A confusing look at Facebook Live


I thought it was difficult to understand the point of the article in New Yorker about Facebook Live. There were so many points the author was trying to make that I got lost in it and didn’t realize the true objective of that story.

At first, it is stated that Facebook is trying to be the Internet instead of being just one of the tools you can use on the Internet. With Facebook Live, you can post videos live like Snapchat so all the three main apps used all over the world; Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all wrapped in one app.

Secondly, the article goes to another direction which is trying to tell the reader that Facebook is controlling all the content we post and leading us inside the app to different directions and the last point I could identify was that the author was trying to suggest the future of Facebook and how their users would see the app in the future.

Besides all of these points, the way it was stated might have confused other readers too. I’m aware of what Facebook Live is; the problem is the way the author is trying to report his points in the story.

It is interesting how so many points can be made around this topic — the control of one app on so many people around the world, the information that it controls, the alienation of the population towards this information selected by the app. But, at the same time, it is a wonderful tool to inform people across the globe about what is going on.

This is just one of the points the article is trying to suggest and I think it’s too much for an online article that has to be simple and direct so everyone in every situation, whether is rushing home from work or concentrated in a quiet place such as a library or a café, could understand.

Terror war: Florida soldiers get orders


An article in The Miami Herald indicated that 700 soldiers from the Florida National Guard are going to the Horn of Africa to be part of the U.S. military operations against extremists organizations. The article has much to offer in the matter of informing readers about what’s going on, but it does not go deeper on the matter of what this means to Florida or to the U.S military.

The article could focus on the soldiers that are going there; their stories, what they are expecting from this operation, whether they think it is a valuable cause or if they should first defend their own homes to then defend other countries.

The text is really straight-forward, there are other details about other U.S operations across Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, but that is the deepest the article would go into.

There could be interviews with the former chief of the Florida National Guard or whoever is guiding this troops, because they are representing Florida and I think they should have a say on what will be our part on the mission and whether it will help the situation in Africa or not.

Other additional information like the terrorism that happens in the United States or even the extremists groups that surround the state of Florida (if there’s any) or around the nation could be cited, because readers might wonder why they are sending Floridians soldiers all the way to Africa instead of resolving their problems locally first.

The article describes basic information of the event, it focuses more on the military operation itself and on Florida National Guard, but it could be more explored in other aspects.

China’s underground churches


With descriptive language, an article in Time Magazine about Chinese people celebrating their faith in underground churches in the LightBox session is fascinating and well written.

Chinese citizens can’t express their faith legally in the country: China is officially atheist and, according to the article, the China’s ruling Communist Party only allows one religion to operate within tight parameters.

The Holy Week was celebrated in the Northern China’s Hebei Province by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that is not recognized by the Vatican as a real entity. This association has to practice its religion in underground churches with the fear of closure and imprisonment of its priests.

The article also talks about the history of Catholic churches and worshipers in China, which were repressed after the Communist revolution in 1949. There are more Protestants now in the country that are expressing their faith, but the government is trying to hold them back and asking them to “remove their crosses” or else the churches would be demolished.

What I liked about  this story is that it has a lot of details, it is written by Time‘s East Asia bureau chief and it tells more than the current news itself, such as the history of how religions fit in the scenario of China. People are trying to express their faith even illegally and the article shows that through pictures and videos; the multimedia content brings the story to life.

In a complicated situation in which many worshipers live in China, the writer of the article knew how to stay neutral through the text and show that there are people that want to express their faith and get together with other worshipers; without taking sides but merely showing that this believers exist and need to be heard and express what they believe.

Brussels and news media coverage


When I read the report on Fox News about the Brussels attack, I remembered of what I learned about source trust and how we should use our sources in journalism. First, to tell the readers about the exact number of injured people on the attack, they used as a source a CBS tweet. Shouldn’t they be asking the Belgium authorities about it instead of basing their number on a tweet of another news organization?

With that, I go to the second point where in the article is cited an “intelligence source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation” about where the attackers were focusing more the explosions and where it exactly happened.

If Fox News had a “firsthand knowledge of the investigation source” why not ask them the exact number of injured people on the attack? The name of the source is not cited on the article which makes me even more confused and suspicious about the kind of information that the text provides.

The hurry about giving the information to the readers, specially on breaking news cases, is not uncommon in journalism. But we have to be careful in those situations. News reporting is an art and it is supposed to be done in a way we can offer our readers the most accurate information we could have gathered.

In a time where news organizations are trying to have a say on a certain topic, sometimes some inconsistencies can slip and the effects are directly reflected on the journalist and on the reader that consumes this type of information.

The article has other trustful sources, from officials and new agencies, but there is still a lot of citations from other sources not related to Fox. Sources in this type of story are really important (in all types of stories) but focusing on this one, the readers want to know accurate and precise information and it would be helpful if the information was checked and crossed checked with other official sources or if they could have more warranty that the data or the quotations were taken by the journalist that wrote the piece.

The Zavantem Airport in Brussels and a subway station at the heart of the city were bombed by the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) on Tuesday morning. According to The New York Times, at least 30 people were killed in the attack and more than 230 people were wounded. Social media and news media companies are using the hashtags #BrusselsAttacks and #prayforbrussels to talk about the subject and relate to other articles about it on social media.

Brazil begins impeachment of president


Brazil is falling apart in its current political scenario. Illustrated in an article in the Wall Street Journal, thousands of people gathered in almost each capital of the country for the impeachment of the current President Dilma Rousseff, who spread a corrupted government through her ruling years and now her trial has already begun.

After discoveries of Operação Lava Jato, a federal operation that is investigating money deviation from the Brazilian oil company Petrobras, one of the biggest of the country, the reputation of President Rousseff went downhill. The ex-president of Brazil, Lula Inácio da Silva was taken by the police on March 4 to tell them what he knew about the Petrobras scandal after the police found proof that he was involved in the scheme. Mr. Silva is from the same party of President Rousseff and has supported her through all her governing years.

The events that happened in Brazil last Sunday were the biggest since April 1984, when the citizens were protesting against the dictatorship that ruled the country. Now Brazil is stuck in a corruption dictatorship and the protests are just one of the ways to change this scenario and aim for a better future.

The good thing about WSJ coverage is that the article was written along with two Brazilian reporters, Luciana Magalhaes and Paulo Trevisani, and gave better insight into what is going on in Brazil and how people are feeling towards Ms. Rousseff’s government. The article, “Protests Demand Impeachment of Brazilian Leader,” also highlighted that organizers and police estimated that the Sunday manifestation was the largest once since President Rousseff started her government in 2011.

The news coverage of the protests in Brazil is receiving an international attention, especially when new facts start to emerge. For example, the fact that President Rousseff gave ex-president Lula a cabinet post as chief of staff of Rousseff’s party so he wouldn’t be arrested under the Brazillian law. It is very satisfying to see newspapers worldwide reporting this issue and giving voice to the Brazilian people and informing citizens all around the world of what is going on.

A winning year for women at Oscars


I found it really interesting that while other news websites were talking about the highlights of the Oscars being about the racial diversity speech of Chris Rock, which was also important, Vox decided to also talk about a gender issue that has confronted many women on the cinema industry: the lack of women winning categories in the Oscars. This year, as the website pointed, it was the best year for women “in ages.”

Vox pointed that for the first time, a woman — Sara Bannet — won the category of Visual Effects Supervisor, for the movie “Ex Machina.” The category is usually dominated by men. Also, many other women won the categories of Documentary Short, Live Action Short, Production Design, Makeup, Costume Design and Film Editing.

What was also interesting is that Vox pointed that the awards itself were not the biggest accomplishment for women of the night, but the stories that the movies focused on. Usually, two women won the Oscars for lead actress and best supporting actress, and sometimes the woman does a part in which she supports the man in the movie.

This time, Brie Larson won the category of Best Actress for “Room” in which the story is centered on a woman. Other movies were also centered in a female figure, like “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” “Amy” and “Inside Out.”

Other than movies, there was a presentation at the Oscars by Lady Gaga in which she focused on sexual assault both for men and women and for women specifically on “Mad Max,” “Room” and “A Girl in The River.”

Other issues still have to approached in the Oscars, specially the racial diversity – no women with color won the Oscar this year, Vox pointed — for all the genders. The focus that the news website gave to the event was interesting and it analyzed the Oscar in a different journalistic way.

Her Campus offers variety of styles


Her Campus is a website that provides news about style, beauty, health entertainment and much more written by college women all over the United States. According to each university, the website has different kind of news and focuses, and any college women can apply to write for Her Campus or send ideas to the editors.

The idea started by three undergraduate students from Harvard University, Stephanie Kaplan Lewis, Windsor Hanger Western and Annie Wang. Their creation of the website won the Harvard College’s business plan competition and many other prizes and awards. Her Campus also helps brands to reach the college market offline and online, according to the official website.

The Her Campus team has more than 7,000 members, including the national and editorial team, contributing writers and bloggers, high school ambassadors, campus correspondents, chapter advisors, interns and InfluenceHer collective members. The website also focus on campus life, career and love sections for the college women audience.

What I found most interesting about Her Campus and its way of reporting is that it brings the writer and the reader really close to one another, like someone were writing to a friend or like someone was telling a story.

Since some of the writers are women that are still in college, the proximity between these writers and other female students is really close. Through the website, you can meet the lifestyle of other colleges and engage with their environment and recent news.

I found that Her Campus was a mixture of campus newspapers like The Miami Hurricane, BuzzFeed and blogs in general. There’s a feeling that there’s a lot of opening to talk about many topics, but at the same time it feels like it is a space to reinforce the importance of the college women community and what it represents to other female students as well.

It’s not a website to talk about “girly stuff” but, yes, a mass communication and news vehicle that  talks with students and women in general to try to pass them an  important message about things happening in the world, awareness and of course, entertainment.

Rolling Stone’s Grammy moments


The 58th annual Grammy Awards was full of good performances and tributes to great artists, like David Bowie and Lionel Richie. The Rolling Stone magazine did a review of the 20 best and worst moments but overlooked certain important aspects of some performances, like criticizing Adele for a minor sound issue and putting as the “worst” moment the non-attendance of Rihanna, even knowing she was sick and couldn’t sing.

The magazine analyzed important parts like the performance of Lady Gaga in honor of David Bowie: “her nods to Bowie’s performances showed a true obsessive, what made Gaga’s performance perfect was the way she captured the spirit of the man’s work throughout his career”; and the “notable solo performance” of the artist The Weekend, as well as other great performances of Taylor Swift, The Eagles and Stevie Wonder with the Pentatonix group.

The worst moments, however, were in part understandable. Others weren’t. The tribute to Lionel Richie performed by John Legend, Demi Lovato, Luke Bryan, Meghan Trainor and Tyrese Gibson was good until John Legend stopped singing. Even Lionel Richie, who was at the event, stopped cheering as he listened to his own work being sung by the other performers, as Rolling Stone pointed out.

Another worst moment was the duet of singers Tori Kelly and James Bay that seemed out of pace when both tried to sing both of their singles on the same time, and the music and scenarios were not good enough compared to the other performances.

What I think Rolling Stone may have exaggerated was the fact that one of the “worst” moments was the fact that, in Adele’s performance, the piano microphones fell into the piano strings, making the sound dissonant and, as noted by the magazine, “sounded like a fork on a guitar and a volume drop that nearly silenced the singer.” I think despite the audio trouble, Adele’s performance was good, there was no problem with her voice or whatsoever and I wouldn’t judge as a bad performance someone that wears a “messy bob” as being the worst part of the Grammys.

Also, Rihanna didn’t show up at the event due to bronchitis. Her doctor told her not to sing and the magazine also pointed that out, but still, “Rihanna bails.” Her performance was not even judged as good or bad and her condition forbid her to perform.

Error 53: Bad news for iPhone users


The Guardian and other newspapers are talking about an error that can happen and has happened to about 1,000 iPhone 6 users: Error 53. This error can literally “kill your phone.” erasing photos, data or making the cell phone completely useless.

Error 53 happened to the users that repaired their Touch ID button with a non-official company or individual or had their phones damaged, but not fixed because they were still usable. And even worse, the error seemed to appear to the users that updated the latest version of software, iOS 9.

Thousands of Apple consumers lost their trust on the product, but the company pledged that the “error 53” is to protect customer’s security, since it disables any kind of substitution on an iPhone made from companies that are non-official.

“This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support,” stated the company.

But what about the phones that were slightly damaged or the people that installed the latest version of the software?

The article “Apple under pressure as lawyers pledge action over ‘Error 53’ codes” published by The Guardian affirms that consumers grew angrier after going to the Apple Store and complaining about the error and being told nothing could be done but to buy another phone to solve the problem.

Lots of iPhone users take their phones to get fixed by other sources rather than Apple, for their repair can be really expensive — in the UK to repair the home button the cost is £236, or $340 –- but they end up with a higher cost: having a phone that doesn’t work even after repair. Apple measures should take more in consideration their costumers that are with useless phones and continue with their customer’s security, as long as they work and can be repaired at any Apple Store.

YJI: Innovating journalism


Youth International Journalism (YJI) is a non-profit organization blog that focuses on journalism where any student can write, from ages 12 to 24 years old. More than 200 students write for the blog about various topics, whether something is happening in their hometowns or all around the world.

I had a personal experience with YJI, joining the organization in 2014. My professor at journalism college at the time was the ambassador from Brazil for YJI and connected me with the main editors in Connecticut. More than just writing about local and national issues of Brazil, I was able to meet students from all around the world, not only Journalism students but from many other majors and interests. I became friends with Americans, Nigerians and Pakistanis through the organization and it helped me improve my own writing and see the writing of others and the issues they addressed.

In YJI, I could write about a movie review until the latest breaking news that was happening on the country. The freedom to write something newsworthy is very wide and it had stimulated me to write more. Each YJI member receives directions of what to write and how to write, so the responsibilities of committing with the truth and other journalistic ethics can still remain on the text. The news reporting is done exactly the same as professional journalists, although the people that write the stories do not necessarily have to be professionals.

What I think is the most interesting thing about YJI is that you can not only write for the blog, but you can also draw a cartoon about something that is going on, or even send photos about a certain topic. You don’t have to be a working journalist to write for the blog and that opens a lot of possibilities to writers who want to publish their stories and have an experience under the press laws.