Swastika in Swiss train station removed


A swastika image has received a lot of hate and criticism from the Swiss population.

The SBB is the national railway company of Switzerland. It hung up the sign as a protest against immigrants being allowed into Switzerland.

According to the Tages Anzeiger, a Swiss newspaper, customers of the SBB have been deeply hurt.

Technically, the SBB must allow such advertisement. According to a rule made in 2012, the open spaces in train stations count as public space. However due to many strong reactions from customers the SBB has removed the sign.

As this sign is pretty well known to most of the population, it received a lot of media attention from all over Switzerland. No matter that the sign was only present in a few train station, people were not happy. This in return got the attention of the media, which caused even more people to read about it.

Newspapers and radio stations went to the train stations to talk to people, and ask them their opinion. It was no shock that all the interviewed customers did not want the sign up. This caused the news media to write and report about the feelings the people had. With the help of the news media the sign was removed, which makes a lot of people happy.

106-year-old woman meets Obamas


Virginia McLaurin is 106 years old and this past week has met President Obama and the First Lady.

She got invited to meet the president thanks to a friend who contacted the White House and mentioned all the outstanding volunteer work, McLaurin has been doing throughout Washington, D.C.

“I didn’t think that would ever happen in my life,” McLaurin said to People magazine’s Web site.

McLaurin grew up in South Carolina when racial segregation was the law. The fact that it was a black president who invited her to the White House “means there’s been a lot of changes since I was born,” she added.

McLaurin got the chance to meet the president just before the Black History Month reception. She was overwhelmed by how nice the President and the First Lady were. She was very happy that the country has a Black president; something she did not believe would happen for a very long time.

The video of McLaurin, the President and the First Lady encounter and of them dancing, has gone viral. The video is seen on social media websites, such as Facebook, written about it in People magazine, CBS, CNN and even got uploaded on the official White House website. The response to the video was enormous, as everyone was very touched by how McLaurin reacted when meeting the president. The generous welcome by him and his wife is also highly appreciated.

The fact that McLaurin is 106 years old and still so lively and dancing, may also be a strong contributor of the video going viral.

Overall, McLaurin had a great time meeting the President and the First Lady. Her video has gotten a lot of attention by people all over the world in all sorts of media.

Kesha’s legal battle causing controversy


The hashtag #FreeKesha has captured headlines, but the battle of Kesha and her producer Dr. Luke is more complicated than a hashtag.

In 2014, Kesha filed a civil lawsuit alleging Dr. Luke emotionally abused, drugged and sexually assaulted her during her time with Kemosabe Records. Kesha’s legal team was seeking to break her contract with Kemosabe Records and its parent company, Sony Entertainment, so she could continue her career without the producer’s influence.

After a long legal battle, the New York Supreme Court decided a preliminary injunction, sending the pop star into tears and her supporters into a flurry of anger and activism.

Some of her supporters include celebrities, such as Adele, Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato. Many of these celebrities have taken to Twitter to express their outrage.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.33.34 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.33.03 PMBut it’s Demi Lovato’s tweet which really started the controversy. BuzzFeed broke the story and monitored all of Lovato’s tweets.

Her first tweet showed support for the “Tick Tock” singer.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.00.09 PM

She then tweeted what seemed to be a jab at Taylor Swift, according to BuzzFeed.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.00.24 PMLovato allegedly liked a tweet that referenced Swift’s silence further fueling speculation.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.03.25 PMAccording to BuzzFeed, Lovato’s rant was 90-minutes long, and concluding with Lovato sending one last tweet that had the hashtag #equalityforALL.

One day after Lovato’s rant, Taylor Swift made a highly publicized move: donating $250,000 to Kesha.

Lovato had one last thing to say.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.31.33 PMMany celebrities have praised the bold donation and the media is praising the America’s sweetheart but it’s upsetting to see that they are not showing the entire story.

Credit should be given to BuzzFeed for bringing this to attention, even if there are more important issues to talk about.

News outlets are supposed to tell the full story and to investigate and they seem to have forgotten to do that. Whether or not Lovato was actually calling out Swift, other news outlets should have caught on to the hour and a half rant on Twitter.

It is completely possible that Swift made the donation after feeling pressured from on-again-off-again friend Lovato. It’s also possible she didn’t do because of Lovato but it’s something the media should have at least mentioned when this story first broke out.

It is possible the media was worried about Kesha’s case and made the executive decision to not talk about Lovato’s side of the story but they cannot deny the events leading up to the donation, especially from two self-proclaimed feminists.

Maybe celebrity rants are nothing to talk about. If that is the case, Kanye West shouldn’t receive any more attention then he does but that’s another story.

Has Trump sealed the deal?


When Donald Trump filed his statement of candidacy a few months ago, no one would have expected him to go very far, much less sustain a significant lead among Republican candidates.

Now that it’s dawning upon the country that Trump actually has a shot at becoming the next president, CNN is already commenting what’s next if Trump takes over the White House.

Trump, who won the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday night, is unsurprisingly under the spotlight for his recent success. When the results showed how his percentages compare to that of the other candidates, the businessman turned presidential candidate has distinctly marked New Hampshire, South Carolina and now Nevada, to be “Trump states.”

From one state to the next, Trump is consistently pulling further away from his fellow Republican candidates and it’s looking more likely that there is a big possibility for Trump to heighten his momentum come Super Tuesday.

Alongside Trump’s efforts to power through the Republican polls, it’s also interesting to read about what the news has to say about this Trump frenzy phenomenon going on.

CNN has just released a number of news stories entitled What would Trump’s be first day in office look like and Trump’s Day 1-to-do-list. With the release of these web stories, it appears as though what’s being presented to the audience is an indirect opinionated piece that can influence public opinion.

Although CNN has not shown any support for Trump in any regard, it’s almost doing the same as straightforwardly subjecting the public to count Rubio and Cruz out.

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.

Snowboarding video gets attention


Casey Neistat is a 34-year-old American film and YouTube content creator. He currently has two million subscribers and 459 million views on his YouTube channel. On an everyday basis he films everyday vlogs, in which he shows his viewers his daily activities and his family.

About two weeks ago, New York City was struck with a gigantic blizzard and snowstorm. News reporters and police were warning citizens not to drive around because it was too dangerous. This, however, did not stop Casey and he got out his truck, attached chains and a rope to the back and decided to snowboard throughout the city.

He had cameras all over, which allowed him to get footage from many different angels. He collected the clips and uploaded the video to his channel. A few days later his video was broadcast all over the world. It was shown on newscasts in Germany, Switzerland, England, Australia and many other countries.

Even news network Web sites such as CNN and ABC did stories on his video. A lot of news media decided to cover Casey and his video, and it was all in a positive light.

The reason for so many news sites covering this specific video was because as you can see in the video that Casey is the only one driving through New York. This is a very rare occurrence, as the city is always full with lots of cars and people.

New York City is also a city known to many other countries around the world, and they were also aware of the big blizzard going on. Therefore, it is no coincidence that various countries decided on reporting on Casey Neistat’s video, which brought much attention and enjoyment to most readers.

With this Neistat has without knowing produced a viral video. The fact that his video was covered by so many news sources boosts his YouTube channel and the video now has 1.5 million views. And, of course, it gave a tremendous boost to his career as a filmmaker .

Outrage for the rest of the world?


Last week, late Friday night, reports of terrorist attacks in France killing more than 100 people. Every local, national and international news network covered the story from the moment the attacks happened and every update that has taken place since then.

It seemed as though all of my Facebook friends changed their profile pictures with the semi-transparent overlay of the French flag. Almost four million people, gathered to march in support of France. Several world leaders flew to France to show their support and speak on the issue and express their nation’s solidarity with France.

Support for France and the outcry against the attacks was expressed worldwide via social media, news coverage, and public marches. Many people raised the question: Where is the outcry for the attacks in Nigeria? Where is the support for the people of Syria? Where is the outcry for Lebanon?

In Nigeria, it is believed that Boko Haram orchestrated a terrorist attack killing 32 people and injuring more. Thousands of Syrians are fleeing from their own country in fear of ISIS. In Lebanon, 40 people were killed and left more than 200 wounded victims of bombs at the hands of ISIS.


Where are the flags for these countries on people’s Facebook profile photos? Where is the international outcry for the victims of these attacks?

People on social media have called out several Western news networks for the biased coverage of terrorist attacks happening all around the world. In response to the claims presented on social media, CNN responded during a segment of their morning show “New Day.”

Michaela Pereira, a “New Day” co-host, raised the question if the West should be doing more to fight Boko Haram. One of the show’s guest speaker, James Marks (a military analyst and executive dean of the University of Phoenix), stated that the reason the West isn’t doing more or showing support to countries such as Nigeria or Lebanon is simply because, “they are not a priority.”

Marks also stated that, “The United States, unilaterally, could do anything it needed to do to root out Boko Haram. It would be a long-term effort, but it could be done. The U.S. has the capability…but it is not a priority—that’s the problem.

Marks went on to say, “‘Black’ West Africa is not a priority. If we were to see Boko Haram appear in ‘White Africa’, which is North Africa, we would be alarmed.”

But is the mass coverage of Paris in comparison to other countries simply a race issue? The Washington Post thinks so, but they also think several other factors are a part of the issue as indicated in their recent article, “This is why the Paris attacks have gotten more news coverage than other terrorist attacks.”

The Washington Post lists the following reasons contributing to why the attacks in Paris received mass coverage as opposed to other terrorist attacks.

  1. France is an unusual target.
  2. Paris is a top global tourist destination
  3. Random civilians were targeted using shocking tactics
  4. Are we seeing a new battleground for the Islamic State?
  5. This was a complex, coordinated attack. And that’s worrisome.

The Washington Post wrote, “The Paris attack shocked the world for many reasons. It’s true that terrorism in less-developed countries is worth our attention as well. Crises, such as the Syrian civil war, deserve much more media coverage and policy focus.”

To conclude, I agree with The Washington Post. There are several other reasons that contributed to the mass media coverage that the Paris attacks received, other than race and urbanization. However, I do believe that because France is not a Third World country, they received more coverage. The prioritization of what is considered to be news to the West is problematic, because one could conclude that the amount of coverage a nation receives indicates their level of importance and whether or not they, and their lives, matter.

Carson: Fact-checking or dirt digging?


Despite Ben Carson’s quiet and often soft-spoken demeanor, according to his book “Gifted Hands,” he had a troubled and violent childhood growing up in the city of Detroit.

Recently several news organizations, including CNN, have begun “digging up dirt” on the Republican candidate, with Carson’s claim of a rough childhood at the center of the coverage.

As candidates are running for the highest and most powerful position in the United States and perhaps the world, it is expected that old skeletons will be hunted down and taken out of the candidates’ closets. But is there a point of going too far?

Despite Carson’s public claims of his troubled childhood, as well as those mentioned in his book, CNN has assigned a journalist to investigate Carson’s claims and has reached out to past neighbors and childhood friends of Carson in the hopes of either validating or invalidating Carson’s story.

Carson has often spoken about a particular incident during his childhood in which he tried to stab a friend with a knife over a disagreement about a radio.  The journalist assigned to investigate Carson’s story has been researching the candidate in regards to his claims for the past month and CNN has asked Carson to aid the network in finding witnesses who saw the stabbing attempt as well as the victim of the attack.

Carson has declined to provide CNN with these names and for some news reporters Carson’s unwillingness to help raises further suspicion of whether or not his claims of his childhood are true. Perhaps Carson is not willing to provide the names of witnesses or the victim of his attack, not to hide the truth, but to protect the lives and privacy of those involved.

Every candidate running for president has had their lives turned upside down and scrutinized from what they wear to what they wrote in their high school newspaper 30 years ago. I think Carson is making the right decision not to provide CNN with the names of witnesses or the victim to protect them from the harsh and often unforgiving spotlight of public opinion and news media.

Carson is not alone when it comes to news networks “digging up dirt” and publicly scrutinizing his past. Recently, several news organizations, in addition to Donald Trump, have called out Marco Rubio for his personal use of a credit card that was only to be used for political purposes relating to the Republican Party. CNN has went as far as to list out the date, location, and exact dollar amounts used for personal use.

I do think that this information is pertinent for the American public to be aware of as it pertains to Rubio’s misuse of a professionally provided credit card. However, as illustrated with Ben Carson, I do think that sometimes the media can cross the line between fact-checking and digging for dirt.

Where did the news go?


Access to news has increased significantly worldwide as new, high technology devices and social media became the main platform for news dissemination. Not only is it a current and immediate news outlet, it allows its users to become aware of the latest global events in a matter of seconds.

However, does all of this speed live up the the news’ worth?

As The New York Times posted in its latest Opinion section, the news media are sliding toward thinner coverage and ever-shorter “news-nuggets” of information. Despite the increase in number and variety of news platforms, all of them are characterized by small and impacting headlines that try to summarize the latest news in a few words — that is, as long as it fits on one’s phone screen.

Sadly to newspapers and to those passionate about journalism and the beauty of unveiling the truth, news, in the 21st century, is being summed up to 10 word tweets and quick Facebook posts.

Development and growth depends on informed, critical individuals who seek information and aren’t “in a rush” to scroll down to the next post. Knowledge comes from content, however how can it prevail if the interests have shifted and news is being trimmed to devote more time and space to pop culture, celebrity gossip, and the latest trends?

Maybe what we know as “news” is changing. Maybe its time to re-define our roles as journalists, or at least, time to figure out a new place where the role of “informants” truly meets people’s needs. Whatever it is, where did news go?

Chaotic GOP debate causes concern


This past Wednesday night, I gathered with a group of students inside the faculty master apartment at Mahoney Residential College to watch the Republican presidential candidates debate.

Personally, I had several expectations for the debate based off of the previous Republican debate hosted by Fox. However, what myself and millions of people watched Wednesday night, was truly unexpected.

First off, there were 10 candidates on the stage. With so many candidates, it is hard to keep track of everyone’s stance on serious matters, such as reforming the tax code, to less relevant issues, such as the regulation of fantasy sports gambling.

But, what further complicated the already difficult matter of keeping track of all of the candidates’ viewpoints were the moderators. It became apparent very quickly that the moderators were not in control of the debate as candidates not only cut each other off, but also interrupted, talked over and even challenged the moderators.

The debate was two hours of utter chaos and the Republican candidates are not happy about it. Their discontent has been broadcast and shared on various networks and social media sites, with new reports of the candidates coming together to protest the RNC and demand control over who moderates the upcoming debates as well as what questions are asked.

While I understand, that the candidates are upset, I think it would not be a true or fair debate if candidates had the ability to control virtually all aspects of the debate. While Ben Carson believes that debates should not be a game of “gotcha” questions, I disagree. Yes, a debate’s main purpose is to allow candidates to share and explain their platform on several issues and policies affecting the country, but it is also an opportunity for their ideals to be tested and challenged in front of the public.

A debate should not be a time where candidates walk on stage and present their ideals unchallenged and unquestioned–that is the whole point of a debate. While I agree with the candidates that Wednesday’s debate was chaotic, it should not serve as the catalyst to grant candidates full reign over all aspects of a debate.

Not releasing shooters’ identity is wrong


The shooting that occurred at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, was a complete tragedy. The shooting follows a string of multiple shootings that have occurred in the U.S. during the past few years. From the Sandy Hook shooting to the shooting at FSU, the U.S. has seen a startling uptake in mass shootings.

Some people argue that the cause of these mass shootings is lax gun control laws, while others believe the cause stems from the people who carry out these acts. Based on what I have seen, it appears as though most news organizations have taken the stance that while lax gun control laws play a role, the person is the main cause of these shootings.

Most news networks, including CNN, have taken the stance of not releasing the shooter’s name of the Oregon College shooting. According to CNN, the shooter “killed to be famous,” and they would not give him that during their broadcasts. The Douglas County sheriff has also taken the stance to not release the gunman’s name, not wanting to make him infamous.

With most of the past shootings, most news organizations have taken the route of not releasing the shooter’s name hoping it would discourage people from committing these acts in the hopes of gaining infamy from coverage of the tragedy. As we can see based on what happened in Oregon, this tactic does not seem be working.

I do not agree with the decision to not publicly release the shooter’s name. I think that people should be able to know who did this crime so we can try to figure out why this happened.

As more details of the shooting come out, we are learning that there were signs that this man suffered from some ideological and personal issues. I don’t think hiding the shooter’s identity will discourage these actions from taking place. I believe that, as a country, we have to come together and focus on what is causing people to commit these heinous actions. While more gun control laws are needed, I think we need to first focus on the people committing the murders and not the weapons used.

Change of focus in shootings news?


While the news media are reporting on the horrific shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, CNN covered the topic with a feature on the man who tried to save his class. The story is CNN’s main coverage linked to the shooting, posted on their websites front page, boldly titled “Oregon shooting hero tells gunman, ‘It’s my son’s birthday today’,” which gives a new view on handling stories of this nature.

A complement article by CNN interviewed Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who stated “I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act. You will never hear me mention his name. We would encourage media to avoid using it, to not repeat it. We encourage you not to glorify and create sensationalism for him. He in no way deserves this. Focus your attention on the victims, on the families, helping them get through this difficult time.”

While I believe that the shooter’s name should be stated for investigative purposes, Sheriff Hanlin has a good point. Rather than emphasizing the shooter’s name, it was only mentioned once near the end of CNN’s article. Instead, CNN widely reported on the heroic actions of Chris Mintz, who took seven bullets trying to save his classmates. He held the door against the shooter who shot him three times until he gave in. Mintz then told the shooter “it’s my son’s birthday today,” which left the shooter unfazed and Mintz to take four more bullets. Despite these seven bullets, he survived and is expected to recover.

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, nearly one school shooting has occurred per week according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. These astounding numbers show how an event can have a massive chain reaction. However, the news media’s new outlook brings hope. Since many school shooters’ motives include having their name known and their ideas spread to others like them, if their names are not emphasized, then they will not receive the infamous fame that they want. The news media should emphasize the heroes in these tragedies and what the victim’s families are doing to help.

CNN plays a Trump card


CNN was put on the defense this past Wednesday, after commenting on the lack of attendance at an event held by Donald Trump (current Republican candidate for president) at the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce annual conference.

The following day, Trump went on the defense claiming that the reason there were photos or videos of the room being half-empty was because everyone “rushed” to the front of the room when he began speaking. He then went on to personally attack the CNN reporter who covered the story, calling her “terrible” and a “horrible reporter.”

But the CNN reporter was, in fact, reporting what had truly taken place at this event. The room was half-empty before Trump began speaking and after he began speaking. And of the half-full room of attendees, the majority of the people were white, disputing Trump’s claim that there were “many African Americans there.”

I watch the news on a daily basis and, based on what I have seen in regards to the coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency, it seems as though most news organizations have been tip-toeing around Trump afraid of his reaction.

This past week, Trump recently announced via Twitter that he was done with FOX and would not be doing any more shows with the network. But Trump has done this before. He threw a similar temper tantrum with FOX in August. Shortly after, he spoke with Fox’s network Chief Roger Ailes who “smoothed” things over and Trump was back on Fox.

As Trump has been garnering a large amount of attention from viewers, news networks are inclined to satiate the candidate and not ruffle his feathers in order to have him on their broadcasts for higher ratings. But it seems as though, more and more networks are reaching their limit with the brash candidate.

Shortly after CNN covered the story, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press reported on the story as well — mirroring CNN’s report. They all came to same conclusion: Donald Trump did speak to a half-empty room which consisted mainly of white people.

They didn’t beat around the bush or come up with excuses for the candidate. They simply reported on what actually happened, supporting CNN as a news organization. The Associated Press wrote in their article that, “CNN’s assessment appears to have been the correct one.”

I applaud CNN and the other news networks that stood behind CNN, for finally calling a spade, a spade Trump.

NYFW through eyes of social media


New York Fashion Week 2015 is in full swing and social media has been heating up with the latest coverage. Now more than ever, viewers get an inside look into the ins and outs of Fashion Week through social media outlets such as Instagram and Snapchat. It was a huge advance when shows started to be filmed live on YouTube a few years ago, but now we can see fashion week from every angle.

From behind-the-scenes footage, designers talking directly to viewers, models interacting, and the shows themselves. Through these social media outlets we are able to be a part of a global event that is normally closed off for A-list celebrities and fashions elite. Fashion houses use their social media platforms to promote their shows, get their name out there to be the best of the best.

Fashion brands rely heavily on their social media status to connect with customers, designers, buyers, and fashion media. The more publicity they receive on these media platforms the better. Numerous designers are finding ways to incorporate Instagram to their shows, which their calling Insta-Show, which involves fashion influencers to take snapshots of the collection and post them to their social media accounts rather than conduct a runway show.

The latest major story to hit social media was the opening ceremony’s dance performance runway. Throughout my Insta feed everyone was posting videos of the performance giving it rave reviews. Without this coverage we wouldn’t have been able to see this and be apart of the show itself. I can’t wait to continue to see what new advancement will be next for New York Fashion Week coverage.

‘Insta-famous’ offers major social capital


According to CNN, Taylor Swift recently surpassed Kim Kardashian West as the most followed user on Instagram. Swift now has 45.9 million followers while Kardashian West trails behind with a mere 45.7 million followers.

Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing app, first began in 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012.

In today’s increasingly visual society, social media popularity now correlates to social capital. This correlation gives celebrities the opportunity to give their fans access into their private lives to benefit their popularity.

Taylor Swift’s goofy personality shines through her Instagram. Her feed frequently features her cats, her notorious celebrity girl crew, and plenty of knit sweaters. Kardashian West, on the other hand, portrays a more glamorous image, featuring mostly an assortment of selfies and family photos.

Both celebrities have strategically created a brand that consumers are actively following. Companies are actively following too.

Online endorsements have become the ultimate marketing move for makeup brands, clothing brands, and even food brands. Celebrities are now serving as the middleman between the brands and the general public.

Since celebrities have an active online following that can be accessed immediately, it makes sense that their virtual popularity would correlate into real life.

Nowadays, social capital is tracked by number of followers and number of likes per photo on Instagram.

New Periscope helps us explore world


New applications and types of social media come out everyday. This is no surprise since it’s almost impossible to see someone not walking around with their smart phone in their hand. People love posting pictures and statuses about their life and liking things about their closest 500 friends’ lives. So, naturally, the next step for social media was a live-streaming video app.

Enter Periscope. Periscope allows users to live-stream whatever they’re doing at any time of the day and anyone can watch and post comments that momentarily appear on top of the video.

The Periscope team said the idea behind the app is to be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes. For example: seeing though the eyes of a protester in Ukraine or watching a sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia. But that might be wishful thinking on their part because the most popular videos so far have been people showing you what’s in their fridge.

The app, acquired by Twitter, is already expected to have new updates in the near future including being available to Android users and film in landscape mode.

Drudge Report still ranks No. 1


A recent article from Politico identified the Drudge Report as the “leading source of referral traffic” for many notable news organizations. This means that—other than browser searches and social media, which usually will lead users to news stories through links and shares—the Drudge Report is the No. 1 place where readers go to get routed to news.

First of all, the obvious thing to note is that the Drudge Report is openly conservative. It often crafts its headlines and arranges its content from a conservative perspective. The fact that this conservative news routing site ranks is most used brings up questions about the political demographics of news readers nationwide.

Does this reflect the views of the nation? More likely, it just sheds light on what we guessed already. Those who seek out news the old-fashioned way tend to lean more to the right; those who like their news brought to them (e.g. through apps) tend to lean more to the left.

The Politico article also notes that the Drudge Report has experienced very little change to its Web page over the years, which I found interesting.

When it comes to keeping users engaged, the mentality used by companies usually revolves around updating, upgrading and introducing change to keep things interesting. However, the Drudge Report has been mighty successful in keeping things exactly the way they are.

This might be more of a testament to the audience who most religiously uses the Drudge Report, as previously discussed. But it might also be something for other marketers and newsmakers to keep in mind before making major changes to what they offer. In some situations, consistency may be equated with reliability and could be a more effective strategy in keeping a loyal audience.

Social media steal the news show


While many people still watch the news each night, or as often as they can, others are far too busy to sit down in front of a television for more than a few minutes. Thanks to social media and technology, we no longer have to do this.

FullSizeRender (1)Most news sources have apps for our smartphones, and many offer the helpful “push notifications.” This allows people to receive breaking news updates directly on the home screen of their phone and thus saves people tons of time.

Personally, I love receiving these notifications almost every day. It makes it so I don’t even have to check the app itself, which, in my case, is CNN, to learn that day’s news. When I’m far too busy to read through the app, these one-to-two-sentence notifications are extremely helpful.

These notifications are also useful for learning something new. I’ll often receive a notification on a news story that I didn’t know anything about or that I didn’t know existed.

They keep me informed throughout the day, without even having to push a button. We clearly have it easy these days, but with that comes a new level of knowledge. Thanks to these advances in social media, we’re able to learn so much more about the world and about current events than we’ve ever been able to before.

Hillary Clinton, star of ‘The Matrix’


When reading online news, I hope to achieve a balance between biases by ingesting left-leaning, right-leaning and politically neutral media (to the best of my ability, of course). One of my primary sources of neutral news is Politico and it usually remains up to snuff.

However, today I ran across this image while reading an article on that site:

Source: politico.com

Source: politico.com

Swimming through a sea of high-tech coding wizardry far above the heads of the measly public, Hillary Clinton scowls toward an unknown opponent, contemplating her sinister past…

That’s what I get from the drama-inducing, Photoshop-doctored photo above. In fact, based on this image, the accompanying story may actually be about Hillary Clinton starring in a new sequel to “The Matrix” rather than about a political scandal concerning her responsibleness as a public official.

I understand that Politico was adding character to its content and being a bit creative here. That’s not a bad thing, although it does invite questions about the appropriateness of this when the following article approaches an issue sensitive enough to potentially harm a public official’s reputation.

I also understand that this photo does not necessarily show a political leaning one way or the other. In fact, my thoughts about the photo shifted from two extremes.

My first impression was that her scowl made her seem mean, or just gave an overall negative vibe, paired with her stark black-and-white contrasted coloring. Plus, she seemed overwhelming by the coding (the scandal) surrounding her. But upon further reflection, this image might convey the exact opposite. Her expression could be a face of tough determination in the face of those opponents attempting to tarnish her name. She is distinctly separate from the coding, after all, appearing boldly in front of it.

The English class-style dissection of this image could continue until we’re as gray as Hillary’s ashy-hued, color-manipulated face.

But all fun aside, including an image like this could possibly cross a line into editorializing (or diminishing) an otherwise serious hard news story, depending on how you look at it—which could be problematic for a famously neutral news source like Politico.

Interactivity elevates news coverage


I was catching up on the day’s news recently when I came across an ingenious post at the top of an article.
FullSizeRenderSomething like this may seem basic these days, but it so rarely shows up on news articles.

Journalists have these tools that are waiting to be utilized, so why wouldn’t they take advantage of them? Social media are such a powerful platform for journalists, and incorporating social media into stories takes journalism to another level.

Editor’s notes such as this one are a great way to get readers involved and further their intake of information. Hashtags are so easily used and accessed that it makes sense that journalists include them in their work. This particular author took it a step further, deciding to bring readers’ questions to aviation experts to get the most informative, accurate answers. They’re essentially acting as the middle-man, helping readers learn even more about the subject than they would have if this editor’s note had not been included.

I think every journalist should use these powerful tools that we’re so lucky to have in today’s world to their advantage. Interactivity through social media lifts the bar that much higher in an already innovative industry — one that should be looking to improve every day.