About Madison Brown

(mrb104@miami.edu) is a sophomore at the University of Miami double majoring in broadcast journalism and motion pictures. She is originally from the Pittsburgh area. She is the Social Media/Promotions coordinator for UMTV and Vice President of Delta Kappa Alpha Cinematic Arts Fraternity. She is also a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She has worked as a reporter for UMTV NewsVision, Newsbreak, and Pulse. Media and communication has always been a big part of Madison’s life, and broadcasting is her passion. She hopes to become a news reporter or work in the film industry.

Media monarch lives on after death


One of this week’s top news stories focuses on someone who used to lead the news by reporting it.

Gwen Ifill, former co-host of PBS NewsHour, died on Monday at age 61.

Ifill dominated the world of news media and politics, having covered the White House, Congress and many national campaigns over the course of her career. The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC and PBS all hold spaces on her impressive resume.

Another impressive accomplishment, Ifill broke glass ceilings before it was cool. She began her journalism career in the 1970s, a time when white men ruled the newsrooms, as an African American woman. And she didn’t stop there.

More recently, she became half of the first network nightly news female co-anchor team with Judy Woodruff on PBS.

According to her family, Ifill’s death was related to uterine cancer.

Ifill as a news media monarch is still ruling the news today. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and more paid tribute to Ifill with headlines and stories this week.

“I got my first job by exceeding expectations,” Ifill said in an interview with the Archive of American Television in 2011.

Ifill changed journalism with her acclaimed work and dedication, and helped pave the way for females and minorities now and for years to come.

The Divided States of America …


The 2016 presidential election seems to have divided America more than it has united it. Both candidates have been the source of jokes and memes on social media throughout campaign season and people have not been shy about posting their opinions online.

Many Americans have joked that they would leave the country if Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.

However, as the results rolled in on Tuesday, what was once a joke started to become reality for some.

While President-elect Trump will soon move into the White House, some Americans will be moving out of their houses.

At around 11 p.m. on election night, Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website crashed due to a flood of users trying to visit the site at the same time. The federal government confirmed that the high traffic on the website caused the crash.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-6-01-04-pmThe website was still down two hours later.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada spokesperson Lisa Fillips said Shared Services Canada “worked through the night and continues to work to resolve the issue to ensure that the website is available to users as soon as possible.”

Twitter users reacted to the site crash while the votes were being counted.

Canada will accept 300,000 total new permanent residents in 2017, so it looks like some Americans might have to crash another country’s immigration site if they plan to leave the U.S.

Starbucks cups filled with controversy


Starbucks released a new cup on Tuesday to symbolize unity during this election season.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the cup is meant to remind people of “shared values and the need to be good to each other.”

The newly unveiled cup features an illustration of more than 100 people in one stroke. However, unlike the usual red holiday cups Starbucks hands out around this time, the new cup is green — and people are not happy about it.

Instead of bringing people together, the cups sparked outrage on social media.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-12-38-48-amLast year, people were equally as upset after Starbucks changed its typically Christmas-themed red cups into more simplistic, religiously inclusive red cups, again taking to social media to express their disappointment.

Clearly, people are serious about the color of the cup their coffee is in and they are not fond of the company messing with it. The #TeamRedCup people have been vocal about their opinions.

Photos of new 2016 red Starbucks cups have been surfacing on social media, as well as shipping boxes in Starbucks stores, labeled “No Peeking Until November 10th.”

The leaked photographs have led to speculation that Starbucks will in fact release the coveted red cups after Election Day.

Maybe the return of the red cup will bring the peace and unity Starbucks was striving for in the first place.

Celebrity social media activism backfires


With Election Day less than two weeks away, some states are offering early voting.

Justin Timberlake flew to Tennessee from California to take advantage of the state’s early voting opportunity.

While inside the voting booth in Memphis, Timberlake snapped a selfie. He then uploaded it to Instagram, encouraging his followers to “get out and vote.”

What seems like a well-intentioned public service announcement may have gotten the singer in trouble with the law.

As it turns out, a new Tennessee law that prohibits citizens “from using the device for telephone conversations, recording, or taking photographs or videos while inside the polling place” took effect in January. Committing the crime is a misdemeanor, and the penalty could be up to 30 days of jail time and a $50 fine.

Timberlake was unaware that his selfie was against the law in Tennessee.

“I was like, ‘This is gonna be great, I’m gonna inspire people to vote,’” Timberlake said on NBC’s Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday.

Selfies are a big part of today’s news media, especially with the popularity of social media sites.

Many celebrities use their media spotlight and large fan followings to speak about issues that are important to them. Timberlake has nearly 40 million Instagram followers.

If he did not inspire his followers to “get out and vote,” hopefully he at least inspired them to get out and check their state laws before posting voting selfies.

Ken Bone becomes Internet sensation


A man in a red sweater who asked a question at the second Presidential Debate on Sunday has became an instant Internet sensation.

Kenneth Bone asked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”

kenbone18The question itself isn’t to blame for Bone’s fame.

His name and the red sweater combined with his glasses made him the perfect internet meme.

Bone told CNN on Monday morning, “I went from, last night, having seven Twitter followers, two of which were my grandmother…to now, I have several hundred,” he said. “And I don’t know why they care what I have to say, but I’m glad they’re engaged in the political process.”

Now, Bone has more than 200,000 Twitter followers.

And the fan frenzy doesn’t stop there. #KenBone was a trending topic on Twitter, people created parody accounts, and Bitmoji—the iPhone app that allows users to make cartoon versions of themselves—created a Ken Bone-themed icon.

kennethboneNot to mention the Sexy Ken Bone Halloween costume that sold out within four hours.

Internet media sensations come and go faster than Ken Bone asked his question on Sunday, so who knows when his fifteen minutes of fame will be up and the next guy will have his chance in the Internet spotlight.

Hurricane Matthew dominates news


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These clowns are no laughing matter


Sightings of creepy clowns have been terrorizing the country, putting citizens and authorities on high alert.

The sinister circus characters started to gain attention earlier this fall when children in a South Carolina neighborhood complained to their parents about clowns trying to lead them into the nearby woods.

Since then, pictures and videos have been circulating on news websites, as well as on social media sights.

Last week the clown sightings reached Florida and went viral yet again after someone posted a video on Facebook of a clown hiding in the woods in Marian County.

Why are news organizations and people so fascinated and terrified by the concept of creepy clowns lurking outside of their neighborhoods?

Clowns have remained a widespread cultural fear, popularized by Stephen King’s novel It and the subsequent film.

The fact that in today’s society, anyone with access to a computer or smart phone can become a “journalist” by posting pictures and videos makes it easier for these clowns to get national attention.

Because of this, I don’t think the twisted clown phenomenon will end anytime soon. If anything, it might become more popular, especially with Halloween on the horizon.

Real-life “it” sightings could be the perfect money-maker for the Halloween industry, and social media is an easy way to keep the clowns on people’s radars.

More from the celebrity dating beat …


Rapper Mac Miller said on Power 105’s The Breakfast Club on Thursday morning that he and his girlfriend singer Ariana Grande are in love.

“Just because we are two people who are in love and have a great relationship doesn’t mean I am going to get weird about this incredible music we make,” Miller said when asked about how the impact the news media have on his relationship.

Lately, Miller and Grande have been attracting lots of news media attention about their newly confirmed relationship.

Earlier this week, Grande got into an argument about it with radio host Ryan Seacrest on his morning show On Air with Ryan Seacrest.

A comment Seacrest made about a photo of the couple that Grande posted on Instagram sparked backlash from the singer.

“If I post something, then that’s what I’m willing to share at the moment. That doesn’t mean that you, Ryan Seacrest, with millions of listeners, are entitled to more information,” Grande said, avoiding Seacrest’s question about whether or not her photo was posted to confirm hers and Miller’s relationship status.

Today’s news media are heavily preoccupied with Hollywood couples. Just ask Brangelina.

It seems as if the news media need to know who is dating whom at all times, which poses the question: are celebrity’s relationship statuses public information? Or does Grande have a point?

NCAA to relocate North Carolina events


The NCAA announced Monday that it will relocate all of the seven scheduled championship events from North Carolina due to the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law that prohibits citizens from using bathrooms that match a gender other than what is listed on their birth certificates.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory passed the law, known as House Bill 2, in March.

The NCAA’s relocation announcement will affect the Division I men’s basketball tournament, commonly referred to as March Madness, in which six games were scheduled to occur in Greensboro, N.C., this coming March.

“We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships,” Mark Emmert, NCAA president, said regarding the decision.

The NCAA has not yet announced where the relocated games will be played.

According to The New York Times, an NCAA spokesman said that North Carolina is the state which has hosted the most men’s basketball tournament games. This makes the relocation decision even more significant.

McCrory has faced harsh backlash from the media and the public since signing House Bill 2, and the NCAA’s recent decision is only making it worse.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-9-31-10-amChris Sgro, Equality North Carolina executive director and a Democrat in the North Carolina House of Representatives, has been an outspoken adversary of House Bill 2 and Governor McCrory.

Sgro took to Twitter to express his frustration after the NCAA’s announcement.

Sgro is not the only one upset by the governor’s stance on LGBTQ rights and the NCAA’s feelings on the issue are not helping his popularity.

Lochte’s career takes a dive


While Michael Phelps left the Rio Olympics as the most decorated Olympian of all time, the spotlight has been on another U.S. swimmer.

Ryan Lochte got into some trouble when he fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint while in Rio.

The news media blasted Lochte after he “over-exaggerated that story,” as Lochte told Matt Lauer in an NBC interview.

However, the news media are not the only place Lochte is facing backlash for the lie.

Rio police charged Lochte with falsely reporting a crime, and some of his sponsors dropped him. Speedo, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gentle Hair Removal and Airweave are among the companies that will no longer be working with Lochte.

According to CNN.com, Lochte is suspended from swimming competitively for 10 months, and will not be eligible for the 2017 world championship.

Meanwhile, “Dancing with the Stars” added Lochte as a cast member in their upcoming 23rd season. Apparently, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

“I think it’s time to hang up my Speedos and put on my dancing shoes,” Lochte said on Good Morning America when the cast was revealed.

That’s one way of looking at it, since he will not be allowed to wear his Speedos competitively anytime soon.