Rolling Stone: Journalistic failure


As if journalism didn’t get enough criticism before, the public now has more reason to wag its fingers at the news media.

Last year, Rolling Stone released an article titled “A Rape on Campus” that detailed the horrific events a student endured at the University of Virginia. Hot story, surely an interesting read, but too bad it was lacking one thing: facts.

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism published a report earlier this week stating the article was flawed, causing Rolling Stone to retract the article altogether.

Now Rolling Stone is not the first to commit this journalistic malpractice, but it still doesn’t excuse the mistake. Fact-checking is part of the ABCs of journalism. Obviously, it was not hard to check the facts, or else there would not have been a 13,000-word report on how the entire article was wrong. Minor missteps like this can greatly hinder the quality of work and credibility of the media source.

Incidents like these may not seem so paramount now; they are tiny pebbles thrown at a bullet-proof glass. However, imagine if publications continue to let these amateur mistakes occur? The pebbles will turn into full on boulders, breaking down the house journalistic works and credibility.

The public naturally has skepticism over the media as it is, and faulty articles will only increase it.

New Periscope helps us explore world


New applications and types of social media come out everyday. This is no surprise since it’s almost impossible to see someone not walking around with their smart phone in their hand. People love posting pictures and statuses about their life and liking things about their closest 500 friends’ lives. So, naturally, the next step for social media was a live-streaming video app.

Enter Periscope. Periscope allows users to live-stream whatever they’re doing at any time of the day and anyone can watch and post comments that momentarily appear on top of the video.

The Periscope team said the idea behind the app is to be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes. For example: seeing though the eyes of a protester in Ukraine or watching a sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia. But that might be wishful thinking on their part because the most popular videos so far have been people showing you what’s in their fridge.

The app, acquired by Twitter, is already expected to have new updates in the near future including being available to Android users and film in landscape mode.

Women as stereotypes in media


After studying for my test in CEM 102, I was amazed after I was struck with reality of how media presents stereotypes such as those about women.

Women are seen to be fragile and sensitive human beings, who are easily hurt. Reading about stereotypes, the book stated that women who are single are presented in movies and in TV shows to being superior, sexy and in control of any situation. While on the other hand, women who are mothers are seen to be nurturing and caring.


Why make women into a stereotype? We are presented in many shapes and figures and we grow to the realization that we are actually what the media wants us to be. Why are the women who are in a relationship always miserable and always in doubt? Why are women presented to be fragile and sensitive?

Independent Women

Independent Women

The media have all the power to shape our beliefs and values. We are always surrounded by messages by how we are supposed to look like and act.

As a teenager, I am always self-conscious about my body and my outer image. Why? Well because the media around me influence the way I see myself as a woman. If you are not skinny and tall you are not worthy of being a woman.

You are not fully beautiful without makeup on. You are not fully dressed until you put on that bright red lipstick. Why do media try to change our image? Are we not good enough? Should we all be models?

We are all strong women regardless of our social and economic status. We are all worthy of attention. Whether you are single and ready to mingle or married with five children we should all be seen the same way: strong and sexy. We should not allow the media to shape an ideal image of how a woman is supposed to look like and act. We are all beautiful in our own way.

Repercussions of Rolling Stone’s story


I remember when Rolling Stone‘s University of Virginia gang rape story first came out, there was a level of fear and understanding that resonated with me regarding the story. I had been a freshman for only a month or so when the story came out and after seeing what university was like there was no doubt in my mind that the story was true. That is what this article preyed upon.

Regardless of the validity of the story, Rolling Stone was the first ones to talk about it in a big way, to draw attention to a real issue. However, they used the wrong story, they fabricated it, it was intentional manipulation.

A scandal like this has many repercussions on many levels. Not only will true experiences like this be doubted in the future, thus making it harder for victims of rape to speak out, but the whole topic of rape itself will become more of a taboo.

On a journalistic level, however, will people trust journalists less and less as time goes on? There have been multiple events in the past year or so that has called into question journalistic integrity.

The scandal relating to Brian WIlliams was one of the biggest ones in recent times that has made the public call into question if it really can trust journalists to be honest and give them correct information. A scandal like this could have been easily avoided with simple fact checking by the editors and the main writer, this kind of fabrication was intentional and says a lot about journalism today.

Drudge Report still ranks No. 1


A recent article from Politico identified the Drudge Report as the “leading source of referral traffic” for many notable news organizations. This means that—other than browser searches and social media, which usually will lead users to news stories through links and shares—the Drudge Report is the No. 1 place where readers go to get routed to news.

First of all, the obvious thing to note is that the Drudge Report is openly conservative. It often crafts its headlines and arranges its content from a conservative perspective. The fact that this conservative news routing site ranks is most used brings up questions about the political demographics of news readers nationwide.

Does this reflect the views of the nation? More likely, it just sheds light on what we guessed already. Those who seek out news the old-fashioned way tend to lean more to the right; those who like their news brought to them (e.g. through apps) tend to lean more to the left.

The Politico article also notes that the Drudge Report has experienced very little change to its Web page over the years, which I found interesting.

When it comes to keeping users engaged, the mentality used by companies usually revolves around updating, upgrading and introducing change to keep things interesting. However, the Drudge Report has been mighty successful in keeping things exactly the way they are.

This might be more of a testament to the audience who most religiously uses the Drudge Report, as previously discussed. But it might also be something for other marketers and newsmakers to keep in mind before making major changes to what they offer. In some situations, consistency may be equated with reliability and could be a more effective strategy in keeping a loyal audience.

More multimedia is a good thing


Most of us are familiar with John Oliver from “Last Week Tonight” and how he tackles prominent issues in our society, such as student debt.

In his segment, he utilizes statistics, interviews, excerpts from government documents and of course, a bit of comedy with a lot of sarcasm.

So why does this matter?

If you were to check how many views the video above has, you would notice that it has more than four million views just on YouTube. Not only does this show entertain those who watch, but focuses on the news and getting information out to the public.

So why is it that these kinds of media get so much more exposure than an article in a newspaper, whether on paper or online? I believe it is because of the multimedia aspect.

When the audience can see footage of what a news story is about, it leaves more of an impression than a boring article. Though many websites do include photos and videos for some news stories, it is still not enough. Reporting needs to make room for more multimedia outlets in order to make reading the news more interactive and bring in a bigger audience.

Images, videos in news tell stories


Severe weather. Violent crimes. Jaw-dropping plays. Sure, reading descriptions about these things are great, but think about how much pictures and videos take these to the next level. We’re able to witness the news with our own eyes, without having to rely solely on the words of a journalist, and that’s an incredible thing. 150407-walter-scott-shooting-mn-1915_49a17602bafad4aeb9048146c298c361

Take the recent occurrence in South Carolina, for example. A man was fatally shot by a police officer, creating an uproar within the community and across the country.

With the power of video, people around the world were able to see this disturbing event in plain view. This will help the public learn the facts rather than be fed rumors, because video doesn’t lie.

Images are an extremely powerful tool in journalism. They tell a story and capture moments that we would have otherwise missed. They let us learn the truth without risk of false information. They’re candid, real and often shocking.

Without them, journalism would run the risk of being bland or uninteresting. As can be seen in the photo to the right, images are a vital tool in journalism that not only back a journalist’s words, but also significantly add to them and enhance the experience for the reader.

Kuwait’s influencers have social impact


In the past two years, Kuwait has been booming with influencers like Fouz ALFahad and Bibi Al Abdulmohsen, Hassan Al Mosawi and Yalda Golsharifi. These are all familiar names to Kuwaiti society. All of these people are part of a sensation, a social media sensation. Influencing people to buy things such as shoes, hair products, makeup and also visiting new restaurants.

Most of these people are all part of a worldwide known company called Ghalia Tech, which is a marketing agency founded and established, by Abdulrazaq Al Mutawa.

Influencers are used to help market a product or an event or even a restaurant and get the people’s interest. Keeping people up to date of what is hip and new and getting everyone interested to go and buy the product. To be an influencer, one has to give up his or her privacy. How so? Your Instagram should be public and everyone should have access to it. You would be able to market the product using your Instagram and tagging the product’s company into the image you are posting. Being an influencer does not only mean giving up your privacy but also giving up your time, to traveling, shopping and even going to more outings.

You don’t need to have studied a certain major to become an influencer, which is a great opportunity for people who have no job opportunities in the field they have studied. Being a journalism major, I have been worrying about what sort of work I will do once I graduate and this might be an option. I am also thinking of taking this summer as a great opportunity to work an internship at Ghalia Tech to practice my journalism skills and see what an influencer can and can’t do in depth.

Implications of a reporting assignment


A couple of weeks ago we received an in-depth assignment. Everyone in our class was given an address of a house and we were told to find out everything about the people who owned the house without contacting them or entering their property. This was my first time experiencing hands-on investigative work and it was thrilling and surprisingly easy.

Why do I say thrilling? Because, as I drove by the house while munching on my Publix sub, I felt like a CIA agent. Why do I say surprisingly easy? Because the ease at which I could find private information about strangers without any legal restrictions surprised me.

As a person who studied theory of knowledge, the implications of the task I had just completed dawned on me and reminded me of George Orwell’s famous 1984 quote “Big Brother is Watching You.” During my day of investgative work I had the opportunity to access all kinds of public records information, like someone’s criminal record, marriage certificate, birthday, legal involvement, the day they registered as a voter, who they were married to, if they were divorced and if they had kids.

Our information is everywhere and, as Orwell appropriately summarized, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” With Facebook documenting our every move socially and LinkedIn documenting our every move in the workforce, there is not much we can hide from the public and, more importantly, the government.

As citizens of this country, we have the right to access all of this information, refusing to hand over certain information that we request is against the law. In regards to public records, even voter registration is a public record in the U.S. The only two areas that maintain restrictions is a person’s Social Security number and their driver’s license number.

Covering sexual assault on campuses


On Saturday night, a possible sexual assault on Florida International University’s West Miami-Dade campus was reported to police. According to police, the two people involved are acquainted with each other and so far, no arrests have been made.

Although sexual assault on college campuses is a significant issue, there is not nearly as much news coverage as there should be.

Last year, FIU had another problem with sexual assault when a repeat offender would touch female students without their consent, then flee the scene on his bicycle. Despite the fact that this offender made students feel unsafe on their own campus, there was barely any news coverage about these incidents.

It is about time that the news media stops reporting on celebrity gossip and starts focusing on the real issues that has become a rising problem in our society. With more coverage on sexual assault and rape, we can reduce the amount of incidents and make campuses a safer place.

If anyone has any information about possible assault on Saturday, please call FIU police at 305-348-2626.

News: Targeting the young audience


Even I have to admit, I didn’t give two kumquats about news or media throughout most of grade school. As a kid, I remember the grown-ups would shoo me away during the 7 o’clock news. Three trillion go-to-your-rooms later, my curiosity for news dwindled and died.

studentnews.logoStudies, like those provided by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, say that letting children see or hear the news will cause a negative impact.

I concur with this statement; normal cable news is a bit ghastly for such naïve eyes. However, I don’t believe throwing a white sheet over the world events is any better.

It wasn’t until grade 8 or 9 that the white sheet was lifted for me, but what lied underneath was something new.

“CNN Student News is a 10-minute, commercial-free, daily news program for middle and high school students produced by the journalists and educators at CNN,” according to

This show condenses worldly news and makes it more appealing for a younger audience. The site also provides teaching materials to compliment the news clips.

Apart from broadcast news, there are other news outlets for the young viewer. TIME For Kids is a weekly magazine geared to motivate grades K-6 to read and inform them of real-world topics. The glossy magazine is available by subscription and produced by Time magazine.

Media should continue to find ways to appeal to the children and teens in interactive and creative ways such as these.

Social media steal the news show


While many people still watch the news each night, or as often as they can, others are far too busy to sit down in front of a television for more than a few minutes. Thanks to social media and technology, we no longer have to do this.

FullSizeRender (1)Most news sources have apps for our smartphones, and many offer the helpful “push notifications.” This allows people to receive breaking news updates directly on the home screen of their phone and thus saves people tons of time.

Personally, I love receiving these notifications almost every day. It makes it so I don’t even have to check the app itself, which, in my case, is CNN, to learn that day’s news. When I’m far too busy to read through the app, these one-to-two-sentence notifications are extremely helpful.

These notifications are also useful for learning something new. I’ll often receive a notification on a news story that I didn’t know anything about or that I didn’t know existed.

They keep me informed throughout the day, without even having to push a button. We clearly have it easy these days, but with that comes a new level of knowledge. Thanks to these advances in social media, we’re able to learn so much more about the world and about current events than we’ve ever been able to before.

Ultra gives attention to EDM performers


Friday, Saturday and Sunday were all about electronic music, lasers and smoke.

Ultra Music Festival took place this weekend at Bayside Park in downtown Miami where crowds of people gathered from all over the world to celebrate this music festival. For many, it was their first time and for others they have been coming to this festival for several years.

Girls and women wore revealing, colorful and fun outfits that looked very cool resembling the electronic energy of the festival. I was amazed by the amount of country flags I saw, as many attendees had their country flags covering their backs all the way from Brazil to Lebanon.

Despite the rainy weather on Friday, the crowd was not held back from celebrating and I could remember Afrojack exciting the crowd when he said “We do not give a **** about the rain!”

I was amazed to see that one single music festival excited the whole city of Miami.
Tickets were first sold on the Website in November at a very reasonable price of approximately $200 for all three days’ tickets. As the festival opening date approached, ticket prices went up for people who were trying to sell their tickets. And on the Website two weeks before the Event tickets were sold for $450 in total, leaving people to think twice before buying a three-day ticket and relying on single day tickets sold by individuals for a cheaper price.

As mentioned, I was amazed how the music festival excited the whole city. The city of Miami was full of advertisements for pool parties, nightclub events and other events happening all over Miami. As I stood outside on my balcony, I could see the little advertisement planes fly slowly all over the downtown and South Beach.

On Friday, the festival began at 4 p.m. with everyone gathered in the main stage area, where all the famous DJs played. As a journalist, I approached the Ultra Music Festival venue with all eyes and ears, observing everyone’s actions and seeing how they react to this type of loud electronic dance music. Despite the rainy and windy weather, people kept enjoying the show. People were jumping and dancing nonstop until 12 a.m., to the beat of the rhythm.

Saturday was filled of surprises; Usher appeared and shocked the whole audience with his energy. Saturday wasn’t the only day filled with surprises, though. Sunday’s night had Iggy Azalea and P. Diddy and even most importantly, Justin Bieber. Colorful and loud, fireworks filled the skies and people jumped around with all the energy they had left till Sunday 11 pm when the finale occurred. An end to an eventful weekend filled with loud electrical music, and exciting advertisements. Definitely a Festival to remember.