SIPA August Member News

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Welcome New Members

We are excited to welcome the following new members to the SIPA community:

Grist Mill Advisors - Grist Mill Advisors specializes in advising small to mid-sized media companies.

Jury Verdict Review Publication - Founded in 1980 by Ira J. Zarin, an eminent and certified civil trial attorney, for the purpose of educating and apprising members of the bar of what is happening at the trial court level by thoroughly reviewing and analyzing civil jury verdicts and settlements.

Training Leader - Providing expert online training for coding professionals (Coding Leader) and scientists in academia (Principal Investigator Leader).

Robert Ellis Smith, Long-time SIPA Member and Lawyer Who Published Journal on Privacy, Dies at 77


Robert Ellis Smith, a journalist who published and edited a newspaper covering the civil rights movement in the South during the 1960s and who later became a lawyer and publisher specializing in issues of personal privacy and security—and a long-time SIPA member—died July 25 at his home in Providence. He was 77.

A regular at New England chapter meetings and the annual conferences where he spoke on privacy and data use, Smith was a founder in 1965 of the Southern Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Montgomery, Ala. The paper was staffed by alumni of the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, of which Smith had been president as an undergraduate.

 The Courier covered events of the civil rights movement that were ignored by mainstream media outlets. Smith was instrumental in commissioning articles for the paper by civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

In 1974, he began publishing Privacy Journal, a monthly newsletter he launched from a back-alley carriage house in Washington, D.C. A 1977 Washington Post article described Privacy Journal as ''the most talked-about Washington newsletter since I.F. Stone's Weekly.'' 

"I talked with him journalist to journalist from time to time, although he was, as to be expected, judicious about what he shared," recalls Barb Kaplowitz of Big Huge Ideas. "I do remember him sounding the alarm about privacy incursions in direct marketing as early as the mid-1980s. He warned that credit card companies were already building profiles of us back then. What we now call big data mining was already making inroads."

Around 1990, Smith moved back to Providence, where he continued to publish Privacy Journal. He taught at Harvard, Brown University, the University of Maryland, and Roger Williams University law school in Rhode Island. As an editor at Newsday in 1968, he was instrumental in launching Brumsic Brandon Jr.'s "Luther," one of the country's first daily comic strips to feature black characters.

Warburg Pincus Announces Investment in Reorg Research 

Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing, has announced that funds affiliated with the firm have signed a definitive agreement to invest in SIPA member Reorg Research, an industry-leading provider of real-time news, commentary, and analysis on issues affecting the distressed debt, event-driven and leveraged finance markets. 

"Reorg has grown tremendously since 2013 and now provides nearly 500 asset managers, law firms, investment banks and corporations with best-in-class intelligence and data in the leveraged finance, distressed debt and M&A markets. Warburg Pincus' deep experience with high-growth information services and technology companies, combined with their large network of resources, make them an ideal partner for Reorg as we continue to innovate and expand our product offering and global footprint," said Kent Collier, Reorg's founder and CEO.

Lessiter Media Reaches Out to Community 

On Friday, May 18, two Lessiter Media staff members participated in Riverside Elementary School's Kid's Choice Day. James Kolterman from the art department and Laura Vietmeyer from the digital media department, gave students an inside look at the production process for video commercials. Students were then given the same equipment we use on our own video shoots to go out and capture b-roll footage of the various Kid's Choice Day activities. The video they captured was then taken back to headquarters to be used in a final promotion video, which you can watch here.

People News - Access Intelligence

Vivienne Machi 

is joining Defense Daily, a trade publication out of Access Intelligence's defense group, where she will report on developments in the Air Force and Congress from the Capitol Hill desk. She most recently served as a staff writer at National Defense Magazine, and prior to that, served as a reporter and social media manager at Cox Media Group.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…