Millennial’s redefining ‘breaking news’


Early Tuesday morning, ISIS carried out three attacks in Brussels, Belgium. Immediately after, the news media began reporting on the details showing the world how the term “breaking news” is being redefined.

It’s no secret that the technological advances in the last 10 years have had groundbreaking effects on how news outlets function. And it’s even less of a secret that Millennials are glued to their phones.

The news media took note of this fact. And with sales of print news outlets declining, they responded with an increase in revolutionary websites and apps that can be accessed almost anywhere.

The effects of this new industry are obvious. A Millennial myself, I check my phone as soon as I wake up. This morning, I instantly noticed eight CNN notifications on my screen, an immediate signal that a major news story had broken.

At 3:29 a.m., 8:29 a.m. Brussels time, the first notification of a suspected terrorist attack was sent out by CNN to it’s mobile-app subscribers: “There are reports of two explosions at the airport in Brussels, Belgium, according to CNN affiliate VTM.”

According to a TIME report, the attacks occurred around 8 a.m. In less than 30 minutes, the entire world was notified of the actions of one terrorist group.

The live updates didn’t stop there. A number of my mobile notifications were less than one hour apart.

Furthermore, all major news outlets were also reporting on live updates, on-site pictures, videos and interviews to report on the attacks in more detail.

Magazines not typically associated with reporting on serious news stories like Vogue and People made use of the unlimited space offered on the Internet. Both had articles featuring updates of the situation in Brussels.

Social media outlets like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr showed similar responses to those seen in the aftermath of the Paris attacks last year. Most notably, Facebook’s Safety Check feature was once again activated.

The reason that all of these advances in both the immediacy and participation in the notion of breaking news are possible is because of widespread usage and dependence on technology.

Millennials are too often criticized for their dependence on their smartphones and social media. But without these markets they’ve created, these advances would’ve never been made. There simply would’ve been no need.

Palestinian teacher wins $1 million


An elementary teacher has won a $1 million prize recognizing the “outstanding contribution” she has made to her profession.

Hanan Al Hroub, from Bethlehem in the West Bank, was awarded the Global Teacher Prize at a ceremony in Dubai Sunday.

Hroub became a teacher after her husband and her children were shot on the way home from school. “It transformed my children’s behaviors, personalities and academics,” she says in a video broadcast on CNN. “I felt that I was alone in getting my children through this. No teachers had helped us get my children back on track.”

Hroub and her family decided to take matters into her own hand. They created games amongst themselves and invited the neighborhood children to play.

Over time, the children’s behavior and grades began to improve. She took those skills and began teaching to help children reject violence.

“I tell all the teachers, whether they are Palestinian or around the world: ‘Our job is humane, its goals are noble,” says Hroub. “We must teach our children that our only weapon is knowledge and education.”

Pope Francis announced the award to Hroub via video conference. “I would like to congratulate the teacher Hanan Al Hroub for winning this prestigious prize due to the importance that she gave to the role of play in a child’s education,” Francis said.

It is moments like this that the media should focus in on every detail. A story like this could boost the overall moral in the country and across the globe. Instead the media likes to focus presidential hopefuls who say very disturbing things and agitate the public.

In order for the country and the world to move forward and accept one another of different faiths, race and beliefs, we need stories like this. Stories of people that invest in children and the betterment of the world around us.

I saw this article earlier this week and it only came up once in my newsfeed, but I saw plenty of stories on the negatives of life. I understand that the news gives people what they want but how about giving the people what they need? An uplifting story like this one shouldn’t be so hard to locate on a news website or hear it in front of a television.

News should consider giving an outlet to uplifting news.

SXSW apologizes to Olympian


Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad took to her Twitter in disbelief. Muhammad is set to become the first American-Olympian to compete this summer in Rio sporting a hijab.

The fencer attended the opening weekend of the South by Southwest media festival last weekend in Austin. According to several news outlets, including the Huffington Post, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, the athlete was forcefully asked to remove her religious headdress for her registration photo and ID badge.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 12.24.23 AMWhen she received her ID badge, she was given the wrong ID. Instead of her name Ibtihaj Muhammad, she was given one with the name Tamir and a working title at Time Warner. The 30-year-old took to her Twitter to share her disbelief in the treatment she received from the event’s staff and security.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 12.24.08 AMSXSW released a public statement, apologizing to the No. 7 ranked saber-fencer, saying: “It is not our policy that a hijab or any religious head covering be removed in order to pick up a SXSW badge.

This was one volunteer who made an insensitive request and that person has been removed for the duration of the event. We are embarrassed by this and have apologized to Ibtihaj in person, and sincerely regret this incident.”

As the Chicago Tribune reported, Muhammad was sitting on a panel called “The New Church: Sport as Currency of American Life.” She told the audience about her ‘crappy’ check in experience. “…Asking me to remove my hijab isn’t out of the norm for me.” Muhammad left a lasting remark on the panel regarding the treatment she received, “Do I hope it changes soon? Yes, every day.”

The truth about ISIS and women


ISIS is one of the most horrifying and inhumane terrorist groups that has come to power in the Middle East.

Recently, The New York Times published an article stating that ISIS captures unaffiliated women and keeps them as their sex slaves.

In addition to this, the terrorists force the women to take birth control in order to satisfy commandments of the Islamic law so that they can continually rape them. The Times states “It is a particularly modern solution to a medieval injunction: According to an obscure ruling in Islamic law cited by the Islamic State, a man must ensure that the woman he enslaves is free of child before having intercourse with her.”

Women would be circulated through different houses for different men to have their way with them. Men would often give these slaves as a gift, so once they were satisfied they would give the women to their friends for their pleasure.

Before each encounter, women would take the birth control in front of the man before they would proceed. The men sometimes got so hysterical about the potential of a woman being pregnant they would take them to a hospital for a pregnancy test. If the woman was found to be pregnant they would physically abuse them until they consented to abort.
In the interviews The New York Times had with women who escaped, the women stated that despite the situation they were happy that they were forced to take birth control.

Although pregnancy would have been their only relief to the constant abuse, the women stated “No one wants to carry the child of their enemy.”

More than 700 individuals have been reported as rape victims of ISIS terrorists, but each woman has been raped an uncountable amount of times.

Although articles like this are indescribably sad, heavy and difficult to read, it is important that the American audience has some exposure.

The media does a good job covering how we are battle ISIS, but we are often deprived of the details that encompass the horror of their acts.

While too many articles like this one would make readers cynical of the media, I do believe it is essential to have some understanding of the actions of this terrorist group in order for us to truly comprehend why we need to help those affected by them.

It is the media’s job to inform the public of worldly affairs, and while much of the world is filled with horror, we should be conscious of these actions so that we as a people can have awareness, empathy, and a passion to fulfill justice.

Bias, opinions of political news coverage


Most news viewers are aware that different news stations have different political views that affect the way they report news. MSNBC tends to lean more towards liberal and Democratic views while Fox tends to support conservative and Republican views.

The news from these stations is reported in such a way that reflects these views. For example, one MSNBC talk show host had no problem sharing her political opinion as she discussed her analysis of Donald Trump’s recent violent rallies.

After a series of clashes between protestors and supporters at Trump’s rallies, Rachel Maddow decided to break down the events on her MSNBC show. The way Maddow chose to discuss and present the information was an interesting approach. Her overarching point was that Donald Trump’s rhetoric during his rallies led to the recent outbursts in Chicago and elsewhere. Maddow takes many pieces of factual information and connects them together to support her opinion.

First off, Maddow points out that the last three stops on Trump’s campaign trail, Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis, all contain a great deal of racial tension. This tension stems from the recent police killings of unarmed black teens in these areas.

Maddow points out that many of the recent instances of violence at Trump’s rallies seem to be racially charged. She then begins showing clips from Donald Trump’s speeches at his rallies, where he calls for “a tougher America” where protesters should face consequences, possibly violent ones.

Trump also mentions that he would pay the legal bills for anyone who beats up a protester. Maddow uses factual traces of racial tension and clips of Donald Trump’s speeches to convince viewers of her opinion that Donald Trump’s rhetoric has led to the violence that has erupted between his supporters and his opponents.

Although Rachel Maddow is a talk show host and is allowed to insert her opinion in discussions about politics, her presentation of the information is an example of how news stations can present biased news. Connecting facts to form what is ultimately an opinion is dangerous when presenting news to viewers.

Jones and Solo join the conversation


You probably did not know this about me, but I am a pretty big film fan / nerd. It was recently reported that Disney would be teaming up with Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg to develop a brand new “Indiana Jones” movie.

The report also stated that the series’s iconic star, Harrison Ford, would be returning to reprise his role as the titular character.

The character originated from the same studio that brought the “Star Wars” saga to our galaxy, Lucasfilm, which was recently purchased by Walt Disney Studios.

Other news involving another one of Ford’s characters, Han Solo, has been surfacing as well. Disney has released information regarding the casting of Solo for its new film, which would involve a young Solo and his adventures with Chewbacca.

To my surprise, I discovered this information as I was watching CNN.

It was a delightful change of pace from all the coverage surrounding the ongoing presidential election and the results of the March 15 primaries.

Seeing this kind of news make it to the mainstream news stations brought a smile to my face because, normally, in order to come across this information, I would have to go online and search through different news sites, such as Deadline or Variety.

The only reason I think the coverage over this news is appropriate is because of how iconic and famous these movies are. Had CNN stopped coverage of the primary results for an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie, I would have thought it to be misplaced and jarring to CNN’s audience.

I also believe the amount of time spent on this news was appropriate.

It was meant as a small buffer from the onslaught of political news that we hear everyday; it was an opportunity to step back and cleanse our pallets.

Nike releases HyperAdapt 1.0


Nothing is more agitating than trying to get to your targeted destination and your shoe laces suddenly become untied. Usually, there is no table, bench, chair or raised surface to rest your foot on when disaster strikes. Leaning down and getting in the way of oncoming pedestrian traffic is so passé. On Thursday, Nike released their solution to this common issue.

At the Nike Innovation 2016 in New York City Nike announced the debut of the HyperAdapt 1.0, a self-lacing designer sneaker that does all of the “tedious” work of tying your laces for you. When you step in the shoe, your heel will hit a sensor and the shoe laces will automatically tighten. On each side of the running shoe, there are buttons to tighten and loosen the grip.

Nike still has not released how much these bad boys will cost. However, they are expected to be ready for purchasing during the 2016 holiday season.

“Sneaker Head” social media accounts and common fashion websites are eating this idea up. Many call it “revolutionizing” and “beyond innovative.”

Popsugar, a popular fashion and lifestyle blog stated, “If you thought fashion was already sneaker-obsessed, this may just send the style — and the rest of the world — over the edge.”

Popsugar also compares these outrageous kicks a “blast of the past” because these sneakers resemble the Marty McFly’s shoes in “Back to the Future.”

CNN even threw in its two cents by simply stating, “How does a sneaker tie itself? Duh!”

On the other hand, Wired raised some concerns by saying, “It’s a compelling vision for sure, but as with all technology there are potential trade-offs.”

Shoe enthusiasts and Nike fans are in awe and projected their feelings all over Twitter.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 10.39.47 PM

However, some Nike lovers are upset that there is no reference to “Back to the Future” and Marty McFly.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 10.40.16 PMWhat do you think about the latest Nike announcement? Do you think these shoes reflect the laziness in our society or optimal innovation?

SeaWorld changes whales policy


When the documentary “Blackfish” was released in 2013, SeaWorld had received a lot of negative attention about the safety and health of its orcas. Back then, a lot of news media coverage has been focused on Sea World in a very negative way. An orca had just recently killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

“SeaWorld has received a lot of content and negativity from all over the world. It has been ignoring all the criticism it received. PETA had campaigned hard and today there is a payoff for future generations of orcas,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement.

All the animals — orcas, dolphins, beluga whales, seals and lot of others — have suffered living in confinement at SeaWorld. The business model of Sea World changed, which is truly meaningful. Because of all the news media attention that they have received they have decided to re brand themselves, which has not worked. The news media and public had their opinion and their new management team decided to listen to them. This has resulted in a new way of thinking for SeaWorld.

Thanks to all the attention that SeaWorld has gotten from the news media, it has finally decided to end its captive breeding program of orcas.

Obscure ‘carrot man’ rises to fame


There are all sorts of things that social media are capable of, and one of its major strengths is its ability to turn an average middle class individual to an Internet sensation overnight.

On rare occasions, some people who do try to stray from the spotlight get dragged into it without their consent. Nearly a month ago, photos of a charming young farmer were put up online, which spread quickly throughout Filipino news media and gained a considerable amount of attention in the public sphere.

Jeyrick Sigmaton did not expect that his good looks would take him anywhere outside the indigenous community in which he grew up. Born and raised in the northern region of the Philippines, Mountain Province, Sigmaton decided not to attend high school so he could work full-time tScreen Shot 2016-03-17 at 5.12.12 PMo help his parents support his six other siblings.

All thanks to Edwina Bandong, Sigmaton’s photos went viral on social media.

Bandong happened to be around the Mountain Province area when she managed to take a photo of a farmer who was carrying a heavy load of carrots onto a delivery truck, hence the nickname “carrot man.”

The news media caught on to the rising hype of carrot man that was going on in the Internet and decided to seek out Sigmaton.

One of the country’s most prominent broadcast journalists, Jessica Soho, made the trip to Mountain Province to get to know more about Sigmaton.

Soho hosts her own news magazine television show that airs every Sunday evening, a show that many Filipino families watch on a regular basis. The fact that Sigmaton was featured on her show made the farmer an even bigger “celebrity,” as it catered to a larger nationwide audience.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 8.18.24 PM

“I’m proud that my picture was sought-after. Because of this, a lot of people gained interest in the people who reside in Mountain Province as well as in us, Igorots.” -Jeyrick Sigmaton, “Carrot Man.”

The news media are the source of opening new topics of discussion within a particular issue. In most cases, they do initiate debates and disagreements and they rarely function to unite everyone into one mainstream idea.

In the case of carrot man, Soho was not only able to tell a story behind the man in the photographs, but was also able to inform the public about the culture, struggle and livelihood of Igorots (indigenous tribe members.)

Soho was able to incorporate the timeliness of Sigmaton’s fame and link it to the issues that surround native tribes that still exist around the country. She exemplified great journalism techniques that can be deemed praiseworthy.

Time change and your health


It is that time of the year were just like blooming flowers and college breaks, another rite of spring is upon us: Daylight Savings Time, which started at 2 a.m. Sunday.

This past weekend, almost every news channel dedicated some time or space to this event; besides Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas, places where time doesn’t change.

Starting last Sunday at 1:59:59 a.m., clocks automatically turned to 3 a.m. making Americans lose one hour of sleep, but an extra hour of sunlight in the evening to take a walk, exercise, enjoy the outdoors or take a nap instead.

News coverage from various sources provided different theories about where Daylight Savings Time originated. CNN reported that the government started using it during World War I to copy the Germans, who were doing it to save on fuel. CBS News stated that Benjamin Franklin originated it. The Huffington Post reported that it started back in the 1800s with a New Zealander named George Vernon Hudson who proposed the idea specifically in 1895.

This might take away some of the credibility of the story, but since the origin of it wasn’t the main thing presented in those articles, that difference didn’t create a major problem.

However, what should be pointed out here is the way in which every news organization provided the same information about the risks of Daylight Savings Time.

Without getting too scientific and managing the medical jargon in a pretty good way, the news media explained to people what they are being exposed to and how they can prevent those issues from occurring to them.

Traffic accidents, racing electricity demand, an increment of strokes and heart attacks are just a few examples of the negative results from gaining one more hour of light; and these aren’t just facts. There are plenty of research studies and analyses that support those statements and this is what drags the public’s attention.

CBS News did an amazing job. The day before the clocks “spring forward” they released an article where they explained, simply but clearly, the five ways in which Daylight Savings Time messes with our health.

Each reason was supported with an expert quote or with a dated study and a picture to make it more interactive, it was both entertaining and professional.

CBS News coverage is an example of how things should be done. It addressed the topic from a creative angle, highlighted its importance and translated the tedious information into an ordinary and understandable language so people could enjoy and learn while reading.

Brazil begins impeachment of president


Brazil is falling apart in its current political scenario. Illustrated in an article in the Wall Street Journal, thousands of people gathered in almost each capital of the country for the impeachment of the current President Dilma Rousseff, who spread a corrupted government through her ruling years and now her trial has already begun.

After discoveries of Operação Lava Jato, a federal operation that is investigating money deviation from the Brazilian oil company Petrobras, one of the biggest of the country, the reputation of President Rousseff went downhill. The ex-president of Brazil, Lula Inácio da Silva was taken by the police on March 4 to tell them what he knew about the Petrobras scandal after the police found proof that he was involved in the scheme. Mr. Silva is from the same party of President Rousseff and has supported her through all her governing years.

The events that happened in Brazil last Sunday were the biggest since April 1984, when the citizens were protesting against the dictatorship that ruled the country. Now Brazil is stuck in a corruption dictatorship and the protests are just one of the ways to change this scenario and aim for a better future.

The good thing about WSJ coverage is that the article was written along with two Brazilian reporters, Luciana Magalhaes and Paulo Trevisani, and gave better insight into what is going on in Brazil and how people are feeling towards Ms. Rousseff’s government. The article, “Protests Demand Impeachment of Brazilian Leader,” also highlighted that organizers and police estimated that the Sunday manifestation was the largest once since President Rousseff started her government in 2011.

The news coverage of the protests in Brazil is receiving an international attention, especially when new facts start to emerge. For example, the fact that President Rousseff gave ex-president Lula a cabinet post as chief of staff of Rousseff’s party so he wouldn’t be arrested under the Brazillian law. It is very satisfying to see newspapers worldwide reporting this issue and giving voice to the Brazilian people and informing citizens all around the world of what is going on.

An inside look at North Korea


This week, a London tourist has illustrated the power a picture holds by giving a face to the people living in the world’s most restrictive country — North Korea.

Amateur photographer Michal Huniewicz posted two sets of photographs on his blog documenting his time in North Korea’s capital city, Pyongyang.

The pictures have been shared on his Facebook, Twitter, a variety of Instagram accounts and new sites such as CNN.

The significance of these smuggled photos comes from the strict rules governing tourist photography in North Korea. The bulk images and videos the public sees are products of the government.

While the majority of Huniewicz’s photos were acceptable, he admitted that some were taken against the wishes of his guides or as he calls them, his “government minders.”

The timing of the photos release could not be more perfect. Recently, North Korea has been receiving more news media attention than usual as it continues to develop its nuclear program and face sanctions from the United Nations. It is crucial now more than ever that the rest of the world grasp that behind Kim Jong-un, there are millions of helpless people.

In a culture where criticism of society’s growing news media dependence is often harsh, Huniewicz’s collection shows how powerful a tool it is, particularly social media. It shows that we cannot take for granted the ability to freely capture and share photos. It is a tool that helps protect against the human rights violations that are rampant in North Korea.

Furthermore, North Korea may be one of the few places in the world where everyday life has been practically untouched by the outside media. Huniewicz’s photographs and his accompanying narrative help to better show the restrictions of life living under a dictatorship. Censorship was rampant during his trip and Huniewicz’s noted that many of the sights felt staged.

“You have to be fast. Soon we noticed that while Pyongyang is meant to be a utopian showcase for foreign visitors … there are more glamorous bits, and there are less glamorous bits. What’s more, our mute driver was perfectly aware of this, so he would conveniently slow down whenever the surroundings were impressive, and speed up whenever they were less pleasant, to make them less pleasant,” Huniewicz wrote on his blog.

The majority of Huniewicz’s photos are scenes from everyday life that have the eerie look of being performed. Tour groups are not allowed to go anywhere, or even be left alone, without their guides. And it seems as though everyone is in on the act.

For more of Huniewicz’s collection of photos from all his travels, visit his website.

Miami men earn No. 3 seed


Players, coaches and fans gathered at The Rathskeller on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus for a celebration to watch Selection Sunday on CBS.

Selection Sunday

The Canes wait for the tournament bid to be extended (Photo by Wyatt Geller).

Before the show started, head coach Jim Larranaga stood up and told the crowd to cheer loudly when the team got announced on the big screen that can display up to four sporting events.

Even when a team knows that it will be in the tournament, it is always exciting to hear your name called while 67 other teams are waiting for their placement. In addition, the Canes were shown on screen getting fired up when they found out they were heading to Providence.

As projected by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team  received a No. 3 seed for the NCAA tournament or what is most commonly referred to as “March Madness.”

The road ahead will not be easy for the Canes, as they were placed in the South Region that is arguably the most difficult section of the draw led at the top by Big 12 champions and the No. 1 overall seed in the entire tournament Kansas.

Miami will be up against the No. 14 seed Buffalo in the second round and fans can watch that game on Thursday at 6:50 p.m. on TNT.

I see an experienced Miami team that is capable of controlling this game and winning by low double digits.

If they win Thursday, the third round action on Saturday is where the Canes will face their first true test where they will play the winner of Arizona and Wichita State.

Arizona, who made the Elite 8 last season, battled top seeded Oregon in the PAC 12 semifinals but fell in overtime. Wichita State is led by seniors Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, as they made it to the Elite 8 in 2013 and finished the 2014 season 35-1 after losing to Kentucky in the third round.

The Canes should be able to overcome a tight matchup and advance to the Sweet 16 for the second time in team history.

I predict they will square off with No. 2 seed Villanova in an instant classic and win this one in overtime.  The Canes will be able to withstand the pressure and reach the Elite Eight for the first time in team history.

Many people believe a championship run is possible for this team, and I do think the Canes have the tools to compete for the title.  However, Kansas has shown no weak point on their team for Miami to take advantage of.  Hopefully, my projection is wrong and the Canes can advance to the Final Four.

It is complicated to put together a formula for success in March.  Tenacity and determination is what drives many teams toward success during March Madness.  That is what builds so many upsets along the way.

The Canes will need to be prepared to play their best basketball every game now, because there is no tomorrow to improve after a loss until next season.

It is win or go home.

Humans of NY founder criticizes Trump


Brandon Stanton, a photojournalist and blogger, is the brain behind the increasingly popular blog and book “Humans of New York” (HONY), which chronicles stories of ordinary passersby in New York City.

Stanton will post daily photos of the people he meets on the street along with a direct quote or short story, giving people a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people.

His work isn’t limited to New York City, though.

Stanton also occasionally photographs and posts stories from people he meets on international excursions, including people in places like the Middle East.

On Monday, however, the HONY founder posted something a little different online.

In an open editorial to Donald Trump, Stanton stated: “I realize now that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice. The time is always now.”

Stanton continued, “Because along with millions of Americans, I’ve come to realize that opposing you is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.33.42 PMStanton also referenced some of Trump’s most appalling comments regarding race and refugees. Stanton, referring to himself as a journalist whom has “conducted extensive interviews” with people from around the world, added: “I can confirm — the hateful one is you.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.33.59 PMWhile some may argue the HONY founder isn’t your typical journalist, he still claims to adhere to journalism’s ethical code, stating in the editorial that he refrains from being too “political.”

In this case, as unusual as it may seem, I commend him for taking a moment from his work to be “political.”

This year’s presidential race seems to have turned uncharacteristically hostile, and it’s alarming to think that the future of our country has become a form of twisted entertainment.

But the so-called entertainment reaches a point where it isn’t funny anymore. The future of the United States shouldn’t be taken lightly.

In my honest opinion, Stanton deserves the utmost praise for his editorial. Without powerful, well-known voices to speak out on behalf of the violent and unethical situation that is unfolding, what will the United States become?

After all, it’s hypocritical to promote anti-bullying in schools if it’s happening on the federal level every day.

Trump denies offering to pay legal fees


Donald Trump backpedalled his promise to pay the legal fees of his supporters who are turning violent at his rallies when the subject was brought up on his interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

“By paying those fees, wouldn’t you be rewarding and encouraging violence?” asked host George Stephanopoulous.

At one of his recent rallies in February, Trump controversially told his supporters who became violent towards protesters: “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise.”

After the “Good Morning America” host continued to press him on the matter, Trump denied ever saying those words.

“No, no I didn’t say that. I haven’t looked at it yet, and nobody’s asked me to pay for fees, and somebody asked me a question and I haven’t even seen it, so I never said I was going to pay for fees,” the Republican presidential candidate said.

As recently as this past Sunday, Trump was still promising to monetarily take care of his supporters when it came to legal fees regarding violence.

In his interview on “Meet the Press,” which aired Sunday, Trump said that he had his staff “look into” covering the legal fees of one supporter in particular who punched a protester at his rally held in North Carolina last Wednesday.

“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” Trump replied when asked about paying the fees.

Tuesday’s interview had Trump conveniently retracting and even denying his previous statements. When asked if telling his supporters that he would cover their legal fees if they became violent towards his protesters would be encouraging negative behavior he seemed to have a change of heart.

“Well maybe so, and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t do it. I don’t condone violence at all, and you know I looked and I watched and I’m going to make a decision.”

This statement comes after intense criticism of his campaign after several of his rallies became chaotic and violent last week.

Trump defends penis size


The day has finally come, the day where politicians talk about their privates rather than politics.

Donald Trump assured voters on Thursday that there was “no problem” with the size of his hands — or anything else.

This came after Marco Rubio suggested Trump has small hands, a decades’ old insult from Vice Magazine who called him “a short-fingered vulgarian,” according to John Oliver.

“He’s always calling me Little Marco. And I’ll admit he’s taller than me. He’s like 6-2, which is why I don’t understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5-2,” Rubio said in Virginia on Sunday. “And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can’t trust them.”

Apparently, Trump has never been able to forget that insult because he seemed so bothered by it.

But what is really upsetting, is the fact that we have grown men arguing about the size of their penises rather than the real problems in politics. And if that wasn’t enough, news outlets are reporting it.

Not to say that journalists are not to report it but don’t give more attention to it than it already needs. Journalists should not be entertaining their inappropriate jokes between presidential candidates as much as they have been.

My personal Facebook account has been flooded with this unusual joke and it makes me wonder why we care journalists are having a field day with it. Maybe it brings in more readers, which I must argue that it is a good way to bring in readers but it shouldn’t be your top priority. This belongs at the end of your broadcast.

Journalists have a job to report things and tell the truth, but this joke is way too revealing.

‘Spotlight’ restarts conversation


Since its release in November, the latest Academy Award winner for Best Picture, “Spotlight,” is still causing quite the conversation.

The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in September 2015, focuses on the Boston Globe’s investigative journalist team and its exploration into cases of extensive child sex abuse in the greater Boston area by a large number of Roman Catholic priests.

The film won top prize at this past Sunday’s Academy Awards, as well as best original screenplay, and the English newspaper, The Guardian, is calling it “a great thing for journalism.”

The author, Alicia Shepard, says that the film is and should do wonders for the news business, but also better the public’s understanding of journalism to “ultimately inform and do good.”

Marty Baron, who is the former executive editor at the Globe, portrayed in the film by Live Schreiber, said that the film expose a whole new generation about why journalism is still so important. He also spoke to the British publication about how “…painstakingly demonstrates how difficult it is to penetrate a powerful institution such as the Catholic Church- but it proves that it can be done.”

Baron went on to say that endeavors such as this are critical and time-consuming, and that we as journalists need to do more of it, not less.

Following the films big win in the ‘best picture’ and ‘best original screenplay,’ Baron Tweeted:

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 12.55.55 AMThe wins were even followed up by commentary from the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

He says to Vanity Fair, “Spotlight is an important film for all impacted by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse. By providing in-depth reporting on the history of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, the media led the Church to acknowledge the crimes and since of its personnel and to begin to address its failings, the harm done to victims and their families and needs of survivors…. The media’s role in revealing the sexual abuse crisis opened a door through which the Church has walked in responding to the needs of survivors. Protecting children and providing support for survivors and their families must be a priority in all aspects of the life of the Church…. We continue to seek the forgiveness of all who have been harmed by the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse and pray that each day the Lord may guide us on the path toward healing and renewal.” 

Additionally, the L’Osservator Romano Vatican newspaper published a front-page editorial on the film’s Oscar win, earlier in the week.

Hollywood industry rag, Variety, calls the highest honor in film, a “triumph of excellence over ego.”

Hair swap of the century?


The apple really does not fall far from the tree. Last year, Kim Kardashian nearly “broke the Internet” when she sported her newly dyed golden hair at Paris Fashion Week.

Now, her sister, Kendall Jenner, concealed her luscious brown locks in a bright blonde wig to strut down the runway in Balmain’s showing at the 2016 Paris Fashion Week.

Balmain had some of the top supermodels in the world change their hair color to the opposite hue to walk the runway for her clothing line.

For example, blonde bombshells, Gigi Hadid, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Devon Windsor rocked brunette wigs. While, brown haired beauties, Kendall Jenner and Alessandra Ambrosio, showed off their new platinum locks.

It is safe to say that the news media went insane about the hair swap of the century.

Even ABC News gave its two cents. In an online article, ABC stated, “Adding to the hairstyle drama, Hadid, who’s also 20, strutted out straight after Jenner, and in the place of her enviable blond locks she sported dark hair with a chic center parting.” However the news outlet also observed that, “The playful hair confusion was cheered by front row attendees Kanye West and mother-in-law Kris Jenner.”

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Entertainment and fashion gurus at simply said, “Kendall Jenner, you look different …”

Even NBC Miami could not resist covering this “extremely important” news break. In an article they stated, “It was a tongue-in-cheek move on the part of Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing.”

It is interesting to think why a local station found it imperative to cover a story that contains zero relevance to South Florida news, interest or safety.

Just like the credible news sources mentioned above, fans of Balmain and Jenner, love the bold hues and stylistic choice by the designer.

Once again, to no surprise, the Kardashian empire somehow finds a way to steal the spotlight in the news media just by slapping on a wig.

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We have more important issues to worry about and do not have time to “break the Internet” when supermodels change their hair color.

What do you think of the news media’s reaction to the swap? How do you feel about NBC Miami taking the time to cover this “extremely important” story? Is our media focusing and reporting on irrelevant news?

National security and news media


This week, Americans were able to finally see results of the United States constant struggle against ISIS when the U.S. Special Operatives forces detained their first assumed ISIS prisoner.

But the success is clouded in secrecy, leaving the news media with little information to publish and the public with many unanswered questions. With the war on terror seeming to only become more intense, this sparks the debate as to what balance the news media should take as the fight wages on. How much information should the public demand?

At a press conference earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that “I can’t discuss the details of any missions, particularly when it comes to risking operational security.”

The withheld information included the detainee’s identity, the location of the interrogation, the U.S. officials who spoke to the press, as well as whether or not he has cooperated with interrogators.

This information is arguably not critical knowledge for the American public and the sensitivity of the matter is clear. But a trend towards acceptance of information pertaining to groups that threaten the U.S. public from the media and the American people could be dangerous.

While national security must always come first, the news media will soon have to make harder decisions as to when to push to release more information that the public may need to know and when to decide to respect the government’s decision to withhold information.

Swastika in Swiss train station removed


A swastika image has received a lot of hate and criticism from the Swiss population.

The SBB is the national railway company of Switzerland. It hung up the sign as a protest against immigrants being allowed into Switzerland.

According to the Tages Anzeiger, a Swiss newspaper, customers of the SBB have been deeply hurt.

Technically, the SBB must allow such advertisement. According to a rule made in 2012, the open spaces in train stations count as public space. However due to many strong reactions from customers the SBB has removed the sign.

As this sign is pretty well known to most of the population, it received a lot of media attention from all over Switzerland. No matter that the sign was only present in a few train station, people were not happy. This in return got the attention of the media, which caused even more people to read about it.

Newspapers and radio stations went to the train stations to talk to people, and ask them their opinion. It was no shock that all the interviewed customers did not want the sign up. This caused the news media to write and report about the feelings the people had. With the help of the news media the sign was removed, which makes a lot of people happy.