Robin Raskin

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Robin Raskin is "a technology consultant, spokesperson, and author," and the Director of Communications at The Princeton Review. She was previously the Editor in Chief of FamilyPC, editor of PC Magazine, and columnist for USA Today Online and the Gannett News Service. [1] [2]

In May 2006, Raskin was named as a consultant on the Yahoo! Tech website. Raskin, who is called "The Boomer" on the Yahoo! Tech site, provides "regular coverage focused on a maturing audience," according to the company. [3] In August 2006, Raskin re-joined the advisory council of the company VTech Electronics North America, to "advise the VTech team," and "offer even more helpful tips to parents related to raising digital kids," according to a VTech press release. [4]

Raskin describes herself as "a consultant to both publishing and high tech companies helping them reach consumers who want to benefit from the high tech lifestyle. Clients include Nickelodeon, Intel, Microsoft, SONY, Disney Publishing, Ziff Davis Publishing and Gruner and Jahr." [5] [6] Raskin's other clients include the Motion Picture Association of America, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Virgin Mobile. [7]

Fake news

As documented in the Center for Media & Democracy's (CMD's) April 2006 report "Fake TV News," Raskin has appeared in video news releases (VNRs: sponsored, pre-packaged video segments for news broadcast), and in satellite media tours (SMTs: sponsored interviews conducted remotely with a series of TV stations). [8][9]

In an email, Raskin stated that, with regard to her SMT appearances, "If I didn’t believe in a product I didn’t represent them and when I spoke about a problem in the industry it was well researched and documented." She added, "I fully disclosed [to television stations] that I had clients as paid sponsors (all stated in my bio and backed up with contractual documents)," and "never worked more than 10 days a year on satellite tours." Lastly, Raskin wrote that she has "not participated in SMTs or VNRs since before your report was issued." [1]

However, Raskin told Salon.com writer Farhad Manjoo: "I actually joked with my own colleagues that, 'Hey, I'm off to go do Whore TV'. ... I was fully aware that that's what it was. And yet it's such a commonplace thing. I mean, there are people hawking drugs, guns, war. The worst that could happen to someone watching my segment is that you might buy a game you don't like." [2]

Video news releases

A bio for Raskin mentions that she "produces her own monthly television tours on living with technology that appear nationwide." [10]

As of January 2006, the video portion of Raskin's website contained links to more than two dozen pieces, with titles ranging from "Online Love : From Finding It To Keeping It Alive" to "The Holiday's Best and Worst High-Tech Products" to "Computer Games May Be Helping Kids Learn." All of the titles linked to files on the website of D S Simon Productions, a public relations firm specializing in video news releases. [11] (The video section on her old website has similar content. [12])

Audio news releases

Raskin has also done audio news releases. One sponsored by Radio Shack was titled, "With More and More Children Having Their Own Wireless Phone, Parents Need to Be Careful About Choosing the Right Calling Plan." In the undated piece, Raskin says: [13]

There's a new survey that was conducted for Radio-Shack. And, it found that half of all adults feel the appropriate age for a child to get a wireless phone is about 16. Now the survey also found the primary reasons for buying a phone are: for emergency use, and as a way to reach the children while they're away from home.

The anchor, Bob Tebo, ends the fake radio news piece by saying, "To help determine what phones and plans may be right for your family, visit Radio-Shack-dot.com". [14]

Radio media tours

Another link off Raskin's website leads to a schedule for a December 9, 2004 radio media tour organized by the New York-based News Broadcast Network and apparently sponsored by Virgin Mobile. The schedule, printed the day before the actual tour, has Raskin giving five to ten minute interviews to 15 different radio outlets, all between 8:00 and 11:00 am. [15]

In one of her columns, Raskin wrote, "I recently teamed up with Virgin Mobile to create a program that teaches parents how to think about their child's cell phone." [16]

Contact information

Website: http://robinraskin.com

SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. Robin Raskin email to CMD senior researcher Diane Farsetta, February 26, 2007.
  2. Farhad Manjoo, "How local TV embraced fake news: Americans' first source in news is overrun by marketing videos," Salon.com, March 19, 2008.

Articles