Aug. 27 Radio: Internet Society’s DC Plans, Fired Consumer Watchdog Re: Lessons Learned

George Gombossy

George Gombossy

Today’s DC Update radio show on Aug. 27 features a leader in bringing new voices to Internet planning and a prominent Connecticut consumer journalist fired after reporting consumer complaints against his newspaper’s largest advertiser. The show can be heard via the Listen Live! link by archive.

The guests for the Thursday, Aug. 27 show on the My Technology Lawyer Radio network will be:

• Dr. Michael Nelson, who is Visiting Professor of Internet Studies in Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture, and Technology Program. A former White House advisor on telecom and Internet policy, he is interim president of the new Internet Society chapter for Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. The chapter is creating a broad-based regional effort for long-term Internet planning without the lobbyist control of most such efforts. Its first event will feature Nelson and other prominent Internet experts on Sept. 14 at the Capitol in Washington. Internet Society membership and the event are free, with details below.

• George Gombossy, who last week launched the “CT Watchdog.com” regional news website following a 40-year career at the Hartford Courant. Most recently, he was investigative consumer columnist for three years after being business editor for 12 years The Courant, New England’s second-largest newspaper, fired him on Aug. 3, the day after it refused to run a column reporting that Connecticut’s attorney general was investigating consumer complaints against mattress retailer Sleepy’s, Inc., the paper’s largest advertiser. Complaints included allegations that Sleepy’s was selling used mattresses as new, including one claim of a mattress with bedbugs. The firing prompted coverage last week from the New York Times, AP, CNN and elsewhere. Courant executives denied lowering news standards in any way. Gombossy plans to describe the changes he witnessed at the Courant the last four months, and their impact upon the public.

The Courant is owned by the Chicago-based Tribune Co., which filed for bankruptcy protection in December. Since spring, a management team of the Tribune’s jointly owned Connecticut Fox TV network stations has run the paper. The Tribune has not yet responded to an invitation to appear on the Update show with Gombossy, and has declined all other broadcast invitations to appear with him.

Update is co-hosted by the show’s founder and business radio pioneer Scott Draughon and by Washington commentator Andrew Kreig. Kreig was a colleague of Gombossy at the Courant for 14 years, and is a co-founder of the Internet Society DC-area chapter.

Radio listeners can call in questions at 866-685-7469 or by email: radio@MyTechnologyLawyer.com. Update focuses on Washington policy that impacts the nation’s business, politics and quality of life. As listener advisories: Mac computer users need the tool “Parallels” to hear a Windows Media Player, and some companies block radio programs from computers.

About The Internet Society, Its New Chapter and Michael Nelson
The Internet Society is an independent international non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy around the world. Details: http://www.isoc.org. The Society’s dormant Washington, DC-area chapter re-launched this month with an expanded scope of Maryland and Virginia. New members are welcome, with no cost to join. The chapter’s first event is a discussion of the Internet’s future, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the National Visitor’s Center at the Capitol in Washington. Among the speakers will be Interim Chapter President Michael Nelson, Internet Society CTO Leslie Daigle, Internet pioneer and Shinkuro CEO Steve Crocker, Neustar CTO Eric Burger. The event is hosted by House Government Operations Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY). For details on the event and chapter membership, visit: www.isoc-dc.org.

Since January 2008, Nelson has researched and taught technology trends at Georgetown. Earlier, he was IBM’s Director of Internet Technology and Strategy after serving as Federal Communications Commission Director for Technology Policy. Previously, he was White House Special Assistant for Information Technology, working with Vice President Al Gore. A leader in many U.S. and international communications organizations, Nelson he earned a Ph.D. in geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About Connecticut Watchdog& George Gombossy
George Gombossy is president of CT Watchdog.com, which is in the process of becoming a non-profit, web-enabled regional news site. Gombossy has long been prominent in Connecticut journalism. Working with thousands of readers who sent him complaints and tips, his Courant Watchdog columns resulted in more than a dozen state investigations. During his career, Gombossy led teams of reporters that won dozens of awards, including the George Polk Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. Also, he helped win the paper’s first Pulitzer Prize since its founding in 1764. Born in Hungary, he came to the U.S. in 1956 with his family to flee Communism. He volunteered for U.S. Army service during the Vietnam War. Details: www.ctwatchdog.com.

About My Technology Lawyer Radio Show
Scott Draughon is the host and producer of the pioneering My Technology Lawyer Radio Show. The show is affiliated with MyTechnologyLawyer.com — an on-demand legal service. Draughon, author of the 2007 book “The Art of the Business Radio Show,” has long experience also in guiding entrepreneurial success through close attention to the dynamics of the marketplace, law, government policy and effective marketing. Details: www.mytechnologylawyer.com.

About Andrew Kreig
Andrew Kreig is an investigative reporter, attorney, author and business strategist. Former president of the Wireless Communications Association International from 1996 to last summer, he helped foster the growth of wireless broadband around the world. In 1987, he authored “Spiked: How Chain Management Corrupted America’s Oldest Newspaper,” using the Courant’s transformation under Times Mirror as a case study of newspaper trends. Documentation for his current investigative reporting is on his website: www.eagleviewdc.com. # #

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