Symphony of Seas calls Miami home


Royal Caribbean’s newest and biggest ship, Symphony of the Seas, recently made its way from Spain to cruise out of Miami for the winter and spring season. Symphony, the largest ship in the world, marks an already changing tide in the Miami cruising industry that begun two years ago when Royal Caribbean broke ground on a new terminal.

Symphony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, will be sailing from Miami to the eastern and western Caribbean. Popular destinations such as Cozumel, San Juan, Labadee and St. Maarten will all be visited by Royal Caribbean’s flagship.

The news media coverage of the inaugural sailing and naming ceremony was done extremely well. Royal Caribbean invited journalists from a variety of different outlets, some involved in the cruise industry and some not, to cover this historic event.

Symphony sailing from Miami is a great example of several cruise lines pushing their initiatives to make Miami the cruising capital of the world again. Along with Symphony of the seas comporting in Miami, Royal Caribbean will also have Mariner of the Seas and Allure of the Seas in the magic city.

Curbelo meets man who threatened him


U.S. Congressman Carlos Curbelo of Florida’s 26th district recently met with a constituent of his who threatened to kill him on Twitter. Homestead teenager Alejandro Verges-Castro was arrested by the FBI after tweeting a threat to the congressman on Oct. 24.

Instead of staying away from the teen who threatened him, Curbelo appeared with the teenager today in an attempt to forgive the young man.

Our country is dealing with an immense amount of violent political  speech from both sides of the aisle that is sometimes orchestrated through biased news media coverage. Instead of putting fire to the flame, Curbelo instead accepted the teenagers apology and used him as  an example that words have actual meaning, even on twitter.

These threats came around the same time that an Aventura man was sending bombs in the mail to top democratic leaders.

The Miami Herald covered the incident extremely well, focusing on the idea that there can be political discussion in this country while also being civil, something that seems to be lost among today’s population, young or old.

Although this is one small example of political violence with words impacting a young mans life, it is great to see a congressman express remorse and compassion while also trying to steer the political discussion to civil discourse, not threats.

ESPN’s MNF broadcast needs reboot


ESPN”s “Monday Night Football” broadcast used to be the premiere football broadcast in the country. It was widely recognized by football fanatics as the best production on sports television.

After a revamp this off-season, it has quickly gone from best to worst. When Jon Gruden accepted the head coaching position for the Oakland Raiders, ESPN knew it would have an uphill battle to hire someone as popular as Gruden was to lead their broadcast.

ESPN decided to give Jason Witten, a recently retired tight end from the Dallas Cowboys, the opportunity to color commentate their flagship live broadcast. Although I give major props to ESPN for taking a shot with a new, unproven voice in the booth, the experiment has failed in an epic manner.

Along with the bad commentating and overall laziness of the broadcast, ESPN also rolled out a feature where Booger Macfarlane, a college football analyst at the network, roams the sideline on a ridiculous crane and gives analysis from his tower. The tower is so hysterically large that is actually prevents viewers at the game from seeing parts of the field while the tower is in front of them. ESPN’s fix to this issue? Slapping a 50 inch TV to the back of the crane that shows a live broadcast of their feed. Why would anyone want to go to an NFL game and actually watch it, when you can just watch the broadcast from your seat in section 101, row 4?

West grabs news focus from Michael


Throughout this week, news coverage has been pretty much all over the place. From Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to hurricane coverage and seemingly everywhere in between, this week has been a mess.

On Wednesday, the primary story was a category 4 hurricane rolling through the panhandle of Florida and seemingly destroying everything in its path. Today, you would expect that the coverage would continue with details and images from the aftermath. Instead, today the main story was Kanye West meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Are you kidding me? People lost their homes, their family members, or their work for the next couple of years and CNN and others are concerned about what was said between the president and Kanye West. Not only is it irresponsible, its grossly unfair to the people who have friends and family impacted by the storm.

On top of this, we have recent hurricane coverage (Florence) to compare to, a hurricane where CNN had vast coverage in all three phases of the storm: before, during and after. The coverage for Michael has been minimize because, apparently, the president meeting with a celebrity is far more pressing and concerning news for our country.

U.S. Ryder Cup team struggles in Paris


Although having what many to believe to be one of the most talented teams in U.S. Ryder Cup history, the United States were blow out by Team Europe at this years Ryder Cup.

Although the team struggled on the golf course, many unverified reports say that the team began having issues on the flight across the pond. French tabloids have run pieces saying that stars Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka almost fought both on the plane and in Paris.

The validity of these reports have been put in question as both Koepka and Johnson have vehemently denied the report as well as multiple team members. Dealing with these reports is something the team had to deal with in Paris and questioned whether or not the tabloid published the stories to cause a stir within the team.

Although tabloids have a pretty low standard to follow, it seems as though they don’t mind risking their journalistic integrity to ensure clicks and publicity.

Reporting about Kavanaugh needs work


I have just finished watching the coverage surrounding the Kavanaugh testimony today and the TV coverage has been incredibly lazy. From all the many platforms that people have access to watch the hearings and the commentary from talking heads, the question begs to be asked: what has happened to common decency and due process?

Regardless of whether you believe Kavanaugh or not, the trial by public opinion that has been put on by national news media with little to no facts and reporting based off “tips.” These stories are reckless, dangerous and threatening to someone’s family. They serve little to no purpose other than to portray a narrative that may or not be true.

As well as their inability to cover news correctly and fairly, main stream news media have also failed to wildly report that Sen. Diane Feinstein held on to this information throughout the entire nomination process, even through her one-on-one meeting with Kavanaugh, and never brought it up. Instead, she waited until the 11th hour to come out with this information, right before his Senate vote.

This entire process has been a national embarrassment from start to end and the national news media should be just as ashamed as the senate.

Cote shines light on LeBatard’s moment


If anyone follows the Miami sport’s scene, you are sure to have heard of Dan LeBatard and Greg Cote. Both are long-time sports journalists and columnists who have been writing about the variety things going on in Miami sports for quite some time. The duo are also long-time friends both professionally and personally.

Recently, LeBatard became engaged to his girlfriend during a safari in Africa. This prompted him to tell his close friends and family, including Greg Cote. As the weeks progressed, LeBatard kept the news under lock and key for the public.

That all changed when Cote decided to risk his friendship with LeBatard for clicks on an article for the Miami Herald. Cote decided to publish a story announcing the news, without permission of the newly engaged LeBatard himself. This prompted a hilarious outbreak from LeBatard on his national radio show for ESPN in which he was suddenly flooded with texts of congratulations.

In this new age of clickbait, especially in relation to journalism, I thought this story was a funny, but legitimate, example of how far some journalists can go in order to secure clicks on an article. Even if those clicks sacrifice the relationship between a mentor and a mentee.

Serena flops on big stage


Over the weekend, Serena Williams faced Naomi Osaka in the final of the Women’s U.S. Open. Usually, after such big tennis matches, the main stories are about the quality of the tennis within the match. In this case, however, Serena made sure the headlines would be much, much different.

Although much has been made about Serena’s childish actions and behavior that resulted her in being penalized a game in the match’s final set, I’d like to discuss how ESPN handled the controversy that ensued on their broadcast.

ESPN has the best tennis broadcasting crew in the game, hands down. It offers quality insight and great play by play commentary followed by interesting analytics. When Serena’s incident began to play out, ESPN clarified the rules extremely well, were objective  in their commentary, and also picked up every word that was said by Williams. The team’s coverage of the incident itself, quite frankly, was great.

Where ESPN failed was in there post-match coverage. At the trophy ceremony, they constantly referred to the incident itself rather than shine the light on Naomi Osaka’s (20 years old) absurdly good performance against the game’s greatest player. Naomi Osaka played the match of her life and felt the need to apologize in the post game interview because people didn’t get the outcome they wanted.

Although I understand why ESPN found the need to carve the narrative around what would get more clicks and headlines, the network failed to shine the light on the proper person and the proper story.

McMurphy’s reporting raises concern


Over the summer, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State football program found themselves under immense scrutiny for their handling of former coach Zach Smiths domestic violence accusations that led to his delayed departure. Although the scrutiny was well warranted and fair, the reporting done that broke this story leaves a lot to be desired from a journalistic perspective.

Former ESPN reporter, Brett McMurphy, was the first person to break the story surrounding Zach Smith that sparked both Meyer’s suspension and the suspension of Ohio State’s athletic director, Gene Smith. Although this was certainly the most important story of his career, the reporting that went into breaking this story was questionable.

When Brett McMurphy was laid off from ESPN, he lost his platform to report stories. Like many other reporters who have been let go from their publications, Brett McMurphy took to posting his stories on Facebook to inform his followers about what was going on in the college football world. Evidently, this is where Brett McMurphy posted this bombshell story that quickly attracted attention.

In order to understand the reason as to why the reporting was suspect, one must understand what was initially reported and why the story was such a big deal. Brett McMurphy reported that Zach Smith was arrested in 2015 with a charge of domestic violence toward his former wife. This led people to believe that Urban Meyer was aware of that arrest and did nothing about it. The problem with reporting that Zach Smith was arrested is a pretty big one: Zach Smith was never arrested.

Reporters make mistakes all the time, it’s just something that happens in the industry. The problem with this mistake is that it was the basis of the entire story. If Zach Smith was never arrested, Urban Meyer would have never heard about the allegation and thus would have no reason to enforce any sort of action. If he was arrested, Urban Meyer would have probably been fired earlier this month, instead of getting suspended, because employing someone who has been arrested for domestic violence is grossly irresponsible is wrong.

The biggest problem with the reporting was how Brett McMurphy “fixed” his mistake. Brett McMurphy didn’t post anywhere that he made a mistake that changed his initial bombshell story. Of course he didn’t, because if he admitted this mistake then his story would significantly diminish in importance. Brett McMurphy simply went onto his Facebook post, edited the story to reflect that Zach Smith was never arrested, and went on with his day. Thankfully, people picked up on the fact that McMurphy edited his post without saying anything.

Instead of following journalistic procedures and properly updating his story, Brett McMurphy took a side and wanted to stay as relevant as possible in his moment of fame. In doing so, McMurphy changed the entire narrative surrounding the Ohio State football program based off a report that was simply untrue.