Liberals need to look at weaknesses


New York Times contributing op-ed writer Thomas B. Edsall this week calls on liberals to analyze their weaknesses through a review of the Republicans strengths.

He starts by listing a large number of Republicans successes, from elections to the House of Representatives to President Trump’s current domestic approval rating among his voters, to the recent Tea Party proposal and success with the tax bill.

With a clear warning to Democrats, Edsall presents conscientious research and analysis. He bases his opinion piece upon clear and precise language and abundant well-documented data. He tells Democrats to get rid of sentimental party identification and recognize gaps and mistakes. It is a convincing research piece.

The analysis is lucid, aided with concrete facts and accurate data and figures, it shows seriousness. Edsall is impartial; he does not take sides and does not identify with either one of the two major political parties.

Congress asked to reveal harassment


“Members of both parties have called for transparency in dealing with harassment claims, which are kept confidential under a 1995 law. Settlements are kept confidential as well,” The New York Times wrote on Monday, Nov. 28.

Sexual harassment accusations continue to increase in different sectors. From Democratic Rep. John Conyers (Michigan), who is stepping aside in his role on the House Judiciary Committee while an ethics panel investigates harassment allegations to news broadcaster Charlie Rose who was fired from CBS and PBS after allegations of sexual misconduct. The Arizona State University and University of Kansas journalism schools have rescinded honors previously awarded to Rose, also.

The good news is that forced by these disturbing news several members of Congress have expressed their concern for a full review of Congressional sexual harassment policies and procedures and actions to address this serious problem.

Earthquake kills hundreds in Middle East


The Iranian city of Sarpol-e Zahab was strongly hit by an earthquake on Sunday near the Iraqi border.

The New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink told Americans about the aftermath, writing that Iranians spent the night digging in a frantic search for survivors after the powerful earthquake struck near the Iraqi border on Sunday evening. oreM than 300 people were killed and thousands of others injured, officials said.

The epicenter of the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, according to the United States Geological Survey. Many buildings, farms and homes were destroyed. People are sleeping in the streets in fear of aftershocks.

According to the state news agency IRNA, at least 341 people were killed and nearly 6,000 people in Iran were injured.  According to Dr. Saif-al-Badir, from Iraq’s Ministry of Health, at least eight people were killed and 535 were hurt on the Iraqi side of the border.

As needed when reporting catastrophic events of great magnitude, news organizations use reliable sources as the United States Geological Survey, the Iran News Agency, Iraq’s Ministry of Health, and the Iranian Students News Agency.

Ivanka Trump speaks in Tokyo


“TOKYO — As the president might say, the room was half full.”

Ivanka Trump’s appearance at a government-sponsored conference on Friday, during the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, took place before a half-empty room that motivated clumsy excuses on the part of those in charge of the security and the organizers of the event that put in greater evidence the embarrassment of the moment.

New York Times reporter Motoko Rich wrote, “Yet Ms. Trump spoke to a room with so many empty seats that ushers hustled to move audience members forward several rows in the minutes before she walked to the podium.”

The author limits himself to report in well-structured succession the stumbling blocks of this event.  There was no intention of lecturing and he is so candid in his description of the events that he cannot be labeled as malicious. However, even for the most confused reader, it allows us to glimpse the low popularity and lack of sympathy that Ivanka Trump generates. The author writes in a simple fluent language that engages the reader as if he was following a comedy of situations.

Italian schools to teach about news


Italiian high school students will receive journalism classes to prevent been caught by Jihadist terrorist groups through Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram

The Italian Ministry of Education has designed a program to teach high school student journalism techniques so they can distinguish real news from fake news.

Italian security services have found that extreme fanatic terrorist groups, as the Jihadists and others, are intervening real news from well-known media sources and
manipulating and distorting the information to capture innocent followers for their terrorist actions in diverse countries in Europe and the United States.

This initiative shows the crucial role of news media and social media today, around the globe, not exclusively for information purposes but in domestic and international states’ security. For more about this, go to

Social media content not regulated


Exhaustive research by The New York Times has evidenced Russian psychological strategies addressed to American citizens who shared the social media to broadcast their frustration during the 2016 presidential elections, but who lacked a well-informed vision of the matters in discussion. This manipulative dystopian weapon raises the subject of Russian agents’ intervention in United States domestic issues.

This brave Times initiative during difficult political times, which took several months of thorough investigation of thousands of posts, meets the goal of investigative journalism to discover and reveal to the public a critical hidden truth, one involving manipulation of  freedom of expression.

On the side, this report highlights another aspect of social media (Web sites like Baidu, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, Viel, Weibo, WhatsApp and YouTube have more than 100 million subscribers): while there is legislation for press and television content, there is lack of control of content of social media. You can say anything, criticize, influence, but since there are no parameters nor filters in the messages, you can also silently manipulate, distort and confuse information.

News media miss an opportunity


Stephen Paddock killed 58 people from his 32nd floor room at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday, Oct. 1, during the Harvest Music Festival. He was  found dead.

The news media categorized this act of horror as the largest massive attempt of the U.S. history. Every newspaper in the nation, every magazine, TV news and Internet news outlet reporting has something to show  every day about this story.

During a whole week the construction and de-construction of the events, the characters, police interventions, President Trump meeting the families of the victims, witnesses snapshots and testimonials have saturated the news media. It has been a written and visual message of dead bodies, injured people and desperate families of the victims. It has become an open competition to monopolize the space to sell sensational horror news.

The press lost the great opportunity to fulfill one of the most noble aims of journalism. That of reporting and providing a strong opinion on the need of severely regulating the purchase and use of weapons.

We lost the chance to show that the news media can be a powerful weapon, not for evil, but for good. It should be used to generate thinking and commitment from the public.

Technology redefines news for all


The technological advances of the last decade have strengthened the scope and enriched the resources for the visualization, oral and written presentation, diffusion and the impact of the news in the mass media.

In parallel, today anyone enjoys these resources and can instantly disseminate the news, share information and offer an opinion.

Anyone can be in the center of the news and capture that piece of news. The common person’s empowerment in the news media contributes to the traditional mass media, the journalist can use the images of the person who was there at the precise moment of the event for his report, something that he could not have been able to count on if he had not arrived at the time of the event.

Yesterday’s passive receiver of news can be now a distributor of news, active in some aspects of a reporter’s job due to a mobile phone or tablet at the moment of the incident.

A passerby can record instantly the event and place it on social networks with the use of just one mobile phone. However, journalism and, specifically, reporting is much more than that. Even though this passerby is the first to have the scoop and to spread the news, a journalist’s work goes far beyond exposing an image reflecting what happened.

A reporter has to inquire and question the largest number of reliable sources available on the subject. He or she must write the news in a coherent, explicit way and leave aside the emotion of the moment. He or she must be capable of addressing and reaching a wide audience. The impact of immediate recording of a crime is undeniable, but the reporter will go much further, questioning the victim, the aggressor, the authorities involved in the case, the witnesses, in order to be able to provide a coherent and trustworthy news media report.

Reporter’s questions upset storm victim


On Aug. 29, after Hurricane Harvey struck in Houston, a woman had an overreaction when she was abruptly interviewed by a reporter who came to her at just the same moment tragedy had occurred.

Apparently it was not a good time to talk. According to the woman, what else could happen on top of living the worst tragedy of her life?  Being interviewed by a reporter to give a public statement of something I do not even want to recall, was “the cherry on top the cake.”

Perhaps the journalist wasn’t aware of the woman’s mood ahead of time. Maybe she should have considered a different approach, offering some help, asking the woman if she was feeling okay. It seems the reporter was surprised and consequently this made her nervous. Every time the woman got upset, the reporter would reply “I am sorry.”