U.S., international coverage differ


Growing up, my parents always watched the news. In the morning, on the way to school, before/after/sometimes during dinner, and right before bed; it was always on.

If my parents weren’t directly sitting down watching the news, it played as background noise. As a teenager, I often awoke to the deep voice of the local news anchor reporting last night’s drama. I remember thinking, “I don’t know how my parents can watch so much news, it’s such a negative and depressing way to start and end ones day.” But, for as long as my parents watched the news, I never really questioned what was being reported.

That was, until I got to college. As I got older, I started paying more and more attention to the news before concluding that most, if not all of it, was full of crap. It always seemed as though reporters weren’t telling the whole story or at least leaving out important details as to obscure the truth.

Something always seemed to be missing, you know, the part of the story that actually made sense. As I continued to grow, I began questioning the information my own country’s media was telling me. The media seems to portray America as a target and victim and in order to prevent the invasion of evil from other countries, we must go to them first and fix their wrongdoings. In the international realm, It appears as though, America has this drastically different conceited view of itself, then that of the rest of the world.

If you’ve ever been to a different country, then you probably know that citizens in most countries strongly dislike and even hate the United States for what it has become. Many people from other countries view Americans as having a materialistic, self-absorbed, ignorant culture that consumes too much, saves too little and bullies the rest of the world. In their eyes, Americans are promiscuous, lethargic, wasteful and arrogant. They believe that Americans think they know everything, believe the rest of the world should be like them and are exceedingly uninformed about politics.

In contrast, Americans view themselves as self-righteous, confident, and moral individuals that carry a sense of nationalism, individualism and religiosity. Americans believe it their duty to overly consume so the economy remains stable. As individuals, Americans tend to be egotistical, conceited, and self-reliant. We, as Americans, believe what we look like, how we dress, and what other people think of us, are much more important than the atrocities of American and/or international politics.

For instance, take a look at these American and international versions of Time magazine covers. The American version tends to the values of American lifestyles whereas the international covers focus on important issues worldwide. Topics from the American version include “The child free life,” “The science of favoritism,” “What makes school great,” “Chore Wars,” and others such as anxiety, Jay Leno, pain, and football. The same issue’s international version of the covers involved “Germany saving the Euro to save itself,””Why Germany can’t save itself,” “Pakistan’s Despair,” “Travels through Islam,” and other topics including revolution redux, the global economy one year later, last stand, and Haiti, the aftermath, respectively. As you can see, the American issues of Time magazine are drastically dumbed down and directed towards everyday life versus keeping us informed about the global issues at hand. In fact, stories featured in the international version are often never included or even mentioned in the American one.

Just compare American news sites to International ones. If you visit Fox News, the main page is filled with stories including Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on immigration, Iran’s nuclear program deal, the longest married couple in the United States, and a postal worker who was shot and killed. Compare these headlines with those featured on an international news site like RT (Russian News) and you’ll see a huge difference. RT includes a multitude of stories involving the Iran nuclear program, and headlines include “Snowden leak reveals NSA’s goal to expand surveillance,” “Crack smoking Toronto mayor more popular than Obama,” and “IRS leaves tax payers at risk for fraud”. The website contains both Russian, international, and American news and includes many stories not found on American news sites. If they are featured on an American news site, the American story is written in a way as to obscure or leave out certain facts that the international site puts forth so bluntly. In my opinion, the international site is more informational and truthful than our own American news. I’ve found more information keeping up with the international stories than I have by keeping up with my own mainstream media.

I’ve recognized this as a pattern in American journalism. Mainstream American news tends to cover less important topics than they obviously should. Our news has drifted away from global and domestic importance and evolved into another form of entertainment. The American media keeps citizens more informed about Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy and Miley Cyrus’s destructive behavior, than on investigative reports about the real issues going on in the middle east and abroad. More importantly, they ignore what’s right in front of us-our country’s own domestic self-destructive behavior.

Our society has fallen ill from its own stupidity. If we continue on this path, we will be left only with what our American media tells us. American news has evolved into yet another form of entertainment in which stories have been dumbed down to attract viewers. The American media obscures the truth, leaves out important details, and often only tells one side of the story if they include the story at all. It is my strongest recommendation that Americans start outsourcing to international media sites in order to grasp and comprehend the whole story. International media doesn’t hide or dumb down global issues in order to entertain and increase their number of readers. They report the story as it is, with collectible facts and truth, and in its full entirety. International media includes details, left out by our own media, and reports the way American media should be reported.

If we continue believing everything the American media tells us, we will lose our capability to think for ourselves and will one day be limited to receiving news the same way North Korean’s receive theirs. We will be told only what our government wants to tell us, and will be forced to live in a false reality, completely oblivious to the outside world.

It is in our greatest self-interest to prevent this from happening.

For more visit, http://livingtheamericandreamineurope.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/how-americans-see-americans/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/what-the-world-thinks-of-us_n_1631833.html.

Social media can provoke violence


In one of my most recent blog posts, I discussed the importance of people posting videos of themselves doing acts of kindness. I proposed that we learn from the things we are seeing in the news and on social media, which can be used for good, but from today’s news, only half my claim was supported.

Headlines in numerous news sources today a concerning a new game/ fad called, “Knock-out”.

The purpose of the game is to try to knock a random stranger unconscious with one surprise punch to prove manliness. However, this so called game is leaving victims seriously injured and worse. There have been reports of these spontaneous assaults turning deadly in Chicago, St. Louis, New York and New Jersey.

Some reporters have said that there is no reason these kids are provoked but, according to several of the kids interviewed, it is a reason to show off and there is a likely source as to why this has become so popular. The new trends on social media and video sharing on vine has developed a category called “smack cam” where posters hit unsuspecting people in order to put out a funny video.

Popular trending websites, most specifically WorldStarHipHop.com, feature videos that showcase extreme violence and most specifically street fights that result in one person being knocked out. These videos that a huge population of our youth watch on these websites have clearly made an impact in their own decision-making.

The difference is that the videos are usually between friends staging a slap in the face for a short clip on vine, or a street fight caught on camera phones, but never has it occurred that elderly men and women are unnecessarily assaulted for fun.

Our youth will always try to raise the bar, but the popularity of shock value is clearly transpiring into kid’s lives. NBC has interviewed those behind the smack cam trend and has commented on several videos in particular that are truly cruel. A 21-year-old student named Max Isidor, the inventor of the #SmackCam, told NBC reporters he had no idea of the implications that would result from his viral trend.

Frank Farley, a professor of educational psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, claims that social media are responsible for the spread of this trend. He believes the craving for risk taking and thrill seeking can be even more exercised by pulling these publicity stunts and sharing them on social media for all to see.

What is more shocking than a punch to the face?

I feel I was overly optimistic for hoping that social media could improve society, but instead the acts people are choosing to be influenced by are negative acts of violence and cruel humor.

Kennedy and changing TV journalism


With the JFK assassination 50th anniversary upon us today, many people are looking back on how this event has shaped history. One thing it did change was the way Americans watched TV for news.

It is said that through the coverage that CBS broadcast about McCarthyism in the 1950s, this was the rise of broadcast journalism. But the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 also made a large impact and marked the point when Americans began to get most of their news and information from television.

From the time there were reports of the first shot fired on that fateful day to days later when the funeral was broadcast live, Americans were focused on their television sets. Until this event, on-going live coverage of a major news event had not happened.

Broadcast journalism has evolved in the sense that now it follows the subject from the beginning to the end. Reports are a narrative now. It became the most accessible medium of news. (Until the Internet came to play, however.)

Kennedy had won the hearts of many Americans by using the television. Since TV was becoming more of a commodity for everyone to have in their homes, people were more in tune with Kennedy and his family and they were more aware of the Kennedys because of the images the TV provided. During the Kennedy/Nixon debates, for example, in the 1960 campaign for president, more than 70 million viewers were tuned in and this is around the time when people in the U.S. were purchasing their first television sets.

When people look back on the assassination, what is mostly remembered are the images that TV had provided at the time, which includes the youngest Kennedy child, John Jr., saluting his dead father during the funeral procession.

The arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald and his assassination by Jack Ruby was also televised that weekend. It was the first time a murder had been televised live to the nation and world. Something that was new to the world at the time.

News has always been about immediacy and accuracy but, after all this happened, it soon became more investigative and thoughtful about the events that were occurring.

These series of events would also shape coverage of the Vietnam War later in the decade as well. The advancement of technology continued to grow and the maturity of broadcast journalism did as well. It became more known that televised news was a more profitable news medium and this was the start of the decline of print journalism.

Broadcast journalism is what helped bring the American people together during that time of despair and has continued to through history and the present.

Deciding what news to broadcast


In my first blog post, I wrote about how news programs are becoming increasingly lenient about their definition of news.  On Monday, Al Sunshine, a former Miami broadcast journalist, spoke to one of my classes.  He brought up another issue: Do we, as journalists, give our audiences what they want or need to hear?

Audiences might want to hear about the latest celebrity gossip: who slept with whom, who’s pregnant, who was caught doing drugs in the bathroom. Other than entertainment, that news has no effect on most people’s daily lives.

But people need to hear about other issues. They need to know about unexpected weather conditions. They need to know about the latest disease outbreak. They might not want to, but they need to know what politicians are doing with their tax money (even if it isn’t scandalous).

So how do you decide what to give audiences?  An obvious solution would be to air both types of stories.  With time and space limits, though, that is impractical. Companies air stories that are of popular interest because they attract the most viewers. However, when it comes down to it, the need to know about certain issues trumps media companies’ concerns about viewership and profitability.

Sometimes, stories can be an issue of life or death. For example, if a certain toy has been recalled because of a toxic part, parents need to know to take it away from their children.

If there is time to air only one story, one that is either popular or critical, is there really an option here?

Could any journalist with a sense of human dignity choose better ratings over the chance to save someone’s life?  Is it better to risk concealing potentially lifesaving information than to risk boring some audience members for a couple minutes?

There is a reason it’s called NEEDING to know, and we must remember this when deciding which news to broadcast.  This way, there will be no guilt hanging over journalists’ heads if they do their best to tell viewers anything that might be vital.

Why journalists cover natural disasters


Earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes, oh my!

Natural disasters ravish through towns, destroy everything in their path, and leave people in devastating and life-threatening situations. Often, they happen with little or no warning and occur more frequently today, than they have in the past. When they do occur, most civilians seek shelter, run the opposite direction and pray they still have something for which to come back; yet such disasters are every journalists’ dream.

Maybe I shouldn’t include all journalists’ in this category and narrow it down to most photojournalists. And don’t get me wrong. The dream is not to experience the natural disaster itself, but rather, to capture the tragedy, damage and destruction after it has passed.

Since most natural disasters occur with little or no warning, one can’t just up and decide to go to Japan because a giant tsunami is occurring next Thursday (nor would one want to do so). Also, it is very difficult to be in the place of a natural disaster because they seem to happen on the opposite side of the world and can be hard to get to (the most recent natural disaster took place in the Philippines). And when they do happen, the last place ANYONE wants to be, is in the direct path of a tsunami (Could you imagine being on the beach and seeing a 50-foot wave coming ashore … if you did see that, you surely wouldn’t live to tell about it).

Most importantly natural disasters are dangerous. They cause destruction not only to physical structures but also to human beings. Many people endure injuries, go missing and are even killed. Natural disasters have a tendency of taking away and limiting resources as well. After a storm, resources become scarce; basic living essentials-food, water, and shelter-are hard to find and doctors are limited due to availability, limited medication and a continuous intake of injured people.

Though natural disasters are devastating and depressing, they produce jaw-dropping news stories and photographs. Stories capture the numerical data — the amount of damage, how many people were affected by it,-as well as continuous coverage of the recovery and reconstruction process. Photos, on the other hand, truly capture the impact and damage of the devastation in its greatest form; they allow you to place yourself in the midst of the destruction even if you’re a million miles away.

Think Hurricane Katrina (2005), the earthquake in Haiti (2010), the Japanese tsunami (2011), and, most recently typhoon Haiyan (2013) and the outbreak of tornadoes throughout the U.S. Midwest just last Sunday. I bet you remember more about the images you saw then the stories you read.

However, not all journalists are capable of experiencing the aftermath of a natural disaster. Natural disasters literally, physically, and emotionally destroy people. Journalists and photographers are faced with emotional turmoil, come across screaming children separated from their parents, witness people half-alive with missing limbs and walk around an endless number of dead bodies. Once someone experiences such devastating circumstances, they are changed forever. It takes a tough stomach and some serious perspective in order to cover such tragedies.

For those of us that do have the stomach (or at least think we do) to experience trauma, natural disasters are a chance to truly tell the story of hardship and devastation. Some of the best photographs have been those of war and natural disaster. With natural disaster comes the opportunity for the production of amazing, yet shocking, documentary photographic work.

For tips on covering natural disasters visit http://www.newssafety.org/page.php?page=5926

Facebook: Social media site for news


Social media are allowing for news-related content to reach more screens faster and easier.

For those seeking news, Pew Research found that 65 percent of Americans consume news on at least one social networking website. Of these Americans, Facebook is the choice for news consumption. This also holds true for users who consume media on multiple social networking sites. Right now, Facebook is the go to social network for news consumption. That means about half of the users are getting news on the site. That beats out all of the other social networks by a large margin.

What we’re seeing is a shift in news consumption. Information needs to be mobile-friendly, engaging, short and to the point. While Facebook can achieve all of that, it’s struggling to keep its younger base.

The younger audiences have fled away from Facebook because new social media like Instagram, Twitter, and Vine have emerged and offer newer, fresher ideas. Facebook has been generally the same since 2008.

Social media can promote kindness


Aside from the gossip and irrelevant entertainment, social media have allowed greater numbers of people participate and come together for good reasons. Social media have become a huge influence for partaking in charitable causes.

Parents complain that kids waste too much time on Facebook, but it has become necessary to follow social media for event planning. Word of mouth and the news are not as effective to raise public awareness on their own.

Michael Scott is a 5-year-old boy with Leukemia who was able to live out his dream thanks to the use of various social media sources that advertised his big event. According to The Huffington Post, Michael’s dream to be a super hero came true on Nov. 15 as San Francisco transformed into Gotham for a day. Make-a-Wish estimated that more than 7,000 people participated in the event.

The attendance was great thanks awareness on Facebook, Twitter, and other social sources. With almost 486,000 followers on Facebook, and 140,500 on Twitter, the possibility for a huge crowd was a probability. Many important people caught wind of Batkid’s charity. Even Barack Obama posted his own social input on vine by saying “Way to go Michael, way to save Gotham!”.

Social media are not only making community participation in charitable causes more prevalent, but also stories of random acts of kindness have the ability to rub off on their viewers now more than ever. For a lot of people the story is not directly read from the news station, but rather heard of when re-posted on Facebook or Twitter.

It is popular to post videos of random acts of kindness in social media threads. The videos are so popular that many have drawn enough attention to be news worthy. The Huffington Post wrote an article titled, “YouTube Pranksters Behind VitalyzedTv give Homeless Man New Teeth in Touching Video” in which a perfect example of one of the heart warming videos is featured.

People following the news, social media, or the YouTube channel have commented on the inspiration the feel from the video post. I believe that people posting videos of themselves being generous, even if only for publicity, are good influences by provoking the thought that we at home should be doing generous deeds too.

Social media can abused for its slander and extensive over-use by youth, but it can be used for good. I think it has opened doors that will ideally make people want to be more involved in positive community causes or just helping out someone in need.

News should report 3-D printing risk


The innovation of 3-D printing and introducing it to the general public raised concern in the news for a while. Reports initially said this it is something about which to be concerned. From the YouTube videos I have seen and posts I’ve read, the capability to make homemade weapons and paraphernalia is easily achievable.

On Nov. 11, CNN doubted the serious risk of introducing 3-D printers to the public in an article titled,  “Texas Company makes metal guns with 3-D printer.”

The article acknowledges the potential for fear that criminals will be able to obtain modern weaponry without leaving their homes. However, the article dismisses the idea by saying that the printers and supplies used to make the 3-D parts are too expensive for the average citizen.

I disagree though, it is only a matter of time before the cost for the process will be affordable and will replace the printers we have in our offices.

The company featured in the article claims to use a very expensive 3-D printer. The basic model printers cost only a few thousand dollars and still produce very accurate printing. It is an amazing innovation and like the article mentions, it is a viable option for commercial use, but it still poses threats.

In May, Cody Wilson, 25, a member of a small non-profit group called Defense distributed posted instructions on how to an exact working replica of a modern handgun. The group also posted a video of a live firing with the homemade gun on the group’s website. The instructions on the Internet were taken down after the US state department sent a cease-and-desist letter. If there wasn’t such a serious concern, why was their group so tightly monitored

These printers will be advantageous to business owners and production of goods, but it still is a scary thing. even though some analysts have dismissed it, there is no denying the use of these printers for crime.

Relentness bad news is difficult to take


The news in general has always been obliged to tell the most relevant content by airing the hard news. Everyday when we turn on our television, we see stories of only serious crime and death because they are informative and attention getting.

After recent reports of the New Jersey mall shooting, a friend on Facebook wrote an interesting statement. The post said, “I can’t tell what is scarier: hearing about another mall shooting on the news first thing this morning, or the realization that over the past three months I’ve become totally desensitized to such news.”

It’s hard not to have similar feelings after watching the news day after day. I turned on CNN news today only to see giant headlines that read, “10,000 Feared Dead.” What a terrible thing to wake up to, but it is important to be informed.

As important as it is to keep up with today’s news, I believe watching the reports day in and day out takes a toll on one’s psyche. Constantly, we are reminded of the terrible things happening in the world and the next day is only a new set of harsh stories.

For online news, the approach to these intense stories can be approached in a less in your face way. For CNN and other network television news websites, the headlines are mostly the same as the television with the blunt presentation. The difference is that the websites do not have the time restraint, which allows for more stories and the ability for the web surfer to pick and choose the stories they want to read or watch.

Sites like yahoo are friendlier to the viewer because they try to weave in collaboration of pop culture, soft news and hard news that may not be featured on more serious sites and networks.

I am not suggesting that the news should stop telling us all the stories that are difficult to hear, but as a journalist or someone who is trying to stay relevant and informed, the constant reminder of negativity can be discouraging.

Reporters’ impact before a big storm


Miami is one of the major cities in the United States to have a history greatly impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms. As a result, the upcoming end of the hurricane season is a big deal. Hurricane season ends on Nov. 30 and, until then, many Miami residents are often extremely cautious of approaching storms and warnings.

As many Miami residents were starting to believe the rest of the Miami hurricane season was in the clear, subtropical storm formed in the northern Atlantic Ocean on Monday. At approximately 5 p.m. the subtropical storm was about 650 miles southeast of Bermuda. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour moving northwest at nine miles per hour.

Reports from the National Hurricane Center announced that the storm is supposed to head north on Tuesday and later that evening turn to the northeast.

Some strengthening is expected to occur over the next day or two and this storm could near hurricane strength by Tuesday afternoon.

With all of this going on in today’s world, it is hard to think about the world without reporters informing the public about approaching storms or hurricanes.

The information before a storm allows people to protect themselves and their family by taking  precautionary steps to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm. In severe cases reports could even convince people to evacuate the area. These measures not only saves lives but it helps people protect their homes and belongings beforehand.

Reporters not only help protect the people and their belongings that could be affected by the storms but also the areas economy. Reports suggest that filling up on gas, food, water, batteries, and flashlights and other objects are extremely important before a storm. When reporters report a storm there becomes a surplus in the economy before the storm and a high demand for these items at local stores.

Not only could reports help save people’s lives and have an influence on the economy, but also they influence the employment world. As a result of reports, schools may be cancelled therefore parents may not attend work and teachers may have days off. This could simply be a result of a report of a storm made on the news and may potentially not even be accurate. Schools may be able to stay in session causing adults to attend their jobs.

Storm reports hold great importance and can greatly impact people, the economy, and the amount of local students attending school and residents attending work.

Journalism’s bad reputation . . .


The dreaded news reporter is disliked by politicians, public figures and celebrities. However, a reporter is not doing his or her job correctly if he or she does not expose wrongful doings or any newsworthy items.

Being disliked is simply the price to pay for being a good reporter.

Thankfully, reporters are here to expose wayward public officials such as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the drug incident.

However, there are instances where reporters cross the line.

The incidents that forced celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry to petition for more privacy rights are the result of reporters crossing the line, for example.

Jennifer Garner said in an E! Interview that she did not move to Hollywood so her children could be yelled at by photographers.

Another example involves Duchess Kate Middleton, who was photographed topless in her own backyard and had the image broadcast. It is another moment when reporters have crossed the line.

The pressure to find newsworthy stories may lead reporters to cross the line in these instances, making their stories unethical.

All in all, as long as the reporters do not invade the privacy of public figures, by snooping and investigating public figures, they are just doing their job.

New PlayStation conquers nation


Late Thursday night, long lines of tech fans waiting for the PlayStation 4 release were recorded outside of game stores around the nation.

Fans had been waiting for more than a year for this big event that promised to bring the latest in gaming advancement.

From new games to a better and faster console, Sony, a tech giant, gave buyers the most advanced in technology, just a week before competitor Microsoft launches the new Xbox One.

In fact, both consoles are promising many new features, but the Sony strategically put on sale its own at $100 less than Microsoft.

Making it available for $399 and breaking records after selling more than one million consoles within the first 24 hours.

For many, this means a war that is being declared, for others, a battle that is just starting to launch.

“So far so good, the HD graphics and the gaming experience make it a great deal,” Claudio Garcia, a gamer, said after obtaining his own PlayStation 4.

Garcia, like many others, had to wait a long time to get their hands on the new technology.

As for now the fever for the new PlayStation remains hotter than ever in this part of earth; however, fans around the globe still wait for what so many call the new era of gaming.

Pilot’s announcement causes panic


Last week, passengers from Southwest Airlines flight 3426 lived their worst nightmare when they heard the captain saying the plane was going down.

According to passenger Shelley Willis, who spoke to CNN,  the announcement at first sounded like a joke, but then it was terror that took over.

“He said, ‘We’re going down.’ And everyone is looking around like, ‘is this a joke? Is he serious?’ And then you felt the nosedive.” Willis was saying.

Based on later reports, the captain had apparently been working on a plan with flight attendants after getting an alert prompting irregular cabin pressure. While doing so, he accidentally activated the PA system letting everyone on board hear those horrifying words.

The Boeing 737 aircraft, took off from Tampa to Raleigh Durham International Airport in North Carolina.

Willis, who is a nurse, said that the frightening drop that occurred at about 100 miles from the airport, gave a panic attack to the first-time flyer seated next to her.

Could this have really made an impact on the passengers’ lives?

Many news media outlets were saying that many of the flyers were complaining about the way the captain handled the incident. Others were speculating about possible future lawsuits demanding compensation after the “uneasy feelings” experienced.

At the end, the aircraft was leveled out and landed safely at the original destination.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement; “flight 3426 experienced a ‘maintenance alert’ that was resolved at 25,000 feet.”

As of now, questions are still to be answered, but the fact is that things like these may scare the heck out of anyone. Probing that flying is not for everyone because when you step inside a plane you are not 100 percent sure you’ll step out.

Think about it next time you decide to board a flight to London. Why? Flying from Miami takes almost nine hours to cross the Atlantic Ocean to reach the European continent.

For those passengers who experienced terror aboard flight 3426, might take a little bit more than nine hours to actually step inside an aircraft once again.

Becoming a sports journalist, part 1


Journalists have many different beats and specializations from which to choose from when it comes to choosing a career path — entertainment, sports, music, economy, politics, international and so forth.

Sports journalism is  an area that can take time to learn how to write it so it is fun, simple, and explicit to the audience.

The article “How to Become a Sports Journalist” edited by Donald Pillai and others teaches us the important steps to becoming a successful sports journalist in today’s society.

According to the article, first you have to be “passionate about sports.” This step is quite obvious, since there must be a sense of excitement coming from the journalist so he or she can transmit it to the people reading whatever the journalist writes about. The person has to like what they are writing about, that way they actually know what they are saying. Also, sports history is important to know and be informed of.

Next is also a step that everyone should know: reading about sports article. The only way you can really learn is by reading the work of others. That way the journalist can critique his own work and maybe add a different structure to it so it is easier, cleaner, and more entertaining to read.

“Familiarize yourself with the way a sports journalist writes. Study your favorite sports journalists to see why they might have become so successful,” Pillai wrote.

This last sentence is a good advice since if you want to be the best at what you do, do not  imitate that person you look up to, but unite those things about he or she you like with your own. Combine them and the best piece of work will come out.

Step three: Just write. Writing about sports is just one branch of writing you have to be a good writer, one that can write about anything not just sports.

Step four: “Get an education” This refers to completing high school, focusing on getting good results from your writing classes. According to the article:

You will need a Bachelor’s degree to pursue a career in sports journalist. Go to a four-year college and major in English, with a concentration in Journalism. Consider getting graduate degree. This will make you more desirable to potential employers. Note that it may be easier to work on your graduate degree once you have gotten your first job.”

Step five is one that most students right now in college should most likely want to pay attention to: join your University’s newspaper. Not only for the curriculum and resumé, but also so you can prepare yourself for the real world. Doing internships, volunteering, and putting your work out there in websites and in your university’s newspaper are all necessary steps you have to take before having a real job. Why? Because just a degree or a title is not enough for the majority of the people who will hire you. They have to know you are not only well-experienced at the job you are applying for, but also good at it. Becoming your University’s sports journalist will help you in many ways.

If you are still in high school, joining it’s newspaper is also a perfect beginning for a successful career in the future.

Becoming a sports journalist, part 2


In this other half of this pair of posts, we continue with the steps to becoming a successful sports journalist!

Step six, according to the article “How to Become a Sports Journalist,” refers to becoming an intern, as I previously mentioned. Applying for internships and working at several different stations will give you good experience for your future. It will show you what it will be like in the real world, and it will give you the opportunity for you to decide what it is you are good for and what not. What you really like and what you don’t. Maybe by doing the internship you realize that sports writing is not what you want to do in life, or maybe you realize it is the perfect job for you.

Next you want to apply for an “entry-level job.If you interned at a specific newspaper, apply there first because they will be more likely to hire an intern they’ve worked with than someone outside the company.”

This is completely true, but it is not always this way so do not get too attached to the idea. The process to finding your ideal job can take time, so do not get frustrated.

Step eight, according to the article, would be to consider freelancing. “If you’re having difficulty finding a full-time, regular job, try your hand at freelance writing. Send queries to sports magazines and newspapers about which you know.

If they like your query, they will hire you to write the article, and if they like your article, they may hire you on a contract basis or even full time.” Freelancing is a start to make good connections and to let others read your work. It might get you a job you did not even dream of getting. Is a matter of right timing and good writing.

Also I believe that if you are having trouble or do not find exactly what you are looking for, consider teaching. Once you are good at sports writing, teaching can always be something you can do to help others, to gain some money, and for yourself as a way to keep gaining more experience.

Last but not least, earning a bachelor of arts degree in journalism or communication with courses in “mass media, advanced writing, news reporting, public speaking and political communications,” is the final step to becoming a sports journalist.

This article shows us the basic steps to becoming a sports journalists, but we should also keep in mind values that will help make it through these steps: honesty, respect, love for what you do, and humility.

Batkid makes national headlines


This week the Make a Wish Foundation went further and beyond to fulfill a five-year-old boy’s dream of saving the world right next to Batman.

Miles Scott is a recovering leukemia patient who asked the charity for a memorable day assisting his favorite super hero.

Friday, the city of San Francisco, transformed into Gotham City, received the most evil villains ever imagined. But there was Batman and his Batkid ready to take action on the Batmobile.

More than 11,000  people came not only from California, but also from other states to show support to the little super hero.

The city was hit by a wave of crime all at once, requiring Batman’s and his assistant’s help. With the help of the “big guy,” Batman, Miles was able to save the day.

For the first time, since its more than 30 years of history, Make a Wish organizers say they didn’t have to request volunteers. They would come and sign up to be part of this amazing adventure in big amounts.

Even a San Francisco newspaper published a special edition announcing the big event that captured the eyes and hearts of millions.

Saving a woman taken as a hostage, tied up to cable tracks and a “bomb” and imprisoning the evil Riddler who attempted to rob a bank, were among the victories that only Batkid could achieve.

In fact, super heroes do get hungry, so they had to make a short stop to have some lunch and recharge the batteries.

But it doesn’t stop there. The legendary Penguin horrified everyone when he abducted Lou Seal, the Giants’ baseball team mascot.

This indeed mobilized the whole city in a battle between the good and evil.

Batkid! Batkid! Batkid! Screamed the enthusiastic crowd that was thirsty to see more from Miles.

As everyone was expecting, doing stunts, tricks and using intelligence, both Batman and Batkid saved Lou Seal from the Penguin’s clutches.

The five-year-old hero was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, underwent chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission.

For a moment, everyone who witnessed Miles’s victories forgot about the tragic side of the story. In fact, for many it meant hope that good things can happen during a tragically episode in life.

My question is why is it that our nation doesn’t get involved more often to promote peaceful events like this one? Why is it that violence is what conquers our hearts rather than good actions?

The answers to these questions are hard to find because we live in a nation were guns are so common and death so frequent we have become insensitive to it.

As a news media journalist, I just don’t see this story as a happy one. I see it as a heart-touching one and it has taught us all that dreams are never impossible.

Has journalism fallen?


Theodore Dawes explains in his article “The Fall of Journalism” that people tend to think that the newspaper is the product and that people are the customers. He says it is the other way around, stating that “advertisers are the customer and reader attention is the product.”

He explains that for years he has asked the same question: “Why are newspapers published?” and says he has received no good answer. To him, the real answer is because it makes money for the publisher.

Dawes believes that it is all driven by advertising and is about money, not really about the structure of it and those well-written articles, pointing out that he has “never taken a course in journalism, which I regard as a boon to my career and particularly to my reporting.”

This is an interesting point of view by a journalist himself, also expressing the relationship between newspaper owners and reporters; this first one taking advantage of reporters.

“Newspaper owners have for centuries utilized this leaning to pay reporters peanuts.  In fact, reporters are the lowest paid among occupations that require a college degree. In most places they earn 40-50 percent less than the local librarian. The newspaper owners benefit greatly from the naiveté of those in their newsroom.  They’re not going to say a word.”

This caught my attention because it should not be like that since reporters are primarily the ones who find something newsworthy for people and who are making an impact in the audience.

Dawes has another interesting point of view regarding journalism: he does not believe there exists such thing as “journalistic objectivity,” which is “a significant principle of journalistic professionalism that can refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship, but most often encompasses all of these qualities.” He states that people believe they are reading the objective news, when in fact they are not: “Objective news was and remains a joke, but Americans continue to believe it exists.”

There are many points of view in society about what journalism is or should be, and many people out there who have different opinions and ways to look at the profession as a whole. But we journalists have to keep in mind that no matter what it is said, we always stick to the basics of professional journalism: write the truth and only the truth. Be honest to your audience and always give them something newsworthy for them to read about.

You can read more at: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/the_fall_of_journalism.html#ixzz2kv7Asr6y

Miami man falls out of plane


Gerardo Nales fell out of a private plane three days ago and, after an intensive search, it is believed that authorities have found the body.

Gerardo Nales was one of two passengers on board a private plane flown by a sole pilot that took off from Tamiami Executive Airport in Southwest Miami-Dade County. This plane was flying at about 2,000 feet when the pilot of the Piper PA 46 called for help saying “mayday.”

The recording of the pilot was peculiar as he was completely calm when notifying the air traffic controller. The pilot’s name has not yet been released nor has the identity of the other passenger since this is an on-going investigation.

Gerardo Nales is a 42-year-old Miami native who resided in Key Biscayne. Cameras were lined up on the sidewalk near his Key Biscayne apartment complex this past Friday afternoon. It is unclear where the plane was headed at the time, but it was said to be about eight miles from the Tamiami airport.

Authorities still do not know exactly what happened on the plane, but investigators have no evidence of foul play.

This incident is still under investigation as investigators are unsure if Nales jumped out of the plane or was pushed. More information will become available shortly

China cracks down on foreign reporters


Reporting news in China has always been a sticky situation but even more recently, there has been in influx of rejected visas for foreign journalists who report within the country.

Even journalists who have worked in the field for years in China are now receiving rejections towards renewed visas. This is forcing people who have been living there for their journalism profession to leave and find new jobs elsewhere.

This issue is also forcing many journalists who have not had their visa renewals rejected to reconsider how they report news. Most have decided that they need to take part in self-censorship, but is that really reporting the news? There have also been reports of death threats towards foreign journalists who are reporting things that are not necessarily agreed with by citizens of China. This can also affect how journalists report news with accuracy.

Local citizen journalists have always been restricted in what they report. Freedom of the press in China is very limited and it has been known that foreign news coverage has always had more freedom to report than Chinese journalists. But nowadays it is becoming more evident that both foreign and local reporters are becoming one in the same.

During the past 10 years, many Western media companies have increased their coverage of China. Companies like The New York Times and the BBC have created blogs strictly dedicated to the country. This investment reflects China’s growing significance as an important country in international affairs. China requires attention from the media. But as a result, this has given China more leverage over the foreign media than it once had.

One of the main reasons for this type of crackdown on foreign coverage is that China does not want the world to know about the relationship its big business and politics have with each other. In the end, it’s all about money. But it is argued that in doing so, China is harming its ties in foreign affairs. If China is kicking out journalists from other countries for unfriendly reporting, it causes those countries to question China’s relations with them.

As China gains more wealth, it is becoming more and more apparent that other things, like foreign news coverage, do not matter because the Chinese leaders know they have leverage over other countries. This is bad news for journalists who have ties in China when it comes to reporting.

American journalism as it Is today


A recent Los Angeles Times article about a well-known author caught my attention because of a quotation within the article. Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side and Moneyball was attributed with the quote:

“Going from American journalism to British journalism is like going from bratwurst to Mexican food,” he says. “You go from feeling kind of constipated to feeling like you got the runs.”

In addition to being a funny comment, it is also a bit of a scary one to think about, at least from a journalistic perspective. If I’ve learned anything about the news media and about journalism over the past couple years or so, it’s that it is in a state of flux. It isn’t doing well, it isn’t doing horribly, but no one is really sure what to think of it. It has also been challenged in many ways due to ethical problems and controversial scenarios.

And that’s from my perspective in North America.

With that being said, the fact that a respected writer like Lewis is saying that the British side of things is worse off makes me a little uneasy. Not because I plan on moving to Great Britain, but because it means that journalism in America can get even worse. It isn’t overly something to worry about at the moment, and there is still some fine journalism going around, but there is a lot of poor journalism as well.

Fake stories, wrong sourcing, poor grammar, the list goes on. With this booming technological age that we are in, there will undoubtedly be bad journalism. Being first to break a story has become more important than delivering journalistic gold that takes patience.

I’m not sure what it will take to get back to the golden age of journalism or whether we ever will again. But we can at least report the truth, and do it eloquently. Then maybe some of the bad journalists will be scraped out.