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ProfNet Experts Available on Governor Christie, NSA, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to [email protected] with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • Governor Christie and New Jersey Politics
  • NSA Revelations Raise Need for Erasable Content
  • Out-of-State Marriages May Create Legal Limbo
  • Pot Tourism Creates Legal, HR Concerns
  • Data Finds Slowing U.S. Nursing Enrollment
  • Price Transparency and the Legal Marketplace


  • Journalist – Long Island Business News (NY)
  • Editorial Assistant - Wilmington News Journal (OH)
  • Reporter – Law360 (CA)


  • 5 Old-School Freelance Writer Rules You Should Break
  • Media 411: Focusing on Journalism Skills
  • How Technology Can Help Writers



Governor Christie and New Jersey Politics
Ben Dworkin
Political Science Professor and Director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics
Rider University
"With the bridge scandal, the bigger political problem for Chris Christie is one of escalation. He's gone from being called a bully, which most voters didn't seem to mind, to accusations of abuse of power, which can have a much more lasting negative impact. While he used to be seen as the big kid picking on others in the schoolyard, now he's portrayed as a vicious teacher, singling out a child for torment. It's bigger than bullying. It's abuse of power, and it is a whole new narrative that he has to combat."
As Director of the Rebovich Institute, Dworkin is one of New Jersey's most insightful political analysts.  He has appeared on numerous network and cable news shows, and is frequently quoted by all of New Jersey's major newspapers, as well as The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He brings together experience in academia, government, political parties and campaigns. At Rider, he teaches New Jersey politics along with other political science classes and honors courses to undergraduates. In addition, he has presented his research and analysis at several academic conferences across the country. Through much of his pre-academic career, he worked on political and other marketing campaigns, focusing on message development, press relations, advertising development, debate preparation and field operations. He is a graduate of Princeton University and received his master's degree from Rutgers University, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate.
Media Contact: Kristine A. Brown, [email protected]

NSA Revelations Raise Need for Erasable Content
Scott Richardson
Chief Product Officer
ContentGuard in Plano, TX
"Growing concern over the extent of the National Security Agency's apparent ability to spy on every aspect of our lives has prompted the development of smartphone apps and computer programs that simply delete online content after a set amount of time. Now that the NSA is working to develop a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect even the most confidential files, the need is even more pressing for 'ephemeral content' that expires when you want it to. The more we hear about the government and businesses using our information without our consent, the more we need to control what we create, whether that's our photos, documents, or other kinds of content."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt, [email protected] 

Out-of-State Marriages May Create Legal Limbo
Amber Liddell Alwais
Divorce Attorney
McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing L.L.P. in San Antonio, TX
"The on-again, off-again relationship states such as Utah have with gay marriage highlights the instability and unpredictability of same-sex marriage laws in the United States. The issue may be settled within the next decade as more states overturn gay marriage bans and legalize such unions, but in the meantime, same-sex couples should weigh their options carefully and think beyond the excitement of weddings and honeymoons. Where there is marriage, there is likely to be divorce and same-sex couples who dash off to get married in a state where their marriage is now recognized may find it difficult to get divorced if the relationship ever goes south. If they reside in a state such as Texas that doesn't allow for same-sex divorce, those couples could find themselves in legal limbo if they're also not able to divorce in the state where their marriage was performed."
Media Contact: Amy Hunt, [email protected] 

Pot Tourism Creates Legal, HR Concerns
Audrey Mross
Employment Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas, TX
"On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state to allow adults over 21 to purchase and smoke small amounts of marijuana without fear of prosecution under state law. Already a popular tourism destination, Colorado's new law likely will influence some travelers to get high during vacation or business travel, creating confusion for workers who think their conduct is legal, but fail to recognize that it may still violate their employers' policies. Employers everywhere should view this as an opportunity to review HR handbooks and policies to ensure that, for example, policies are crystal-clear for workers who may be subject to for-cause, post-accident or random drug tests. Making sure that workers know and understand employment policies is far preferable to being surprised by consequences that can end a career. A well-written handbook is a great medium for conveying that information."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp, [email protected]

Data Finds Slowing U.S. Nursing Enrollment
Darlene Curley, MS, RN
Executive Director
The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence
"According to new data, 2013 marked the lowest enrollment increase (only 2.6 percent) in professional registered nurse (RN) programs in the past five years. This increase is woefully inadequate to replace the number of nursing faculty retiring in the next ten years. If this trend continues, it will have a severe negative impact on our aging population and the millions of baby boomers who will need increased nursing care in the near future."
Curley MS, RN, executive director of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, is available to discuss implications of the troubling survey data released last week by The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Curley joined the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence in 2009, bringing extensive experience as a health policy leader, entrepreneur, leadership consultant, workforce expert and registered nurse.
Media Contacts: Matt Rindone, [email protected]; Olivia Goodman, [email protected]

Price Transparency and the Legal Marketplace
Josh King
General Counsel and VP of Business Development
Avvo, Inc.
"Price transparency exists in virtually all marketplaces for goods and services – it's what allows consumer to compare prices and providers in just a few mouse clicks. While the marketplace for non-elective healthcare is biggest exception to this rule, the legal marketplace runs a close second.  It's shockingly hard to find price information.  Hourly rates, sure.  But that doesn't offer much help.  An hourly rate doesn't tell someone with a limited income, with a budget, what it's actually going to cost to address a legal problem.  I'm talking about fixed prices, packaged legal services, things that are predictable and comparable. That sort of offer is rarer than a blue moon when it comes to lawyers. Why? Because our industry is both incredibly conservative and shockingly risk-averse.  And it's not doing consumers any favors. It's time to lose the lawyerly, risk-averse mindset and embrace the commoditization.  So what if some of the clients who are attracted to your fixed-price offer need more complicated services?  Every other business in the world calls that an 'upsell.' As long as you clearly disclose what's in – and what isn't in – your fixed price offer, you shouldn't fear the upsell discussion. In fact, you should regard the fixed price offer as a great lead generation source for your higher-end services."
As general counsel and vice president of business development at Avvo, he is responsible for Avvo's legal, business development, business operations, customer service, finance and human resources functions. He is also a frequent writer and speaker on interactive media and professional ethics issues. Prior to joining Avvo in 2007, he spent over a decade in the wireless industry, in a mix of legal and non-legal roles: vice president, corporate development at AT&T Wireless, director of business development for Clearwire, and general counsel for Cellular One of San Francisco. He started his legal career as a litigator in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Media Contact: Kari Day, [email protected]



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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at [email protected]

  • 5 OLD-SCHOOL FREELANCE WRITER RULES YOU SHOULD BREAK. Want to know what successful freelancing veterans have learned about the changing nature of the writing business? Read on to see Dawn Papandrea's take:
  • MEDIA 411: FOCUSING ON JOURNALISM SKILLS. There are lots of useful skills to make you stand out in the newsroom. Although this list is not all-inclusive, these are some of those considered particularly important in today's media world. Do you have any skills you would add to the list? 
  • HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP WRITERS. Technology serves many purposes. It can really help make one's work less time consuming and more efficient. In a recent #ConnectChat, we discussed how technology can benefit writers with our guest Julio Ojeda-Zapata, author and technology writer at St. Paul Pioneer Press.

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