Protests show discontent with Trump


Since Donald Trump became the president-elect on Nov. 8, citizens across the United States have protested the president-elect himself along with other concerns.

Protests – mainly generated in urban areas – have grown to be more than just a defiance of Trump and his actions. Now, protestors, dominantly young adults, are peacefully taking the streets to advocate for minority rights and overall discontent with American politics.

However, many protesters did not even participate in this year’s election. For example, in Oregon about two-thirds of the arrested protesters either chose not to vote or were and are not registered to vote.

The dissatisfaction with Trump has cultivated a platform for the American public to walk together and discuss discontent. Aside from political protests, now protests against the Dakota Oil pipeline are popping up across the country.

News media outlets have covered the nationwide protests and other impacts of the election, such as the increased hate crimes towards minorities and violence towards Trump supporters.

The news organizations are taking their traditional biases. Fox News continues to speculate on whether the protests are real or paid propaganda and discusses the millennial dissatisfaction with a mocking tone. On the other hand, many outlets besides Fox have failed to report maltreatment of Trump supporters and have leaned heavily left following the election.

Where all organizations are failing is the in represention of the people who voted for Trump. Where are the people who voted for Trump? What are their lives like? Are they all rural, uneducated, white males?

Social media is overwhelmed with posts claiming, “Maybe not all Trump supporters are racists, sexist, etc., but they all decided that they weren’t deal breakers.” With comments like these, the protests and the general effects of the election, it appears like those who voted for Trump have no voice. Dialogue is not happening between the opposing views, yet it is necessary for both sides to state their opinions in order for the country to prosper.

Although racism, sexism and hatred in general should never be tolerated, there is an entire segment of the United States population that has been put into a box and dismissed.

In a few instances, media is speculating about these voters. For example, in a post on Glenn Beck’s website by Riaz Patel, executive producer of Axial Entertainment, Patel shares his experience as a gay, Muslim, Pakistani-American immigrant trying to understand Trump voters in Alaska.

This reflection sheds more light on the Trump voters than most news organizations have presented. Patel explains their economic struggles and their hope for a change. Patel suggests that a selection of the population was voting for social issues, whereas another was voting for “survival.”

By exploring the Trump voters’ perspectives in black and white perspectives, the American media is, in many ways, continuing to point fingers and divide the nation. When most of the American public sit in an area of gray, it is extremely important that journalists investigate and report fairly to make a more informed society. Hate from all sides is only exacerbated by the media, and although news does not create the hate, it does have the power to quell it in many instances.

Information is key. Unbiased reporting is key. Thorough investigation is key. When the news outlets are failing to put these type stories on the front page or on their Facebooks, more divide, and sadly mistrust, is cultivated.

A national self-analysis underway


After the United States’ presidential election on Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump won the election despite political polls that projected Hillary Clinton to win by a landslide.

Major news outlets, such as The New York Times and the Huffington Post, made predictions that were wrong, writing off Trump and proclaiming Clinton as the absolute winner.

Once Trump won, many voters across the nation felt misled by mainstream news media. In an article from The New York Times, the media company explained how numerous letters came in asking why it was so off and proclaiming mistrust in the news and journalists in general. Furthermore, mistrust and disdain was heard – loud and clear – as subscriptions to The New York Times were canceled.

The news media outlets, namely The Times, have began processing what went wrong and how they can improve in the future.

Journalism is designed to create a well-informed voting public, and whether or not the American agencies did that this election season is up to question. Most of the election coverage had a liberal bias, almost all news outlets missed the views and representation of rural America – which ended up being a deciding factor in the election – and now agencies are covering more fear about Trump than potential policies and positives Trump could mean for the country.

America is not just the urban centers of New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. There is no need to spin more fear, more panic and more drama into the American public that already feels disheartened about this past election season.

The inconsistencies with current polling techniques are a large reason to blame for the surprise win of Trump, but more importantly, the way the news media are continuing to cover the aftermath of the election is disappointing. Opinions and emotion are exaggerated and objective opinions seem to be a thing of the past.

In a period in American history where it is absolutely vital for journalists to be objective, expose injustices and represent the public, media agencies have fallen short.

Potentially, Trump winning the presidency could help expose journalists to areas of improvement.

Editors and journalists are already confronting the change.

“If I have a mea culpa for journalists and journalism, it’s that we’ve got to do a much better job of being on the road, out in the country, talking to different kinds of people than the people we talk to,” Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, said.

Baquet makes a point, the bubble of social media, community groups and families does not paint the whole picture of the story. My hope is that journalists continue to improve and continue to strive to serve and inform the American public.

Convergence of news media platforms


Beginning Nov. 14, the Wall Street Journal will debut a new version of its print edition after a decline in print advertising.

The paper will combine different sections due to a reduction in pages.

The Business & Tech and Money & Investing sections will be combined into one section. Likewise, the art, lifestyle, sports and cultural news will be incorporated into a section dubbed Life & Arts. Futhermore, the Greater New York section will be minimized in size.

The Wall Street Journal‘s move is not unlike other print-based news media. The decline in print advertising is affecting newspapers across the nation. Companies are investing more time and energy into digital platforms and less in print publications.

Although there will always be a market for print, it is necessary for print news media to adapt to the trends of the time. Because digital platforms are increasing in popularity, companies need to develop new techniques to deliver stories to their audiences.

The issue with online news, however, is that the editing process can be mitigated. Online news media are published with the immediacy that readers expect, but often not for the better. Although sites can update articles in an instant, the issue of posting inaccurate information increases with digital news media in comparison to print (which is edited thoroughly).

On the other hand, focusing more on digital platform can allow for companies to invest more in content. Page numbers are no longer a problem, cross collaboration happens in an instant and articles can be updated with new information.

As long as news sources continue to produce quality content, investing in online endeavors may be the only thing companies can do to survive in the modern media world.

News morphing into entertainment


Hollywood actress Shailene Woodley was arrested along with 27 other people after protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline on Oct. 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in North Dakota. The protest, Standoff at Standing Rock, gathered 200 people who attempted to create a blockade on the pipeline’s construction sites.

The pipeline is in the process of being built on grounds considered sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. There is also a fear that the pipeline will create contamination of water via fossil fuels.

Woodley, along with the other protestors, were met with armed police officers in large trucks. Although there was no violence at the event and protestors left the land when asked, Shailene among 27 others were arrested.

Woodley was targeted specifically for her arrest due to her Facebook live stream. Approximentally 40,000 viewers were watching the event live off of Woodley’s Facebook page.

Woodley pleaded not guilty to criminal trespass and rioting charges.

Most news sources, aside from news dedicated to strictly Hollywood entertainment, failed to report the event until days after and, for some, even a week after.

Woodley expressed her concern in a penned article in TIME magazine.

“It took me, a white non-native woman being arrested on Oct. 10th in North Dakota, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to bring this cause to many people’s attention. And to the forefront of news publications around the world,” Woodley wrote.

Woodley elevates an important notion: News media often do not cover stories that are vital for the public to know about. It should not take a celebrity to make a topic important. News media should be advocating for the public, for rights of the people, to create an informed society.

It should not take a celebrity to make a topic important. News media should be advocating for the public, for the rights of the people, to create an informed society.

Modern journalism and mainstream news media are quickly approaching a territory that is motivated by money. News outlets are businesses, but what about ethics? What about stories that matter? Although reporters and editors commonly choose stories that sell airtime or print editions – which in itself is not bad, far too often are necessary topics of debate pushed aside.

With the changing platform of news, it is difficult to get readers and viewers attention; however, maybe the public doesn’t care because they aren’t informed or people feel like things don’t impact them.

In Woodley’s Facebook video, as she is walking away, handcuffed and escorted by officers, she shouts backward to her mom who is holding her phone. “I hope you’re watching mainstream media.” Woodley’s statement highlights the need for media to focus on topics that impact the environment, cultures and society, such as the pipeline.

News outlets could do a better job at gearing the topic of stories to the issue, such as contaminated water, opposed to the “gossip” or “selling point,” such as Woodley.

Journalism is changing, but that doesn’t mean the integrity, wit and depth of journalism have to.

News media struggle with Chibok story


Twenty-one Chibok school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than two years ago were freed Thursday.

The Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, kidnapped more than 270 students from a school in Chibok in April 2014. Although the militant group had been terrorizing Nigeria for years, the kidnapping provoked international attention and increased support to stop Boko Haram.

After numerous negotiations with the Islamic militant group, the Nigerian government finally made a breakthrough this week. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government brokered a deal between Nigeria and Boko Haram which allowed 21 of the girls to go home.

The celebratory information has spread quickly across global platforms but has lead to conflicting information. Some groups, such as The New York Times, have sources that claim that no Boko Haram members were released from jail in exchange for the women. In opposition, other news media groups, including the Chicago Tribune, claim there was a swap.

The news outlets have different quoted sources yet, not all are credible. Phrases such as “a credible source” or “someone close to the negotiation” were used as attribution in the reports. This tactic points to a trend of large news media organizations valuing getting out information instead of getting specific sources that are proven true.

In important, historical stories, such as the initial coverage of a major kidnapping, it is vital for journalists to have accurate information. The fact that the news media are not consistent, are negligent about sources and compete to get out information quickly oppose to correctly needs to change.

With the increased presence of social media, the pressure to get out information is heightened. New audiences are more attracted to quick blurbs and immediate information; however, if news sources are giving inaccurate information, their credibility decreases.

It is the primary concern for a journalist to uphold the truth –– a truth that is should not be compromised.

‘Honor killings’ found dishonorable


Under new legislation, perpetrators of “honor killings” in Pakistan will no longer be able to walk free if pardoned by the victims’ family. Honor killings, or the killing of a relative (usually female) who has brought dishonor upon his or her family, have risen in Pakistan with more than 1,000 documented cases in the past year.

After a series of gruesome honor killings and the death of the social celebrity Qandeel Baloch, legislators closed the loophole that allowed families forgive perpetrators and pardon them with no jail time or punishment. Now, all perpetrators will face a mandatory jail sentence of 25 years and will only be pardoned if they face the death penalty — they will still be forced to serve 25 years.

The news media account of the new legislation has effectively shown the impact of the social media and the average citizen to get the law changed. The legislation underscores a major step in the right direction for social justice and the heavy impact that exposure has on influencing government entities.

Furthermore, news media outlets stated that the law is one small step to conquering the honor killings and the rooted traditions that come with it. Because these killings usually come with acceptance and approval, it will take much more than a law to deconstruct the idea that killing for “family honor” is wrong, especially because many cases of honor killing go undocumented.

On the other hand, while news media were well-sourced with opinions of people against these killings, the perspective and justification for the honor killings were minimal. Especially reading news articles from across the world where the culture is different, it is important for news coverage to explain alternative views. Without fully understanding why the culture promotes the killing of a relative, one is unable to comprehend the story in its entirety.

Candidate stumbles on words


Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, choked once again during an interview Wednesday night when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked for his favorite political leader. Johnson was not able to respond.

Bill Weld, Johnson’s running mate, attempted to help Johnson, yet, Johnson failed to come up with an answer even after Matthews asked numerous prompting questions.

Johnson simply responded, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” referring to his incident of not remembering the war-destroyed Syrian city in a prior interview with MSNBC.

Furthermore, Johnson updated the status of his “brain-freeze” with a tweet:

The 2016 presidential race has been filled with scandals and comparisons of the candidates’ failures. With this mindset, news outlets have vigorously grabbed onto Johnson’s gaffe. The nominee’s inability to think on his feet has only contributed to the pool of reasons many Americans feel like there is no good candidate for president.

Although the information is interesting, a lot of news sources’ energy has been focused on the politician’s dirt. Even if Johnson spoke carelessly or Clinton has reasons to be mistrusted or Trump has no filter, these missteps should not be the only information reported. It is important to know the personalities of future leaders, but what is more pressing is what their plans are for the country’s future.

The focus on the mistakes of the nominees, moreover, restrict the politicians to exaggerated stereotypes. It is unrealistic for a human being to be perfect constantly. As journalists, remaining unbiased should be a priority. The public should be able to understand all viewpoints, the good and the bad, about the candidates.

It is critical that news outlets begin to discuss the election in terms that will truly inform the voters, not continue division, promote pigeonholes and make the election an entertainment spectacle.

An allegation through social media


Appalachian State’s color guard is accusing the University of Miami’s football team of assaulting some of its members.

The claim is that the UM football players ran out after the half-time performance and aggressively knocked into and inappropriately groped some of Appalachian State’s color guard members without any apology.

The university’s athletic director, Blake James, said the investigation provided no evidence to the allegation and the university does not tolerate any suggestive or violent behavior.

The alleged incident was elevated by color guard member Sophie Randleman’s Facebook  post.

Randleman’s social media post emphasizes disrespect she felt from the football players and describes, in detail, her experience of the event.

The investigation of the case has not confirmed Randleman’s claims; however, her post accurately demonstrates the use of new media in news.

News sites reference Randleman and use her as a source in their articles and broadcasts. Most of the sites only quote Randleman and did not gather information from UM’s football team or other color guard members.

Furthermore, some news sites did not investigate beyond her physical Facebook post and simply quoted from her posting.

The social media post is an effective method of receiving initial information and gathering sources, yet it is concerning to see that events could be blown out of proportion and that some news sites will not investigate past social media. Without more sources and accurate information, news will then falter to being mere gossip.

As social media become more dominate in the news gathering field, it will be important for reporters to react in a professional manner and balance being timely with being accurate.

Forgiveness is the answer


Rodney King, an African-American man, was severely beaten in 1992 by Los Angeles police officers. After the officers’ who beat King were acquitted, massive riots were triggered in the LA area, leaving many killed and buildings looted, damaged and burned.

Despite the violence and racial tension, King became known for his forgiveness and encouragement of forgiveness.

Today, his daughter, Lora King, is promoting the same thing. Lora King, along with members of the LAPD, spoke with young adults from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, an organization dedicated to serving at-risk youth through job opportunities, education and training.

Lora King spoke on not generalizing all police officers and building bridges between the community and the police force.

In the past few years, racial tension in America has become the forefront of news especially concerning police and civilian contact.

Because of the newsworthy elements, often media report on shootings, beatings and other unjust actions that occur out of police civilian relationships. With the negativity that is commonly in news feeds, it is difficult to have a perspective of hope. Reporters will not comment every time people serve at a soup kitchen or open a door, but they will cover stories of violence and crime.

However, by reporting Lora King’s ability to stand side by side with members of the same police department that beat her father close to death, a necessary model of forgiveness is sprinkled among the heavy news of crime and disaster.

Sources in the greater California area, such as the San Bernardino County Sun and the SFGate tastefully decided to talk about the event. Not only was Rodney King a figure in the 1990s for racial tension and pardon, but his daughter serves as an effective symbol for combating the continuing issues the country faced 24 years ago.

Mother Teresa declared a saint


After dedicating her life serving the poorest of the poor in India, Mother Teresa was canonized a saint by Pope Francis on Sunday, Sept. 4, just 19 years after her death.

Mother Teresa founded the religious order, the Missionaries of Charity, in 1950 to better serve the sick, dying, and lonely people of Calcutta, India. The Missionaries of Charity has grown and now serves people in need across all continents and has over 4,500 Sisters running orphanages and homes for the sick, dying and disabled.

In the wake of the canonization, media organizations, both secular and religious, have focused on Mother Teresa’s life and claim to fame, alongside her criticism. Despite Vatican reviews of Mother Teresa’s pious life and the confirmation of two accounts of miraculous healing, critics of the new saint continue to claim that Mother Teresa was a fraud.

Despite Vatican reviews of Mother Teresa’s pious life and the confirmation of two accounts of miraculous healing, critics of the new saint continue to claim that Mother Teresa was a fraud.

Hemley Gonzalez, a Miami businessman and former volunteer of a home run by the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata’s (formerly Calcutta) Kalighat area, claims that the medical care and organization of the home was unbelievable, according to CNN.

Furthermore, the validity of the miracles aided by Mother Teresa has come into question. Many critics claim that the “miracles” were in fact medically cured, not divinely cured.

One of the critics, Seiku Murmu, exclaims his wife, Monica Besra, one of the two people cured by Mother Teresa’s intercession, was in fact cured by doctors.

“It is much ado about nothing,” Murmu said in an interview with TIME Magazine. “My wife did feel less pain one night when she used the locket [of Mother Teresa], but her pain had been coming and going. Then she went to the doctors, and they cured her.”

As a famous figure, Mother Teresa not only touches lives of Catholics but also those who are atheists, Hindu, Muslim or otherwise. The media’s account of the positive feature stories

The news media’s account of the positive feature stories, the traditional canonization mass, and personal volunteer stories allow the audience to reflect on the valid service Mother Teresa provided to the poor.

Furthermore, although controversial, the coverage of the criticism engages the audience to question components of Mother Teresa’s life work and come to an informed personal decision.

However, the coverage of the criticism, including doctors, volunteers and different organization members point to assertions without much evidence or explanation. Even if the conditions of the Missionaries of Charity’s houses are not top quality, the critics and media outlets do not explain that the first and foremost mission of Mother Teresa was to love the unwanted in society. Mother Teresa was not a doctor or a nurse, she was a religious sister who served God in the best ways she saw fit.