Roy Williams’ needs to be questioned


During the University of North Carolina’s news media day for its basketball team, Coach Roy Williams was asked about the ongoing FBI investigation concerning players receiving improper benefits. When discussing the investigation, Williams said, “It’s a massive thing that’s still going on, and I’m just dumbfounded.”

Williams was adamant that he had no knowledge of players receiving money from shoe executives in order to play for certain universities. Williams’ claim that he had no idea what has been going on in college basketball recruiting is, at its best, ignorance and, at its worst, an outright lie.

For reference, here’s Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey when asked a similar question, “We’ve had this underworld as part of the fabric [of college basketball] for a long, long time,” Brey told the Indianapolis Star. “A long, long time.”

Another issue with Williams’ claim is that he was indirectly involved in a similar incident back in 2000. Back then, AAU Coach Myron Piggie had been indicted on charges that he had funneled money to recruits to play for Nike schools. One of these recruits was JaRon Rush, who was at the time committed to Kansas when Williams was coach there. While Kansas was not involved in the payments to Rush, for Williams to claim he had no idea what was going on in college basketball recruiting is a bit of stretch.

While not a reliable source of information, in response to Williams’ press conference, Piggie told Yahoo Sports, “Well, that [expletive], I mean, come on. Come on. You know Roy knew. He was in the mix. He knew what was going on. Roy’s got amnesia.”

When a massive figure in college basketball makes such a definitive statement, one that on the surface seems untrue, college basketball sportswriters have a duty to question Williams’ statement.

Unfortunately, outside of Yahoo Sports, most major news media figures have not even mentioned Williams’ statement. Currently, ESPN has not written a single story on the comments and the sports two biggest media figures, Jay Bilas and Jeff Goodman, have made no mention of them.

While most in the news media have no issue broadly claiming corruption in college basketball exists, they were hesitant to criticize the coach at one of college basketball’s most popular teams. Until members of the news media are willing to question those at the top, don’t expect the corruption to end any time soon.

Man charged in jogger’s death


On Tuesday night, 35-year-old Wendy Martinez was out for her evening jog when she was attacked by 23-year-old Anthony Crawford. Crawford stabbed Martinez and then fled the scene. She was able to make it to a nearby restaurant before collapsing due to her injuries.

While those inside the restaurant attempted to save her life, she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Martinez’s tragic death comes just one month after the discovery of 19-year-old jogger Mollie Tibett’s body. Tibett’s was abducted and stabbed by her captor, who avoided police for weeks. In both of these cases, apprehension of the suspect was mainly credited to surveillance cams that caught both suspects on tape.

Crawford was arrested on Wednesday evening at a park in Washington, D.C. He has been charged with Martinez’s murder.

Friends spoke out at a vigil for Martinez, one of these friends-Kristina Moore- had heartfelt words to share with the crowd. “Wendy should have been shopping for her wedding dress on Friday,” Moore said, trying to hold back tears. “There is a hole in our hearts that will never be replaced,” Moore stated.

Crawford is set to appear in court for his first appearance on Thursday afternoon. Her death, and Tibbet’s, have started conversation over more precarious measures females joggers can take, especially at night.

Rite Aid shooting news raises questions


Three people were shot and killed at a Rite Aid distribution center in Maryland yesterday. Unfortunately, as the years tick on and the number of mass shootings multiplies, each tragedy holds less and less weight in the eyes of the American public. 

Perhaps one of the more unique facts in this story is that the shooter was a woman — usually it is more common to see male gunmen., in its coverage of the act, used a headline that mentioned that a woman had shot the victims, and they wrote a lede that began with “A woman killed three people and wounded three others…” to be as specific as possible. 

It seems fair that a news source, if they have knowledge of who the gunman was, to state it immediately in the story. NPR clearly didn’t think so. Their headline read, “Multiple People Killed And Wounded in Maryland Shooting,” and their lede began with “Three people were killed…” 

They do not even identify the shooter until paragraph two, completely disregarding the need here for a classic summary news lede — with all the most important facts right at the top. 

It seems any news source would want to capture readers, no matter how morbid the topic, by providing an angle that might differentiate this shooting from every other story we read. 

Nevertheless, CNN and NPR both provide sound facts from law enforcement, which give the reader a clear vision of what exactly happened. However, CNN, in the second paragraph, explicitly asserts that the shooter was a “disgruntled employee,” which is an important fact to know when pondering the reason for the murder. 

NPR, on the other hand, does not come out and say that the woman was an employee, simply stating in the fourth paragraph that the “shooting may have been tied to a work-related grievance.” Unclear over whether this woman had actually worked for the Rite Aid or not, I had to seek other sources after reading NPR. 

CNN’s coverage was overall crafted more strategically and organizationally than NPR’s which made for an informative and easy read, with no loose-ends to tie up in your mind. 

Miller died hours before body was found


More information on musician Mac Miller’s death has been released. Emergency personnel discovered the rapper had passed away hours before authorities found the body.

Many fans all over the world have been grieving Mac Miller’s sudden death at such a young age and it has left many in shock. It has been reported that Miller, 26, suffered an apparent drug overdose. Miller had a history of drug addiction and fans were aware of it because he shared his experience and struggle through his lyrics.

The news media have handled Miller’s death respectfully; however, official knowledge of the incident has yet to be confirmed. Outraged fans began to attack Miller’s ex-girlfriend: Ariana Grande on social media, blaming her for the tragedy because she broke up with the rapper due to his drug addiction.

On an article published on Fox News, written by Ryan Gaydos, it is reported that when authorities arrived at the scene they assumed the house was “swept clean” therefore, officials cannot confirm exactly what happened the night before the rapper overdosed.

Being such a sensitive topic, the news media have handled it delicately to protect the privacy of the family and report the information in a respectable manner. So far, news on Miller’s death has been just that, quick, constantly updated, and to the point.

More information about the incident is yet to be discovered but as officials investigate, more details will be revealed.

Police shooting coverage incomplete


The Texas police shooting of Botham Jean last Thursday appeared on news sites across the country. The same basic facts are being reiterated: police officer Amber Guyger’s affidavit, the lawyers’ of the victim’s  family disputing some of the facts in it (namely that the door was ajar), and other general information. The stories take on the expected inverted pyramid structure, but some articles on the news issue exclude key information  that adds to the full portrait of available knowledge.

This begins with the exclusion of the initial search warrant for Guyger’s arrest and how it contradicts the arrest warrant that follows. The arrest warrant supports Guyger’s affidavit, while the search warrant supports the Jeans’ lawyers. Early in the coverage, NBC affiliates reported that a anonymous police source offered information supporting the lawyers’ claims that the door was not ajar, but eventually took it down due to this information contradicting the arrest warrant. That being true, a recognition of the altered information as opposed to not including the original information paints a more complete picture of the news.

This article took on a unique angle, focusing on the mystery witnesses that claim Jean confronted Guyger at the door and they heard yelling the night of his shooting. The interviewing of uninvolved expert lawyers added a more objective view of the case, unlike other articles that only included the words of the family lawyers and other people who had direct ties to the case.

One of these family lawyers is Benjamin Crump, who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and other black men who were shot. This tidbit of information was not mentioned in many of the articles I read, even though he was quoted in some.  Most people would recognize the cases he has represented, but not his name, so I find it important to specify who he is

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.

Mass shooters seek media coverage


Today, an article published by Vox caught my eye. The headline was The Trenton, New Jersey, mass shooting isn’t getting much national attention. After reading the article, I asked myself, do mass shootings even need to be getting attention more attention than they already are?

Mass shootings, although tragic and heartbreaking, are seen as gold (in terms of content) for news media outlets. It is their gateway to all subjects controversial— gun control, mental health, and so forth. This is an outlet’s chance to use a national event to lure readers and viewers in-a chance to inform the public.

Yes- it is the news media’s role to cover all things newsworthy, but journalists don’t always understand the repercussions that come with this task.

Readers seek detail and that’s what journalists want to provide because, if not, then they’ll lack an audience. But sometimes, that depth can be seen as invasive and counter-productive.

When I say invasive, I speak for those whose parents are forced to mourn their lost child, or whose brother must suffer the loss of a sister.

But when I speak of counter-productivity, it is that very detailed reporting that enhances the recurring mass shootings our country faces.

In a way, the extensive coverage of mass shootings brings fame and recognition to the perpetrator. Presenting these shooters’ names in headlines, publishing their photos and sharing information about their personal lives is almost commemorating them for their actions. These people don’t deserve to be talked about but the coverage creates popularity by exposing them as a household name.

For this type of  event, I believe news reports should keep the victims, their families and the perpetrators anonymous. It is important for the people of our country to know what is happening and where but anonymity could help others who want the same attention from following the same footsteps.

When you give that person (in this case the shooter) attention, you are feeding into their desperate need to be known and talked about.

An example I can think of is the uni-bomber (which I will not name) in the 1980s. After the FBI printed his manuscripts, which contained his thoughts and ideas, there were many who agreed with his views and created a fan base. With the Columbine shooting, many outcasts also praised the shooters and created a cult known as The Columbiners.

These people should not be recognized for the mere issue that attention leads to popularity, and popularity leads to a following. Unfortunately, the news media know the more they give, the more people will listen and read. Censorship of any kind is difficult for journalists especially when they are committed to reporting the full truth— but at what expense are they doing so?

Arizona man kept Utah teen as ‘pet’


A man accused of kidnapping a teen girl from St. George, Utah, and taking her to his home in Arizona where he allegedly forced her to be his “pet” has been charged with human trafficking.

Raymond Burk, 38, who already faces charges in Arizona, was charged Monday with human trafficking of a child and aggravated kidnapping. These are both first degree felonies.

This 17-year-old girl in June 2016 posted messages on the internet stating she wanted someone to pick her up due to being depressed. Burk replied to the girl claiming he lived somewhere else and would come pick her up so she could stay for two days with him.

The girl told Burk she was 18 when in reality she was 17. After about 45 minutes traveling with Burk the girl became concerned.

Burk then told the girl “he was going to keep her as his pet indefinitely,” according to court documents.

For more than a week in Phoenix, he sexually abused the girl. Burk hit the girl when she said she was going to call her dad.

Burk was arrested in Arizona for investigation of five counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of aggravated assault and one count of kidnapping.

If it weren’t for the girl secretly finding a phone and calling the police she would probably still be there.

This story was reported in a very informative manner. It was honest and very detailed, it included details on the physical abuse the girl suffered.

Cosby begins retrial for sexual assault


Bill Cosby, the comic legend and “America’s Dad,” begins his retrial on sexual assault charges today, Monday, April 2 in Norristown, Pa.

Cosby’s first trial ended with a mistrial on the charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, former director of operations for Temple University women’s basketball team. After the mistrial on June 17, District Attorney Kevin Steele announced that he would, without a doubt, retry Cosby.

In the first trial, Judge Steve T. O’Neill only allowed one accuser to testify– Andrea Constand. This was just one of the many women who came forward. However, in the second trial, the judge will allow up to five previous accusers to testify. This will increase the likeliness that Cosby will be guilty.

According to The Washington Post, there is a legal term called “Doctrine of Chances” that basically says the more times someone is accused of the same type of crime under the same circumstances, the less likely they were innocently involved in those situations.

Jury selection begins today for the process of picking 12 jurors to partake in this trial. During the first trial, after more than 52 hours of jury discussion for more than six days, Judge O’Neill declared a mistrial.

More than 60 women confirmed they were drugged and molested by Cosby. According to CNN, Cosby admitted he bought the now banned sedative, Quaaludes, to give to women he wanted to have sex with. Almost a year ago, Cosby confirmed in court documents that, “I meet Ms. [name redacted] in Las Vegas, and she met me backstage. I give her Quaaludes. We then have sex.”

We will soon see what the verdict will be for the second trial.

This story is covered on almost every small and large news station, from CNN and The Washington Post to People and WGAL-TV.

Parkland shooter sent sympathy mail


It has now been more than six weeks since 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 19, committed the mass shooting with an AR-15 style semi automatic rifle.

Moving forward six weeks, it is now being released that the shooter is receiving letters throughout the nation from a majority of women, sympathizing for him. According to, the letters even include a handwritten note signed by a Girl Scout troop stating
May God Forgive.”

The Broward County Public Defender’s office, where Cruz is being represented, released a statement claiming more than 200 letters have been sent to Cruz. Many of these people feel sorry for the perpetrator because of his background. By the time Cruz was 3 years old he was diagnosed with development delays. When he was 6, he witnessed his father die. A few months prior to the shooting Cruz lost his adoptive mother.

With the tragedies that occurred in Cruz’s life since he was a little boy, many see him as a victim. Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist and commentator said, “Some people may be sympathetic to how Cruz has been a person with a lot of difficulties.”

Cruz is not allowed to see the letters as he has no access to engage with the news media. He is currently on suicide watch. Florida prosecutors stated earlier this month they are trying to seek the death penalty against Cruz.

Ultra Music Festival becoming safer?


Despite the negative coverage in the past few years, Miami EDM music festival, Ultra, received comparably more positive coverage this year, as it is considered to have been relatively safe when compared to other years.

The music festival takes place every spring and has seen extreme amounts of arrests and deaths of festival-goers through its history.

On its 20th anniversary, however, CBS Miami reported that Miami Police only arrested 27 people on the account of Ultra in the three days of the festival.

Additionally, the Ultra Music Festival security director referred to this festival as “one of the safest.”

This is not only favorable for festival-goers, but it is also great news for the people that live around Bayfront Park, which is where the festival takes place every year.

This time of year is usually stressful for homeowners of the area, as some have confessed to news outlets that they leave their Brickell homes every year during this time. But coverage focusing on positive aspects of the music festival, such as this CBS Miami story puts homeowners at ease.

This article also reports that the arrests were mainly related to fake tickets and the use of drugs. While these subjects are to be taken seriously, they are considered to be minor offenses compared to what has been seen in previous years.

If Ultra Music Festival continues to become increasingly safer as time progresses, the festival can become a completely safe environment for people to enjoy EDM music free of risk.

The article can be found at:

Boss of Nasser failed to protect patients


The arrest and conviction of Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor who abused more than 200 women over his career, is one of the largest sex abuse scandals in U.S. history.

William Stampel (Staff photo, Michigan State University).

Now, his boss is under fire.

William Strampel was dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and oversaw the clinic where Nassar worked.

He failed to enforce proper examination room regulations he set in place following an accusation against Nassar in 2014, which required doctors to have a chaperone present whenever they examined “sensitive” body areas.

This allowed Nassar to continue to abuse his patients. Even in the midst of the sexual abuse investigation in 2014 Stampel allowed him to return to work and did not inform the rest of the Osteopathic Medicine Department of his new regulations. He stated in 2017 he did not feel the need to check to see if Nassar was following these new rules because he felt he had been “exonerated” by a investigation by the university and the police.

Strampel’s work computer contained more than 50 photos of female genitalia, nude women, sex toys and pornography, as well as an extensive collection of female “selfies” of MSU students, most likely pulled from social media.

Most worryingly, there was also saved video of Nassar “performing a ‘treatment’ on a young female patient. Forsyth, who was hired by Michigan’s attorney general to investigate the university, would not discuss the photos on the computer or how Stampel may have come in possession of them.

Outside of Nassar connections, Stampel has also been repeatedly accused of sexual assault by young women around MSU.

I am always skeptical when it comes to new coverage of sexual assault and its victims. If the news media aren’t implying blame on the victims, they are often sensationalizing the stories and jumping the gun on accusations.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by this story’s coverage as well, by extension, the coverage of the Nassar case. The news media were mindful when discussing Nassar’s victims and even seems to hold the 200 testimonies against him in high regard. These articles were no different.

There was very little wild speculation over who was a victim and rather drew the lines that prosecutors and investigators had within their statements. They mirror Nassar’s actions against Stampel’s work as dean to create a timeline and connect events. Even articles with pointed tones still lay out the facts and list the defense’s claims, even if it would be easy to immediately condemn him in the wake of Nassar.

Copycat death threats: Fault of media?


Just a few days following the devastating school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., police have foiled many copycat threats toward schools and their students.

Many of the charges have simply been for written threats to kill, but the message forms have ranged from pictures on Snapchat with guns declaring dates they would attack to a physical written note threatening teachers. The police have arrested and defused these threats, but a majority of the threats made were termed as jokes or seen as “funny” by their perpetrators.

This perception of the national tragedy by high school and middle school students could reflect a much larger issue when it comes to media coverage of major shooting incidents.

A screenshot of the Rolling Stone’s Facebook page following the publishing of their Boston Bomber cover.

The news media came under scrutiny for their treatment of national disasters largely due to The Rolling Stone‘s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing incident on April 13, 2013.

They chose to put the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s face on the cover of their magazine and caused national outrage for glamorizing and popularizing Tsarnaev rather than respecting and focusing on the victims and the city’s recovery. It was somewhat comparative to young woman who send love letters to serial killers such as Ted Bundy or Jeffery Dahmer.

When it comes to national tragedies, the media has a responsibility to inform as regularly and as accurately as possible. But many people have urged networks and publications to not repeatedly print the accused’s face and name since the popularity and recognition is often what the perpetrators aim for when they do what they do.

Whether these kids wanted to scare their friends or see how their school’s react, a large amount of mass shootings are often inspired by the national attention previous disasters like Columbine or Sandy Hook receive.

The killers are instantly picked apart and their interests, friends, family, and possible motivations are published everywhere and they dominate the news. The Las Vegas shooter was a noted narcissist- what better way to satisfy the need for attention then to be discussed in the news for weeks?

New York Times writer Zeynep Tufekci questions news media treatment of Las Vegas shooting.

This is also fault to the new age of 24-hour news cycle. With networks dedicated to instant, braking news updates every hour of the day, these incidents are rehashed over and over.

No Notoriety, a group that focuses on media coverage of mass killings asks the media to “limit” the name and images of a shooter except for instances where the suspect is at large.  Let’s focus on the event, the victims and the heroes, and not make the killer a household name.

Nikolas Cruz: What we now know


On Feb. 14, 2018, a mass shooting took place in Parkland, Fla., at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A 19-year-old by the name of Nikolas Cruz was accused, after bringing a rifle to school, of killing 17 people and injuring even more. After students and neighbors traded stories of their experiences with him, the puzzle pieces came together.

Cruz had recently been expelled and the stories about him fell within the bands of typical teenage mischief making. He was taken into custody shortly after the massacre and was accused of 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The authorities released the names of all the victims on Thursday. These individuals were teachers and students, the kinds of people who bring a school to life.

The mother of one of these victims said she had a message for President Trump.

“President Trump, we need action, we need change, get these guns out of the hands of these young kids and get these guns off the streets,” said Alyssa Alhadeff.

The president who generally opposes new gun restrictions ahs focused on mental illness during mass shootings and did so again on Thursday on his Twitter account.

“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again,” Trump said.

Cruz had no criminal history before the shootings according to the state law enforcement records but his childhood was certainly troubled.

His father passed away in 2004 while his mother recently passed away in November.

“He had emotional problems and I believe he was diagnosed with autism. He had trouble controlling his temper. He broke things. He would do that sometimes at our house when he lost his temper. But he was always very apologetic afterwards,” stated Paul Gold, Cruz’s neighbor.

In the end, all of this is no excuse for what he has done and the city of Parkland is now trying to heal.

This story included lots of detail in order for the reader to get more of an idea as to why something like this happened. It was covered in a very raw and honest manner not sugar coding. Overall, I think it was very well reported.

Mass shootings lead to difficult choices


On Feb. 14, a gunman entered Broward County’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and started shooting. There were 17 fatalities, making it one of the top 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

The gunman, identified as 19-year-old expelled student Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15, the weapon of choice for many mass shooters. His motives are still unknown. He confessed in court to the shooting.

Much of the early information around this shooting came from social media posts by students trapped inside the school. Students barricaded in classrooms would tweet out safety updates or videos of the chaos. This ability to get live updates from inside a situation was unthinkable just a few years ago and allows for reporters and the rest of the outside world to have more information sooner.

However, there are many possible problems over reporting from these social media posts.

One possible problem is in regards to fact-checking. Much of what a student tweets could potentially be based off of incorrect assumptions or limited knowledge of the situation. In a situation such as this shooting, a news reporter needs to take extra care to not cause panic by disseminating false information, especially since social media allows for that false information to make its way back to other students in the same situation.

There is also the question of whether news media coverage is over-exposing people to violence.

Since the Parkland shooting, many people have questioned how necessary it is to see every dead body and puddle of blood. Some worry that it’s a violation of privacy and an act of disrespect to victims and their families. Many psychologists raise concerns that over-exposure to graphic images could worsen cases of acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. There is also concern over people becoming desensitized to horrific violence.

However journalists decide to handle the inclusion of social media posts and graphic images in their reporting of mass shootings, I feel that the most important thing is to balance the need for truth and facts with respect for the tragedy.

Parkland focus turns to mental health


On Feb. 14, 17 people were killed at yet another school shooting by former student of the school. This time it was Nikolas Cruz at Stoneman Douglas High School. This is the 18th one of the kind this year and Americans are getting fed up of the gun violence and wonder when it will end.

An image has been circulating on social media in which the words “thoughts & prayers” are crossed off and replaced by the words “policy & change.”

This differs greatly from the way America has responded to these incidents in the past.

Rather than the usual tone of remaining positive, people are calling out politicians and demanding change. The president, along with many news media outlets, has decided to, once more, ignore the gun issue and give the incident the completely wrong focus.

As reported by The New York Times, POTUS tweeted about the mental state of the shooter a few hours before he formally addressed the public.Later during his formal speech, he also failed to mention gun control. Instead he continued to focus on mental health.

Similarly, an article on the Miami New Times the next day makes mention of the mental state of Cruz.

Although the article mainly focuses on how someone in that psychological state is able to get their hands on such deadly weapons, the mention of his mental health seems unnecessary when there are bigger problems at stake.

In this instance, the shooter had mental health issues but the reality of it is that many of the people responsible for these types of massacres do not. While mental health should be addressed when looking at these issues, that is an issue in itself that should not obstruct the gun debate.

Both the news media and American politicians need to focus on the real issue instead, which is the unnecessarily high accessibility to weapons in this country.

Times reporter unveils Alt-Right mask


Emma Cott, a New York Times reporter, sat down with one of the primary leaders of the white supremacist group, the Alt-Right movement, and uncovered the key to their success.

Cott interviewed Elliot Kline, an Alt-Right leader who goes by the pseudonym Eli Mosley, after British fascist Oswald Mosley who tried to bring Nazism to England. Mosley made his transition from a Twitter-troll to a leader of the alt-right movement when he helped plan the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017. The rally ended in one fatality and more than a dozen wounded and was considered a success by the alt-right standards.

Eli Mosley, Facebook

Eli Mosley, one of the Alt-Right movement leaders.

At an Alt-Right member’s home in Alexandria, Va., Cott did an on-camera interview with Mosley in which he told her that there is a huge connection between the military and Alt-Right. He said that he served in Iraq and found it “boring.”

According to Mosley, lots of alt-right members served in the military and were “disillusioned with the American political system,” including himself.

Cott’s in-depth research following her sit-down with Mosley led her to ask questions. She contacted the Army for confirmation of Mosley’s deployment and to not much surprise, she found he had never actually been deployed. Cott’s strong reporting skills led her to conclude that Mosley’s identity in the Alt-Right movement was based on a lie.

Not only did Mosley lie about going to Iraq, but he refused to admit it was not an internal computer error that led the Army to tell Cott that he was never actually deployed.

Because Mosley’s position within the movement is to help bring people together who share a common goal of becoming so-called “activists” in the white supremacist community, he pretends to be apart of the target audience: veterans.

Cott pieced together the fraudulence within the alt-right movement by concluding that the movement is filled with “Holocaust deniers and pseudo-intellectuals who spout unsubstantiated theories about the science behind racial difference.”

Mosley’s trick of lying to gain entrance and ranking within the white supremacist community does not differ from the strategies of his fellow Neo-Nazis. Cott claims that alt-right is merely a place, “where a weekend warrior can pass himself off as a disillusioned veteran of war.” The interview is merely a spotlight on Mosley caught in a lie.

Young boy in Texas still not identified


In Galveston, Texas, the violent crime rate is on the lower charts of crimes compared to other cities like Houston. Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. On Oct. 22, 2017, police came across a young boy’s body who they found washed up on a beach. They are now urging anybody who recognizes the young boy to step forward.

The children between ages of three and five years old, was discovered naked and already decomposing. Josh Schirad, captain of the Galveston Police Department, said “somebody knows this kid. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, day care provider, teacher, next door neighbor, guy at the grocery store that’s seen this kid come in. Somebody somewhere here has seen this child.”

Unfortunately for the police department, no one has come forward to identify the boy.

Det. Jeff Banks said in a statement “The child’s body appeared to have been in the water between 12 to 48 hours.” Usually children do not have finger prints on file, making it difficult to identify them. The evidence collected at the scene was limited.

The FBI joined the Galveston police department in search of the identification of the boy, however, two months after the boy’s body was located, in a joint press release, Ed Michel, Assistant Special Agent in charge of the FBI Houston field office, said, “It’s heartbreaking that no one has come forward to identify this boy or offer any clues as to what happened to him.”

For the first time in Galveston history, police are now uploading a photo of the deceased boy after releasing a sketch and not having any leads. The boy is described to be possibly Hispanic, brown eyes and hair, and about three feet tall. In order to make the picture appropriate for the public, a few minor decomposition and cuts were cleaned up.

In hopes to pursue anyone who may have had contact with the young boy, the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for the location of the family members caring for this boy at the time of his disappearance.

Why have mass shootings increased?


After the Texas shooting last week, many of us kept wondering what is going on in the country. Why are the shootings in the U.S. gradually becoming more deadly ? All we have seen in the news lately include shootings, injured and people killed.

During the week, I read two different articles that somehow tried to address the issue with a lot of facts, information and in an appealing way. Both, The New York Times and BBC News, wrote an article on their websites titled: Why are U.S. mass shootings getting more deadly? Why U.S. mass shootings?

It seemed really interesting to me as a reader not only for the timing of the subject but also because it is such a controversial, broad topic about which it is hard to write .

The article in the NYT explains how America is different to any other country when the issue involves a gun and gun policy. The article stated that one of the main reasons the mass killings in the U.S. have been constant is because of the gun regulations. Although the newspaper explains fairly enough how it reached that conclusion, statistics and facts are presented vaguely. In my opinion, the story and analysis is really good but the newspaper could have presented the data more effectively using more than two simple graphics. Moreover, the newspaper fails to include multiple sources and just uses information provided by Adam Lankford, a professor from the University of Alabama.

On the other hand, BBC News did a similar piece in which it explained how the frequency of mass shootings has increased during the years. The news network gives us a little background to each of the shootings in modern history and dismantles factors that have changed during time. For this article, BBC News engages the attention of the reader in any way possible. The BBC offers various facts and information through explanatory videos, graphs, videos of each event, etc. Readers can even keep listening to the videos while they see other pictures or read the article. The network offers a really good analysis and provided evidence and visuals that help the viewer imagine the full context.

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TripAdvisor hides warnings of rape


More than 10 travelers from around the United States say reviews website TripAdvisor is deleting and muzzling their accounts of rape, blackouts and other injuries suffered at resorts in Mexico, according to an extensive investigation published Wednesday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This report came out two days after U.S. officials called on the U.S. State Department and the Office of the Inspector General to investigate Mexican resorts that have allegedly been serving dangerous, tainted alcohol.

Tourists who have had terrible experiences say their posts of TripAdvisor are frequently removed and labeled as “hearsay.”

“To me it’s like censoring,” said Wendy Avery-Swanson of Phoenix. “It wasn’t hearsay. It actually happened to me.”  In her review, she wrote she blacked out after being served alcohol at a swim-up bar.  This review was scrubbed from the website.

Another review that was taken off the website was one by Kristie Love of Dallas. She posted that she had been raped by a security guard at the Iberostar Paraiso Resort near Playa Del Carmen.  She wrote that she had been followed by the guard who later overpowered her and raped her outside. She claims that the hotel staff refused to call police.  Her post was taken down for violating the “family friendly” guidelines.

“We apologize to the sexual assault victim,” said Brian Hoyt, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Since 2010, when the forum post was removed, our policies and processes have evolved to better provide information like this to other travelers.  As a result, when recently brought to our attention, the victim’s initial forum post was republished by our staff.”

Hoyt also said the company is creating a “badge” notification to apply to businesses to “alert consumers of health & safety or discrimination issues at that business reported on within the media or other credible sources of information.”

Hopefully TripAdvisor is being truthful and will no longer censor these voices.

The media has done a very good job of covering this story.  An interview of a woman whose post was deleted had been featured on the NBC Nightly News last week.  The story has been showing up on CNN, FOX, and MSNBC’s websites as well.

This is an important story that many should be aware of, especially college students since many of them go to Mexico for spring break each year.  It is very good that many major news sources have been covering it and getting the word out there.  A lot of people will likely think twice about going to Mexico after reading about this.