Local news channels… Please keep up


What is it about local television news stations and their lackluster approach to reporting news?

Earlier in the semester, I wrote about the ridiculousness that was the Channel 10 newscast one night in Miami. Last night, I found myself watching another local news channel’s nightly newscast and once again was disappointed.

This one admittedly was not as horrible as the first, but it was still falling short of my expectations of what a newscast should be.

In particular, they had a segment about “new tips when buying flights during the holidays,” aided by an “expert” in the field. Now, how you can be an expert in such a field is beyond me, but we won’t go there.

The story was roughly three to five minutes long, with no concrete content. The reporter would prompt the “expert” with a leading question and the “expert’s” response would be completely unrelated or completely opinion based. The program really didn’t leave me (the viewer) with any concrete, new tips to buy cheap flights as it had promised to do.

Worst of all, it ended with a reporter informing us of the best dates to get the cheapest plane tickets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, those dates were both at the beginning of October, proving to be absolutely useless for anyone watching that night.

So the two main issues I, and I’m sure many other viewers, had with last night’s newscast were that a) the information was not delivered in a timely fashion at all, a crime in the news industry; and b) the information wasn’t even informative or clear.

The fact that my boyfriend, who was also watching the program with me, said “well that made absolutely no sense,” is an indicator that local news stations need to up their game and the quality of their newscasts. In the meantime, I’ll stick to the national news channels.

Do news media exacerbate the problem?


It’s an age-old question: can the news media be blamed for exacerbating an issue? Do the means by which an issue is covered or relayed to the public really affect the way the audience perceives an issue?

The answer is absolutely yes.

Numerous times throughout history, the media covered issues in such a way that caused unnecessary, misguided, and even angry reactions from the public.

When it comes to the “crisis” of Ebola in the United States, that is exactly what occurred.

In early October, the media released that the first case of Ebola had arrived in the United States, carried by a Liberian man named Thomas Duncan who had just returned from a trip to West Africa.

Duncan was hospitalized in Texas, where he died eight days after his diagnosis. While he was being treated, two of the nurses caring for him were infected with the disease, however they were treated successfully and declared safe.

When all of this started happening just over a month ago, every news media website, TV station, radio station, you name it, was reporting about it.

It was everywhere.

Naturally, people took to social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, to spread the news and their feelings of terror. This only made the problem seem worse.

Pretty soon, Ebola was “the new plague” and people across the nation were terrified of catching it and ran the other way as soon as someone coughed or sneezed by them!

This fear was only worsened by the media exacerbating the issue and making it seem like Ebola was an airborne virus that one could catch at any moment, when in fact Ebola can only be transmitted through bodily fluids, blood and objects such as needles.

If the media hadn’t blown the Ebola issue way out of proportion and shared more of the facts with people before alerting everyone to take precautions, it wouldn’t have become such a huge issue.

But never fear! It appears the last known case of Ebola in the United States was just cured last night in NYC and our country is safe once more. That is, until the news media find another disease with which to scare everyone.

Professionalism (or lack thereof) in Miami


What is the job of a broadcast news anchor? I think we all agree that it is to entertain but, most importantly, it is to inform the rest of us about the most recent and relevant events occurring in the world everyday.

Here’s the problem. Miami’s news station, Channel 10, has completely lost the balance of informing while entertaining, and thus in my opinion has lost any reputability.

As I watched the newscast this evening, the first things that struck me were the female news anchors’ outfits. One of them was wearing an almost-too-tight, bright purple dress during her report. I was a bit put off, but let it slide.

Next they showed another female reporter and her outfit, in my humble opinion, was inexcusable! She wore a bright pink, tight skirt with a black sleeveless top, made of lace.


When did it become okay to throw out the rule of dressing professionally to your workplace just because we live in Miami? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not okay. If I am expected to listen to the news that you are reporting, it would be nice to not be distracted by your inappropriate outfit.

Furthermore, the writing behind the newscasts and the stories were just sub-par at best. Multiple times the reporters used slang terms or reported their story in such a gossip-y way that it made it seem invalid.

For example, during one story about the manager of the Miami club that recently had a shooting that resulted in many injured minors, the reporter explained that their camera crew went to her Miami home and “knocked on the door but no one answered.”

They proceeded to show the reporter knocking on the front door of a residence and receiving no answer.

Then they explained that when they finally did find the manager and asked her questions, “All they got were dirty looks” and proceeded to show the owner giving the camera dirty looks. They showed this clip roughly seven times.

It was clear that there was no substance to their story, but for lack of other content they proceeded to run it. This is just not acceptable.

My concern with Channel 10 news is that people watch it to be informed about current events and not to see cute clubbing outfits on the anchors and reporters. And not to see poor quality news stories.

Twitter strikes again


I last posted about how social media, more specifically Twitter, are becoming a very integral part of how news is not only spread, but also generated in today’s culture. Once again, the social media giant strikes again, this time bringing to light a very distasteful issue.

Earlier this week, it came to light that the popular brand, Urban Outfitters, was selling a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt. What was interesting about this item wasn’t that it was supposedly “vintage”; not that it was the only one for sale; not even that it was being sold for an outlandish $129!

What made this particular item so buzz-worthy was its design. It contained what appeared to be blood stains surrounding holes in the shirt (presumed to be bullet holes), reminiscent of the 1970 “Kent State Massacre.”

The listing for the Kent State sweatshirt on urbanoutfitters.com

Forty-four years ago, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of unarmed students, leaving four dead and nine injured.

The image of the sweatshirt on the Urban Outfitters website spread like wild fire on social media, after being posted on the popular website Buzzfeed. Outrage ensued and spurred Kent State officials to write Urban Outfitters a letter expressing their disgust.

Urban Outfitters released a full apology to Kent State and all those offended by the sweatshirt, claiming that the dye pattern was a result of poor coloring on the sweatshirt, and the holes were due to wear and tear.

Obviously, this did not pacify anyone.

Why would Urban Outfitters buy and sell such a distasteful and offensive item? Was it an honest mistake?

We may never know, but luckily for us we’ll always have Twitter to vent and get our opinions heard.

Twitter: The ultimate news source?


The Internet has revolutionized the way people communicate with one another. This is an undisputed and well-known fact.

But I’d like to argue that social media, and more specifically Twitter, has begun to revolutionize the field of journalism.

Since its beginnings in 2006, Twitter has taken the digital world by storm. In spite of the skeptics, it grew in popularity at a record pace and has even been accredited with “launching what has been referred to as the “microblogging” phenomenon.”

Backing up a bit for my less tech-savvy readers, Twitter is a social media site through which people can create a profile for free and post messages of 140 characters or less about things going on in their lives. These messages are called “tweets.” People can “follow” their friends, family, favorite companies/brands, and news organizations to keep up with what’s going on in their lives.

Now, I say that Twitter is quite possibly becoming the ultimate news source for a number of reasons.

First, the obvious reason being that people no longer have to tune in to their local news station on the radio or television for the news. They also don’t have to wait for the newspaper to come the next morning. They can simply go their favorite news station’s Twitter account to keep up with what’s going on.

Not only is this a more effective way of distributing news, since it is reaching a mass of people at once; but it also is efficient because people can find out about news almost as soon as it happens.

But Twitter also acts as a news source for journalists and reporters.

By scrolling through their timeline, journalists can see what people are talking about and what the big news stories are at the moment. If there is a big event or big story occurring somewhere across the country, news companies can simply send out their people to go get the story instead of waiting to hear about it via another outlet.

In my opinion, these are all huge signs alluding to the fact that Twitter and other social media outlets are going to begin dominating the field of journalism and playing a larger role sooner than we think.