Irma slows Florida’s transportation


Hurricane Irma caused around 6.3 million people to evacuate from Florida’s coastal and low-lying areas.

“Lifting the tolls cut millions of residents a break before, during and after what became the largest evacuation in Florida’s history,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. He lifted the tolls on the Florida Turnpike and other state highways with tolls on Sept. 5 to ease the traffic in order to cause a better flow on the roads.

The result of this hurricane was chaotic, making the highways of Florida unbearable with hours of traffic. As reported by CNN, “Transportation officials said Friday that there were long areas of congestion on segments of I-75 northbound and I-95 northbound.”

There is no surprise that basic necessities like finding gas, water or hotels created more long hours to travel north.  

“We stopped at three places for gasoline. Two places were out,” said Florida resident Carol Lang. The congestion lasted up all the way to I-10 interchange in North Florida.

These stop and gos made Floridians double the time that they had expected.

“The GPS tracker did not change the hours left, which resulted us being on the road for a whole 24 hours,” said Chiara Bruzzi.

There were rest areas throughout the highways that provided food and bathrooms. These rest areas were full, which resulted that some cars and trucks were forced to stay on the sides of the roads.

News and a useless vacuum of time


With President Trump’s comments last Friday regarding the NFL and those players who have knelt during the national anthem, a storm of controversy has blossomed that has the entire country talking.

Some people would argue that this should be the top trending story on all news programs, however, is it the news media’s job to discuss a very widespread, opinionated topic in detail and most extensively?

Leave it to the pundits and talk shows. Let a panel of partisan talking heads on CNN or Fox News debate each other on the legitimacy of the protest and the absurdity or necessity of Trump’s comments.

But news programs such as NBC’s “Nightly News” or ABC’s “Good Morning America” shouldn’t devote the majority of their air-time to a story lacking overall fact-based newsworthiness.

Naturally, a topic of such relevance to most if not all Americans and the magnitude of a controversy involving the most prominent person in the United States against the most popular sport in the country covers nearly all the bases for a story needing to be told.

Now that we are a week removed, however, it’s time to return to covering breaking stories and national coverage that have more severe consequences. News from North Korea and the latest of their nuclear endeavors or the latest from Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria should take up the most time because they are more severe.

News programs have received a week to talk all around this controversy. At this point, it has become debate. Leave debating to partisan shows and pundits, and let the news programs stick to what’s news.

Royal Caribbean ship aids storm victims


Mother Nature did not seem to show any pity towards the islands of the Caribbean and Puerto Rico when what seemed to be the worst outcome with Hurricane Irma, the successive wrath of Hurricane Maria put the islands in “apocalyptic” conditions.

Royal Caribbean went on a humanitarian mission to bring supplies and rescue thousands of people from these islands, showing the compassionate and human spirit that exists.

Royal Caribbean is a cruise line owned by Royal Caribbean Ltd. It operates 24 ships and owns 21.9 percent of the market. The ships tour the world, with the most popular destinations being tropical islands, such as the Virgin Islands, Barbados, and the Bahamas.

Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria were both category 5 hurricanes and left the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico without power and access to drinking water, crushing its economy overnight.

Royal Caribbean announced that it was canceling one of its cruises with the ship Adventure of the Seas. The ship was supposed to depart from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 30 and was intended to sail around the various islands of the Caribbean.

The ship is going to deliver supplies such as water, medical supplies, batteries, and fuel. Its first stop is going to be in San Juan, where it is intended to evacuate 2,200 people and then 1,000 more form the Virgin Islands, with its destination being Fort Lauderdale.

The company announced that it will refund the customers who booked the cruise with Adventure of the Seas and will give 25 percent credit to the people who re-book the trip within 30 days. Most reports failed to be specific on the other consequences that the cruise cancellations of ships traveling around the Caribbean will have on customers, such as flights and hotels.

Royal Caribbean has also had previous rescue missions, after hurricane Irma, it sent two ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, helping 1,700 people evacuate.

In addition to all the help the cruise line is giving to those affected by the Hurricanes, it is also donating $1 million to aid Hurricane Relief efforts.

Most articles failed to mention more about the consequences this natural disaster will have on Royal Caribbean cruises. The islands affected were the most popular destinations for the cruise line and so a great source of income. There should be more on the impact that this disaster will have on the company’s revenue and the economy of the islands. Royal Caribbean cruises are the not the only cruise line that sails around the destroyed areas, meaning that there should be more details on the outcome of other cruise lines.

End of Pitino era at Louisville


This past Tuesday, the FBI announced that 10 people, with four being college basketball assistant coaches, have been charged and arrested in connection to fraud, bribery and corruption in the world of college basketball.

Coaches from prominent universities such as the University of Miami and the University of Arizona were linked to the investigation. But no school was connected more than the University of Louisville. Athletic Director Tom Jurich and infamous Coach Rick Pitino were both placed on administrative leave.

The basketball program acknowledged it was part of the scandal and allegedly collaborated with Adidas to pay an unnamed basketball recruit $100,000 to attend the University. The player in question is most likely five-star Brian Bowen, who was just suspended indefinitely by the university.

This scandal around Pitino is just one piece of a tarnished career. Two years ago Pitino was suspected of hiring prostitutes to entice basketball recruits into attending Louisville and was to serve a five game suspension this upcoming season because of that scandal.

Bleacher Report writer Jason King hits the nail on it’s head in his article titled, “FBI Bribery Scandal Reveals Rick Pitino Wasn’t Just a Hall of Famer, but a Phony.” In this article, King outlines Pitino’s fall from grace as a former mastermind of college basketball, who at his best, should be placed in the conversation with legendary coaches such as John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski. Instead Pitino did acts that cost him his credibility and destroyed his name.

King accurately looked at Pitino as the perpetrator, not the victim, which he so rightfully deserved. He also took quotes from other Coaches in college basketball and related pitino to other successful coaches who did not break the rules.

In the end, Pitino did all of this to himself. From a fantastic coach who led Providence to a Final Four berth to all the way to 2013 where he won a national championship with only one player who is currently in the NBA. He started colluding and started to dig his own grave. Although Pitino pleaded ignorance, it’s hard to believe that a coach as smart as him, wouldn’t know what’s going on in his own program.

Open roads for women in Saudi Arabia


As of Tuesday, Sept. 26, Prince Muhammad bin Salman lifted the ban on women driving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“This is the right time to do the right thing,” he said to American reporters.

Not only has the young Prince challenged social order by lifting this ban but, on Sept. 23, the country’s National Day; women were allowed to present themselves in the Riyadh stadium for the first time. His promises to Saudi Arabia’s youth, which make up about 70 percent of the country, have posed a threat to the traditional religious views of the Islamic religion.

His efforts to banish conservatism have been publicly critiqued, especially, on social media. Hours after the news was released, “the women of my house will not drive” quickly became the most popular Twitter hashtag in Saudi Arabia.

Beginning June 17, 2018, all women have the right to get behind the wheel and obtain a driver’s license, with permission of a male guardian.

This victory has not been easy as confirmed by many Saudi women activists who have fought hard against female oppression in the country. Manal al Shariff, who has a history of charges for “driving while female,” shed tears after hearing this and said “Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop.”

The driving restriction can improve the country’s economic state. With limited transport, it is difficult for women to commute to work unless they have a car service, which can be expensive. The other option would be to travel with a male guardian. However, some Islamic extremists still argue that driving could affect a woman’s fertility by harming her ovaries.

In celebration, women have posted photos and videos on social media of them driving. Madeha al Ajroush, a proud Saudi woman, tweeted: “The will for women to drive has finally come. We Saudi women has the freedom of mobility.”

Technology redefines news for all


The technological advances of the last decade have strengthened the scope and enriched the resources for the visualization, oral and written presentation, diffusion and the impact of the news in the mass media.

In parallel, today anyone enjoys these resources and can instantly disseminate the news, share information and offer an opinion.

Anyone can be in the center of the news and capture that piece of news. The common person’s empowerment in the news media contributes to the traditional mass media, the journalist can use the images of the person who was there at the precise moment of the event for his report, something that he could not have been able to count on if he had not arrived at the time of the event.

Yesterday’s passive receiver of news can be now a distributor of news, active in some aspects of a reporter’s job due to a mobile phone or tablet at the moment of the incident.

A passerby can record instantly the event and place it on social networks with the use of just one mobile phone. However, journalism and, specifically, reporting is much more than that. Even though this passerby is the first to have the scoop and to spread the news, a journalist’s work goes far beyond exposing an image reflecting what happened.

A reporter has to inquire and question the largest number of reliable sources available on the subject. He or she must write the news in a coherent, explicit way and leave aside the emotion of the moment. He or she must be capable of addressing and reaching a wide audience. The impact of immediate recording of a crime is undeniable, but the reporter will go much further, questioning the victim, the aggressor, the authorities involved in the case, the witnesses, in order to be able to provide a coherent and trustworthy news media report.

Sen. Collins sinks Obamacare repeal


This Monday, Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced her opposition to the latest GOP bill meant to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The Graham-Cassidy bill, named after sponsoring senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, had already lost the support of Republican senators John McCain and Rand Paul, with Ted Cruz indicating through aides that he was also favoring the opposition.

With the 52-48 Senate majority the Republican Party currently holds, Republicans can only lose two votes if they desire to bring a bill to life, with the help Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote. Collins, by being the third Republican senator to officially oppose it, effectively doomed the bill, along with any hopes the GOP has for removing Obamacare for the time being.

Both USA Today and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adequately described the basic implications of the Graham-Cassidy bill, in addition to its intended and possible impact on the current Affordable Care Act. More notably, however, they were both able to capture voices from all sides of the discussion, from Sen. Collins herself to Bill Cassidy, the bill’s most ardent supporter, in addition to notable Democrats on the issue such as Sen. Ron Wyden.

Both sources also did not forget to mention neutral parties, such as the Congressional Budget Office, whose limited analysis of the bill helped persuade Collins to take a side. Both stories are well rounded overall in the sense that readers get a clear idea of both the facts and emotions of the case from various angles, leaving the political and economic situation up for interpretation and further analysis in the future.

Earthquake strikes near Mexico City


During the three-week improvised break that we had, there were a lot of big stories featured on the news. One that caught my eye was the earthquakes in Mexico, mostly the second one which was closer to Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos.

Last week, on the same date as the anniversary of the second strongest earthquake in Mexico in 1985, the National Seismology Service reported a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was located in Mexico City, however, it heavily affected all the surrounding states.

Streets were full of victims, people trapped under collapsed buildings, familiar streets divided by strands of red and yellow emergency tape; but most streets were plenty of fear.

Other than getting help from countries all over the world, the Mexican society has found a way to prove wrong to the socially divided mark. Citizens from up and down the economic spectrum have found a way to help others, seizing a sense of unity in an atmosphere of destruction.

I think that the coverage of the event overall was pretty good for different reasons. It was really immediate. A big part is thanks to the instant nature of technology, but also thanks to the people that reported and recorded it as evidence. Most of the newscasts and videos I watched got their visuals and content from social media.

There were also a lot of stations that either had correspondents in Mexico or they had affiliates that would send information. I think they had really good visuals and images from all over the place, and also good stories people liked to hear about. For example, the kids that got trapped in a school, soldiers coming to help, the dogs that could locate people to rescue.

An example of CNN”s coverage can be found at

Trump, NFL clash on anthem protests


The battle of wills between the National Football League and President Donald Trump continues today, as week four of the NFL season kicks off tonight. This past week saw players, coaches and league officials from multiple organizations speak out and demonstrate acts of protest following a series of harsh comments from Trump.

The debacle began when, at a campaign rally, the president made several remarks about players who chose to kneel during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” said Trump, basking in the applause of his supporters.

What was once a personal protest by a single player, Colin Kaepernick, against a rise in police brutality toward black suspects and offenders quickly became a first amendment issue, and many NFL players chose to unite against the president’s comments.

“To have the president trying to intimidate people — I wanted to send a message that I don’t condone that,” said Julius Thomas of the Miami Dolphins, who had remained standing during the anthem before this Sunday’s game. “I’m not O.K. with somebody trying to prevent someone from standing up for what they think is important.”

The protest took an especially powerful turn at the day’s match-up between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks, as both teams remained in the locker room during the singing of the anthem.

After the day’s games, the feud continued on social media, with players posting Instagram pictures and tweets, denouncing the president’s harsh words. Trump took to Twitter in his usual fashion, biting back: “Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!”

Week four of the NFL season begins tonight, as the Green Bay Packers face off against the Chicago Bears. Debate has been high all week, and the lasting effects of these protests remain to be seen. The media have done a good job covering the story from all points of view, finding unbiased sources who agree and disagree with the protests, as well as players and officials to comment on what the president has been saying.

Celebrity deaths: Successes dominate


On Wednesday, the estate of Hugh Hefner released a statement that the Playboy founder passed away, age 91, in his infamous Playboy Mansion. Known for many things, Hefner was most recognized for his lifestyle that encompassed his Playboy brand.

But through the years, Hefner was in the spotlight for some negative things, including loss of some of his fortune, how he treated his beloved “Playmates” and scrutiny for his sometimes “dangerous” lifestyle. As referred to by many of those close to him, “Hef” was so focused on his Playboy image that as he aged, he retreated from the spotlight in his final years.

Until the sale of his popular LA home for $100 million in 2016, Hefner was shying away from public appearances, hosted fewer Playboy parties and was not featured in the news.

But following his death, the world has been pouring out their memories and reflections on the late Playboy founder. Every news station, every newspaper and every social media site is covering his death nonstop. More than just a magazine publisher, Hefner started a new revolution of sexual acceptance and extravagant living – shifting the Playboy brand from just a magazine to a brand and lifestyle.

All news outlets, celebrities and everyone in between has been sharing kind words and remembrances of Hefner, and a total disregard for the criticisms that many shared in recent times.

Hefner is not the first celebrity to experience this kind of coverage post-mortem. Before his death in 2009, Michael Jackson was in the news media for scandal after scandal and legal and personal problems. Immediately following his death, the world came together to remember his profound impact on the music industry, and nothing else.

It seems that, especially with the era of “fake news” and social media, scandals and rumors overshadow some celebrities’ work and careers until they are dead. With so much competition, all media outlets need to stay current, and get viewers and readers engaged, so, sometimes coverage of trivial celebrity drama is the best thing to achieve this.

Once celebrities die, it is newsworthy in itself, so media outlets have the time and flexibility to dig deeper into their lives and appreciate what made them famous. The coverage of Hugh Hefner shows that media is on this path, and doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

Golden State Warriors invited to Capitol


On Sept. 23, 2017, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to disinvite Stephen Curry to the White House to celebrate Golden State’s 2017 NBA championship. The president tweeted, “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn”

Following Trump’s tweet, the Warriors announced that they would not visit the White House in honor of their championship.

However, back in June, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi invited the Warriors to visit the Capitol. On Tuesday night, she tweeted, “@StephenCurry30 & @warriors — the offer still stands . #DubNation” with a picture of the official invite, which was sent to head coach Steve Kerr.

Pelosi spoke out on Trump’s war with the NFL and the NBA on NBC’s “Meet the Press” stating, “I have always said that sports and the arts will bring America together.”

This topic has been an ongoing discussion since Trump’s tweet over the weekend and his ongoing battle with the NFL. The news media have been all the over the politics in sports interplay. The news media have done a good job covering and reporting this matter. The articles I read on this were not biased at all. Although this is a big and ongoing controversy, news coverage has been factual and not opinionated.

Puerto Rico desperate for assistance


Hurricane Maria left a disastrous mark on the U.S. territory, leaving 3.4 million American citizens without the essential resources of life: food, water, electricity, communications, transportation and much more.  These residents urgently need assistance.

The U.S. federal government bears a huge responsibility in this crisis.  When a natural disaster strikes the mainland, such as with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, trucks with federal assistance arrive to help with rescue efforts.  Shelter is also provided to those who are left homeless.

However, in Puerto Rico, barely any of this assistance has been provided.

Residents of the island are running out of the meager supplies they had before Maria hit.  Most of these people can learn to live without air conditioning and electricity, however they cannot survive without clean water and food.  To make matters even worse, most of these people had not even fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Irma that hit just a few weeks prior.

Unlike, individual U.S state governments, the territory’s government cannot provide much help because it is in a deep financial crisis.  Plagued by debt, the government is barely even functioning at all.  The island has no resources and its infrastructure is old and dilapidated.

The capitol city, San Juan, has an international airport that is open, but its flights are very limited.  People in the U.S. mainland who want to offer help are simply unable to.  Most have no way to even get in contact with their relatives on the island.

Things get even worse.  Hospitals are running out of fuel to keep generators running.  When these generators stop running, patients will die.

Some rural areas are cut off because roads are blocked by fallen trees and flooding.  Police across the island are exhausted and overworked.

Lots of water, food, and fuel must be brought immediately in order to keep people alive.  More workers must be brought in to fix power stations and bring back electricity.  Shelters must be created for tens of thousands of people who are homeless.

These are our fellow Americans, they deserve the same support that any state would receive.

Facebook: News for demanding readers


It’s common use Facebook as a newspaper. When some event has just happened, many people open the application looking for breaking news. But Facebook is also used with that purpose because of its huge coverage of all news, particularly the news that newspapers and other media don’t pay attention to.

The last one that I received was an event of a charity concert organized by Un Micro para el Sahara (A Microphone for Sahara). This is a non-profit organization ran by young journalists.

The importance of this example is double, because we receive the information about the Sahara’s situation through Facebook and not from mass media. And because it’s necessary for NGOs to overcome misinformation sometimes found in the news media.

Social media (Photo from Flickr, courtesy of Hazma Butt).

As they exposed on their Facebook site, their goal is “ensure visibility for the helpless situation of the Saharan people that has been forgotten by the mass media.”

So, it’s another kind of journalism, headed by young journalists away from the big news corporations. These journalists are independents with non-commercial interests and they’re aware of the news media’s deficiencies.

Furthermore, they want the money raised to go to buy journalistic tools for support of the journalists’ work for public radio and TV of the Sahara and to organize workshops for them.

We have to think about the journalism that we want and the journalism that we consume, because it’s clear that quality journalism is not about the money and the resources, but about spirit and ability to inform without following political or economic agendas, just the purpose of meeting journalistic values.

So, if we continue to consume the big corporations’ journalism that neglects news that don’t provide them benefits, without trying to change it, we will encourage a form of partial journalism that doesn’t reflect the whole world.

Airlines increase prices ahead of Irma


Major airlines gouged ticket prices Tuesday afternoon after Gov. Rick Scott announced Hurricane Irma evacuations.

Airlines such as American, Delta, United and Jet Blue gouged ticket prices up to $1,000 plus after it was announced Florida would start evacuations.

Travelers took to Twitter expressing their outrage with the airlines to complain about the price gouging ahead of the Category 5 storm. CNBC reported people taking screenshot examples of the gouging. Examples included a $1,738 United flight between Miami and Indianapolis and a $2,370 American flight between Miami and Los Angeles. Those and others flooded social media Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bus and train transportation followed suit after the airlines, making it nearly impossible to get out of the state.

Due to the hiked airline, bus and train tickets, thousands headed to the road Wednesday and experienced gas gouging as well; however, in the state of Florida, it is illegal to gouge gas prices during an emergency.

While airlines are not subject to Florida’s price gouging law, many people saw the inflated prices as unethical and dangerous as people were trying to evacuate the area.

In a statement to The Business Insider, most of the major airlines planned to cap prices at $99 per ticket out of Florida, and connecting flights priced at $159, but flight delays and cancellations have left many discouraged.

Hurricane Irma is estimated to make headway on Friday and into the weekend. Mandatory evacuations are in place for those in the South Florida area.

USA Today reviews access to president


The Trump empire has far from fallen off since Donald J. Trump took office and some of its most profitable locations have been the president’s private golf clubs. President Trump has visited the clubs in Bedminster, N.J., and Palm Beach, Fla., among others, several times since becoming president.

Apart from being a getaway for the president, his clubs raked in $600 million in 2015 and 2016. And the upper class’s interest in the clubs has only increased in recent times.

According to USA Today, 71 of the members in his private clubs are executives from companies that hold federal contracts, lobbyists and trade group officials. Of the 71, two-thirds of them have played on one of the days that the president was visiting. This membership, which grants them open access to the president through a service that enriches him, is perfectly legal.

Despite being legal, however, it does bring up ethical concerns, primarily in regard to the possibilities for bribery and unfair access, since most people cannot afford the $100,000 initiation fees that many of the club members can. Another such case is that of Jay Vroom, CEO of a pesticide trade group that convinced the government not to ban the insecticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked with neurological development delays in children. Vroom admitted to seeing the president once since he took office.

USA Today did a thorough and detailed story on Trump. In a section at the end of the article entitled “How we reported this story,” editors explained how reporters tracked down and interviewed as many members of Trumps clubs they could find, making use of a public golfing website where players keep track of their scores, among other sources such as social media posts and news stories. They also interviewed both sides of the story, for the sake of being objective.

From Walter Shaub, resigned director of the Office of Government Ethics, who called the situation “new territory” and expressed concern for the easy access, to Jay Vroom, who claimed to have not spoken to the president about his company’s interests at all. Overall, USA Today excelled at covering every angle of the story in great detail while remaining impartial to either side.

Women use imaginary male biz partner


People see what they want to see. I say this because people can subconsciously choose to ignore the truth that is right in front of them.

Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer are two female entrepreneurs who founded Witchsy, their own online marketplace for dark humored art. Witchsy is based Los Angeles and is an online community of known and unknown artists where they can connect with each other and grow an audience.

In the start-up process, Penelope and Kate were having difficulties because they were using their own money and did not have a good knowledge in technology. Additionally, the developers and graphic designers they enlisted to help them seemed to have a condescending tone and sexist replies. The two entrepreneurs decided to see what would happen if they added a fake male business partner, Keith Mann.

The difference in the responses Kate and Penelope got while using an imaginary male were extreme. Not only was Keith helped quicker and with better quality assistance, but with a much greater amount of respect.

The sexist environment in the tech world has been an upcoming topic lately. Many reporters when talking about Witchsy and the truth behind sexism, mentioned the public issues involving big companies such as Uber and Google. Women are not taken as seriously as men, and this story is a great example.

The main point that most articles on this issue’s cover are how a non-existent male has gotten a deeper level of respect than two females.

Kate Dyer expressed to Fast company her thoughts: “Wow, are people really going to talk to this imaginary man with more respect than us? But we were like, you know what, this is clearly just part of this world that we’re in right now. We want this and want to make this happen.”

Most articles covered the replies that the two women received from the people enlisted providing the evidence for the rudeness they faced. When Penelope and Kate received replies sometimes the developers would not even call them by name. Answers such as “Listen, girls…”

This story is great evidence for the existing inequality that women face, but this difference in treatment is always denied. Personally, I think that the articles on this story are lacking a response from men on this issue. If possible finding out the reaction that the developers had when they discovered Keith was non-existent.

New tools aid reporting of unique events


The solar eclipse that covered the sky of United States last week had total coverage by the news media, not just Americans, but international journalists, too.

The total solar eclipse was the first to cross from the West Coast to the East Coast since 1918. But 1918’s eclipse couldn’t be covered by the news media in the same degree as the Aug. 21 eclipse.

It isn’t just the amount of time and information that news media have devoted to it. It is about the way news media have done it. New technologies have been used by the great news media conglomerates for offering a closer experience to readers. It is not enough to show them the eclipse with a camera. Now, news media offer 360 degree photos that can make the reader feel is in the place where the eclipse is happening without leaving the sofa.

After all, the purpose of journalism is informing and showing the news as well as possible to the audience. Therefore, it’s important that news media stay updated and don’t deny new technologies because they can enhance their work obtaining results never before imagined.

The clearest example is on the CNN web site. CNN has its own section of Virtual Reality and offers the following coverage of the eclipse:

That makes a difference between CNN and other websites and newspapers that don’t offer this service. The reader can find a different and improved experience there.

Next total eclipse will be in July 2019 and it can be viewed in Argentina and Chile. It is not until April 2024 when other total eclipse will cross United States from Texas to Maine. With  virtual reality still developing, who knows what kind of technologies could appear then and how readers could live next eclipse.

Miami-Dade installing cameras in parks


Miami-Dade County is developing a project that consists of implementing high technology surveillance cameras in several public parks and spaces around the area.

The plan started by installing four cameras that take a 360-degree angle at Haulover Marina. Other than giving a wide and clear view, the cameras send the information through a private signal only available to government entities.

According to local crime statistics, there have been almost 50 car robberies in this location during the past year.

“Although it is important to protect private property, it is also important the safety of our citizens and mostly our children,” said Victoria Galan, public information officer for Miami-Dade’s Parks and Recreation Department.

For all these purposes, the cameras are able to recognize people and take a digital image of them. All the images are sent directly to the central offices of the county, later compared and identified as possible suspects. These parks are the first ones with this system and the county is looking forward to adding more to their list.

This story was reported by Sandra Peebles yesterday for Univision Channel 23. Peebles, currently teaching a class in television performance at the University of Miami, mentioned in her class how she did that story and the ethics a reporter needs to have when reporting. In agreement with what we said in our reporting class about the code of ethics, Peebles mentioned that, when doing this story, the county didn’t want her to release the information. However, she considered that it was significant news to any citizen who is near the area and goes to the park, prioritizing the safety of adults and their children.

Peebles also faced another obstacle with her story. Police said that, according to a jury, the reporter couldn’t say that the surveillance cameras had facial recognition due to the fact that the digital image or footage of the suspect wouldn’t be the only evidence to convict him. Police can use the new system as a tool, but not as the only proof.

Lastly, Peebles told the class that some television news channels have more strict ethic codes than others and that moral decisions some times lay on the reporter.

Unemployment at 4.4 percent in August


The Labor Department released the August figures of hiring and unemployment this morning.

The statistics showed that in August alone, 156,000 jobs, lower than the anticipated 180,000, were created and the unemployment rate reached 4.4 percent, coming up from 4.3 percent in July.

With unemployment near its lowest rate in almost 16 years, the question now shifts from how to lower the unemployment rate to how we can make sure those workers laid off during the recession are re-entering the job market.

While the media typically focuses on numbers and figures when it comes to the unemployment rate in the U.S., I find it more effective to investigate the aftershocks of those numbers and figures in order to assess how the job market is recovering from the recession.

With more job openings available now than ever before in the past 16 years, the number of American adults looking for jobs remains about the same year to year.  Why is that? Could it be that the recession forced many into early retirement? The numbers state otherwise.

In the wake of the Great Recession, millions of would-be retirees continued working much later into their lives. The labor force participation rate among adults at least 55 years old was climbing from the Great Recession up until October 2012 when it leveled off at 40.7 percent.

While many factors are at play with jobs and unemployment, I believe one of them could be the media’s focus towards exactly that, unemployment.  With the unemployment rate at its lowest in the past 16 years, wouldn’t it be better to stop focusing on that number and start mentioning how many jobs are being created every month?

The public is better off being educated about jobs they could be going out and getting, and how many have re-entered the job market after the Great Recession, rather than the overall unemployment rate of the country.

Megachurch pastor finally opens doors


Houston pastor Joel Osteen came under fire earlier this week when he refused to open his church doors to Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

After backlash on social media, Osteen eventually opened his megachurch to serve as a shelter for the public Tuesday.

Millions took to Twitter expressing their anger at Osteen. Many said that the Houston pastor cares more about wealth than welfare and, that if a place of worship is not a shelter, then it is not a place of worship.

After several allegations, Osteen spoke on NBC’s “Today Show” and “CBS This Morning,” stating that the church has always been open as a shelter but faced flooding and water damage.

Osteen has also stated that the city of Houston never asked him to become an official shelter, as there was one four miles from his church. He said his church’s building was intended to be a distribution center.

After major backlash on social media, mainstream media picked up the story with most in agreement with social media. Even though Osteen has clarified that he does not pay attention to social media, various media outlets used Twitter images of people expressing their discontent with the pastor.

Major media outlets such as the Washington Post and Huffington Post have called out the pastor; denouncing Osteen’s church as prosperity gospel and stating that his initial reaction of not opening as a shelter has only reinforced this belief.

As of now the megachurch, which can fit more than 16,000 people, is open as a shelter and will remain open until conditions in Houston improve.