California sports both loses and wins


If you follow professional sports, chances are you heard about two major events in the NBA, which unfolded Wednesday night: Kobe Bryant’s last game before he retires and the Golden State Warrior’s pursuit to 73 wins within an NBA regular season.

The major sports channels, such as ESPN, spent more than a fair amount of time on Kobe and the Warriors. It was the highlight of the week, holding greater importance than practically every other sporting event.

Kobe Bryant has spent 20 years in the NBA and has won five championships with the same team—the LA Lakers— two Olympic-gold medals and an MVP award; these are feats few have accomplished.

He is considered by many as an icon, an NBA Hall-of-Famer, and the best player in the league since Michael Jordan retired.

On the other hand, the Warriors made history by breaking one of Jordan’s records. They won 73 games in a regular season, setting an NBA record; the last team to hold that record was the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls when they won 72 games with Jordan.

These two stories hold extreme weight in the sports world as the league has just lost one of its best players, while at the same time celebrating a historic accomplishment by one of its best teams. Thus, both are being covered non-stop by the news media in today’s news cycle.

I felt that the attention placed on the two stories was appropriate for their own reasons.

Kobe Bryant retiring can be made equivalent to when Jordan retired from the NBA in the 1990s. Generations have grown up watching him play and set standards for players just entering the league.

The Warriors are on pace to win the championship and become one of, if not the greatest team to have played the game.

We may never see two completely different stories occurring at the same time, carrying equal amounts of importance as these, ever again. That is why the media covered it so heavily and I feel they were justified in doing so.

Ted cruises past Donald in Wisconsin


This week, once again, the presidential election has encompassed our lives and the lives of the new media as the Wisconsin Republican primaries were this week.

The results came as somewhat of a surprise, Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump, and now all the pundits are getting ready for a contested election on the Republican side.

All the news media are calling this one of the worst, if not the worst, weeks Trump has seen since entering the election. This all come of the heels of him posting a picture comparing his wife to Ted Cruz’s wife and which of the two was better looking.

Anytime that Trump loses something it is becoming newsworthy, and I do not necessarily have a problem with it.

Social media can be the greatest gift if used for the right reason or for the right cause. If you are trying to spread the word out or disseminate important information nowadays, Twitter and Facebook are the way to go.

However, social media can be one of the greatest curses, too. It only takes one miss-step or bad re-Tweet to derail everything you had been working to up to that point.

My quarrel with the news media is that I have seen more coverage about how this loss affects Trump’s plans and the steps he is taking in case it gets to a contested convention.

I would like to see a more in-depth look at the different scenarios and what each candidate would have to do in order to win. When they mention they seem to sweep it under the rug, especially when the news media talks about John Kasich.

I also would like to know more about what the Republican Party plans to do if they get the contested convention they have been hoping for and whether it will affect Trump’s chances of becoming the party’s nominee.

Apple continues feud with FBI


On Monday, it was announced earlier this week that the U.S. government dropped its lawsuit against Apple over unlocking the iPhone of a San Bernardino terrorist.

Reports revealed that the FBI went overseas and had the cellphone hacked by a third-party, some are speculating that it was the Israeli firm, Cellebrite.

Now, there are rumblings that Apple is asking questions regarding how the information was retrieved by Cellebrite and are speaking with attorneys to see if it can take legal action to force the FBI to reveal how it unlocked the phone.

Once again, I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, the news media are paying close attention to the frenzy that the presidential election campaign.

So what has Donnie [Donald Trump] done now? Well, he got into a whose-wife-is-better-looking contest with Ted Cruz as they exchanged verbal insults to one another and debated the attractiveness of their wives.

I only remembered the Apple-vs.-FBI story because CNN spent a few minutes talking about it on their morning show.

Had I missed it, who knows when I would have found out about the news. Even as I mentioned it in my journalism-reporting class, Wednesday morning, most of my classmates had not heard about the news.

I am just saying I know Trump, Cruz and the rest of the presidential campaigns are ripe with news stories, but could we add more variety while we still can? I feel that this will continue until the election is over, and then we will have a new circus to focus on once this one leaves town.

Obama reaches out to Cuba


It is difficult to avoid getting caught up in news sometimes, especially when you are so close to the situation being covered.

Living in Miami, almost everyone and their mother has been talking about the recent visit the president took to Cuba as he met with the nation’s current head-of-state Raul Castro.

Local television news stations sent crews to Havana and were chronicling the events that transpired each day President Obama was there, live, as they had their anchors report from familiar locations in Havana.

NPR broadcast President Obama’s speech live on March 22. Even ESPN had reporters in Cuba to cover the exhibition baseball game between the Cuban national team and the Tampa Bay Rays.

I felt like I was being bombarded by news about Cuba and there was no way to escape it, but maybe that was just because I live in Miami a place that will directly feel the impact from the negotiations that were being conducted.

Although I felt as though the news media was spending too much time on Cuba, maybe it was just the right amount for the rest of the country.

CNN and other national news networks would leave a few minutes to report anything important that was happening, but they did not spend an exorbitant amount of time over analyzing every exchange between President Obama and Raul Castro, although I am sure the urge was there to do so, and I am content by that decision.

Miami local news had to go there and cover what was going on or else they would have been left behind and would have suffered had they not gone. Network news stations only covered parts that were essential and had proponents and opponents debate on the effect this visit will have on both nations.

After separating myself from the situation, I believe that the way the news media covered the visit was predictable, yet appropriate.

Jones and Solo join the conversation


You probably did not know this about me, but I am a pretty big film fan / nerd. It was recently reported that Disney would be teaming up with Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg to develop a brand new “Indiana Jones” movie.

The report also stated that the series’s iconic star, Harrison Ford, would be returning to reprise his role as the titular character.

The character originated from the same studio that brought the “Star Wars” saga to our galaxy, Lucasfilm, which was recently purchased by Walt Disney Studios.

Other news involving another one of Ford’s characters, Han Solo, has been surfacing as well. Disney has released information regarding the casting of Solo for its new film, which would involve a young Solo and his adventures with Chewbacca.

To my surprise, I discovered this information as I was watching CNN.

It was a delightful change of pace from all the coverage surrounding the ongoing presidential election and the results of the March 15 primaries.

Seeing this kind of news make it to the mainstream news stations brought a smile to my face because, normally, in order to come across this information, I would have to go online and search through different news sites, such as Deadline or Variety.

The only reason I think the coverage over this news is appropriate is because of how iconic and famous these movies are. Had CNN stopped coverage of the primary results for an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie, I would have thought it to be misplaced and jarring to CNN’s audience.

I also believe the amount of time spent on this news was appropriate.

It was meant as a small buffer from the onslaught of political news that we hear everyday; it was an opportunity to step back and cleanse our pallets.

And now, h-e-r-e’s Donnie!


Well, another day of the news media’s time spent on Donald Trump. This election campaign is turning into our reality, or should I say, our reality show.

I am writing this on March 2, 2016—the day after Super Tuesday, which so happened to fall on my birthday — and who did I spend my birthday with, you ask? Well, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, of course.

Clinton and Trump won the day for their respective parties; each earned the delegates of seven states to take even larger leads in the race to become their party’s nominee.

All I have heard today from the news media has been arguments for and against Trump and the strategies that the establishment group of Republican Party leaders should implement to prevent Trump from becoming their nominee.

There has been little to no mention of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or the Democratic Party, if only to show the results from last night and compare them to Donald Trump, who I am now going to refer to as “Donnie” because I am bored from hearing his name everywhere, all the time.

The news media have been so saturated with Trump that most of my social media is inundated with articles involving the controversialist. I feel as though the news media are trying to suffocate me with all things Trump.

As I was watching CNN, I saw some scrolling text at the bottom of its graphic, which showed that the culprit behind the murders of the two Virginia college students, Jesse Matthew Jr., has been sentenced to four consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty.

You would think that such news would at least garner a minute, or two, of screen time to be addressed to the public, but no, the news media have opted to focus on Donnie once again.

It has become abundantly clear that this is our reality, our reality show.

Your privacy or your security?


If you have been keeping up with the news lately, you might have heard about the dispute between Apple and the federal government.

In short, the federal government is requesting Apple’s assistance in unlocking the iPhone of a San Bernardino attacker for information vital to its investigation. The reason the government requires Apple’s assistance is because the phone has a lock out function that will prohibit anyone from opening the phone after 10 failed attempts. In order to attain the information, the government is asking Apple to create a “master code” that will allow them to override the lock out function of any phone they choose.

Apple sees this as a massive privacy rights violation for their customers and has opted to deny the government’s request.

The media runs this story more and more as new information comes out, or when a public figure releases their statement about the situation and what they think either side should do.

Additionally, the recent vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court, after Justice Scalia’s death, could be contributing to the story’s frequent airing.

There may be a good chance of this case reaching the U.S. Supreme Court if the two cannot reach a settlement. With the Court at a stalemate in regards to party affiliation, as well as the obstruction in the appointment of another justice, there is no telling which side would prevail if it reaches that point.

This situation has more significance than some people realize. This case could further protect the individual’s privacy, or it can provide the government with another tool for collecting intelligence and improving national security.

This story is not about a dispute between two prominent figures, but rather the implications of their dispute and the drastic repercussions that will follow. The media are trying to distinguish its gravity, as opposed to other stories. For that reason, the story is being covered appropriately.

Too little, too late for radiation


On Thursday afternoon, Feb. 18, 2016, as CNN was covering the Republican Presidential Town Hall, news broke that highly radioactive materials in Iraq had been stolen.

Reports have gone on to say that the device, which uses the radioactive material, Iridium-192, was reported stolen from an oil services company back in November.

Iridium-192 has a half-life of about 74 days, which means that by now the material has all ready decayed by half. Analysts on news stations are clarifying that these types of situations happen more frequently than they are reported on the news. Also, they believe it is highly unlikely that the material would be used in a terrorist attack and if it were used in a “dirty bomb,” it is likely that the explosion from the bomb would cause more harm than the Iridium-192.

What I am concerned about is why this news is being reported now? If the Iridium was stolen from an oil company in Iraq, in November, why should we care?

From what the online reports and analysts are leading onto, the repercussions of this incident alone will not be severe, yet they mention the possibility of radioactive materials being the next step in chemical warfare due to the availability of such materials around the world and the rising number of cases of stolen materials.

It seems to me that this news was reported too late. Now the nation is focused on the South Carolina primaries, an incident of stolen radioactive materials from November is not as important. I believe the mindset audiences have now is “Nothing has happened yet, so why should we care.”

If the news media were to have made this a bigger issue when it happened— instead of three months later— it would have garnered more attention and certainly would have been a talking point at the debates we have seen in the past months.

Giuliani criticizes halftime show


This past Monday, Rudy Giuliani stirred up some controversy over the Super Bowl halftime performance by Coldplay, which featured Bruno Mars and Beyoncé.

The portion of the performance by Beyoncé referenced ongoing social issues being confronted in the U.S., such as the Black Lives Matter movement, while also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers.

The performance proved to be quite divisive as both proponents and opponents advocated their positions on the various platforms, from online-opinion articles to morning shows on national news networks.

The former mayor of New York, Giuliani, expressed his deep offense by Beyoncé’s performance on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning. He said that it was “outrageous” and that it was an attack on law enforcement.

The story has not made major waves in the form of newsworthy topics on local or national news stations. I feel that it is appropriate that news stations have not blown the story up to extreme proportions, as they have been known to do recently. I feel that it may be worth mentioning as a tidbit during segments, but the nation should not concern itself with an insignificant feud.

The nation is immersed in the presidential campaign, especially now with the presidential primaries and caucuses in New Hampshire and other states. Following the campaign to try and figure out which of the candidates might take the lead in the race for the White House is more important.

This is one instance where I feel the media took the right approach with covering the Beyoncé-Giuliani story. It contains the news element of prominence, which would permit it to receive some attention, but not enough to allot more time than is necessary — like what we have seen lately with some stories, such as the woman who pulled over the police officer, or if you watch ESPN, the ongoing saga with the Cleveland Browns and Johnny Manziel.

UM inches closer to ending diabetes


As a type 1 diabetic, any news of treatments to serious diseases or improvements in healthcare catches my attention. However, it also heightens my skepticism on news coverage.

This past weekend my mother handed me a magazine that is designed to assist diabetics through their daily routines. There was a story documenting a breakthrough treatment — and possible cure — of type 1 diabetes that was discovered at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute.

The treatment involved a surgery that transplanted islet cells into the body of a woman, Wendy Peacock, after decades of suffering from type 1 diabetes.

Islet cells are responsible for producing insulin in the body; type 1 diabetics suffer from their body’s immune system destroying these cells, which regulate blood sugar.

This surgery has relieved the patient from having to inject herself with insulin everyday, multiple times a day.

Since this is a breakthrough that can lead to the possible end of a disease that affects around 1.25 million Americans and countless others across the world, I figured that there would be more publicity surrounding it. Well, as far as I can tell, there have been a few articles from The Miami Herald and other medical websites that I have seen online, and some local news channels, like Local 10 News and Channel 7 News, but it has not made its way into mainstream media and news.

Maybe it is old news and that is the reason why I am not seeing the being covered more, but its important news and I think the bigger problem is that news organizations need to broaden their definition of what is considered “newsworthy” because we are saturated with the same information that is being re-circulated for days until another piece of information is released and then the process repeats itself.

Most of the news we are receiving now on TV is about the results of the Iowa caucuses and speculation on the upcoming New Hampshire caucuses. Or on Spanish television, like Telemundo, they are constantly talking about the actress, Kate del Castillo, who is allegedly involved with Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

I am beginning to feel that news organizations are becoming more and more fueled by entertainment and ratings, rather than content and getting new, useful information to the public. Before it turns into an uncontrollable circus act, news organizations need to diversify their stories and give their audiences different types of information to process.