We have a double-header of interviews this week with Marlene talking with Suffolk Law School’s Gabe Teninbaum on his new book, Productizing Legal Work: Providing Legal Expertise at Scale. Greg talks with Lindsie Rank, Student Press Counsel at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) about the new website to help journalists answer the question, “Can I Publish This?
Gabe Teninbaum’s book discusses the variety of ways that processes can be productized, ranging from simple orientation tasks, to more complicated, but repetitive task which can be streamlined through technology, or even by just creating checklists or instructions. While the idea of taking task which we are used to performing and productizing them may be scary for some, it is necessary if we are going to move beyond repetitive tasks and work on processes that really benefit from our skillsets.
Lindsie Rank (12:56 mark) calls herself a 1st Amendment geek, and she and others at FIRE help defend student journalists in colleges across the country when their First Amendment rights are challenged. Surprisingly, the biggest threat to student journalists isn’t the hyper-partisan environment we find ourselves in these days, but rather the threat to university or administrative reputations. In addition to protecting student journalist after the fact, FIRE productized the process that allows journalists to determine the risks before they publish when it comes to liable, intellectual property issues, or other potential risks from publishing stories. Staying with Gabe Teninbaum’s theme, FIRE has productized the process and allowed journalists to access the information through the self-help website, 24-hours a day.

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Information Inspirations
Does the DIY home improvement boom have staying power? Now, if they would only open one of these close to Marlene’s house.
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Marlene Gebauer 0:07
Welcome to The Geek in Review. The podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer.

Greg Lambert 0:14
And I’m Greg Lambert.

Marlene Gebauer 0:15
So Greg, the important update, how’s the shopping going?

Greg Lambert 0:19
Not too bad. I’ve actually found one of those Amazon resale places where things are like $7, one day $5 Another day, 50 cents another day. So, yeah, I’ve knocked out all kinds of shopping.

Marlene Gebauer 0:33
That’s super fun. I mean, that’s a game in itself. So I can, I can see why, why you would enjoy that. I know, we weren’t going to do inspirations, but I have a teeny one. You know, so, you know, recently I have had several home repair projects. Now, I do know the right end of a screwdriver. But you know, I wouldn’t consider myself handy. And I don’t like doing it because you know, YouTube videos aside, you know, I don’t really feel confident about it. And I don’t have anybody to talk to about it. And I don’t necessarily have all the right tools and I don’t want to buy them. Well, marketplace had a piece about DIY home improvement and the Station North tool library near downtown Baltimore, not only will loan you the tools, they have workshops to teach you and space where you can work on your projects. So it’s a great example of library of things. Now, they just have to open up one near my house.

Greg Lambert 1:26
Yeah, that would help that would help so well. We have a interesting collaboration on this episode, where each of us ended up taking a solo interview with our guest and so we’re going to run those back to back

Marlene Gebauer 1:41
yeah, that’s That’s correct. Like, you know, my interview with Suffolk laws Gabe Teninbaum was actually supposed to be a solo interview discussing Gabes new book productizing legal work providing legal expertise at scale. However, your interview was not originally intended to be a solo project.

Greg Lambert 1:59
Well, you know, when when the podcast has to play second fiddle to our day jobs, you know, sometimes we have to be creative and and find ways just to push through given the the emergency. So I know you had a work emergency pop up around the time that I talked with Lindsey rank, who’s the Student Press Council at Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or fire? And we talked about some of the ongoing First Amendment issues that in fires new online tool for journalist, which literally asked what what that URL says, and that is, can I publish this calm? However, Marlene, you didn’t you didn’t completely miss out on the interview. I think you were there for like the last 90 seconds or so.

Marlene Gebauer 2:44
Yeah, you definitely felt my presence there for that bit. You know, lots of FOMO on this one for me, you know, I’m sorry. I miss Lindsay. It was really a great interview.

Greg Lambert 2:54
All right. Well, let’s start off with your conversation with Gabe Teninbaum. And then we’ll roll directly into the interview with Lindsey Ryan.

Marlene Gebauer 3:04
We’d like to welcome Gabe Tanner bound to The Geek in Review. Gabe, thanks for joining us.

Gabe Teninbaum 3:09
Pleasure to be here. Marlene, thank you for having me.

Marlene Gebauer 3:10
So Gabe, we brought you on because you have a new book out just in time for the holidays. Right?

Gabe Teninbaum 3:16
I did get ready for the bestseller list. Yeah.

Marlene Gebauer 3:18
So tell us a little bit about it.

Gabe Teninbaum 3:21
The book is called productizing legal work. And it captures the sorts of things that I’ve been teaching to law students and to people in the legal profession for a number of years and makes a service I’ve been providing a product, it takes all that knowledge and packages it into a convenient place, hopefully in a way that people find acceptable.

Marlene Gebauer 3:38
So when you say productizing law, you know, I know this might mean different things to different people. Tell me what you think about this, like, what does it mean to you?

Gabe Teninbaum 3:48
Yeah, and you make a good point, there are a number of different definitions of product and productizing. So the way I think about it is the ability to take things that are traditionally done one to one, and are inefficient to do and finding ways to repackage them so that they can be served one to many. So the sort of traditional example that people use in the legal profession is LegalZoom is an example of a service writing a will being formed into a product or a productize, or in the broader sphere, a product like TurboTax, taking the work of filling out your tax returns, and turning them into a low cost product that can help lots of folks with CPA level assistance.

Marlene Gebauer 4:29
So it sounds like pretty much anyone in legal could take advantage of something like this. What are some examples? Maybe that that you’ve shared in the book or that you’re familiar with?

Gabe Teninbaum 4:44
I think this is fundamentally technology agnostic. So if someone is totally technophobic can say how can I turn a service into a product? Take for example, the work of a paralegal manager in a law firm that you know once a month has to train a new paralegal and has to spend it would that person teaching them the policies and the practices and where the bathroom is. And they quite simply take that and turn it into a manual, that is an example of taking a service and making it to a product. So some of the things are really, really easy low barrier to entry. Then at the other end of the spectrum, there are ways to totally revolutionize the way that one delivers legal services. So take, for example, someone like Richard Granate, you know, Richard is a Maryland family law attorney, he lives full time in Florida. And you say, Well, how does he do that? What he does is he has created a suite of guided interviews, things where people can go online, fill in information, and get a form provided to them. And then Richard can provide them, you know, necessary one to one support by zoom, he is able to help people at a far lower cost, and himself live the lifestyle that he wants to do. So there are a number of different examples across the spectrum of sophistication. See, you

Marlene Gebauer 5:57
know, so you mentioned your example about, you know, the paralegal. What about other types of practice support? Like, what about legal research? For example, you know, how do you productize that?

Gabe Teninbaum 6:07
Well, legal research is a real opportunity in terms of productizing. And a couple of things that our opportunities are not between Newt, let’s think of the 50 states survey, you know, you need to know how to resolve a certain kind of problem. And rather than every single legal research lead or law librarian or K manager repeating that same problem in every city, it’s a 50 state survey. So why not create a tool that provides the people the information they need on that topic area, and says, Here’s a 50 state survey on this specific thing. And there’s a number of different ways you could do it. One is you could publish a white paper that provides the 50 state survey. But the other thing that you can do is you can do something like create a subscription, and allow people to not only know what the current state of the law is, but to feel comfortable that they’re always going to be informed sort of a digital pocket part so that people can always stay up to speed. So some of the big companies have started to incorporate some of these products into their search engine, right? If Lexis and Westlaw didn’t have things other than black letter law, reported decisions and statutes, they wouldn’t be in business very long. And it shouldn’t be lost on us that effectively what Westlaw and Lexus and their competitors have done is they have themselves created a productized service, the invention of the numbering system in sight. aiders is the work of people amassing all of this information that can be repeated time and time again, at every different legal operation in America. Instead saying, here it is all in one place. And here’s our coding system, if it’s a red flag, you know, it’s a bad case or something to question. If it’s green, you know, it’s good. And then one final piece on this. You know, as people develop more productized services, there’ll be more fuel put in to this movement. And people recognize, Oh, someone created this thing that solves this little cam problem, it teaches people about this little radio regulation and how it’s updated, I do something related, this is an opportunity for me to add on to that knowledge. So what I’d expect is, is that there’ll be a positive feedback loop, the more products that are created, the more products will ultimately be created, including in the legal research area.

Marlene Gebauer 8:19
So it sounds like you can do something, you know, very simple to productize. But you can also do something a lot more sophisticated. So you know, pretty much you have you have different different type of entry levels. What about the ROI on this? You know, do you have any thoughts or comments about that?

Gabe Teninbaum 8:37
There are a few different ways to think about the ROI here. One is, of course, the the the primary way we think about it, what is the return on the investment for the person that creates it, and we can break that down. One is what’s the financial return on investment. Some tools are incredibly low cost to produce and allow you to generate a whole bunch of revenue. So if you think about a tool, like one that my former student just created, and she won on the show, Shark Tank called Hello prenup, she took a prenuptial agreement, she put it online, she spent a few $1,000 to build that with a developer. And now she has a product that to use the cliche makes money while she sleeps. So this will have a pretty significant positive ROI. And I predict it would have even if the Shark Tank shark hadn’t gotten involved. But there’s more than one way to think about ROI. And one thing I like to think about is is that all of the tools of learning to productize are things that legal professionals should learn. So everything from knowing and understanding your customer and user to being able to create a prototype to being able to do an interview to see if that prototype is going to serve the purpose that you want it to, to things like sales and marketing and launching. These are all things that provide a positive return on investment in non pecuniary ways, even if the product itself is a total flop. Put differently if we created a law school that taught people How to be lawyers. And that was the real focus. A lot of the things that we would teach would be contained in the work of productized.

Marlene Gebauer 10:07
If that’s how we taught them in law school.

Gabe Teninbaum 10:11
I should say, you know, I thank you for inviting me to talk about the book. But you know, this book is itself a product guy service of what I do. So I teach at Suffolk law in Boston, and we have a legal innovation technology program, probably the oldest in the country, it’s a little hard to measure goes way back to 2013. That’s That’s how far this stuff is claiming. It’s still a very new, well, I want to be fair. So this is what I teach. And this is what we we think about and getting people to think about these things is a core of what we’re doing at Suffolk law, and more and more law schools are starting to do it. But one of the challenges that we see is, you know, there’s a million American lawyers, there’s another million or so legal professionals, you know, law firm marketers, and law librarians and paralegals. All of those people missed the chance to learn this. So overtime, they’ll catch up. And hopefully sources like this, the book productizing legal work will help a little

Marlene Gebauer 11:03
bit. So you know, other than establishing the mindset in law school, what do people need to basically get started in terms of you No, productizing,

Gabe Teninbaum 11:14
there’s a whole series of steps. And of course, what you ultimately want to do is decide what problem it is that you want to solve. And from there, you can identify what ways that you might solve it. Now, it may be that some problems are not solvable by an individual working part time on nights and weekends while they work, a busy law firm job but other pieces are so the answer to your question depends on the type of productized service that someone wants to build. But some of them are really, really low barrier to entry. There are low code, no code tools, if people want to build a tech solution companies like after pattern and document and other things like that, that allow you to build a really, really cool stuff. For free. There are tools like Panopto that allow you to do screen capture, imagine you’re the the Bar Association’s leading expert how to on how to deliver the perfect opening argument in a case, that’s something that can be turned into an online course and put online at a very low cost so that people can learn from that wherever they are, whenever they want to learn it, and make you money as you do it, or help you in other ways. So depending on what you want to do, there’s going to be different tools to solve the problem. But the good news is that there’s a number of low barrier to entry tools, if you’re working on your own with little to no budget and potentially very, very little time to do it. And the book runs through, I don’t know 10 or 12 Different ideas so that people who are saying I want to do this, but I don’t know how to get off the dime least have some sort of fuel put into the tank for them to get their their their thoughts going.

Marlene Gebauer 12:47
Excellent. Well, Gabe Teninbaum. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Gabe Teninbaum 12:52
A pleasure. Marlene, thank you for having

Greg Lambert 12:56
We’d like to welcome Lindsie Rank Student Press Council at the Foundation for Individual Rights and education, or fire. Lindsay, welcome to The Geek in Review.

Lindsie Rank 13:05
Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Greg Lambert 13:08
So you are a, I guess a self described First Amendment geek. And I was looking at your background. And you essentially at the same time got a joint Master’s in mass communication and your law degree from the University of North Carolina, other than not wanting to sleep? What motivated you to do both of these professions at once,

Lindsie Rank 13:31
sir, um, I am, like you said, I’m a self described First Amendment geek and I wanted to do all the First Amendment things all at the same time. I knew pretty early on that I was really passionate about issues about censorship of journalists, and especially student journalists, which of course led me to my career now. But being able to do both a master’s and my law degree at the same time meant that I could engage with the same issues from multiple perspectives. So my master’s thesis was on censorship of college newsrooms and took a social science slash legal approach to those issues. So really, let me kind of think about censorship of student journalists as both a like societal cultural problem and do surveys and in depth interviews with student journalists to learn more about how it affects them as like people. But also think about these issues from a legal perspective by looking at the precedent and what of Court said in the way that lawyers

Greg Lambert 14:37
do. Did you have experience as a student journalist?

Lindsie Rank 14:41
I did. I was a student journalist in high school and in college, I was editor of my high school newspaper for two years and I was Features Editor and news editor of my college paper in college so and I had faced censorship as a student journalists, especially in high school My high school was the number one high school for teen pregnancy in Washington State at the time,

Greg Lambert 15:07
and they were very proud of that. They were

Lindsie Rank 15:09
not proud of that. And we were trying to do an article about like, what’s going on? And how do these teen moms deal with this, what resources are available to them. And we were told we couldn’t publish that story,

Greg Lambert 15:25
was it to adult topic to adult a topic, all those children having babies, food,

Lindsie Rank 15:31
all the topic, but you know, not to adult a topic for us to see our friends walking around pregnant on campus, or, you know, they would start some of them would bring their kids to school once once they had given birth. So it was definitely a topic that we were like engaging with our students in real life. And my high school publication was not to get too far into the weeds on the legal issues, but it was what we call a public forum. So by policy, the school district had said the students get to decide on the content of this publication. And because of that, it was really a First Amendment issue when they wouldn’t let us publish a story. So that’s what sort of started getting me interested in these issues.

Greg Lambert 16:12
Yeah, yeah. I know, listening to a prior interview that you did that you talked about, you know, in the high schools, there is that kind of the schools being the parent during the eight to three, period, but in college, most of the college students or adults, or did you see similar types of censorship in college? I’m sure you’ve seen it through fire. But how about yourself personally?

Lindsie Rank 16:41
Yeah, personally, there was one story where I was I was not writing it, but I was the editor. And we were trying to cover, there was just some personnel issues going on where multiple faculty were complaining about the provost of our university, and saying that he just was being a little extra was, you know, maybe making it difficult for faculty to get to do their jobs. And we were just trying to do an investigation, and we hadn’t even quite figured out what was going on. And I got called into his office and was told like, you better be careful, I wouldn’t want to see something bad happen. And wow. And that’s how censorship usually happens. It’s not like, Oh, I’m gonna expel you, you know, you better calm down. It’s usually more subtle.

Greg Lambert 17:32
Yeah. Yeah. That’s a nice transcript. You get there. It’d be a shame, if anything, if you had a few sees that all of a sudden landed on that.

Lindsie Rank 17:41
Right. And I also I was an employee of the university at the same time. So I think that was part of it was, I was working at the registrar’s office to pay my tuition. Yeah, so and that’s usually how it goes. It’s a lot of like reputational like subtle reputational threats that students end up facing.

Greg Lambert 18:04
Yeah. Now, we actually brought you on to discuss this recent website that you’ve you’ve created that helps journalists understand the potential risk whenever they publish a story that may have. And I think you’ve got kind of three big topics. You’ve got libel, privacy, and then intellectual property with with copyright and trademark questions. And you have called the site, can I publish this.com? With that easy URL to remember? So talk to us a little bit about the reasoning that you have about creating this kind of step by step walkthrough website?

Lindsie Rank 18:43
Yeah, absolutely. Many staffers at fire are former student journalists. And we were having a brainstorming session one time trying to think like, how can we better serve student journalists? And we all, you know, had stories about late nights in the newsroom, when we had a story and we were going to press that night, like, you know, we had to send it to the printer by midnight, and you’re suddenly looking at it and going, Is this is this libelous, or is this a copyright violation? And you’re, you know, there’s no one to call it midnight. Like, you know, there are some there are some free legal hotlines out there for student journalists, including fires free legal hotline, which is 1833451 fire for any student journalists who might be listening. And there’s also the Student Press Law Center has an excellent free hotline for student journalists. But though neither of those hotlines are operating 24/7 The fire hotline goes to my email after hours and if I see it, I will call you back but I’m I may not see it always. Well,

Greg Lambert 19:54
hopefully you get some sleep at night.

Lindsie Rank 19:55
I try to sleep sometime So we wanted to have a resource that would help students at least figure out like, is this something that sort of an easy issue? Like, you know, maybe I’m more worried about this than I need to be? Or is this something that I really need to like, hold off on publishing this until I can get ahold of a lawyer and have that more in depth conversation? So our vision for Kanye published this was that it was a tool that will help student journalists sort of think through the legal issues initially on their own, so that eventually they can figure out do I need to talk to a lawyer? Don’t I need to talk to a lawyer, and if they need to talk to a lawyer, it’ll help them know what to ask.

Greg Lambert 20:36
Good, good. Can you kind of walk me through, let’s say, I have an issue of whether or not this might be liable? If if I print this as am I going to be sued for libel? So what kind of questions do you ask?

Lindsie Rank 20:50
So some of the questions that we ask on can I publish this calm? Are things like, is the person a public figure? Or are they a private figure? So if they’re, you know, a politician, or even like the president of your university is, is, in many cases, a at least limited purpose public figure, so he’s public, he or she is public for the purposes of things that they do at the university. And that that affects, you know, the the standard of fault that applies in a libel situation. So you ask things like that, we ask things like, how did you get the information? You know, did you get it from a credible source? Have you verified? Have you verified with multiple sources, the information? Do you have any feelings that maybe this might not be accurate, because if you have a feeling, it might not be accurate? You know, that can be that in some cases can be used to show that you actually acted with what lawyers call actual malice, which is what you don’t want to be active. Because that’s when people can successfully sue for defamation. The site

Greg Lambert 21:57
itself, its recently launched, but fire has been around for a while now. How does the site itself tie into the work that you’re doing there with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education?

Lindsie Rank 22:12
Yeah, fire has been around since the 90s. And we have been an organization that defends the free expression rights of students and faculty on campus. We defend all kinds of expression. And so we defend. If you post something on your Facebook or your Instagram and end up getting in trouble with your university, we defend you, if you say something in class and get in trouble, we often will defend you if you participate in a protest and get you know, get in trouble on your university, we will defend you so we do all kinds of free speech issues on campus. We have long worked with student journalists on censorship issues. So you know, student journalists who are facing repercussions like the ones that I talked about earlier threats of, of punishment, or threats of RAID issues, or other kinds of retaliation based on the content of student publications. You know, fire has long dealt with those kinds of cases, we are now looking toward expanding the resources and the services that we provide for student journalists. I don’t want to reveal too much, but people should definitely keep an eye out for things to come in the spring. Because we will certainly be launching more resources, more services at that point, including, you know, more help on general media law questions, not just censorship issues for student journalists.

Greg Lambert 23:43
Are you pretty much restricted to the university setting for the work that you do at fire?

Lindsie Rank 23:49
Yeah, so we specifically help college and university students, but I will say that we will help both private and public universities. Yeah, so it can be a more complicated argument when you’re talking about a student journalist at a private institution. But like I went to a private college, a lot of people go to private colleges. And the thing is, most private colleges promise expressive rights for their students. So if they promise expressive rights in the Student Handbook, or in other policy documents, even in the like a lot of private institutions have governance documents that define the relationship between the university and the student newspaper. So even in those documents, if they’re promising editorial independence, then they have to follow through on those promises, because that’s effectively a contract. So fire absolutely defends the expressive rights of students at both private and public institutions.

Greg Lambert 24:49
Yeah, I was I was curious, I should know this answer, but do private universities fall under the First Amendment protections?

Lindsie Rank 25:00
private universities do not fall under the First Amendment. Because the First Amendment requires what’s called state actors, which means it has to be someone who’s part of the government, and that includes public university administrators. But like I said, when when they promise expressive freedoms, fires position is that when you say, we respect expressive rights of our students, most students reading that they’re under the common understanding that they’re going to come to that with is the First Amendment is, you know, what does free speech in our society mean? And usually people are talking about the First Amendment or First Amendment related doctrines. And so because of that, our position is that at a private institution, if you’re promising and expressive freedoms, then you’re promising to abide by the First Amendment, even if you legally don’t have to

Greg Lambert 25:52
make sense. So are you finding that colleges and university journalists are under more pressure lately, either internal administrators asking them not to publish certain types of articles or from external pressures from political or social or private organizations, threatening to sue them for their publications?

Lindsie Rank 26:14
Unfortunately, I think that we are seeing more of that, I think, both internally and externally. So internally, Student Publications, have traditionally been able to at least somewhat support themselves using advertising revenue. And that’s not really the case anymore. And it really hasn’t been the case for maybe last 10 years. And so more and more student publications, you know, they’ve now at this point, cleared out their savings accounts, you know, they they don’t have a lot of, you know, money leftover from previous years at this point. And so they’re more and more having to rely upon funding through student organization funds through student fees, things that go through the university on their way to the publication.

Greg Lambert 27:02
And because the universities are using that as a kind of leverage,

Lindsie Rank 27:07
right, universities, I think, legally, they can’t legally they’re not supposed to be using that money as any sort of leverage over the content of the publication. But practically, it opens up that opportunity. And so unfortunately, I think we’re more and more seeing institutions sort of using those financial strings as leverage she got content that they want published, and to get content that they don’t want not published.

Greg Lambert 27:35
What about external pressures? Yeah,

Lindsie Rank 27:37
externally, we’ve been seeing more and more demand letters, or even just requests, sometimes they’re not demands. But both demands and requests, we’ve been seeing more of where someone will write to the editor of a student publication and say, you know, Hey, there’s this article that that mentions me and I think it defames me and I want you to take it down. And a lot of the time, they’re completely ludicrous. Actually, fire today is going to be publishing a blog that I just wrote about a situation in your neck of the woods, Greg, at Tarleton State University. Oh, yeah, where a former professor named Michael Landis, who had been accused of being inappropriate with some of his female students. The student newspaper had covered this, this was way back in 2018. And just this year, in July, he sent a demand letter to the student newspaper, they’re saying that the articles that the paper had written were defamatory. problem being that he’s about two years too late, because the statute of limitations for defamation is one year, and these articles were written in 2018. So the demand letter was completely baseless, right, just frivolous demand letter, but I think people are relying upon. They’re hoping that student journalists are ignorant. They’re hoping that student journalists won’t know that there’s a statute of limitations. And unfortunately, in that situation, the University took it into their hands and has now basically taken over the editorial independence of the publication. I think sometimes you see the external and the internal start mixing because the administrators will hear of this external demand and be worried about their own reputation.

Greg Lambert 29:28
While you were talking. I was thinking about as you were saying, the student, student journalist organizations are cleaning out their coffers for because the money’s just not there, like like it used to be. I’m just wondering, are you do some of the students use outside sources say for example, Facebook groups or Facebook pages that they may use to publish things that they would normally have published internally. Are there any issues surrounding using that third party type of publishing platform that fire addresses.

Lindsie Rank 30:08
Yeah, so fire doesn’t get so much into the third party publishing platforms. But I will say I’ve seen a little bit of that happening. Just this week, I saw some emails on a listserv that I’m a part of where student publication advisors were talking about Facebook, just taking down student newspapers, Facebook pages, and they couldn’t figure out why and they can’t get anyone to respond. And I think this is happening more and more with organizations of all kinds, but it’s certainly affecting student publications.

Greg Lambert 30:40
Interesting. And I’ll keep an eye out for that. So well, like we said, to begin off with your your first amendment geek, what are you seeing is kind of the biggest threat for the First Amendment currently?

Lindsie Rank 30:53
Oh, genuinely. Hmm. I think the biggest threat to the First Amendment generally might be like the political polarization that’s happening in our society. And I think the reason for that is because people on the right, think that censorship only comes from the left, people on the left, I think that censorship only comes from the right. And instead of approaching censorship and freedom of speech as a bipartisan, nonpartisan issue that we can come together and really say, like, this isn’t this shouldn’t be happening in our society, we’re instead fighting about the content of the speech that should or shouldn’t be allowed. And this is happening on both sides of the aisle. Conservatives want to censor critical race theory, and they want to censor sexual or LGBTQ speech, people on the left want to censor hate speech, they want to censor things that might be offensive. And I think it’s really a tragedy that we can’t come together, you know, come to the table and sort of talk through how can we make sure that all voices are valued? Or even if not valued, at least debated? Right? Or at least debated in society? Like, I’m not necessarily I’m not suggesting that we need to value racist voices. What I am suggesting that we need to have the conversation in order to sort of move forward from that.

Greg Lambert 32:28
Yeah. In a way, it’s kind of on both sides, it’s kind of like going back to your story of of all of the high school students getting pregnant. Pretending that it doesn’t exist doesn’t solve the problem. And I think in censorship, a lot of times you’re, you’re wanting to pretend that that those thoughts don’t exist. And so if if you don’t allow people to read those, then obviously, you’re you’re helping your cause. And when really, you need to be debating that and coming to more of a more of a solution.

Lindsie Rank 33:01
Right. And that’s one thing to mention maybe is that I think when we’re talking about free speech, in general, a lot of the censorship that happens is political. When we’re talking about student journalism, it’s actually not usually political, it’s not usually politically motivated. So the censorship is actually usually reputationally motivated when it comes to to student journalism. So it’ll be like the administration not wanting to admit that there’s a lot of pregnant students, you know, walking around campus, or they don’t want it out there that sexual assault is a big problem on campus. I still do social science research, I do surveys of student, student newspaper editors from across the country. And time and time again, what I find is that sexual assault is like one of the most censored topics in with college newsrooms. Other hot topics are things like drug use on campus, like, you know, it’s it’s not about politics, really, it’s about the reputation and an administrator sometimes will say this, when they’re when they are censoring. They might say something like, oh, well, I don’t want this published this week, because we’re having prospective students or alumni this week, and we don’t want them seeing that front page story in the in the racks.

Greg Lambert 34:23
Yeah, makes sense. Well, Marlene just showed up, I Marlene. And guess what, Marlene, are you done? So Lindsey rank with the foundation of individual rights in education or fire. Thank you very much for taking the time to come in and talk with us.

Marlene Gebauer 34:42
Thanks, Lindsie.

Lindsie Rank 34:43
Thanks, Marlene. Thanks, Greg. I really appreciate you chatting with me about

Marlene Gebauer 34:46
it’s my it’s my sole contribution.

Lindsie Rank 34:50
My favorite subject students are all of them. So

Greg Lambert 34:54
keep keep up the good fight. Thanks very much.

Greg Lambert 34:59
Well, let’s talk about Gabe Teninbaums book first, and then we’ll recap Lindsey ranks discussion and we’ll just call it a day then. So sounds good. And I think we’ve said this before, but it kind of bears repeating that, you know, some people are petrified of productizing certain job tasks. But you know, for most people productizing it’s a great option. And really, they should be constantly find ways to move away from those repetitive tasks that they do. And believe me, if if you don’t, someone else will find a way to do it. And then the question, Why in the world, were you wasting your time doing menial tasks?

Marlene Gebauer 35:37
I have to say, I really enjoyed this interview, you know, we talked about more productizing examples, well, after recording stopped, you know, I think the term productizing can be a bit threatening to some people, but you know, it’s really just looking at something you do through a different lens, and, you know, packaging it differently to make it more useful or accessible or convenient for your clients. So really, it’s Customer Service at its best.

Greg Lambert 36:01
Yeah, I agree. So now, let’s skip over to Lindsie’s discussion. Yes, really interesting, especially with the point that most of fires clients are in the university setting. And it’s not the political issues that they face when it comes to censorship or threats. But it’s more about the reputation of the institutions which are writing about. So you know, and I guess it’s kind of obvious when you say it out loud, but still, you know, with this hyper partisan world that we live in, you sometimes forget that people can just do crazy things to save the reputation and, or the reputation of the place they work. And you know, and as with most things, it is not necessarily the original story that gets people in trouble. But it’s the it’s the cover up that can cause more of the reputational damage.

Marlene Gebauer 36:45
It’s the spiraling out of control.

Greg Lambert 36:47
Exactly. And I really liked the idea of this, can I publish this.com site, and it I didn’t think about it before, but it really pulls the two interviews together by giving a real world example of productizing a process and making it both self service and available 24 hours a day. And, you know, this is great that we could find a way to tie these two interviews together. Yeah,

Marlene Gebauer 37:11
that’s exactly right. And, you know, I really wish I could have made it to this one. You know, when I was reading the transcript, I was wondering if you know, Kancil culture was having any impact on fires work. So I wonder if this is a growing area for them. And I do like that checklist idea for journalists, you know, I think even as a professional journalist where, you know, call me old fashioned, I think you have to step back to check your bias at the door to write something really compelling. And it’s very, very difficult to step back from what you’ve worked on with an objective eye. Yeah. And this little checklist allows you to do that.

Greg Lambert 37:47
Sometimes it’s nice just to go down the list and make sure that that you’ve covered all your bases,

Marlene Gebauer 37:51
so thanks satisfying about doing that.

Greg Lambert 37:54
It is is so well, thanks again to Suffolk laws gave Teninbaum and two fires Lindsie Rank for taking the time to talk with us. We’ll have links to both of their projects in the show notes. And of

Marlene Gebauer 38:07
course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at @gebauerm on Twitter,

Greg Lambert 38:20
And I can be reached at @glambert on Twitter.

Marlene Gebauer 38:23
Or you can leave us a voicemail on The Geek in Review Hotline at 713-487-7270 and as always, the music here is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you, Jerry.

Greg Lambert 38:34
Thanks, Jerry. All right, Marlene, we’ll talk with you later.

Marlene Gebauer 38:37
See you later