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ProfNet Sources Available on Instagram's Terms of Service, Airline Security, ID Theft, More

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

ProfNet is a free service that provides journalists, bloggers, authors and other writers with links to experts and story ideas on the topics they cover. You'll also find links to job opportunities and other news and resources we think you'll find useful. To receive these updates by email, send a note to profnet@profnet.comwith the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition.

If you are in need of an expert source, you can also submit a free ProfNet query and have qualified sources come to you, or search the free ProfNet Connect database, which features nearly 50,000 user profiles, all searchable by keyword. If you are looking for Spanish-speaking experts, you can also opt to send your query via ProfNet en Espanol; just select that option when submitting your request.


  • Instagram's New Terms of Service
  • Protecting Against Identify Theft
  • Wine Isn't the Simple Gift-Giving Answer
  • The Push for Public-Private Partnerships (3Ps)
  • Yelp Lawsuit Puts Reviewers in the Spotlight
  • Watch Out for Bad Tax Advice
  • SEC Scrutinizing Netflix Facebook Post
  • New Smartphone Technology Can Help Save Occupants in High-Rise Buildings
  • IATA Review of Airline Security


  • Production Associate - Disney ABC (NYC)
  • Local TV News Reporter (Spanish) - Telemundo (IL)
  • Arts & Entertainment Reporter - Journal Gazette (IN)


  • Brands + Journalism: Unholy Alliance or New Marketplace Reality?
  • Grammar Hammer: Are Your Trees Lighted or Lit?
  • How to Become an Expert Source for Top-Tier Media



Expert Alerts are listings of ProfNet members who are available to discuss timely news topics. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact their media representative at the end of the listing. You can also find Expert Alerts online at

Instagram's New Terms of Service
Michael Mattioli
Associate Professor of Law
The Center for Intellectual Property Research
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Intellectual property and contracts expert Michael Mattioli is available to comment on a range of Instagram-related issues. According to Mattioli, users shouldn't be surprised by the move, but warns about potential legal ramifications of the new policy changes: "Users should not be surprised by Facebook's desire to use Instagram photographs for commercial use without compensation. When an online service costs nothing, users often still 'pay' by granting the provider use of valuable intellectual property rights and associated data. However, Instagram's new terms of service introduce the troubling possibility that the subjects of photographs added to the service could unwittingly appear in widely viewed advertisements that include their geographic locations. Such advertisements could raise privacy concerns and could also create the misleading impression that people appearing in advertisements connected to the service endorse certain products - which could lay the groundwork for new legal disputes."
Media Contact: Brianne O'Donnell,

Protecting Against Identify Theft
Duanne J. Thompson
Program Chair
Criminal Justice Program
Argosy University - Atlanta
"From social media to cybershopping, consumers are more at risk than ever for identify theft. Thieves need not venture to your mailbox to steal personal information any longer; it can be available to them online at any time. Taking simple steps to protect yourself and your identity online can mean the difference between shopping convenience and identify theft disaster."
Thompson, 22-year veteran law enforcement investigator on white-collar crime, is available to discuss the frequency of identity theft, how consumers can protect themselves, and what consumers should do if they feel they are at risk for, or victims of, identity theft.
Media Contact: Anne K. Dean,

Wine Isn't the Simple Gift-Giving Answer
Andrew Siegel
Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Attorney
Shackelford Melton & McKinley in Dallas
"With the deadline for shipping gifts to faraway friends and family fast approaching, you might be in a little bit of holiday shopping panic. But that shouldn't push you into making a relatively common, but illegal, shipping mistake. While it may be tempting to share a nice local wine, a hodgepodge of statutory and case laws makes shipping wine to or from Texas a veritable minefield. You have to consider where you are sending to and from, what exactly you're sending, and how much you are sending. You have to abide not only by Texas laws, but also by the laws of the state you are shipping to. It's not an impossible task, but certainly one that takes more thought than simply picking out a good bottle of wine."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

The Push for Public-Private Partnerships (3Ps)
Michael Baker
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo
"The reason for the push on 3Ps is to help finance and mitigate the public cost (taxpayer contributions) to build traditional public infrastructure and maintain the infrastructure (highways, bridges, water works, etc.). The classic 3P is typically in transportation, and a prime example would be the SR 91 Toll Lane in the Los Angeles/Orange County area."
Baker, a practicing construction attorney with over 20 years of experience in this area of law, is available to elaborate further on this idea, in addition to discussing other trends in the construction industry. He is an author and expert lecturer in construction law and has published articles locally, nationally and internationally in various trade journals, legal journals and general publications aimed towards the design and construction industry. He has extensive experience in representing contractors in business and contractual matters and has a strong sense of what trends to look out for in the construction industry including the push for public-private partnerships (3Ps). He is based in Irvine, Calif.
Media Contact: Crystal Rockwood,

Yelp Lawsuit Puts Reviewers in the Spotlight
Jimmy Ardoin
Ardoin Law PLLC in Houston
"A judge in Fairfax County Virginia recently ruled that written sections of a customer's negative review should be removed from the popular online review site, after a Virginia contractor filed a lawsuit claiming the scathing review had harmed his business. This is such a new area of law, it is hard to determine how the lawsuit will turn out. Much of the case will come down to determining if the review is based on fact or merely opinion. If it is the customer's opinion, there isn't much chance a business could win. Lawsuits such as this are new and notable, and often draw more attention to the issues raised in the review. In many instances, it may be best for a company to just leave it alone."
Media Contact: Alan Bentrup,

Watch Out for Bad Tax Advice
Lawrence Brown
Tax Litigator
Brown PC in Fort Worth
"As consumers begin preparing for their end-of-year tax deductions and 2012 filings, the IRS is preparing a new round of audits and undercover visits to potentially shady tax preparers. The government is actively looking for tax advisors who cross the line by claiming false deductions or understating income for their clients. There are more federal requirements and more leverage than ever to identify and prosecute preparers, but consumers also can face financial penalties and payments for authorizing a fraudulent return. One step to help avoid problems is to make sure the person who prepares and signs your return has an IRS identification number, which is now mandatory. And if your tax advisor is suggesting a deduction that seems fishy to you, take your business elsewhere."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

SEC Scrutinizing Netflix Facebook Post
Randy Ray
Corporate Compliance Attorney
Munck Wilson Mandala in Dallas
"Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is in regulatory hot water over a Facebook post that watchdogs believe amounts to selective disclosure of material information in violation of SEC Regulation FD. The complaint stems from Hastings' decision not to disclose the news through 'traditional' information sources, which the SEC contends would make it available for all interested parties to see before or at the same time as any other disclosure. Technology frequently evolves much faster than regulation and law. Regulation FD already has evolved since it was adopted in 2000. Businesses now may provide material information to investors on their websites as a public disclosure. That was not permitted originally under Regulation FD. This case raises the question of whether a disclosure to social media followers should be viewed as a selective disclosure to 'friends' or amounts to a public disclosure in which all interested parties have an equal opportunity to receive."
Media Contact: Robert Tharp,

New Smartphone Technology Can Help Save Occupants in High-Rise Buildings
Hector Gomez
President and CEO
Building Safety Solutions
"The Increase in severe weather incidents across the United States has heightened interest in protecting the occupants of high-rise office buildings from unanticipated events. Advances in mobile applications have allowed the creation of emergency preparedness software that resides on the smartphones or tablets of building tenants and their employees. The content in a mobile application can be customized to the building it serves. Instant messaging can also be integrated to advise occupants of dangers that may compromise their safety. In addition, online systems now exist whereby employees can log on and interact with information to see exactly what their floor and building looks like. 3-D graphics can show evacuation and other emergency procedures visually. Designated floor leaders can see immediately where their personnel are located to direct help for their evacuation."
Gomez is based in Pasadena, Calif., and is available for media interviews.
Media Contact, Richard Berman,

IATA Review of Airline Security
Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum
Initiator and Coordinator
"As part of its 2012 annual review, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that airline traffic is expected to rise to 3.6 billion passengers in 2016 from 2.8 billion in 2011. The recent IATA review covers the issue of security as part of its comprehensive program to strengthen the air industry. Security, as we all know, has been prominent in public and scientific discussion, and it is satisfying to note that the new vision for the checkpoint of the future (CoF) is one response to make airport and air travel more secure and pleasant for the passenger. The emphasis of this effort appears to be primarily focused on technological means to enhance security -- developing technology and software to enhance advanced passenger information (API) and passenger name record (PNR) information. The implication is that this will promote passenger flow-through and reduce inconvenience and 'friction' for passengers during their airport experience. The notable 'missing link' in this vision is people. Certainly, technology is a critical part of airport security, but this perspective ignores the fact that the entire security decision-making process is in the hands of employees and, to some extent, the passengers. Nor is there mention of the airport as a complex social organization within which employees and passengers interact with security technology within two distinct social and communications networks -- the formal administrative and informal. These extremely vital aspects presented in the IATA report are marginalized, as they do not reflect how security actually operates in reality."
ProfNet Profile:
Expert Contact:



Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Production Associate - Disney ABC (NYC)
  • Local TV News Reporter (Spanish) - Telemundo (IL)
  • Arts & Entertainment Reporter - Journal Gazette (IN)

See more listings here.



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

  • BRANDS + JOURNALISM: UNHOLY ALLIANCE OR NEW MARKETPLACE REALITY? Forbes recently published an article on the changing landscape of digital advertising and increasingly grim economics of journalism. The article suggests it's the duty of journalists in the newsroom to find solutions for their flagging traditional media outlets. Within the discussion, he devotes considerable attention to the increasing popularity of branded content:

  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: ARE YOUR TREES LIGHTED OR LIT? Christmas is just a week away. Are your gifts purchased? Are your stockings hung? Have you procured the roast beast? What about the tree? Is it lit up for the holiday -- or is it lighted?Lighted vs. lit is like the trick question of grammar rules. So, which is correct?

  • HOW TO BECOME AN EXPERT SOURCE FOR TOP-TIER MEDIA: Earlier this year, Charles Passy, staff writer for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, was looking for experts on farm stands and sent a query via ProfNet. Mark Tardif, director of college communications at Unity College in Maine, saw the query and immediately knew he had the perfect expert - Sara Trunzo, Unity's food and farms project coordinator. Tardif responded to Passy with Trunzo's information, and the pitch resulted in a national media hit for Unity College, a small environmental college with less than 600 full-time students. We thought it would be interesting to hear about the mechanics behind the article and pitch from three different perspectives - the reporter, the PR professional and the expert -- so we invited Passy, Tardif and Trunzo to be part of a free webinar we hosted last week. Here are some highlights of the webinar for those who were unable to attend:


PROFNET is an exclusive service of PR Newswire. To submit a request for experts: To search the ProfNet Connect experts database: To contact ProfNet by phone: +1-800-PROFNET, ext. 1 To share a thought on Expert Alerts:

/PRNewswire-- Dec. 19, 2012/


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