LinkedInClarence Jones

Clarence Jones

President at Winning News Media, Inc.

Location
Sarasota, Florida Area
Industry
Management Consulting
Previous
  1. WPLG-TV,
  2. WHAS-TV,
  3. The Miami Herald
Education
  1. Harvard University
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Harvard University

Harvard University

Nieman Fellow

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Background

Summary

On-camera coach, crisis consultant, freelance writer, author of five books on news media, his reporting career, sailing, computers.

Experience

President

Winning News Media, Inc.
– Present (30 years)Holmes Beach, Florida

Formed the company when he wrote the first edition of Winning with the News Media and left WPLG-TV in 1984. The printed version of the book is now in its 9th Edition, published at amazon.com in February, 2014. The e-book version of the full book was updated and published in late November, 2013. Jones' primary work is seminars for small groups of government and corporate executives that involve on-camera coaching, training in media strategy and skills.

He currently has five books available in both print and e-book format. (see book summaries below) He's also a prolific writer of magazine articles that show how he invents and makes inexpensive improvements for his sailboat.

Investigative Reporter

WPLG-TV
(12 years)Miami, Florida

Worked full-time pursuing bad guys, telling the world about them to put them out of office and/or into prison. It was a great place to work, and one of the very best jobs in TV news.

Investigative Reporter

WHAS-TV
(2 years)WHAS-TV Louisville, KY

Brought in to work undercover investigating how illegal gambling had corrupted local law enforcement and politics. Was under cover for eight months, filming inside bookie joints daily, shooting 8-mm film with a lunchbox camera. Truly primitive equipment, but cutting edge at the time. Stayed there two years producing a steady series of investigative reports and documentaries. One of them - on the corrupt bail bond system in Kentucky - led to the abolition of all bail bondsmen there. For a time, Kentucky was the only state in the U.S. where defendants "borrowed" government money to post their bail. Other states later followed Kentucky's lead.

Washington Correspondent

The Miami Herald
(2 years)

Covered national news that had a connection to any of the Knight-Ridder newspapers. Close coverage of the Florida Congressional delegation.

Investigative Reporter

The Miami Herald
(4 years)

Worked for a full year with three other reporters investigating corruption in the old Dade County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff and his top deputies were indicted by a grand jury, and a referendum abolished the Sheriff's Office, making Miami-Dade County the only county in Florida with an appointive Director of Public Safety and no elected sheriff. Was also the first reporter in the world to use a computer to crunch the numbers for a massive study of Dade's Criminal Courts.

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Opportunities Clarence is looking for:

Causes Clarence cares about:

  • Education
  • Environment
  • Human Rights
  • Politics
  • Science and Technology

Organizations Clarence supports:

Honors & Awards

duPont-Columbia Awards 1975, 1978, 1981

Columbia University

Television news equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. Only one other reporter for a local TV station has ever won it three times. Jones' awards were at WPLG-TV in 1975 (Cargo of Fear), 1978 (The Scandal at CETA) and 1981 (The Billion-Dollar Ghetto).

Regional Emmys 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Awarded in 1978 (The Car Vultures), 1980 (The Cocaine Cops), 1981 (Assembly Line Justice), 1982 (The Bail Bondsman).

Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting Human Rights & Social Justice

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights

The Robert Kennedy top national award in 1981 was for "The Billion Dollar Ghetto" - a 10-part series at WPLG-TV analyzing the causes of Miami's 1980 Liberty City riots. Each of the 10 parts averaged nine minutes, broadcast as part of WPLG-TV's nightly news. An unusual commitment for a local TV newscast. This series also won the top Columbia-duPont Award that year.

Publications

Clarence Jones' Books(Link)

Winning News Media, Inc.

PAPERBACK editions of Clarence's books (below) are available at www.amazon.com and other online booksellers.

E-BOOKS -- Kindle editions are at www.amazon.com. All other formats are at www.smashwords.com.

The complete Table of Contents for each book, and a sample section, can be read (FREE) at both amazon and smashwords. If you decide to buy one of these e-books, and you don't have an e-book reader, we recommend Adobe Digital Editions as the best program to read books in E-Pub format on your computer screen. The program can be downloaded free at www.adobe.com.

Winning with the News Media - A Self-Defense Manual When You're the Story(Link)

paperback & e-book editions
February 2014

The new, updated 9th Edition (print) was published in February, 2014. This same version was published as an e-book in October, 2013. This book is considered by many in public relations to be the "bible" for news media relations. Clarence says he wrote the first edition of this book "to teach people like you how to cope with SOBs like me." Then he left reporting to become a nationally-recognized media relations consultant and on-camera coach.

The Strategy Section takes you inside the heads of reporters and editors. Avoiding media land mines. Where do you go, what can you do, when the media have savaged you? Detailed checklists for crisis management. Model press policies. Case studies of media blunders. Ten commandments of media relations.

The Skills Section teaches you the skills you need for interviews and news conferences. A guaranteed formula for crafting quotes they'll use without changing a single word. How will they judge you? Leaking without being detected. Talk show tactics and getting coverage for your speeches.

Inside the Media explores libel, privacy, fairness, ratings and the growing power of mega-media corporations. How will massive shifts in ownership affect the future of the democracy?
It explores in-depth strategies for dealing with the news media and managing media crises; the personal skills needed for both print and broadcast interviews; and extensive coverage of media events, law and technology.

They're Gonna Murder You-War Stories From My Life at the News Front(Link)

Paperback and e-book editions
August 2012

Available in both print and e-book versions, this is a stunning book, about a remarkable career. It reads like a mystery story or a spy novel. Because that was his life as a reporter.

He's a great story teller. Go with him into the bookie joints in Louisville with a hidden camera. Or to a Miami crime scene, where the victims were almost certainly murdered by cops.

Travel with him as he tails Florida's chief justice to a Las Vegas casino. And as you cover Martin Luther King's civil rights campaigns, always start your car with the door open. If the KKK has planted a bomb, the blast will blow you out of the car. You'll probably survive.

Hold your breath as Clarence's car sinks in a canal, so he can show you how to escape. Control your fear in the middle of a race riot when the police retreat and the mob turns on you.

Cringe as he shares inside stories of how news was slanted at his first newspaper and public officials were coddled. Rejoice in the chapter "Bosses with Balls" as owners and editors at his later paper and TV stations take career and financial risks to support his reporting.

Worry about the future of the democracy as mega-corporations take over news outlets and the bean counters abandon journalism's goals of truth, fairness, and public service.
Jones tells it the way it was. The way it REALLY was. And how great reporting may yet triumph.

Sailboat Projects(Link)

Paperback and e-book editions
January 2013

Clarence finds one of the joys of sailing is creating new stuff to enhance your boat at a tiny fraction of what you'd pay at a boating store. That's one of his specialties, and then he writes about them. This is a collection of 13 articles (with lots of pictures). Many of them first appeared in national sailing magazines.

Shortcuts for Windows PCs(Link)

e-book editions
May 2012

There are lots of shortcuts scattered all over the Internet. Here's a collection of more than 100, organized so you can find what you need to speed your work at a computer and avoid Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

Webcam Savvy - For the Job or the News(Link)

e-book editions
June 2012

If you want to succeed in that next webcam job audition or TV news interview, you'd better learn how to do it. To get the job – or to get your point across on TV – you'll need a lot of webcam savvy. New webcam technology opens a new opportunity for you to become the "expert on call." Local TV news would love to be able to quickly add your expertise to stories in your field. For less than $100, this book shows you how to set up your own webcam studio, make local TV stations aware, and give them great, guaranteed sound bites to promote your business or career.

Winning Webcam Interviews(Link)

paperback edition
January 2011

Webcam interviews are a hot new idea for business and government agencies. They save a lot of money. Corporations and universities are using them to interview prospective employees. Or for quick, live, video conversations with staff in distant parts of the world.

In terms of cost and convenience, webcam interviews are great. In terms of quality, lousy. They re today' s equivalent of kids playing telephone with tin cans connected by a string.

And now television news is jumping on the bandwagon.

TV NEWS WINS (if saving money is the goal), and YOU LOSE (if you re the one being interviewed). The webcam interview usually looks amateurish and cheap. If you don t know what you re doing, you can look absolutely weird.

Why? Because there are no travel costs. TV news doesn't have to dispatch a reporter and photographer lugging about $75,000 worth of camera, lighting and sound gear.

Corporations can interview job applicants without having to fly them in, or send an interviewer out. But they realize the process is flawed, and often go back to face-to-face interviews for the finalists.

TV news interviews in person have always been unfair. Stress can look like guilt, or fear, or deception. The same is true for job interviews. In a webcam interview, add to stress the distortion of a bad camera, mike, and Internet connection.

If you have top quality equipment, you re still at a terrible disadvantage. For great webcam presence, you need to know how to do it.

Surprisingly, the latest webcams have improved so much, they approach broadcast quality. Whatever you buy, you need to learn how to set it up the way the pros would.

Even if you re intimidated by electronics and computers, you ll find the new webcams incredibly easy to set up.

But just plugging a webcam into your computer and turning it on won t cut it. This book also shows you how to create winning webcam interviews, once you have the right equipment.

Skills

  • Government
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Public Speaking
  • Strategic Communications
  • Social Media
  • Non-profits
  • Media Relations
  • Corporate Communications
  • Crisis Communications
  • Politics
  • Coaching
  • Nonprofits
  • Press Releases
  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Storytelling
  • Speech Writing
  • Editing
  • Team Building
  • Strategic Planning
  • Newsletters
  • Blogging
  • Copywriting
  • News Writing
  • Publicity
  • AP Style
  • Web Content
  • Copy Editing
  • Feature Articles
  • Internal Communications
  • New Media
  • Publishing
  • Editorial
  • Publications
  • Content Development
  • Magazines
  • Online Journalism
  • Radio
  • Content Strategy
  • Social Networking
  • Multimedia
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Creative Writing
  • Broadcast
  • Investigative Reporting
  • Content Management
  • Television
  • Video Production
  • Digital Media
  • See 35+  See less

Education

Harvard University

NIeman Fellow, Nieman Fellow

This fellowship provides a year at Harvard University for young journalists who show great promise. Fellows may attend any class. At weekly dinners, major national and international figures are invited to have dinner with the Nieman Fellows. This fellowship is considered a major plus in any journalist's bio.

Activities and Societies: Nieman Fellowships give journalists a full year at Harvard, where they can attend any class. My most memorable classes included Carl Sagan explaining the odds of other life in the universe, Tom Pettigrew's history of slavery and racial conflict in the U.S., Merle Fainsod's course on Russian history and communism, and a law school course on civil rights law. The Nieman group when I was there had lunch or dinner twice a week with a distinguished national figure or a Harvard professor.

University of Florida

BS, Journalism

BS in Journalism, active in student politics, won four elective offices. Named a distinguished alumnus of the College of Journalism and Communications in 1984. Worked full-time as Gainesville correspondent for the Florida Times-Union during my junior and senior years.

Activities and Societies: Blue Key, Student Board of Publications, Editor F Book, President Senior Class

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