Father tracks illegal immigrant accidents


Fox News published an online article on Wednesday about a man who’s making it his mission to calculate deaths caused by illegal immigrant drivers after an unlicensed Honduran immigrant killed his son in 2010.

Since the accident, Don Rosenberg claims to have calculated and estimated that illegal immigrants are responsible for half of the fatalities in accidents involving unlicensed drivers. He also started a website for his findings and regularly posts petitions to the site.

Journalist Hollie McKay, who wrote the article, also added a story about a 32-year-old police officer who was killed by an illegal, unlicensed immigrant in 2014.

Fox is the only news network to do a follow-up on these stories, and it is likely because it aligns with the network’s political stance.

Moreover, it’s difficult for me to tell which facts within the article are confirmed and which are mere guesses. McKay uses vague phrases like “critics say,” but she never actually identifies said critics, which makes the argument less convincing as a reader.

I am aware that Fox News is known for its conservative agenda and consumers should expect that, but I also think it’s important for the journalists of any network to not make that agenda so extremely obvious.

Journalism, at its core, is about reporting the issues in order to inform people, and being unbiased in that reporting is imperative for maintaining credibility.

However, I think these basic standards should trickle down into all parts of a journalist’s job. Balance should not only be present in the end products like articles and television segments, but it should also be a factor in choosing what to report in the first place.

Unfortunately, bias is inevitable with certain networks, but it’s important for those networks to, at the very least, make their political affiliations a bit subtler.

Why Brazil hates its president


Brazil’s unemployment rate has increased from 7.6 percent in January to 8.1 percent in February with a climbing projected average of 8.2 percent this year. As the economy continues to decline and the government corruption surfaces, anti-government activists and the general public fill the streets of Brazil in protest.

President Dilma Rousseff has been publicly denounced for accepting bribes from the state-owned energy company Petrobras (a petroleum company) from 2003 to 2010.

Her approval ratings dropped exponentially in 2015 because of her increasing unemployment, economy digression, weak currency and rising inflation. While her original campaign stood on her allegiance to the poor Brazilians, many of them feel betrayed by her actions it has not reflected their interests.

In two recently published articles by The Guardian and The Washington Post, both presented her side of the story and gave many direct quotations of why she is choosing to not resign and her opinions on the protests. These articles present the information in an unbiased way, but do not provide background information to why the Brazilian people want to impeach their president.

BCC News covered the protests in a package called “Brazil protesters call for President Rouseff to resign” (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35798875). In this package, protesters acknowledge the depth of the government corruption and how she has not helped Brazil’s plummeting economy.

While both sets of articles provide unbiased information, I believe it would be extremely beneficial to the outside public to have a brief description of the opposition before being presented the information. While no article was pro anti- government or pro-Rousseff, having a background prior to presenting one side of information in each article, would be beneficial for the audience in order to form an educated opinion.

IMG hires male ‘brawn’ model


A few months ago, Ashley Graham, a 28-year-old plus-size model, rocked the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 2016 swimsuit edition and forced the fashion world change the perspective regarding the typical model prototype.

Flash forward to this week. Male plus-size models are also revamping the fashion field.

Zach Miko, 26, a male plus-sized model from Stratford, Conn. with a 40-inch waist, signed to IMG’s “brawn” line this past week. IMG is one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world and manages models like Lara Stone, Freja Beha and Gigi Hadid.

In his attempt to stray away from words such as “large” or “plus,” Miko likes to be referred to as a “brawn” model. He has also urged IMG to call their plus-size female category “curve.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Miko stated, “I don’t find “plus size” offensive, but I think it’s the same [as fat] in that plus size has grown to have a negative connotation. Plus, means additional, outside; it keeps pushing that label of not being “normal”. If you see the word “brawn”, you think about physical strength and power, just as “curve” suggests sexy and confident, as opposed to “big.”

When taking a look at Zach Miko’s modeling resume, one might notice that he has only modeled for Target. However, Target is a big retailer in the United States and Miko immediately got attention from bloggers and various sites when his work hit the stands.

In an article about Miko, Teen Vogue stated, “As the fashion industry continues to try and diversify the body types, genders, and skin tones of the models it hires, more and more people are finding themselves represented on the runway and in magazines.”

Fashion outlets are calling this shift in the modeling world “genius” and “captivating” because it embodies the average person.

The Toronto Star also stated, “He’s blond, blue-eyed and his size-13 shoes are leaving big footprints on the fashion industry.”

People just cannot get enough of Miko and his brave actions are inspiring others to break the barriers our society self imposes.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.20.51 AM

However, people will always have negative things to say. Many bloggers and social media consumers are calling Miko “fat” and deeming women plus-size models as “fat chicks.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.22.16 AM

Although our society and the fashion world we live in has come a long way, thanks to strong willed people like Miko, there will always be critics to any advancement in culture.

Do you think people should stop using the term plus-size and use names like “brawn” and “curvy?” Because of this revolution, do you think this will change the perception and dynamic of the fashion world?

China’s underground churches


With descriptive language, an article in Time Magazine about Chinese people celebrating their faith in underground churches in the LightBox session is fascinating and well written.

Chinese citizens can’t express their faith legally in the country: China is officially atheist and, according to the article, the China’s ruling Communist Party only allows one religion to operate within tight parameters.

The Holy Week was celebrated in the Northern China’s Hebei Province by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that is not recognized by the Vatican as a real entity. This association has to practice its religion in underground churches with the fear of closure and imprisonment of its priests.

The article also talks about the history of Catholic churches and worshipers in China, which were repressed after the Communist revolution in 1949. There are more Protestants now in the country that are expressing their faith, but the government is trying to hold them back and asking them to “remove their crosses” or else the churches would be demolished.

What I liked about  this story is that it has a lot of details, it is written by Time‘s East Asia bureau chief and it tells more than the current news itself, such as the history of how religions fit in the scenario of China. People are trying to express their faith even illegally and the article shows that through pictures and videos; the multimedia content brings the story to life.

In a complicated situation in which many worshipers live in China, the writer of the article knew how to stay neutral through the text and show that there are people that want to express their faith and get together with other worshipers; without taking sides but merely showing that this believers exist and need to be heard and express what they believe.

Pilot found ‘operating under influence’


An American Airlines co-pilot was detained at Detroit Metropolitan Airport early Saturday morning on suspicion of being drunk, an airport spokesman confirmed.

Airport police came to the North Terminal after passersby reported a pilot who appeared to be exhibiting signs of being drunk.

According to airport spokesman Michael Conway, the co-pilot allegedly failed a Breathalyzer test administered by airport police.

Following the incident, American Airlines canceled Flight 736 from Detroit to Philadelphia, leaving many passengers upset.

“We are re-accommodating our customers on other flights,” American Airlines spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said in a statement.

“Safety is our highest priority and we apologize to our customers for the disruption of their travel plans.”

After the co-pilot failed the initial Breathalyzer test, he was taken to a local police department for a more precise sobriety test. Both tests confirmed that he was over the legal limit for operating an aircraft, airport police said.

American Airlines and authorities identified the co-pilot as John Maguire, a resident of Pennsylvania born in 1965.

The co-pilot was later released from custody after his alcohol level dropped to the legal limit, Conway said.

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney, confirms that Maguire has been charged with operating an aircraft under the influence. The charge is listed as a misdemeanor since he wasn’t operating the plane.

“Although we do not often hear of pilots being allegedly intoxicated, the laws apply to everyone — whether one is on the roads or airways,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

As of now, no federal charges have been filed, said Gina Balay, with the office of the U.S. Attorney for Michigan’s Eastern District.

Inexpensive yacht rentals for ‘all’


The countdown for summer has already commenced and we all know what that entails — spending more money for vacation destinations.

During this time of year travel plans are certainly one of the most discussed topics. It’s timely that The New York Times has just released an article in its travel section that promotes the idea of yacht vacations.

The article suggests that yachts could be affordable as long as one knows where to look, indicating that week-long charters are inexpensive and will only cost $5,000 or less.

There are a couple of yacht rental sites that the article links readers to, all of which could render to be useful to those interested.

Although the article was able to touch upon a relevant topic, it has certain limitations and flaws, starting with the title “Yacht Vacations: Not Just for the Rich.”

The title is misleading, as it infers that yacht vacations could well be afforded by every other person who belongs to lower hierarchical class of society. A price of $5,000 may well be affordable for the upper middle class of society, but this does not necessarily constitute the lower middle class, as well as those below this category.

The article, although informative, could have been more interesting if there was more content added to it. The purpose of the article is to inform the public about low yacht rental prices, placed a significant amount of attention towards boat charters, however, left out ideas on what one can possibly do in a yacht for an entire week.

The article could have been a lot more engaging if the writer included more information about yacht vacations, as the article was supposed to cater to those who have never really had the chance to experience and afford such luxury.

It could have also been more insightful if there were a number of sources who shared their own stories on how their yacht vacation turned out to be. This would have been able to help those who are seriously considering a yacht vacation.

As journalists, we often like to keep our published works straightforward in order to merit the full attention of the reader. It’s extremely hard to measure when an article is underdeveloped or not, but to our benefit it is better to report the entire story that includes additional facts rather than publish one that is half baked.

Peace and Colombian coca crops


While reading the news on Monday morning, I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that The Miami Herald wrote an article about other important things happening in Havana, Cuba, something beyond President Obama’s visit.

The headline read “Will peace halt Colombia’s coca boom?” At a first glance you, probably, would never know that the article was about the peace talks grinding along in the island; but since I’m Colombian I knew right away so I kept reading.

The newspaper did a great job informing the public about the negotiation process, which started more than three years ago. The information was precise, truthful and without biases.

However, what surprised me the most was that instead of focusing on the breaking new the author, Jim Wyss, added a completely different angle to the story.

The fact that negotiators had set Wednesday as a deadline for a final peace deal, was mentioned, but the whole story demonstrates how the decision could affect farmers.

Throughout the story, Wyss proved the world wrong by portraying what farmers in Colombia actually want. The consensus among coca growers is that they want to be out of the business but, for that to occur, the government has to build roads, marketplaces and create an economic ecosystem where legitimate crops can thrive.

Sadly, while coca hurts thousands of people all over the world, it is also a survival crop for the majority of those farmers. Cesar Duarte, a Colombian farmer, is aware of that but he also thinks that “that’s worrisome, and that’s why we’re saying we no longer want to make our living growing coca.”

Even though the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) wasn’t out of the equation, the story didn’t take any particular side, instead, it served as a voice for a minority that is being highly affected by the situation and at the same time abandoned by its own country.

So media, somehow, allow us to have a voice.

Opening relations with Cuba


After President Obama traveled to Cuba a couple of days ago, the U.S. continued, as a country, to open relations with Cuba. It was the first presidential visit to Cuba in more than 90 years.

The “Rachel Maddow Show” did a 45 minute segment on how each Democratic president since John Kennedy (and including JFK) has tried to reopen relations with Cuba, but none have been successful until President Obama.

While many people see this as a positive progress into the future, many Cuban Americans would disagree.

Even though Marco Rubio dropped out of the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, I felt that his opinion on Cuban relations had the most accurate representation on why Cuban Americans are against opening relations with Cuba.

“The policy (Obama’s) is based on the illusion that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate into political freedom for the Cuban people. This will not work: The Cuban people are not free because the regime — just as it does with every aspect of life — manipulates and controls to its own advantage all currency that flows into the island. More economic engagement with the U.S. means that the regime’s grip on power will be strengthened for decades to come, dashing the Cuban people’s hopes for freedom and democracy,” Rubio stated on his Web site.

The Miami area is a very unique part of the United States where the story of people escaping the Cuban regime is a common one.

In an interview I did with civil engineer Jose Vega in Coral Gables, he stated similar opinions to Rubio after explaining to me that his family fled Cuba when he was 13 years old. His parents decided to leave Cuba so that he could have a better life. He started in the United States very poor and built his own business, and he prides himself on being a successful representation of the American Dream. He knew that in Cuba he never would have had that opportunity.

While the rest of the United States cannot relate to his story and the story of many Cuban Americans, it is important to take into consideration the first-hand experience they’ve had while we make progress in international relations in the future.

While I have found the news media covers both sides of this opinion, the minority side (Cuban-American side), is less understood and therefore should have equal attention to the pro-Cuba relations side.

Obama juggles baseball, diplomacy


President Barack Obama made a historic journey to our neighboring island Cuba, making him the first president in 88 years to visit the island.

He started of this trip by tweeting to Cubans using the local slang.Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 7.52.53 AM

The president had his daily scheduled filled, down the second, but many Miamians, including Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, were not happy about it.

The thought of their president visiting a communist country who is responsible for the death of many fighting for freedom is what is troubling many Cuban-Americans.

“Mayor Gimenez does not believe the Cuban government has made any significant changes to respect human rights, free enterprise, free expression, or a free press, and therefore the government does not deserve the honor of a visit from the leader of the free world,” said Michael Hernandez, the mayor’s spokesperson.

Many believed he was on vacation, which is not the case. News outlets have been highlighting Obama’s attendance at the historic baseball game as if he should not be there. It seems that the general public along with news have forgotten that to make relations with anyone you must do something in common and get a general understanding of the other person.

The news media are scrutinizing Obama even further by asking how he could be attending a baseball game after the news of what happened in Brussels. But the news media should know better, he had a schedule to follow and gave it support with the Cuban people before the baseball game.

In my opinion, there is not much he can do from the Caribbean island other than send his condolences. Did they want him to go to a terrorized country and send his condolences?

It’s not like he knew this was going to happen and decided to go to Cuba to “vacation” anyway. The president made promises and intended to keep his promises but the news made it seem as if he was a heartless president. Specifically, local news made him seem like he couldn’t care less by showing protests in the streets of a heavily populated Cuban community.

I understand news is supposed to or is expected to show both sides but conversations seemed to be very one sided here in Miami.

Former CBC host acquitted in assault


Jian Ghomeshi has been no stranger to the spotlight in the last few years. Cameras have consistently been on his trail, as well as his family, since news broke from the Toronto Star that he allegedly assaulted three women, including one of his co-workers at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The former CBC host was charged with four counts of sexual assault in 2014.

Following the speculation, the CBC dismissed Ghomeshi from his high profile position, in which he got to interview actors, musicians, politicians and other public figures. As a one-time listener, he was good at his job, but leads me to wonder, especially with his female guests and coworkers – maybe he was a “little too good” at his job.

On March 24, Ghomeshi was acquitted of his charges, following his first court date in early February in Toronto. He plead not guilty to assaults that supposedly taken place in 2002 and 2003. The trial lasted eight days.

According to CBC News, his team of lawyers released a statement saying that he had been “rightly acquitted of his charges” and that “our system of justice, that is what must happen in every case regardless of who is accused or what crime is alleged. That is precisely what occurred in this case.”

Since CBC was Ghomeshi’s former employer and the crimes he had committed to these women took place in the public-broadcaster’s headquarters in Toronto, they had the best coverage of the events. The CBC was there every single step of the way.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.44.01 AMIn the light of the events that took place on Thursday, Ghomeshi’s acquittal comes as a shock.

It had been revealed that the witnesses gave inconsistent testimonies; ZK2the only testimony that remained somewhat accurate was Lucy DeCoutere, leaving the judge to believe that her statements undermined her credibility.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.51.29 AMAccording to the Toronto Star, the key factors that led to Justice William Horkins to letting Ghomeshi go included:

  • The unnamed witnesses claimed that they did not know how to navigate the Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.51.56 AM“proceeding.”
  • Justice Horkins said, “all 3 witnesses had similar stories’, but the ruling had to made individually rather than a part of a pattern.
  • In the end, all Justice Horkins had for evidence were the three witnesses accounts, if he couldn’t believe them true he could not convict Mr. Ghomeshi of his crimes.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.52.20 AMAs mentioned before, due to Ghomeshi’s high profile career, he had the opportunity to interview several actors, politicians, and other public figures on his radio show.

Zoe Kazan, an actress Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.52.42 AMGhomeshi interviewed back in 2013, opened up on her Twitter about the treatment she received from the now “free man” and how she now feels about it.

It is truly absurd in my opinion that the judge felt there was not enough evidence to indict Ghomeshi on his crimes. There is evidence from the CBC that he did commit these acts, even from the witnesses, but maybe from these women, they did not speak up enough during the trial to put their assaulter away.

Not much attention for iPhone release


A few days ago, on March 21, Apple announced at their famous press conferences the new iPhone Se.

Now you may be thinking, but didn’t they just release the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus? Well, yes, and that is exactly what everyone else is thinking, too.

When the iPhone 6 was released out into the world, people were running to the store and could not wait to get their hands on one. They were per-ordered months in advance and the media was talking about it nonstop. However when looking at the news media now, after the release of the iPhone Se, there has not really been that much attention geared towards it. The media is now more focused on dealing with bigger and more important issues, such as the presidential campaigns and the attacks in Belgium.

Looking at CNN, an article can be found about a study done with the iPhone and other Android phones and how the “Siri” responds to crisis modes, such as “Help me, I was just raped.” This study is very important, but again, not front page news.

I believe that the reason as to why the news media has not covered the release of the new iPhone Se that much, compared to the previous iPhone models may be due to multiple reasons. The iPhone Se, looks very similar to the iPhone 5, and therefore it not a new design, secondly there have already been so many iPhones, maybe people/media are finished and do not want another iPhone. Lastly right now in the world there are a lot of important events that are much more serious than an iPhone release.

Maybe once people are able to start buying the actual iPhone Se, then we may hear more about it in the media.

The pain of being in the public eye


Constant public scrutiny should be added to the job description for the president of the United States. Part of being the face of the free world means being under the world’s microscope and subject to criticism for any little thing.

The latest criticism of President Obama from the news media stems from his choice to still go to a baseball game in Cuba, even as the Brussels attacks were happening.

Not long after bombs had blown up at an airport and subway station in Brussels, President Obama was enjoying a ballgame with his family and the President of Cuba, Raul Castro. The pictures of the president’s fun-filled day at the ballpark spurred controversy among Republican presidential candidates and within the news media. The main point of criticism is that President Obama should have returned home to help deal with the matter instead of continuing leisure in Cuba.

However, it is not like the president did not address the matter at all. President Obama made remarks about the terrorist attacks when he spoke in Havana on Tuesday. “What they can do is scare and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us,” President Obama said as he explained his rationale for staying at the baseball game. “And as long as we don’t allow that to happen, we’re going to be okay.”

The real question is, what is it the critics wanted Obama to do in that moment? The attacks had already happened. There is nothing he could have done to change that and he addressed the matter through a speech, just as he would have done if he were home. There is really no reason for him to have been criticized, except that Americans need a scapegoat to criticize for everything. Being the president of the United States makes Barack Obama a perfect candidate.

The number of times President Obama’s face has appeared on the front of a magazine, newspaper, or website being criticized for doing something completely normal is infinite. The public eye is always watching and the news media always has something to say about the president’s behavior.

Custom bike goes against UCI standards


Rules are rules when it comes to athletic competition and sometimes creativity does not help you win a race.

Bike maker Robert Egger had a vision to invent a new model, even though it would not be permitted in races such as the Tour de France because of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules.

According to CNN, this bike is referred to as “Fuci,” which, if you sound it out, it does not ring a good bell.  The back wheel is larger than the front wheel, which is illegal for racing.

What also makes it a crazy creation is that Its headlights are inside the seat, so they beam out from the holes leading towards the back of the bike.

The bike also has a lithium battery that is also banned from competition, which reminded me that I can no longer store my hover board in my dorm.

I would love to buy one of these bikes, although I do not know the price of it.  Great work by Robert.

Obama reaches out to Cuba


It is difficult to avoid getting caught up in news sometimes, especially when you are so close to the situation being covered.

Living in Miami, almost everyone and their mother has been talking about the recent visit the president took to Cuba as he met with the nation’s current head-of-state Raul Castro.

Local television news stations sent crews to Havana and were chronicling the events that transpired each day President Obama was there, live, as they had their anchors report from familiar locations in Havana.

NPR broadcast President Obama’s speech live on March 22. Even ESPN had reporters in Cuba to cover the exhibition baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays.

I felt like I was being bombarded by news about Cuba and there was no way to escape it, but maybe that was just because I live in Miami a place that will directly feel the impact from the negotiations that were being conducted.

Although I felt as though the news media was spending too much time on Cuba, maybe it was just the right amount for the rest of the country.

CNN and other national news networks would leave a few minutes to report anything important that was happening, but they did not spend an exorbitant amount of time over analyzing every exchange between President Obama and Raul Castro, although I am sure the urge was there to do so, and I am content by that decision.

Miami local news had to go there and cover what was going on or else they would have been left behind and would have suffered had they not gone. Network news stations only covered parts that were essential and had proponents and opponents debate on the effect this visit will have on both nations.

After separating myself from the situation, I believe that the way the news media covered the visit was predictable, yet appropriate.

‘The Milkshake that almost killed Castro’


I have recently got into the habit of becoming more informed of what’s going around worldwide by consistently updating myself with the latest news that CNN and The New York Times have to offer. I have, however, been recently disheartened about the current explosions in Brussels and distanced myself away from the news.

It has come to my attention that individuals, similar to myself, also feel the weight of the information overload about the situation in Brussels. Every few hours, the headline changes from the city’s current death count to the identification of the bombers who staged the phenomenon.

It’s great that the Internet allows its users to stay informed on stories that make the breaking news headlines, but there are also times when there’s a much needed break from all the tragic events occurring in the world.

I never really go past the opinion section of CNN, but I decided to scroll all the way down to find out whether I can read something a bit more uplifting and a little less depressing than what I’ve come across the past few days.

A video called “The Milkshake that Almost Killed Castro” appealed to me, and without any hesitation, I clicked on it. The concept of the short video is great, the title is extremely intriguing, the material is timely (with Obama currently in Cuba), and above Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.39.37 PMand beyond everything else the content is factual and informative.

Within a minute and 32 seconds, the video was not only able to keep its viewers attentively watching, but was also able to effectively discuss the CIA’s many attempts of assassinating Castro.

The video opens with a sound bite that introduces the context of the topic. The first thing that’s heard is the voice of a young man as he narrates, “March 1963: The CIA is planning to kill Fidel Castro using his greatest guilty pleasure- a milkshake.”

Everything about the video is contemporary, which does somewhat limit this resource to attract a younger audience. Other than that, as it is found in the very bottom of the web page, it’s also not something that can be found right away.

But, if you just so happen to be feeling drained with the excessive amount of tragic news you are hearing, it’s really worth your time to check this video.

World terrorized following Brussels


After a week full of politics, terrorism hit the news again.

This time, ISIS, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, sent two suicide blasts on Tuesday morning; one to Brussels’ airport and the other one to the Metro station.

Even though news channels still providing updates of the situation, at the moment 30 people were reported as dead and 230 were wounded in both attacks.

After Belgian police released a notice that includes a photograph of a suspect “wanted for terrorism,” it went viral. Not only news media exposed the image with the intention of collaborating with the country but social media also used it to promote a bunch of support hashtags. #jesuisbrussels, #prayforpeace, #prayforbrussels, are just a few.

The majority of the news media attributed the attacks to links of the city to extremism and terrorist plots and the recent capture of a terrorism suspect Salah Abdeslam in Brussels’s predominantly Muslim Molenbeek quarter.

Others blame Belgium’s intelligence and the lack of sharing important information with their citizens, but CNN made a completely different accusation. In it’s claiming “ISIS noted that Belgium is ‘participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State.’ Belgian warplanes flew 796 sorties and launched 163 airstrikes over Iraq from September 2014 to July 2015, according to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, and were set to resume these operations this summer.”

What they intended to say is that Belgium, although it is the victim right now, is also responsible in some way.

However, for me, The New York Times is the newspaper with the best coverage. Updates are uploaded within every three minutes, what proves that they are completely committed to the situation. They also created a link where people with no idea about what’s going on can enter and rapidly understand the issue. Questions such as: What happened? Was it ISIS? Where is the investigation heading? Why Brussels? are answered.

What I found really intriguing is CNN’s attempt to add the political process in this hurtful scenario.

Is this the accurate time to do this?  Do people care more about what Trump thinks about the attack than human sorrow?

Maybe they do and that’s the reason behind these attacks; there are many humans but little humanity.

Beyonce hires model with disease


This past week, Jillian Mercado, a 28-year-old model and blogger, was chosen to be the face of Beyoncé’s new “Formation” clothing line. And I know what you are thinking. In the news media we hear about models every day, so how is this different?

Mercado was born with muscular dystrophy, a hereditary condition marked by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles. She is permanently confined to her wheelchair and often faces limitations due to her disease. However, she has not let her condition hinder her hopes and aspirations to be a model and fashion blogger.

Beyoncé and Mercado fans can access her work by going to Beyoncé’s online store (shop.beyonce.com). On the site, the world can see Mercado showcasing her talent for modeling while wearing famous Beyoncé phrases.

For example, on Beyoncé’s online shop, Mercado poses in a grey sweater that says “I twirl on them haters” and a black hoodie that says “smack it smack it smack it.”

Beyoncé hand picked Mercado to showcase her new “Formation” line because she wanted to emphasize the need for diversity and acceptance in the modeling and fashion world.

Vogue gave Beyoncé and Mercado their stamp of approval by saying in an article that they think “Beyoncé is making a statement with this move, giving light to the importance of including more models with disabilities.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 10.20.02 AMThe Today Show stated that models like Mercado “continue to break barriers in the fashion world, proving that diversity is a good thing.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 10.21.25 AM

Beyoncé, Mercado and fashion fans are praising Beyoncé for this groundbreaking choice proving the acceptance by the social media world.

However, the news media are making it seem like this is Mercado’s first rodeo. She also modeled for Diesel and Nordstrom earlier this year

Obama visits Cuba, meets with Castro


President Barack Obama made history on Sunday when he became the first president to visit Cuba in 90 years. The president was joined by his wife Michelle Obama, her mother, and daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 9.00.19 PM

President Obama and his family arrive in Havana on Sunday (Photo courtesy of The White House).

Upon their arrival, they were greeted with a warm welcome by Cuba’s top officials with one important figure visibly missing, President Raul Castro.

The Cuban leader met Obama the following day at the Palace of the Revolution in Old Havana and shook hands and sat down for a meeting where major topics were discussed.

Obama’s visit is part of his effort to let go of the past and build a new, positive relationship with Cuba after decades of hostility between the island and the U.S.

Obama announced that he wants to take on the hard task of coming to an agreement with the Castro administration to improve the human rights system through out the country.

“Change is going to happen here and I think that Raul Castro understands that,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News taped Sunday night.

“Our intention has been to get the ball rolling, knowing that change wasn’t going to happen overnight,” Obama said. “Although we still have significant differences around human rights and individual liberties inside of Cuba, we felt that coming now would maximize our ability to prompt more change.”

Before their sit-down, as they walked through, Obama was overheard telling Castro that he enjoyed his tour of Havana Sunday night along with his family.

He toured the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception and met with Cardinal Jaime Ortega, a major key to improving the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. Outside of the cathedral, thousands of Cuban residents gathered hoping to catch a quick glimpse of the American president and his family as they stepped out of the church.

With the newly relaxed restrictions on who can travel to Cuba, thousands of more Americans are expected to follow the Obamas’ footsteps and fly to Cuba. This will hopefully not only build a new dynamic between Cubans and Americans but also improve their economy.

The Cuban public was thrilled to have the American president setting foot in their country. The last U.S. president to visit Cuba was Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

Journalist denounces Obama’s visit


This week, President Obama made a monumental trip to Havana, Cuba, a sign that the diplomatic relation between the U.S. and Cuba is gradually stabilizing.

Obama is the first sitting president to visit Cuba in almost 90 years, according to The Miami Herald. Officials have also said Obama plans to be very candid with Cuban president Raúl Castro about his hopes for the future of the Cuban people.

In a further effort to improve relations, the Tampa Bay Rays also took the field alongside Cuban baseball players in an exhibition game on Tuesday. Cuban baseball players will now have the opportunity to continue their careers with the MLB.

Unfortunately, many Cubans and Cuban-Americans have anything but positive feelings toward the baseball exhibition and Obama’s historic visit, especially within the Miami and South Florida area.

In a beautifully penned open column in The Miami Herald, sportswriter Dan Le Batard, who is of Cuban descent and a UM School of Communication alum, shed some light on the background of the political situation that is unfolding.

“Obama and Jeter and ESPN head toward communism like it is another cruise port, so many symbols of Americana descending on a rotting island stuck in the 1950s, and it doesn’t feel quite right back in Miami, like watching a funeral morph into a party,” he writes. “The history of my own people feels like it is either being ignored or trampled here, and I’m not quite sure which of those feels worse,” Le Batard wrote.

Le Batard speaks on behalf of countless Cubans with his article as he explains just how strange it feels to watch the U.S. praise small actions that are doing so little to compensate for Cuban injustice.

“Fidel Castro outlived my grandparents. His regime continues to haunt my old-exile parents. My pain might be borrowed. But, damn, as that sting returns to my eyes, I can assure you that it is real,” he continued.

While President Obama’s visit to Cuba is an historic one, I must side with Le Batard in this battle of responsible reporting.

Prior to reading Le Batard’s article, I had not understood the extent of the political turmoil that uprooted so many Cuban citizens. He provides his family history and the challenges they themselves experienced in the face of communism, an unlikely opinion with slim chances of survival amidst the conventional news stories.

With this new progress in the U.S.-Cuba relation, it’s even more important for the mainstream media to educate people on the history of the situation and the major changes that still need to be made in Cuba before any justified celebrations can take place.

Brussels and news media coverage


When I read the report on Fox News about the Brussels attack, I remembered of what I learned about source trust and how we should use our sources in journalism. First, to tell the readers about the exact number of injured people on the attack, they used as a source a CBS tweet. Shouldn’t they be asking the Belgium authorities about it instead of basing their number on a tweet of another news organization?

With that, I go to the second point where in the article is cited an “intelligence source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation” about where the attackers were focusing more the explosions and where it exactly happened.

If Fox News had a “firsthand knowledge of the investigation source” why not ask them the exact number of injured people on the attack? The name of the source is not cited on the article which makes me even more confused and suspicious about the kind of information that the text provides.

The hurry about giving the information to the readers, specially on breaking news cases, is not uncommon in journalism. But we have to be careful in those situations. News reporting is an art and it is supposed to be done in a way we can offer our readers the most accurate information we could have gathered.

In a time where news organizations are trying to have a say on a certain topic, sometimes some inconsistencies can slip and the effects are directly reflected on the journalist and on the reader that consumes this type of information.

The article has other trustful sources, from officials and new agencies, but there is still a lot of citations from other sources not related to Fox. Sources in this type of story are really important (in all types of stories) but focusing on this one, the readers want to know accurate and precise information and it would be helpful if the information was checked and crossed checked with other official sources or if they could have more warranty that the data or the quotations were taken by the journalist that wrote the piece.

The Zavantem Airport in Brussels and a subway station at the heart of the city were bombed by the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) on Tuesday morning. According to The New York Times, at least 30 people were killed in the attack and more than 230 people were wounded. Social media and news media companies are using the hashtags #BrusselsAttacks and #prayforbrussels to talk about the subject and relate to other articles about it on social media.