Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in literature


Bob Dylan received the prestigious honor of the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. Dylan is a far cry from the Swedish Academy’s typical choice, being a commercially successful musician instead of a high-brow, lesser-known writer with a strong political or social message.

However, when you take away the vocals and instrumentals, the lyrics left on the page bear a remarkable resemblance to poetry. The Swedish Academy recognbob-dylanized this and treated it as such.

Many see this award as a broadening of the standards of literature, expanding the category to include music and potentially other untraditional art forms.

“The old categories of high and low art, they’ve been collapsing for a long time,” music critic David Hajdu said in a New York Times article, ”but this is it being
made official.”

Although many are praising the institution for expanding its literary horizons, others are not so pleased. Many people from the literary world voiced their disapproval on social media.

“I’m a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies,” Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh wrote on Twitter.

Both The New York Times and the BBC included this tweet in their articles on Dylan’s win. For the sake of objectivity, news media are obligated to include the opinions of those in disagreement with the Swedish Academy’s choice.

But does this publication of disapproval stifle evolution of the arts?

After receiving such backlash, the chances of reverting to the old method of separating high and low forms of art may resurface, causing a step back in this artistic progression.

Instead of immediate criticism, perhaps the news media should take a moment to appreciate the significance of this award and what it means for the future. Dylan’s talent and individuality was finally recognized, and, for the sake of future generations, the news media should acknowledge this accomplishment to the same extent that they have noted the disapproval.

Actress arrested for pipeline activism


Over the weekend, Shailene Woodley made headlines for being arrested at a peaceful protest in North Dakota.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the “Secret Life of the American Teenager” star was demonstrating her disapproval of the proposed 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline that would transport 400,000 barrels of oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois alongside hundreds of other activists.

Naturally, environmentalists oppose the pipeline for multiple reasons, including the very real possibility of oil leaks that contaminate soil and underground water sources.

Additionally, the Los Angeles Times states that many Native American groups have been outspoken about the pipeline and were present at the protest because the pipeline will disturb sacred Native American lands.

The protest took place on Monday of this week, which also happened to be Columbus Day, which many are trying to re-dedicate as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Personally, I did not know about the protest until I saw “Shailene Woodley” trending on Facebook. I clicked on her name and learned what had happened.

It is interesting that the story trended because it involved a celebrity arrest rather than because the pipeline is a big deal in and of itself that affects all of us. I fear that if Woodley had not been involved, there would have been little news media attention given to the protest.

As an environmental activist myself, I am grateful to Woodley for being outspoken about this issue and for drawing attention to the demonstration.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 sales cease


The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has just been recalled and the company is asking all of its sellers to stop sales and exchanges.

There were reports of problems that the phone overheated and caught fire. The company first decreased the production volume, but seeing that this wasn’t good enough and that the safety of the consumers was their top priority, the company halted the production of the Note 7.

In September, Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones after complaints of exploding batteries. They replaced all the batteries and told all consumers that the phone batteries were now safe and there was nothing to worry about.

Obviously, this was not true because there were reports that the phones with the replaced batteries were now catching fire too. A flight was recently evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin. Also, a man was awaken when his bedroom filled with smoke from the new battery on the Note 7.

Authorities in the U.S. and South Korea, where the phones are made, are examining why this is happening to the replacement batteries because they were supposed to be equipped with a safe battery. At least five fires were reported from the replacement batteries.  Samsung sold about 45,000 Note 7’s through preorder in Europe. The company knew that it could not send these dangerous phones to Europe.

These problems can cause extreme damages to the brand because Samsung is supposed to have reliable phones, so the fact that the same problem happened twice after it was supposed to be fixed can hurt Samsung’s reputation. A large loss of faith can be triggered in Samsung consumers, which could hurt the brand and its reputation.

News media cover stories like this because Samsung is a very popular brand in the United States and is one of the most well-known phone companies. This means that a lot of Americans have these phones and this news will affect them all.

It is important to report this news because consumers of this phone need to know that they are not safe, so that they can return them, stay safe, and keep others around them safe.

Tebow prays to help ill fan


Tim Tebow, former quarterback for the Denver Broncos, prayed over a seizing fan during an autograph session, as they awaited paramedics.

However, the autograph session wasn’t after a football game, it was after a minor league baseball game.

That’s right, Tebow has changed his career path in hopes to play Major League Baseball.

Now, that’s not the point. You may be asking why I care that Tim Tebow was praying over a fan. Lots of athletes are religious and believe in something of a higher power. But Tebow is different.

He has devoted his whole life to the Christian faith. His parents are both Baptists and have spent their life doing missionary work. In fact, Tebow was born in the Philippines while his parents were doing missionary work.

He was home schooled up until college because his parents were worried that the public school system would corrupt his faith.

And now, he’s not only made a name for himself as a star quarterback/ hopeful Major League Baseball player, but also as a devout Christian.

His athletic career has been focused on playing for God and that was no different while he prayed over the fan, while he was having a seizure.

Unreasonable expectations for Leicester


Leicester City has enjoyed an unbelievable run of success dating back to their relegation escape two seasons ago and culminating in the hoisting of the Premier League trophy last May. This year, however, their results have been more believable than that reality.

That’s not to say that it’s all bad either. While they may not be flying as high as they did on their way to the title, they’re still clear of the relegation zone and top of their Champions League group.

News media coverage, though, appears to indicate that this season has been a disappointment so far.

While this would seem like fair coverage of a team that went from winning the league to toiling in 12th place, Leicester is no ordinary story.

The team famously overcame 5000/1 odds to win the English Premier League last season. They were even a popular pick to finish last at the start of the season.

With all of this in mind, many supporters of the club will likely be content with their current standing. As a team that isn’t a traditional powerhouse, a repeat of last year shouldn’t have been expected.

Still, pundits across the world have considered their performance thus far to be underwhelming.

Another factor that has largely gone unmentioned is how much time they have to make a push. Just 7 games into a 38-game season, their fate is far from sealed.

A story as special and unprecedented as Leicester’s shouldn’t be tarnished by unreasonable expectations. Hopefully the pressure many have placed on their shoulders will not be too much to bear.

All about hurricanes this week


The South Florida region saw the passing of two hurricanes this past week.

Matthew was the name of one, letdown was the name of the other.

Hurricane Matthew did most of its damage in the Caribbean and along Florida’s eastern coast. The Miami Hurricanes football team lost in a much anticipated match-up to the Florida State Seminoles, 20-19. Now that the storms have passed, let’s take a look at how the Miami Herald covered the events.

First up, Mr. Matthew.

The real-life hurricanes claimed the lives of six people in the state of Florida, as described in this informative article. I thought that this was a good post because it included information that probably wasn’t reported on heavily in our area, such as the storm-related deaths (which occurred outside of South Florida); the effects of the storm up the coast in Brevard, Flagler, and Volusia counties; the water levels of Lake Ockeechobee; and why state law enforcement didn’t provide security around Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday.

This article reported on the progress of FPL restoring power in South Florida. As of Sunday evening, all but 10 customers had their power restored.

Think that because you haven’t heard about Zika recently the problem has gone away? As this article indicates, you may be hearing more about it in the coming weeks.

On to the Hurricanes. Oh, the ‘Canes…

Herald columnist Greg Cote penned a gem in his post-game story. Great coverage coming from Cote.

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was cooking in his return home. The Miami native caught fire in the second half, finishing with 209 total yards. Elliot Lapin chronicled the hometown feast.

Not only did he throw a game-changing interception, but Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya came out of the game with a banged up shoulder. And lost a tooth. Susan Miller Degnan provided the coverage in her article.

The best part of the game was seeing the ‘Canes in those new (old) unis

All in all, the Herald continues with its reliable and interesting reporting.

Trump and his campaign hit new low


In a week where a category four hurricane ripped through the Atlantic and killed more than 1,000 people, Donald Trump still found a way to dominate headlines for all the wrong reasons.

A tape of the Republican Party nominee from ten years ago was leaked where he was talking about how he uses his power to have sex with women.

He used vulgar terms like “I moved on her like a b***h,” and, “grab them by the p***y,” while talking to Billy Bush before he made a guest appearance on the soap opera, “Days of Our Lives.”

Producers of Trump’s old show the, “The Apprentice,” have come out saying that there are much worse tapes of him out there. Including one of him saying the n-word, but they cannot release them due to a $5 million penalty in their contract.

Donald Trump’s life in the spotlight is coming back to bite him in the butt. He has had hundreds of hours him being on camera and being recorded and now that the floodgates are open I am sure many more tapes of him saying disparaging things are going to come flowing out in the coming weeks.

People must be wary about what they say. Especially in these days with the prevalence of smartphones, because we never know who is recording. And news reporters will find these videos and recordings if you become part of the public eye. It’s their job.

‘Honor killings’ found dishonorable


Under new legislation, perpetrators of “honor killings” in Pakistan will no longer be able to walk free if pardoned by the victims’ family. Honor killings, or the killing of a relative (usually female) who has brought dishonor upon his or her family, have risen in Pakistan with more than 1,000 documented cases in the past year.

After a series of gruesome honor killings and the death of the social celebrity Qandeel Baloch, legislators closed the loophole that allowed families forgive perpetrators and pardon them with no jail time or punishment. Now, all perpetrators will face a mandatory jail sentence of 25 years and will only be pardoned if they face the death penalty — they will still be forced to serve 25 years.

The news media account of the new legislation has effectively shown the impact of the social media and the average citizen to get the law changed. The legislation underscores a major step in the right direction for social justice and the heavy impact that exposure has on influencing government entities.

Furthermore, news media outlets stated that the law is one small step to conquering the honor killings and the rooted traditions that come with it. Because these killings usually come with acceptance and approval, it will take much more than a law to deconstruct the idea that killing for “family honor” is wrong, especially because many cases of honor killing go undocumented.

On the other hand, while news media were well-sourced with opinions of people against these killings, the perspective and justification for the honor killings were minimal. Especially reading news articles from across the world where the culture is different, it is important for news coverage to explain alternative views. Without fully understanding why the culture promotes the killing of a relative, one is unable to comprehend the story in its entirety.

Hurricane Matthew dominates news


Hurricane Matthew has been getting widespread attention this week in the news media, especially here in South Florida.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-55-32-pmThe category 4 hurricane was expected to hit Florida and travel up the coastal United States on Thursday and Friday.

The University of Miami cancelled classes and closed all of its campuses from 5 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday in preparation for whatever Matthew would bring to the Miami-Dade area.

News coverage has been constant, in addition to people posting Facebook updates and tweeting about the storm to make sure people are aware and prepared for the potential impact.

Posts range from tracking the storm’s path to telling people to stock up on certain supplies in case of power outages.

Most of the coverage is extremely serious since the storm killed more than 100 people in Haiti and forced nearly three million people in the United States to evacuate their areas. 

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-9-52-56-pmHowever, some people looked for the humor in the grave situation, posting memes and other comical photos related to Hurricane Matthew.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith stressed the storm’s life-threatening potential bluntly during a broadcast on Thursday.

“This moves 20 miles to the west, you and everyone you know are dead. All of you…and your kids die, too,” Shepard said.

A short video clip of Shepard’s broadcast went viral, with people surprised at the his less than poised reaction to the storm.

Students neglect danger and party


Windows are boarded up, families have fled their homes and the entire nation is glued to television sets, smart phones and computers to stay updated on the latest news of Hurricane Matthew.

hurricane-matthewThe United States hasn’t been hit by such a strong, dangerous hurricane since Sandy in 2012, so inevitably concern is growing throughout the nation, even in areas not directly impacted by the storm.

Many news stories have warned citizens, especially South Floridians, of the danger of their apathetic attitude. A category 4 hurricane seems obviously threatening to most, but South Florida is frequently plagued by tropical storms, complete with high winds and immense flooding.

President Obama and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have encouraged Americans living in coastal Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to leave their homes, warning that apathy and unwillingness to leave could cost citizens their lives.

However, there is little being said about college students during this time.

Universities along the southeast coast, including University of Miami, the College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University and University of South Carolina, have closed for the remainder of the week. Schools have encouraged students to evacuate if possible and are taking various precautions to ensure the safety of those who remain on campus.

Many college students are far away from friends and family dealing with a situation that is totally foreign to them. Plenty of students, particularly Midwesterners, have never lived through a hurricane and are utterly unprepared and overwhelmed.

Although the panic and stress this may cause is worrisome, the lack of preparedness and underestimation of the severity of Hurricane Matthew is far more concerning. Classes are canceled, assignments are postponed and students have more free time than ever.

What does that mean? It’s party time.

Media have neglected to cover the added danger that excessive alcohol consumption and drug use will undoubtedly cause during this disaster. Everyone must keep their wits about them during a crisis, and neglecting to do so by binge-drinking and going out in inclement weather may be fatal.

By neglecting to mention this issue and its potentially fatal side effects in the news, media are allowing this attitude to endure, even proliferate. Many young adults are unaware of the severity of a hurricane, so peer pressure and fear of missing out (FOMO, as the kids are calling it these days) are driving students to engage in risky behavior that is unwise even under the safest environmental conditions.

News media should pay more attention to college and university students to remind them of the possible consequences of hurricane parties and discourage them from taking part in unnecessary and life-threatening activities.

Matthew shakes up college football


As Hurricane Matthew, the longest-lived Atlantic major hurricane since Ivan in 2004, moves through the Bahamas and approaches the southeastern United States, evacuations have been ordered and preparations have been made for the possibly devastating impacts of the storm.

Several major college football programs, including the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida Gators, are scheduled to host games this Saturday which may be impacted by the storm. Hurricane Matthew is forecast to move north along Florida’s east coast on Thursday and Friday.

Depending on Matthew’s track and the associated damage, Miami, Florida and South Carolina may be forced to reschedule or even cancel their respective games against Florida State, Louisiana State and Georgia.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-1-00-55-pmAs of Thursday afternoon, no scheduling changes have been made for college football games this Saturday.

However, the impact on preparations for the game cannot be understated.

While most sports media organizations are focusing on the hurricane’s impacts on game scheduling, the most significant effects of Matthew will likely be on transportation and preparation.

The University of Miami has closed its campus on Thursday and Friday, meaning the Hurricanes will be unable to practice before the game. Florida State has delayed its travel plans and will take a bus to Miami on Friday instead of Thursday.

Hurricanes are dangerous and cannot be taken lightly. However, college football games and television deals are valuable and will not be cancelled or postponed unless the safety of fans, players and coaches is threatened.

In this case, the storm will likely be clear of most college football stadiums come Saturday afternoon. With the games almost certain to be played, teams must ensure that the transportation and preparation issues do not negatively impact performance.

October’s chaotic kickoff


This week has been an exciting, yet chaotic week for Miami Hurricane students and staff.

With the game against rival, FSU, this coming Saturday, Hurricane Matthew’s touchdown beginning Wednesday and in the midst of midterms, October is getting off to an interesting, and jam-packed start.

Hurricane Matthew, which has already devastated many areas of the Caribbean, has been declared as a powerful category four, with maximum sustained winds of 130 m.p.h., said the National Hurricane Center.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday and, according to USA today, he has warned residents to prepare for potential power outages and possible evacuations.

“We are preparing for the worst, hoping for the best and not taking any chances,” Scott said.

According to Fox News, South Carolina also declared a state of emergency on Thursday, which allows federal aid to be dispersed in addition to state and local emergency response teams.

Furthermore, The Pentagon reported that Florida, Georgia and South Carolina state governors mobilized 4,500 National Guardsmen to assist with southern communities’ efforts to weather the storm.

I just hope that Hurricane Matthew brings our Hurricane football team some hurricane-force winds that wipe out Florida State at this Saturday’s game.


Kardashian West faces gunpoint robbery


At around 2 a.m. Monday, Kim Kardashian was robbed of jewelry worth nearly $9 million while held at gunpoint in Paris.

She was alone in the Eighth Arrondissement when two men burst in, tied her up and gagged her, then escaped with at least three accomplices, officials said.

Kanye West, Kim’s husband, abruptly left the stage in New York, while performing for the Meadows Music and Art Festival, after he heard of this news.

The men appeared to identify themselves as police officers. They tied up the hands of the receptionist and stormed into Kardashian West’s room. They then tied up her hands, held a handgun to her, and put a gag in her mouth.

A spokeswoman for Kardashian West said that she was “badly shaken but physically unharmed” following the incident.

Sources say that Kardashian West begged for her life because she has two children to take care of as she was threatened with the gun and was bound and forced into a bathtub. Tape was placed over her mouth.

It was also discovered that two cellphones were stolen, one being Kardashian West’s phone with a lot of private information on it.

Kris Jenner, her mother, was staying at a nearby hotel at the time of the robbery, while the sisters were at a nightclub, along with Kardashian West’s security guards.

The first to flood to the scene were other mansion guests, and her sisters and mother came soon after, as soon as they heard the news.

Media writes about this because the Kardashians are one of the most talked about celebrities in the entertainment industry today. This means that a major crime like this would be important to broadcast because she is a public figure.

Kim Kardashian being held at gunpoint and robbed of millions of dollars worth of jewelry is newsworthy because it is not only a crime story, but also an unlikely and concerning entertainment story that is likely to cause the public to react.

Kaine and Pence duke it out


With the 2016 presidential election fast approaching, the vice presidential nominees Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine took the stage last night at Longwood University in Virginia for a vice presidential debate.

Significantly, according to a tweet in a CNN article, moderator Elaine Quijano was the first Asian American to moderate a presidential debate. Quijano certainly did not have an easy job as the two candidates constantly interrupted each other, as has become customary in such debates.

Both candidates accused the other of running an “insult-drive campaign” and exaggerated the truth on select issues, according to National Public Radio’s fact checker.

An article about the debate on CNN features a number of tweets from CNN Opinion commentators, a majority of whom harshly criticized Trump’s running mate, Mscreen-shot-2016-10-05-at-10-56-24-amike Pence, for lying and being in denial of Trump’s stance on many issues.

Meanwhile, both CNN and Fox News criticized Quijano as the moderator, but for different reasons.  A CNN article claimed that Quijano cut off valuable discussion about important topics in order to make it through all the planned questions.

Fox News accused her of blatantly favoring the Democrat nominee Tim Kaine. For example, an article on the Fox News homepage claimed that Quijano asked Pence extremely tough questions by a factor of 8-to-1 compared to the questions asked to Kaine. Additionally, the network berated Quijano for allowing Kaine to interrupt Pence far more than Pence interrupted Kaine.

With the second presidential debate coming up this weekend, it will be interesting to hear if the candidates have any comments about their running mates’ performances.

Kardashian robbed at gunpoint


Kim Kardashian, reality star and fashion guru, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris over the weekend.

Police reports stated that five armed men dressed as police officers forced their way through the hotel where she was staying, and forced the concierge to show them where she was. The concierge was tied up, and left underneath a hotel stairwell.

The armed men broke into Kardashian’s apartment and stole $11 million worth of jewelry, and tied her up in the bathroom before they made their escape.

Kim’s publicist has said that she is “badly shaken but physically unharmed.”

Kardashian’s husband, Kanye West, was in the middle of a show when he heard of the news and immediately left the stage to help his wife.

She was alone in the apartment as her body guard accompanied sisters Kourtney and Kendall on a night out.

Kim is now back in the United State, she took a private jet first thing Monday morning. The family has over doubled their security since the event.

The facts about drinking while pregnant?


Every few months or so, the Internet goes crazy over a new study that says what is okay and not okay to do while pregnant.

For example, first it is not okay to drink alcohol while pregnant, then it was suggested that having a glass of wine once a month is healthy. And now, it is okay to only drink the last month a woman is pregnant.

WebMD poses the question “How much alcohol is too much?”

It also states that “The problem with drinking and pregnancy is that there is no amount that has been proven to be safe.”

The latest theory states that it is not only okay, but it is actually good for ones pregnancy.

David Garry an OBGYN admits that “researchers don’t know enough about the potential effects of drinking alcohol at particular times during the pregnancy to be able to say that any time is really safe.”

Journalists and reporters quickly write about why the new theory is correct and why we were wrong in the past.  Obviously, it is their job to get information out there as quickly and accurately as possible.

In this case, although the journalists and reporters are doing their jobs, they are missing the extensive research as to why people’s perceptions change.

New studies are frequently done, but how correct are they?  Within in the past two years, doctors have changed their mind about alcohol intake while pregnant.

Wanting to get the information out there with the newest studies, the accuracy of information is not always clear.  If it were, these new studies would all conclude in agreement with one another.

Doctors are still not agreeing on which theory is most correct.  If doctors are admitting they do not know, it is impossible for the reporting to be 100% accurate.