Weatherman swears on live TV

BY: Gianna Sanchez

When watching the “Today Show,” most people expect a fun, bubbly morning show to help them wake up and have a good start to their day. While this is usually how the show may be, things took a turn for the worst Thursday morning.

Al Roker was tossing from the show to a weather forecast for the weekend. The meteorologist, Chris Cimino, must not have realized that he was live. When the camera cut to Cimino, he was featured saying “It’s just a weird f–ing thing, it’s just strange. Um, but I think if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have allowed myself.”

That’s all the audience got to hear until the mic was cut off. After, the 20-second silence, the show pictured a 10-day forecast on the screen with Roker going back on the screen. While some people, like Twitter user JDocMartin, found the mistake amusing by saying “Did I imagine it or did Chris Cimino accidentally drop the F bomb? #YourMicisHot,” others like Renny Hurst believe this “is not acceptable when my 6 year old is setting next to me watching the news.” An NBC spokesman issued an apology to all their viewers later that day.

How did this happen in the first place? Was it the fault of a producer for not telling Cimino he was about to be live, an audio board operator who lazily left on the mic for too long or was it Cimino himself? Regardless of whose fault it is, this type of behavior is unacceptable, especially for a show that is marketed to be for a family-type atmosphere.

NBC and Cimino definitely learned their lesson and it will probably come at a hefty price from the Federal Communications Commission. Cimino might be joining George Carlin for his colorful language on the popular morning show.

Fakebook takes another misstep


Instead of commercials and print advertisements, Facebook has found a new way to advertise for their company.

Facebook has allegedly paid The Daily Telegraph, a U.K. broadsheet, to write articles that defend Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The articles have been put under a collection called “Being human in the information age.” 26 stories have already been published in the last month under this umbrella.

Facebook has made this move because of the negative press it has been receiving in the last few months. By using articles to publish this positive information, it can manipulate the public. This is not a true article, but rather an advertisement through journalism. But this is not the same kind of advertising most companies are using.

This is the exact opposite sort of advertising Facebook should be doing right now. They are constantly under fire for the spread of “fake news” articles being posted on the platform. This is a form of fake news. It’s different if these types of articles were deemed commentaries or op-eds. If they are regularly posted in the newspaper, then this is misleading for the public. Many would consider Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg to be untrustworthy, why would I trust them after they pay for positive articles to be written about them?

The company spokesperson said this would help with marketing, but I think once more people find out about this, it will look like bad news for the company once again. Facebook should be working more on their security and fact checking rather than their marketing for a better Facebook.

School tragedies lead to three deaths


This week, there have been three suicides related to school massacres. In an article from CNN, the writers stated that “three suicides have devastated communities already linked by mass tragedies.” Getting through tragedy is hard for any community, but does the news media make it worse to get through these times?

It is the duty of a journalist to tell the truth and report on what is happening in the world. When tragedy strikes, it is a journalist’s job to report it. However, to what extent do we report this tragedy?

When the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre happened just over a year ago, the story was constantly in the news. It was on every station you turned to, especially in South Florida, and you could not escape it. While it was necessary for people to stay updated on everything surrounding the tragedy, we did not really look at how it affected the community.

If you attended the school or were a part of this community and constantly heard the name “Nikolas Cruz” on every station you turned to, then you could have very extreme reactions to that. Often times people believed that news stations were making Cruz famous or helping him accomplish what he set out to do.

This also bombarded people in the community because they were constantly having to hear about the tragedy. It does not help with trying to cope when you are reminded about the incident constantly. While the suicides were likely caused due to survivor guilt, according to CNN, the news media talking about these tragedies were probably not helpful to the people trying to deal with these losses.

It is the job of journalists to report the news, but not to insight fear and tragedy in a community that has already taken many hits from it. By over saturating the news with one topic of conversation, it can hurt the community and affect other’s who had a similar tragedy happen to them.

Women’s basketball enters post season


March Madness is upon us and basketball fans everywhere are filling out their tournament brackets. It’s hard to be a fan of March Madness when your team didn’t even qualify, but there’s always the other side of basketball that people oftentimes are looking at: women’s basketball.

March Madness is always significantly more talked about than Sweet Sixteen. Women’s sports in general are typically talked about less than men’s sports. This is typically because people believe that men’s sports are more entertaining. Looking at it from the financial perspective, significantly more money goes into men’s sports than women’s. Even comparing sport to sport, the top paid men’s basketball player, Stephen Curry, made $33 million in the 2018-19 season compared to women’s basketball player, Sylvia Fowles, who made a mere $109,000. This is a huge discrepancy in the pay that bleeds into the fan attraction.

This isn’t just at the pro level, however. Men’s college basketball gets out way more fans and viewers than women’s basketball does. A lot of people say that they do not watch women’s basketball because they don’t respect the organization. A key example of this happened this past Monday. ESPN was holding a selection show for what seeds, brackets and locations were chosen for this year’s Sweet Sixteen. The show was set to be held at 7 p.m. Around 3 p.m. that day, someone leaked the entire bracket, locations and seeds for the tournament. ESPN quickly tweeted saying that selection would be pushed up an hour, however, did not address the leak.

Teams everywhere started preparing for their numbers and were not too surprised when the official announcement came at 6 p.m. Many people who watch women’s basketball cited this as a reason why people do not respect the organization. It is hard to watch when little mistakes like this happen, especially coming from a national organization. Steps are being taken each year to improve the attendance and viewers for women’s sports, but until the same effort is put into women’s athletics as it is men’s, even from a broadcasting perspective, there will not be any equality coming any time soon.

How much is too much reporting?


The news media are looked at as the watchdog over our government. They are supposed to hold people accountable for what they say and do–but to what extent? It seems as though sometimes news outlets are reporting on the wrong aspects of the news.

I realized this when scrolling through Twitter. I saw a tweet from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the representative for New York’s 14th Congressional district. The tweet linked an article from the New York Post with the headline “Ocasio-Cortez leaves parade in 17-mpg minivan–blocks from the subway.” Ocasio-Cortez responded with some light humor saying “I will have you know my tía was very upset that the New York Post insulted her minivan…If they saw how many goldfish snacks were in this thing they’d say I was killing the ocean too.”

At first, I thought it was just internet trolls at it again and Ocasio-Cortez getting into trouble. Once opening the article, it really criticized her. The first line was “she’s addicted to Uber.” The article goes on to say how hypocritical Ocasio-Cortez is for advocating for climate change and better use of energy while not using a form of mass transportation.

The writers, Sarah Trefethen and Bruce Golding, did a lot of digging to find out how much gas time and money she was wasting by taking this mini-van ride from her aunt, but they claimed it was Uber. They also revealed statistics from her days campaigning to say how much money she spent on Ubers, taxis and for-hire vehicles. They did not realize, however, that this ride that she was taking was not an Uber.

While it is good to know information about candidates or politicians and what they truly support, when is enough enough? Do we as journalists have to bash Ocasio-Cortez for taking an Uber ride or ride from her aunt and not using the subway for every mode of transportation every day? Does this truly prove a bigger point and say that she does not truly believe in everything she claims to?

As journalists, I feel as though the line that is separating what is necessary to report and what is distracting from the point is blurring more and more each day. We need to figure out whether or not to report on the details of someone’s personal life versus the issues they are discussing.

UM-UF football opener date changes


One of the most coveted games of the year is right around the corner. With basketball season getting into the deep end and baseball underway, fans are already talking about football. To be more specific, they are talking about the UM-UF football opener game.

The game is set to play in Orlando, Fla., or what some would call neutral territory. The date was originally supposed to be during Labor Day Weekend. However, recent news suggests that the date might be moved to a week earlier.

The reason the game might be moved is because of ESPN. The company is celebrating their 150th year in college football and this game would be big to kick things off.

The last time the University of Florida played the University of Miami was six years ago, in 2013. The game was played in Miami and the Hurricanes won 21-16. This game will prove to fans on both sides who really owns the state of Florida when it comes to football.

The date change is still pending NCAA approval and no one knows when the answer will come out. If the date is changed, the teams are guaranteed a prime time slot of 8 p.m. on ABC or ESPN. If approved, this will mean that the two schools will also be allowed to start practice earlier.

The decision would also impact people who have already bought tickets to event. People plan ahead of time to schedule flights, hotels and time off. The answer is still in the air for what would happen to those who already purchased tickets.

A lot of these articles about the subject are forgetting one key factor in this rivalry match-up: the context. This rival has deep roots and many new fans to the dynasties do not know about them. Articles explaining the change in date should also explain why so many fans are so eager for this match-up.

No one knows when the NCAA will release the official date, but fans and teams alike will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the answer.

Opinion-based news now dominates


A lot has changed since Donald Trump has become president, especially in the world of news. Many of the main news outlets that American viewers used to trust have now turned into public enemy No. 1.

To be completely honest, at this point, I cannot even remember how it used to be. Maybe news was polarizing then and no one noticed, but it is especially polarizing now. While news used to be publicized as only stating facts and communicating information, many news stations have turned into a contest.

Fox News and MSNBC are some of the more common networks referred to by the president. Fox News is usually mentioned in President Trump’s favor, while MSNBC is more looked at as the anti-Trump cable network. This is up for interpretation, however, and it is up for the public to decide which to watch and support.

After watching a video titled, “Cooper: Trump Declared emergency, headed to Mar-a-Lago,” I started thinking about the idea of opinion based news. The video showed Anderson Cooper questioning Donald Trump’s sincerity regarding the national emergency. Cooper even mentions that Trump headed over to West Palm Beach for a few days to relax rather than work at the White House.

The video mostly presented facts. It said when Trump arrived, what he had been doing and the results of Trump’s declaration of emergency. Cooper does not add his opinion too much in the video and he even says some comments in Trump’s defense. While the reporting was done well, I think Cooper did mildly insert his opinion through the tone and delivery of facts in the story.

People trust reporters and anchors to deliver the news. I would expect that most people would also want the news to be delivered in an unbiased way. The news should provide information, while viewers should shape their own opinion about what they saw. Without the trust and hope for unbiased reporting, we stray farther and farther away from what people want and become too reliant on opinion rather than facts.

One year later: Parkland shooting


One year after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting and people everywhere are still grieving. While Feb. 14 used to be the day of love, people are now mourning and changing their outlook on the day. This day will be remembered by many forever and has made a huge impact on the lives of many.

This was not the first time there had been a school shooting. In fact, there were approximately 11 before Parkland happened. However, shootings in the past did not get covered like this one. This shooting in particular seemed to affect everyone all over the country and even in different parts of the world. One of the biggest reasons this become such a prominent movement was because of the people leading this movement and the news coverage it was given.

Shootings happen every day. There have been an estimated 38 killings that have already occurred in 2019 alone. I have heard about maybe three of these shootings, but nothing close received the coverage that Stoneman Douglas did.

The news media played a huge role in the start of this movement. Often times when there is a mass shooting, the news media move on to something else after a day or two of coverage. With this particular shooting, people discussed it for weeks. And even one year later, the coverage continues on what the people affected by this shooting are still doing today.

Why did the news media care so much about this and not about others? Was it the number of people affected and the area of the school? Was it because of the effect it had on the community? While the coverage for this instance may have been exactly what people needed to hear, the same attention has still not been brought to anything since then.

News outlets need to give equal coverage to events that may have links to them like this. The news media oftentimes takes out details and downplays events as to not insight fear in society. However, information like this should be of public concern. People should know the details about everything that happens, not just when it happens one time.

Clickbait in the news media


One of the most common forms of getting someone’s attention online is the use of clickbait. Clickbait, by definition, is the content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page. I was a victim to this clickbait when USA Today posted an article titled “Liam Neeson wanted to kill someone.”

Once clicking on the article, I see that it’s not solely about Liam Neeson at all. One of the stories features him, however, the article’s main focus is what happened in news this week. The top story is about Liam Neeson, but as you read more, you can find political news and more global worming coverage.

This is a problem that I have encountered not only with this specific article, but with many news sites and articles around the internet. This wasn’t too much of a problem before the internet became prominent in the journalism world as the phrase “clickbait” hadn’t even become a phrase.

Clickbait titles almost seem like a necessity now. Every news site uses them to draw in viewers and clicks on to articles. Although it can be a good marketing tactic to get more people on a web page, it makes stories more about drama than the actual story. These titles have crazy names like the one from USA Today. They make people think they have to read it because something couldn’t possibly be so crazy.

Behind these crazy titles, however, are just the same stories we are used to seeing. Even though the style of journalism behind them hasn’t changed too much, the titles still throw off viewers and generate more excitement or drama than the articles themselves.

Rather than trying to think of a great title to get people to click on their articles, they should focus on how they are reporting their news. We should try and give the facts rather than come up with a scandalous title.

Cannabis ad won’t air during Super Bowl


The Super Bowl is this Sunday and it’s something many people look forward to watching each year. It’s that special time when sports fans and non-sports fans can share a day together. Some people watch it to root on their favorite team, some to watch the halftime performance and thousands of others to see what creative commercials advertisers came up with this year.

So far, it has been said that companies like Pepsi, Doritos, Bumble, Budweiser, Kia, M&Ms and Olay are for sure advertising in this year’s match-up. There’s one company, however, that tried to advertise, but will not be offered the chance to do so.

Acerage Holdings attempted to buy an advertisement for this year’s Super Bowl. The company is different from many other advertisers, since this one sells medical marijuana. The company has offices in 15 states and was hoping to “create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue,” said Acerage President George Allen.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in more than 30 states. However, it is still federally illegal. News outlets titled their articles similar to Time, saying “CBS Blocked a Medical Marijuana Company.” Articles like these, however can come off as misleading.

The title makes it seem as though CBS is blocking the company due to moral values or relating it to their beliefs on medical marijuana. Farther down in these articles, you can find the statistics that point out the true reason CBS is “blocking” the advertisement is because of the legality of it.

While critics are attacking CBS for not allowing the ad to run, it might have been rejected by the FCC anyway. The FCC regulates all broadcast and radio air time. While in some states, you might see a marijuana commercial run on the air, the drug is still not federally legal. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched programs of the year, and to advertise something that is illegal in 20 states, would most likely not be allowed.

Before everyone goes to fight CBS for blocking this advertisement, they should think about the legality of the situation, and the true backlash that CBS will probably be avoiding with this decision.