Liberals need to look at weaknesses


New York Times contributing op-ed writer Thomas B. Edsall this week calls on liberals to analyze their weaknesses through a review of the Republicans strengths.

He starts by listing a large number of Republicans successes, from elections to the House of Representatives to President Trump’s current domestic approval rating among his voters, to the recent Tea Party proposal and success with the tax bill.

With a clear warning to Democrats, Edsall presents conscientious research and analysis. He bases his opinion piece upon clear and precise language and abundant well-documented data. He tells Democrats to get rid of sentimental party identification and recognize gaps and mistakes. It is a convincing research piece.

The analysis is lucid, aided with concrete facts and accurate data and figures, it shows seriousness. Edsall is impartial; he does not take sides and does not identify with either one of the two major political parties.

Missile launch lost in media coverage


On Tuesday, North Korea fired a missile that exceeded any previous capabilities seen in similar missile tests. The missile flew longer and higher, which strikes a fear that they will soon be able to reach mainland United States with their weapons.

President Donald Trump had previously warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the missile testing was in the face of world order and stability, even going as far as adding the country back to a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“It is a situation that we will handle,” said Trump after hearing about the missile launch, a surprisingly collected and measured response.

The missile test comes amid a chaotic time in American media, with numerous scandals garnering much of the airtime. NBC fired longtime Today show host Matt Lauer Wednesday morning following allegations of sexual misconduct. Other scandals, including those surrounding conduct of Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey have also dominated news cycles.

It has gotten to the point that I was totally unaware that this missile test, a sign that our country could potentially be at risk of an attack, even took place. In fact, I was prepared to blog about Lauer’s firing before happening to stumble over this headline buried at the bottom of the scroll on The New York Times’ website.

The article itself was well written, with the inclusion of a video to help readers understand the specifics of these missiles and what the tests actually mean. But the story has been virtually invisible on broadcast news that I’ve seen today. Hopefully, that will change as more details become available, but that remains to be seen.

Lauer story dominates news cycle


“Today” show co-host Matt Lauer was fired Wednesday due to inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, an incident that “Today” executives said they learned about two days ago.

Lauer’s co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, announced the news this morning on “Today.”

“This is a sad morning here at ‘Today’ and at NBC News,” Guthrie said before reading a statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.

“Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Lack’s statement read. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

The statement also said that this is the first complaint regarding Lauer’s behavior the company has received “in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News.”

“All we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” said Guthrie.

All that is really known about Lauer’s misconduct is that an NBC staffer had complained about his behavior from throughout 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Also, The New York Post reported an incident that occurred during the coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  However, no details from these incidents can be confirmed.

Lauer’s firing comes just days after “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose was canned for his behavior towards women, which included showering naked in front of them at his home.  This leaves “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos as the only remaining male anchor of the top three network morning shows.

The news media have covered these stories extensively during the past few days. This story is currently on the front page of CNN, FOX, MSNBC and The New York Times.

Since NBC News fired Lauer without much of an investigation at all, what he was accused of doing must be severe. The network will likely lose ratings due to his absence since he was very popular.

Although I believe it is important for the news media to cover stories such as these, this is taking away a lot of attention from the fact that North Korea has successfully tested a ballistic missile that officially put the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

This is a very dangerous fact that should be the main topic of news for today. With its recent threats and other tests, North Korea is clearly not playing around.

The news media need to help convince citizens and governments that North Korea is a real threat.

A great tragedy can occur if America looks the other way on this issue.  If we are not careful, we will be on the verge World War III if North Korea decides to launch one of these missiles at the United States.

Congress asked to reveal harassment


“Members of both parties have called for transparency in dealing with harassment claims, which are kept confidential under a 1995 law. Settlements are kept confidential as well,” The New York Times wrote on Monday, Nov. 28.

Sexual harassment accusations continue to increase in different sectors. From Democratic Rep. John Conyers (Michigan), who is stepping aside in his role on the House Judiciary Committee while an ethics panel investigates harassment allegations to news broadcaster Charlie Rose who was fired from CBS and PBS after allegations of sexual misconduct. The Arizona State University and University of Kansas journalism schools have rescinded honors previously awarded to Rose, also.

The good news is that forced by these disturbing news several members of Congress have expressed their concern for a full review of Congressional sexual harassment policies and procedures and actions to address this serious problem.

Removal of net neutrality considered


This Tuesday, Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced his plans to repeal the regulations of net neutrality passed in the Obama-era.

In February 2015, Tom Wheeler, Democrat chairman of the FCC at the time, gave the agency the ability to protect net neutrality. Net neutrality, also known as the open internet, is defined by USA Today as “the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring some sources or blocking others.”

ISPs are the companies that provide internet access such as Verizon and AT&T. Content providers are companies which create and distribute information, such as Facebook, Netflix and Google.

The net neutrality rules prohibit ISPs from discriminating by slowing down or blocking the delivery of data or any content of information you want to access. Without these rules, ISPs can slow down the content of its competitors and block political opinions that they do not agree with. If the regulations of net neutrality would be removed, ISPs would be allowed to charge content providers for a faster delivery of their content on “fast lanes,” and intentionally slow down content providers with whom they compete with.

Pai wants to replace the agency’s rules with “voluntary” conditions, meaning that the ISPs are not required to comply with them.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” said Pai, chairman of the FCC, “Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

Many articles disagree with the removal of net neutrality regulations, analyzing all the negative consequences this could have on the free flow of information and ideas. Many reports focused on companies that do not have the money to pay for “fast lanes.” For example, small businesses may suffer, as they rely on the open internet to create new markets and advertise. Political and social movements may be silenced if their ideas go against what the ISPs want, which would mean that the ISPs would be blocking speech.

The FCC will vote on the removal of net neutrality on Dec. 14. Since the announcement proposing the removal net neutrality, millions of opponents have commented on the internet, finding ways to prevent the unveiling of this principle.

Reporters have covered the issue in detail, giving voice to many opponents of the plan. Treating the issue of maintaining net neutrality as a form of saving the internet. Reporters have been very direct, giving numerous invitations to the readers to try and stop the removal of this principle.

The nation’s media reform network, Free Press, says: “We have three weeks to save the Internet.”

Pipeline leaks oil in South Dakota


Last year, thousands of people participated in the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, in North Dakota. Protesters feared that the pipe would break, and leak oil into tribal territory. This Thursday, 210,000 gallons of oil leaked into South Dakota from the Keystone Pipeline.

This leak comes days before a decision to finalize permits needed to begin construction on Keystone XL, a sister pipeline to the Keystone Pipeline.

Even though, livestock and drinking water sources were not threatened, Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources told The New York Times “…this is not a little spill from any perspective.”

According to TransCanada, The Keystone Pipeline system stretches from Alberta, Canada, to Manitoba, Canada. The pipeline then travels south into Texas, in hope to make transporting crude oil from Canada easier. Smaller sections of the pipeline would cut into Oklahoma and Illinois.

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, would travel from Alberta to Nebraska, and cut through parts of Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Illinois.

The leak is near Lake Traverse Reservation, but is not on Sioux property, said Dave Flute, tribal chairman for Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.

In a statement, Flute said: “We are monitoring the situation as this leak is adjacent to our reservation…We do not know the impact this has on our environment at this time but we are aware of the leak.”

According to CNN, this is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, and the third this year.

Major articles from NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times circulated social media, after people took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the leak. Many cited the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and urged officials to think before approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Basketball players detained in China


A lot of attention has been brought upon an international incident occurred this week in China. Three freshman UCLA basketball players were accused of shoplifting items from three different stores, including a pair of sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store, ranging from $435-$1,990.

The basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, returned to Los Angeles Tuesday, where they were Initially ignoring all questions asked by reporters.

Donald Trump was involved in resolving the issue, by bringing up the case with China’s President Xi Jinping, allowing the players to get out of China’s detention and back in the United States.

We seem to be more than familiar with Donald Trump’s tweeting habits. He uses Twitter as a way praising himself, demanding praise and judging others for not giving him approval. On Tuesday, when the basketball players returned from China after being detained for 10 days and did not express any gratitude towards Donald Trump, he decided to tweet:

First of all this tweet demonstrates the president’s lack of modesty and talking about himself in the third person, like the CNN reporter said, “that deserves a post all its own. This tweet was given a lot of attention by the news media as it is put the UCLA players in an awkward position, after already being in one.

Some reporters, such as CNN’s Chris Cillizza, suggested that people were interpreting this tweet as racially provocative, he wrote in his article “What Donald Trump’s UCLA tweet reveals about him.”

“That the three players are all young black men should also not be lost here. Trump’s history on racial issues — both as president and as a private citizen — shows some level of intentionality when it comes to using racially coded language and taking advantage of racial animus and stereotypes for his own political gain,” Cillizza wrote.
“The image of an older white man in a position of power demanding thanks from three young black men for saving them will set off a lot of alarm bells for people,” he added.

The players apologized for their actions in a press conference, in addition to thanking Donald Trump and the U.S. government for helping them out of the situation.   The three players have been suspended indefinitely from the UCLA, meaning that they won’t be able to practice or travel with the university’s team.

Donald Trump acknowledged the thanks shared by the basketball players and answered by tweeting

Most articles covering this story linked the video of the conference where the players apologized for their actions, giving the reader a clearer understanding of the events.

The story was covered in detail by the reporters, but there were no real comments made by UCLA students. It would be interesting to know how students at UCLA feel about the story and its effects on the name and reputation of the school and its basketball program.

When covering the story, Reporters were very harsh on Donald Trump’s tweets because they attacked some freshman students who did not even have the time to settle back in their home country after being detained in a foreign country.

Trump drinks Fiji water


This week, President Donald Trump paused during a speech to take a sip of water. Similar to the Marco Rubio mid-speech sip from a few years back, the country had fun with it.

However, CNN introduced a four-person panel to analyze Trump’s sip and gave it a “breaking news” banner to boot.

CNN has been abusing that “breaking news” banner on their news programs for years. Seemingly every story they run earns the privilege. That, in its own right, is deserving of criticism. CNN has de-legitimized the definition of breaking news by applying the phrase to every single story.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but the president of the United States pausing during a speech to sip some water is not breaking news.

Furthermore, the four-person panel headed by Wolf Blitzer began to criticize the fact that Trump drank from a Fiji brand water bottle — saying it went against his “America First” agenda by drinking from a foreign brand.

The absurdity is evident. Like one conservative pundit has said, “Trump could walk on water and CNN would find a way to criticize him for it.”

This semester, I have spent a lot of time criticizing the apparent agenda the mainstream news media have against our president, but I am in fact quite happy that this occurs. When Donald Trump suggested the incarnation of a federally run news network, “Trump TV,” I was incensed. One of the best aspects of American news media is the absence of state-run TV, essentially pro-government propaganda generators, the likes of which we see most notably in North Korea, but across Europe as well.

The fact that America has a news media that continually keeps the president in check is a privilege we often overlook. Criticizing the government and the man or woman at the helm is part and parcel of what makes a democratic republic so appealing. That right to free speech to praise, criticize and pontificate is so important today, especially because many other countries do not enjoy that right nearly to the extent that we Americans do.

So, yes, I am in fact a fan of news media criticizing and judging the merits of a president and the government as a whole. I just wish they were consistent with their criticism across party lines and were a little more selective in these critiques — instead of spending precious air time talking about a drink from a water bottle.

Media need to give Jaylen Brown space


Boston Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown helped his team win its 14th straight game last night, just hours after finding out his best friend had died.

Brown scored a team high 22 points Thursday night during a 92-88 win over the Golden State Warriors in TD Garden in Boston.

Coaches and players weren’t sure if he’d play Thursday. He had gone to Celtics coach Brad Stevens that he didn’t think he could play so soon after the death of childhood friend Trevin Steede.

Brown said a phone call from his friend’s mother eventually swayed him to play in his friend’s honor.

The call came just in time as the Celtics played in their biggest game of the season against the reigning NBA champions. The Celtics rallied twice from double-digit deficits in the game and proved the many doubters wrong. Both rallies were inspired by Brown and teammate Kyrie Irving.

But after the game, the news media stormed the Celtics’ locker room and wanted to interview the leading scorer from the game. Little did they know his best friend died, but the news media onslaught of microphones, videos and recorders flooded Brown. In a sense the news media should have backed off at least a bit.

Hurricanes rank No. 3 in football


The Miami Hurricanes prove that “you can’t spell undefeated without the U,” after destroying their long-time rival, Notre Dame, 41-8 this past Saturday, in one of the most exciting home games of the season.

The Canes started the game strong, earning two touchdowns in the first quarter and putting the Fighting Irish (who finally scored in the 3rd quarter) to shame.

A year ago, the Hurricanes and the Fighting Irish met in South Bend, Ind., with Notre Dame escaping with a 30-27 victory. The iconic teams: No. 7 Miami Hurricanes and the No.3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish continued their rivalry, with the Canes dominating the Fighting Irish in a game that set fans wild over a hard-earned victory.

The Canes (9-0, 6-0 ACC) are now ranked No. 3 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

“We’re just trying to get better every week,” linebacker Michael Pinckney said. “We just come out every week, we can’t take anyone lightly. We got great things ahead. I just feel like we have to come out this weekend and take Virginia no lighter than we took Notre Dame.”

The team is one step closer to the ACC championship and Miami fans are loving it.

“My goodness. Malik Rosier’s performance last Saturday becomes even more impressive. Best to him and his family,” tweeted ESPN’s sports commentator Stephania Bell.

The Hurricanes will continue their battle to the ACC title with Virginia, tomorrow at noon.

Hurricanes rise in ranks, media attention


On Saturday, Nov. 11, ESPN’s “College GameDay” came to UM’s Coral Gables campus for the first time in the show’s history – following one of the strongest football seasons in recent Hurricanes’ history.

The event not only sparked school spirit and excitement around UM’s football program, but it also brought to light who are true Hurricane fans and who are just hopping on the bandwagon. Starting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, ESPN crews began flooding campus, setting up all of the equipment and activities associated with “College GameDay.”

Although exciting for many, one thing became very clear – the news media will follow stories that are relevant and cater their opinions based off that relevancy. ESPN led into and opened the show with suggestions that the Miami Hurricanes just “got lucky” during the rest of the season and that they have finally met their match against Notre Dame – a team ranked higher than the Hurricanes before the match up.

Almost everyone other than die-hard Miami fans thought there was no possibility of the home team securing a win and rising in the polls. But then it happened. Following the Hurricanes’ monumental win, news media outlets such as ESPN immediately began to change their position on the game, saying “The U is back baby!”

In the era of “fake news,” biased reporting only gives fuel to the pandemic of labeling any story as “fake news” simply because one disagrees with the points and facts presented. Although ESPN’s “College GameDay” is a program that is heavily based off predictions and opinions surrounding each team playing on any given weekend, it brings a larger problem to light.

People across social media and other news outlets – both local and national – began changing their views and the way they reported their stories following the win. Sports are a difficult topic because everyone has their favorite teams and everyone wants to be a part of the winning spirit, even if that means ‘bandwagoning’ and following a team based on its success.

Although this is a common practice in sports, it gives people a new paradigm for opinionated and biased reporting. Changing a position on a story solely to gain more engagement and relevancy in the marketplace not only questions journalistic ethics, but also forces the journalism industry as a whole to conform to a new level of competition that hinders on the basis of the industry.

Trump reverses elephant trophy ban


The Trump administration reversed an Obama era ban on importing elephant trophies acquired from hunting in Zambia and Zimbabwe this Wednesday.

A provision of the Endangered Species Act allows the hunting of these elephants so long as there is proof that it is beneficial to the species. A spokesperson from the Fish and Wildlife Service cited this act in defense of such hunting, saying it helps by “… providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much needed revenue back into conservation.”

Critics of the decision were not swayed: Animal-protection groups such as the Humane Society and the Elephant Project called the decision “venal and nefarious” and “reprehensible” respectively. Another ethical concern they raised was the hoarding of elephant hunting rights by rich Americans who want only the ivory tusks, in a region where many poor and hungry Africans are strictly prohibited from killing them and using the entire animal for food and profit.

Still another criticism surrounded President Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric, who are known to be fond of hunting from photos posted on social media. No formal accusations of bias have arisen, but the thought is there.

USA Today was quite adept at showing the story’s importance as well as it’s opposing sides. What to many might look like a straightforward ethical dilemma. USA Today presented as an issue with two sides with equally compelling evidence. Their references to previous related events, such as that of Cecil the line, also helped tremendously in showing that animal rights is an ongoing and relevant issue.

Russian zookeeper gets mauled by tiger


Zookeeper Nadezhda Srivastava, was feeding 16-year-old Siberian tiger, Typhoon, when he jumped on her and started mauling her.

Srivastava told reporters that she tried to get away but the cat put all his weight on top of her and she could not move. Pictures show Srivastave cover her face and put her elbows up in order to keep the tiger from biting her head. After the tiger had torn up her arms she turned to get away but he then sunk his teeth into her back.

People who were visiting the zoo saw what was happening and tried to help by throwing things at the tiger in order to distract him.

Srivastava fought for her life for about 10 minutes before she was finally able to run away to safety from the tiger. She was taken to the hospital with a shattered wrist, several broken fingers and a couple broken ribs. Luckily, there was no damage to her nerves.

When talking to reporters, Srivastava said that she is so grateful for the visitors of the zoo that were trying to help her. She stated, If it were not for the visitors of the zoo, I would no longer be alive.”

The news media reported this story very well because they throughly described everything that occurred within the 10 minutes that Sricastava was battling the tiger. Although 10 minutes does not seem like a long time, it felt like eternity for Scricastave and the news media did a really great job in relating that to the public.

Fox News bans rock star Gene Simmons


The frontman of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons, has been banned for life from the right-leaning Fox cable channels.

Formally Simmons was a favorite guest on Fox News and Fox Business Network programs, which loved his rock star antics and conservative political views.  However, Fox just could not take him anymore after he insulted female Fox staffers, exposed his chest to them and behaved like the “demon” character that he plays on stage.

As a response, Fox’s management posted Simmon’s photograph to the security entrance of the company’s Manhattan headquarters with a “do-not-admit” stamp.

The incident began when Simmons appeared on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox Business Network show, “Mornings with Maria,” to promote his new book “On Power.”

All went well until Bartiromo asked Simmons his views on the Harvey Weinstein sexual-misconduct scandal.

“Okay, I’m a powerful and attractive man and what I’m about to say is deadly serious. Men are jackasses,” Simmons answered. “From the time we’re young we have testosterone. I’m not validating it or defending it.”

Right after this, Simmons left the interview and barged into a staff meeting in Fox’s entertainment section completely uninvited.

“Hey chicks, sue me!” he shouted, before pulling up his shirt to reveal is chest.  Then, he began to tell pedophilia jokes and insulted the intelligence of the Fox employees in the room.

“It was pretty severe,” said one person who was present in the room.

This story has gained some substantial news media attention.  It was featured on the New York Post. However, the most important question to ask is: Why in the world Fox was having Simmons come on their shows?

The “Fox and Friends” show had previously let Simmons do a weather forecast in their broadcast. Watching the clip on YouTube of this made me feel as if I was watching the “The Jerry Springer Show.”

If the major news media continue to participate in this nonsense for a few extra views, then we are heading to an America that will be far less intelligent.

Although I believe it is justified to have unusual guests who specialize in “shock value” on once in a while, this clearly crosses the line by a mile.

Media giants such as Fox allowing people to blatantly spew ignorance on their shows is something that must go.

Even though Fox News banned Simmons from the network, I am certain another station or network will pick him up and allow him to partake in the same ignorance.

Anything for money.  Anything for views.  We live in troubled times.

The UM watchdog for fraternities


The last issue of The Miami Hurricane published an editorial about the danger of fraternities. The last event that made the newspaper pay attention to fraternities was the death of a Florida State University student Nov. 3 after attending a fraternity party.

An editorial is opinion, so journalists have more freedom to speak about some topics, because they just present their opinion but they base it on facts. The importance of an editorial, though, mostly lies in the point of view.

In this editorial titled “Fraternity culture poses danger to students” in the print version, the staff is aware that it can be accused of “fake news,” so it defends itself before any reaction can show up.

Here you can find the online version of the article:

The editorial staff reveals some examples of games that are played in UM fraternities to take a position opposing them and then to suggest solutions.

As they can’t prove that these games actually happen, so they defend the argument by saying: “Even if these hazing practices only amount to rumors, the fact that they are so widely circulated without any generalized outrage condones and perpetuates such behavior.”

The article ends with a warning that the staff will keep reporting about fraternities, but also looking for sources that back up their point of view or suggest even better solutions.

They are taking the editorial role that they serve in their community seriously, in this case  the UM campus. Journalists have the responsibility to report about the things that are not working in their community and give voice to people that suffer because of these issues. They are called the Fourth Estate and watchdogs because they willingly monitor and report about the actions and inactions of the people in charge.

So, in my opinion, they are doing what they should do, but prematurely. As they say twice that they are aware that this information can be called rumors or fake news. And, at the end of the editorial, they ask readers to contact them with related stories.

This way, the editorial loses some credibility. It would have been easier and more professional if they had identified sources and prepared one or more news stories to back up the editorial. In that manner, they would gain authority to opine about it.

Times takes deeper look at musicals


This morning, New York Times writer Michael Paulson released a lengthy piece about what he calls “’The Lion King’ Effect.” The work featured both article text and multimedia presentation, including extensive photographs and video, and gave readers a deeper look into the effects of the popular musical on the South African performers who have taken on roles in the signature production.

When I saw the story, I immediately clicked on it, because it was something different. The piece took something I was already familiar with and offered a new, deeper angle that pushed me to continue reading. Every other lead story on The New York Times’ landing page was about politics, or war, or scandal. This was unique and exciting: original content that I wasn’t going to find everywhere else.

The article itself was very well written. It was structured logically, with larger headings to sections that were comparable to the “Snow Fall” multimedia piece that was done by Times reporters several years ago. While this piece was much shorter, it still offered a variety of images to pair with the reading. Major characters in the story were shown in large, full-screen photographs in costume, and the pairing allowed readers to really identify with their personal stories, myself included.

I also enjoyed how the story immersed the reader in separate stories without convoluting them. Each personal story was distinctly separate from the others, with images, text and investigation of its own merit. This allowed me to stay focused on the story I was reading, without confusing details between the different people involved.

The video was a great addition to the story because it provided a visual representation of life backstage at one of “The Lion King” shows, which was essential to understanding the mindset that these performers have in that situation. All of the work that goes into the journey of these people, the success, the tragedies, the constant effort – everything leads to this moment of the makeup being applied, the curtain lifting, and the triumphant chant that opens the show.

One in 8 Million, a new approach


When we talked about multimedia in class, one thing came into my mind: One in 8 Million.

One in 8 Million is a feature article about stories of different people in New York. The newspaper canvassed a large collection of different portraits of New Yorkers and attached them to their story in an audio piece.

Not only does it have a very user-friendly system, but also a very elegant and polished one, making it seem as if you are in presence of a true work of art. In black and white, they display many characters and a title for each story that catches the eye of the readers.

The stories are about one minute or two in length, however, they are accompanied by stunning professional pictures that show us the everyday life of the protagonists.  It is important to remark as well the impact the audio has on the reader, mostly because of how it was recorded. It has a lot of natural sounds, and one could even feel as they are talking to you.

I thought this format was very similar to the one we saw in class called “Snowfall.” I loved both pieces because I think they engage the readers in a completely different way. It is a more crafted piece, very detailed and woven into something bigger. It illustrates what the writer wants to say in various segments with a number of tools. In my perspective, it is an amazing way to use technology in a newspapers advantage, going further than using social media which has become more popular. I would love to see more stories like these ones.

Reference links:

Same-sex marriage closer in Australia


Australia is on its way to legalizing same sex marriage, after a survey showed that the country is ready to take a progressive step forward.

In a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 62 percent of registered voters said “yes” to same-sex marriage, prompting Parliament to consider legalizing the weddings later this year.

If legalized, Australia will become to 26th country to do so. Following after Ireland to put same-sex marriage to a popular vote.

Needing only to change its Australian Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the overwhelming push sparked thousands of marriage equality supporters to fill the streets in celebration of the news.

The news came to social media with #AustraliaSaysYes as people celebrated with posts and pictures of loved ones waiting to get married.

According to, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that legalization could happen by Christmas. However, there has been opposition from conservative politicians due to extensive religious protection, in hopes to stall the bill.

Several lawmakers have submitted their drafts of the bill, but fear of discrimination and dissolving protection are making lawmakers cautious to proposals.

If a law is passed, this will be a major step for the country, after the last prime minister, Tony Abbott, openly opposed same-sex marriage and led the campaign in against changing the law.

Earthquake kills hundreds in Middle East


The Iranian city of Sarpol-e Zahab was strongly hit by an earthquake on Sunday near the Iraqi border.

The New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink told Americans about the aftermath, writing that Iranians spent the night digging in a frantic search for survivors after the powerful earthquake struck near the Iraqi border on Sunday evening. oreM than 300 people were killed and thousands of others injured, officials said.

The epicenter of the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, according to the United States Geological Survey. Many buildings, farms and homes were destroyed. People are sleeping in the streets in fear of aftershocks.

According to the state news agency IRNA, at least 341 people were killed and nearly 6,000 people in Iran were injured.  According to Dr. Saif-al-Badir, from Iraq’s Ministry of Health, at least eight people were killed and 535 were hurt on the Iraqi side of the border.

As needed when reporting catastrophic events of great magnitude, news organizations use reliable sources as the United States Geological Survey, the Iran News Agency, Iraq’s Ministry of Health, and the Iranian Students News Agency.

Child shootings occur daily in America


We already must be concerned with protecting the children in America from attackers, drugs and numerous of the other constant dangers in the world. Just last week last Sunday, eight children were killed, a part of the biggest mass shooting in Texas history. But children should not be presented with danger just because of an adult’s irresponsibility.

Thursday afternoon, a 2-year-old toddler shot himself in the head and was found dead in a basement of a home in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood. The police recovered the handgun, but have still not shared the identity of the owner.

Just in 2016, 318 incidents occurred where someone under the age of 18 had access to a firearm. A total of 21 adults were shot by kids and 121 kids were killed by self-inflicted wounds or were shot by another kid.

As of this month, the data of children unintentionally pulling the trigger and shooting themselves, other children and other adults is shocking and just disgraceful. A total of 116 kids have already been killed this year by another child or by a self-inflicted wound.

A new study on gun violence with the objective to examine fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries among children aged infant to 17 in the United States was published in the Journal of Pediatrics. This study was conducted by statisticians at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Texas. With results showing that 19 children are shot every single day in the United States.

This means that an average of 3.5 children is killed by guns each day.

A part of America believes that guns are needed for safety, although they seem to be a constant danger. If adults make the decision to possess firearms for their own safety, as they believe it is their right as written in the constitution, then they should also have the decency to be responsible with its power. It is not fair that children who can grow and live a life, are unable to because of their own curiosity and an adult’s carelessness.