,is a Democrat, running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 12th Congressional District.

Also on Monday’s Smart Talk, renowned historian and author Edward Ayers joins us to discuss new book The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America. The book describes the destruction of slavery through a war that divides the nation followed by a political reconstruction that established the rights of formerly enslaved people. Dr. Ayers uses Franklin County as one of the locations that show how this era in American history transpired.

Ayers, who is the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize Laureate, appears at Gettysburg College’s Lincoln Lyceum Lecture Series Wednesday night at 7.

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