Kaepernick news causes more tension


Nike recently announced that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback, would be the face of its new advertising campaign. This has blown up on social media and caused withdrawn support for the company due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games.

Out of all the national news media coverage it has received, I chose to look at the article that CNN published, titled, “Nike’s support for Colin Kaepernick protest has some destroying their shoes” written by James Masters and Gianluca Mezzofiore. As CNN is a liberal news media outlet, I wanted to see if they could look at this issue objectively, as this has become a liberal vs conservative debate. They tried (sort of), but ultimately failed.

CNN decided to choose three clips of men from Twitter who did not give their opinion on the matter, but rather just showed video clips of them burning their gear. One of the videos was a high school student who was laughing and playing the national anthem in the background. At no point in this story, did the reporters get someone who fully describes their point of view towards the company, and on the matter as a whole.

If they had done further research, they would have found that people are not solely upset that Nike is affiliating themselves with a former athlete, who many believe disrespected the flag and the military by kneeling. What a lot of people are upset about, is the slogan. The slogan says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

It is referring to the fact that Kaepernick is no longer an NFL quarterback due to his decision to kneel during the anthem. However, Kaepernick has had multiple job offers in other professional areas since 2016, and many believe that he has not been signed to a team because of his poor quarterback performance. He is currently suing many NFL owners, accusing them of conspiring to keep him off a professional roster.

Additionally, Kaepernick is set to make millions with his Nike deal, possibly more than he would have made in the NFL, which causes people to question the legitimacy of the ad campaign and his willingness to “sacrifice everything.”

CNN could have made its point more efficiently if it chose its content to show the ideas on the other side of the debate, rather than three videos of people who are a terrible generalization of the people who are offended by this move by Nike. CNN kept the information at the surface level and added additional tensions between the general public by not trying to understand and present both sides of the argument.

The liberal side has a very good reason for supporting Kaepernick as he highlights racial injustice in America; an issue that there is no hiding from and needs to be worked on by all Americans. However, by pointing fingers, and showing a poor depiction of the opposing argument, they throw away any possibility of a meaningful conversation between both the left and the right.

Kardashian attracts press for clemency


After her first visit with President Trump in June to lobby the release of Alice Marie Johnson from her lifetime prison sentence, Kardashian West returned to the White House this Wednesday to attend a listening session on clemency reform.

An article on CNN.com, headlined “Kim Kardashian at White House for clemency review session,” briefly mentioned Kardashian West’s participation at the meeting, but quickly moved on, focusing rather on other reform activists and attendees. 

Authors Jeremy Diamond and Betsy Klein chose to interview human rights attorney Jessica Jackson Sloan, who attended the session to advocate the reduction in inmate populations of federal prisons. Sloan complimented Jared Kushner and other White House staff for their efforts, and even regarded Kushner as “one of the most persistent and passionate advocates for criminal justice reform.”

The article even went on to discuss the progress of the First Step Act — a bill pushing to entice prisoners with early release if they participate in rehabilitation, thus decreasing the number of federal prisoners — which is still in limbo after pausing in Senate this summer. 

The article mentioned that Kardashian West gave “concrete feedback” at the meeting and brought up her involvement with another drug-related imprisonment case, quoting one of her Tweets on the subject. But, that’s it. 

There was not one direct quote from the reality star, and her presence in the article seemed, in my opinion, out of place. The purpose of the article was to report on the progress of various sentencing reforms, as well as explain what was discussed at the clemency review. 

Despite the clear goal of the article, Kardashian West’s name seemed to plague the headline, lede and first three paragraphs of the story — not to mention the video interview with her at the very top of the article. It is obvious that the beauty icon’s insertion into a blatantly political article was a media ploy to appeal to a larger readership. 

The strong emphasis on Kardashian West was unnecessary in achieving the goal of the article and actually proved misleading as to the contents of the rest of the piece, which did not have much to do with her. The authors could have definitely mentioned her attendance at the meeting, but should have probably chosen a different headline, lede and visual medium to accompany the story. 

Nonetheless, what the article does well is detail Trump’s involvement on the issue, as well as the standpoints of various attendees of the meeting, including former federal judge Kevin Sharp and the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. It is also well-reported, quoting three attendees of the listening session. 

Suicides lead to news guidelines


The deaths of prominent figures such as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in the past week have brought much scrutiny about suicide news reporting. Mental health experts and researchers are saying that this type of news reporting could have life-or-death consequences for readers.

In recent years, public health officials have noticed a correlation between news coverage about suicides and an increase in suicide deaths. That discovery has the World Health Organization suggesting guidelines for news about people who take their own lives.

But many voices in the news media, as well as medical professionals, are pressing for standardized rules that can be used throughout newsrooms across the country.

Dr. Dan Reidenberg, executive director of the suicide prevention center, SAVE, has published guidelines drawn from scientific research.

In his guidelines, he suggests that news outlets should be including phone numbers and links for suicide hotlines and treatment centers (something that has been done in the NBC News reports about Spade and Bourdain).

In my opinion, I don’t feel like the news media have reported on these issues in an insensitive manner, but because the news media are more influential in shaping the minds of younger audiences, it is something we must consider.

Although we do not know these people (Spade and Bourdain) personally, we feel some connection with their their products and shows. In a way, there are more people than just their immediate families who are affected by these incidents. I can see the need to tip-toe around those who are already feeling vulnerable and are considering the same path.

I think it is important for journalists to critique each other and develop discussion around this issue. There is a line of ethics that should not be crossed, but some people need to be reminded of it. At the same time, a reporter’s job is to seek the truth and report it. Creating guidelines could be an unnecessary way of censoring the media and if it starts there, who knows what other guidelines may be implemented in the future.

Post takes stab at Kardashian initiative


Kim Kardashian made her way to the Oval Office this Wednesday to meet with President Trump in order to discuss prison reform and sentencing. Many people applauded the reality star’s political initiative.

While meeting Trump, Kardashian spoke for 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson who was sentenced to prison with no parole for a first-time drug offense.

Johnson has served 20 years in prison. Kardashian tweeted, “It is our hope that the President will grant clemency to Ms. Alice Marie Johnson.”

While some believe that Kardashian is using her platform to make a positive impact, others see this as a PR hoax.

The biggest critic overall happened to be the New York Post, which mocked Kardashian as “Kim Thong Un” and referred to the meeting as a “Big Ass Summit” on the front page. Journalists and reporters had a lot to say about the cover. CNN’s Don Lemon defended the reality star and described the paper’s cover as “appalling” and “sexist.”

Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty added, “Can we just stand back for a moment and acknowledge the sexism of this headline? @KimKardashian is far from the first celebrity to understand the power of using her spotlight to call attention to a serious issue.”

To publish such a mean spirited cover against someone who was just trying to advocate for criminal justice reform seems highly inefficient. We should support citizen participation within our democracy.

The news media are turning political activism into a joke enabling others to back away from it because of possible criticism.

I was happy to see other journalists chime in to support Kardashian. Although coverage like this diminishes the value of good journalism, the outcome of political discourse and conversation, especially between young adults, outweighs the negative impact. It’s important for people to see this and talk about why it’s wrong. Publications like this also help the public distinguish good sources of news from bad.

Enquirer accused of covering for Trump


Popular celebrity magazine The National Enquirer is being accused of buying and burying stories that portray President Trump in an unfavorable light. This practice is known as “catch and kill.” It’s thought that David Pecker, publisher of the Enquirer and longtime friend of Trump, has been doing this as a favor to the president.

All the purchased stories relate to allegations of Trump having affairs.

According to the Washington Post, the source allegedly paid off by the National Enquirer is a former Trump Tower doorman, Dino Sajudin, who told the Enquirer that Trump had a child outside of wedlock and that top executives of the Trump Organization were aware. Sajudin claims to have been paid $30,000 for the exclusive rights to the story but the Enquirer never published it.

As reported by CNN, another source coming forward is Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. McDougal was paid $150,000 for her account of an affair with Trump that lasted nine months. Allegedly, the deal included an agreement that McDougal would publish regular columns on aging and fitness in the Enquirer. McDougal’s story was never run, and only a small portion of the agreed-to columns were published. American Media Inc. claims that McDougal did not write the columns.

Trump has denied all allegations of cheating.

Of all the news outlets that I read from to learn more about this story, I found the one with the most comprehensive coverage of this story was CNN. CNN’s homepage had more stories on this scandal than the Miami Herald, The Washington Post and The New York Times. On the Herald’s homepage, there was not a single story on the scandal to be found today. I found this surprising because it’s a story of national relevance. In the case of the Times, I had to scroll to find a link to the story.

I think this speaks to how desensitized news outlets are becoming to the latest Trump scandals and also how difficult it is to report on a Trump scandal when there are so many happening all the time.

The CNN coverage took many angles. There was an article reporting on the “catch and kill” practice and on Pecker and another article reporting on the different sources paid off by the Enquirer. CNN also published a poll on what Americans think of the Enquirer’s coverage of Trump. The website also had a video uploaded with reporters discussing the story. I found this to be very comprehensive coverage, and I feel that I learned the most from CNN.

The coverage by the New York Times focused more on the investigation into the Enquirer and its possible ties to the Trump campaign. The investigation is sparking a First Amendment debate and it is looking into whether any campaign laws were violated.

If it’s true that the Enquirer is engaging in this “catch and kill” practice as a favor to Trump, I think that’s a very troubling ethical issue. Journalism is supposed to speak truth to power, not facilitate its lies.

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.

Coverage from the Christian perspective


You may be familiar with the 700 Club, an almost daily newscast on ABC’s Freeform channel produced by the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN).  At CBN, every breaking news headline that another news network like CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC would publish, is reported with Christian or religious-based spin.

On the CBN News website, under the CBN logo, it says in bold letters, “the Christian perspective.”

Many news outlets have sections for news in the United States and world news.  CBN has sections for news in the United States, world news, and another section only for news in Israel.

CBN reports the major stories, but in very different ways than secular news organizations.

For the recent school shooting in Kentucky, like all major news networks, CBN posted a breaking news story about the incident in the traditional hard news format. Later on, CNN posted a follow-up story about a shooting victim who called her mother, whereas CBN posted a follow-up story about Kentucky students coming together for a prayer circle.  MSNBC brought up the debate about gun control legislation and CBN highlighted that the shooter joined an atheist group.

Photo of Kentucky School prayer circle from the CBN News website. Photo credit: Tilghman Pride‏ via Twitter.

This method of reporting and drawing in a particular audience by CBN fills a very specific niche.

It raises questions about accuracy and definite bias, but is this that different than the ways in which “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert caters to bleeding-heart liberals or FOX News caters to radical conservatives?

Those who visit a news media organization such as the CBN for their news are not looking for a neutral or unbiased prospective.  They are looking to find out about the latest news both in the U.S. and worldwide reported to them from a Christian viewpoint with the emphasis on how faith is involved in the major stories of today.

Therefore, the CBN audience would be more interested in reading about the prayer circle in Kentucky, than the debate for gun control legislation. As someone who turns to CBN for the majority of my news, I can attest to this.

Perhaps focusing all coverage on faith may be seen as leaving out major parts of the story about the school shooting.  Conversely, covering prayer circles and religious ties could be viewed as adding more depth.

CBN is the only major news network that fills the Christian audience niche. Its top headlines of last week include, “Pastor Pleads for Protection and Prayers as Syrian Town Endures Attack,” “Oscar-Nominated Film Tells True Story of Muslims Protecting Christians,” and “‘I Never Liked Holding Hands at Church Anyway:’ As Flu Deaths Rise, Churches Change their Rules.”

Privacy questions remain unresolved


With the project we did for this week, a scavenger hunt that canvasses public records and other information available just by knowing the address, we have realized how much access we have to other people’s lives.

Of course it depends on the laws in each state. However, in Florida (where we will be at least four years) the Chapter 119 of the Florida statutes, commonly known as Florida’s “Public Records Law,” provides information on public records in Florida, including policies, definitions, exemptions, general information on records access, inspection, examination and duplication of records.

One always thinks that less regulation is better, there is a valuable transparency. The question is if laws should change as technology keeps moving on and developing? As we realized in the scavenger hunt, most of the records that we needed to look for were also available online. Should we trust the Internet that much? Does it mean that is available to anyone in the world who wants to access the website?

The dilemma is not too far from other simple things. Another thing that people have been discussing since 2015 is privacy rights and drones. Drones have become something more common through the years; whether it is for videos, reporting, visuals or just for fun (we even have drones in the School of Communication). However, currently there are laws to protect individuals against people stalking or spying on them in their homes but there are no federal laws in place that would protect individuals from being spied on by a drone.

Nobody knows where state law stands. Some argue that low-flying drones are trespassers. From the late 16th century, the common law took the position that property ownership extended infinitely into the heavens. Everything changed in the era of aviation establishing a limit. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1946 decision in U.S. v. Causby, it has been generally accepted that the property rights of a homeowner end 83 feet above the ground. That’s awfully close to the ground. Peeking in apartment window when recording high definition video from 100 feet up doesn’t present any sort of challenge.

Some suggested that property owners had to be granted control of the airspace to exclude any drones below a specific altitude; others said that there had to be an agreement with companies. It is still an unresolved matter, however, Sen. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts introduced legislation last March that aims to create privacy protections and data reduction requirements about the information a drone collects, disclosure provisions for when data collection is happening and warrant requirements for law enforcement.

Strange media ideas to gain audience


“Stranger Things” is one of the greatest audiovisual phenomena in recent times. The Netflix’s production has hooked a huge mass of audience. Their main characters are known all over the world.

Millie Bobby Brown | Photo by Gage Skidmore

So, mass media, particularly media specialized in cinema, take advantage of it writing reports and news about the TV series. They know that fans will click on it and read it. But sometimes, news media should know where are the boundaries.

Recently, W Magazine, a fashion newspaper, classified Millie Bobby Brown, the 13-year-old actress of Stranger Things, as one of the sexiest TV stars.

People reacted against the publication because of the young age of the actress who plays Eleven.

Probably, W Magazine would never have written this article if Bobby Brown wasn’t part of such a successful series. Despite the fact that this is not a serious publication as could be The New York Times, not anything goes. Media should be careful because the audience has principles and what media write to attract an audience could go against them.

Economics and success shouldn’t be a priority but common sense. Of course, there is no track of the article on the Web anymore.

Other case but totally different was led by a Spanish cinema newspaper, Fotogramas. The newspaper published an article about the machismo in “Stranger Things. This assessment was based on dialogue and scenes that are representing a time, the 1980s, that was sexist. For example, when Barb’s mum asks her husband for permission to talk.

That’s the article:


Most of the comments reacting to the post of the article on Facebook were about the opportunism and how they jumped on the bandwagon of the feminism and the successful “Stranger Things.”

Again, another attempt to please the audience that actually gets the reverse impact.

Media should isolate from fashions and trends and follow their own criteria of what is really important to write about and so, they would achieve a more quality journalism.

Hurricanes rise in ranks, media attention


On Saturday, Nov. 11, ESPN’s “College GameDay” came to UM’s Coral Gables campus for the first time in the show’s history – following one of the strongest football seasons in recent Hurricanes’ history.

The event not only sparked school spirit and excitement around UM’s football program, but it also brought to light who are true Hurricane fans and who are just hopping on the bandwagon. Starting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, ESPN crews began flooding campus, setting up all of the equipment and activities associated with “College GameDay.”

Although exciting for many, one thing became very clear – the news media will follow stories that are relevant and cater their opinions based off that relevancy. ESPN led into and opened the show with suggestions that the Miami Hurricanes just “got lucky” during the rest of the season and that they have finally met their match against Notre Dame – a team ranked higher than the Hurricanes before the match up.

Almost everyone other than die-hard Miami fans thought there was no possibility of the home team securing a win and rising in the polls. But then it happened. Following the Hurricanes’ monumental win, news media outlets such as ESPN immediately began to change their position on the game, saying “The U is back baby!”

In the era of “fake news,” biased reporting only gives fuel to the pandemic of labeling any story as “fake news” simply because one disagrees with the points and facts presented. Although ESPN’s “College GameDay” is a program that is heavily based off predictions and opinions surrounding each team playing on any given weekend, it brings a larger problem to light.

People across social media and other news outlets – both local and national – began changing their views and the way they reported their stories following the win. Sports are a difficult topic because everyone has their favorite teams and everyone wants to be a part of the winning spirit, even if that means ‘bandwagoning’ and following a team based on its success.

Although this is a common practice in sports, it gives people a new paradigm for opinionated and biased reporting. Changing a position on a story solely to gain more engagement and relevancy in the marketplace not only questions journalistic ethics, but also forces the journalism industry as a whole to conform to a new level of competition that hinders on the basis of the industry.

Fox News bans rock star Gene Simmons


The frontman of the rock band Kiss, Gene Simmons, has been banned for life from the right-leaning Fox cable channels.

Formally Simmons was a favorite guest on Fox News and Fox Business Network programs, which loved his rock star antics and conservative political views.  However, Fox just could not take him anymore after he insulted female Fox staffers, exposed his chest to them and behaved like the “demon” character that he plays on stage.

As a response, Fox’s management posted Simmon’s photograph to the security entrance of the company’s Manhattan headquarters with a “do-not-admit” stamp.

The incident began when Simmons appeared on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox Business Network show, “Mornings with Maria,” to promote his new book “On Power.”

All went well until Bartiromo asked Simmons his views on the Harvey Weinstein sexual-misconduct scandal.

“Okay, I’m a powerful and attractive man and what I’m about to say is deadly serious. Men are jackasses,” Simmons answered. “From the time we’re young we have testosterone. I’m not validating it or defending it.”

Right after this, Simmons left the interview and barged into a staff meeting in Fox’s entertainment section completely uninvited.

“Hey chicks, sue me!” he shouted, before pulling up his shirt to reveal is chest.  Then, he began to tell pedophilia jokes and insulted the intelligence of the Fox employees in the room.

“It was pretty severe,” said one person who was present in the room.

This story has gained some substantial news media attention.  It was featured on the New York Post. However, the most important question to ask is: Why in the world Fox was having Simmons come on their shows?

The “Fox and Friends” show had previously let Simmons do a weather forecast in their broadcast. Watching the clip on YouTube of this made me feel as if I was watching the “The Jerry Springer Show.”

If the major news media continue to participate in this nonsense for a few extra views, then we are heading to an America that will be far less intelligent.

Although I believe it is justified to have unusual guests who specialize in “shock value” on once in a while, this clearly crosses the line by a mile.

Media giants such as Fox allowing people to blatantly spew ignorance on their shows is something that must go.

Even though Fox News banned Simmons from the network, I am certain another station or network will pick him up and allow him to partake in the same ignorance.

Anything for money.  Anything for views.  We live in troubled times.

ABC News’ embarrassing reporting


When allegations of Kevin Spacey molesting an underage boy in 1986 were all but confirmed by Spacey’s public apology Sunday evening, a news media uproar understandably ensued. However, ABC News seemed to take lightly to the revelation as it released a breaking headline that chose not to point out Spacey’s actions but rather his “coming out.”

Spacey’s apology culminated in his openly declaring his homosexuality, which many have speculated was an attempt to divert attention away from the circumstances behind his actual apology. ABC, however, took the bait. It published a headline that did not mention his apology for molestation, but rather referred to it as a “heartwrenching” coming out story.

Gay people, straight people, famous comedians and actors, and your average Joe on Twitter all responded to Spacey’s “coming out story” with immense backlash. They called the actor out for conflating homosexuality with pedophilia, a bigoted allegation the gay community once had to consistently battle against, and took issue with his attempt to essentially, as one tweeter called it, use his ‘get out of jail free card’ by saying “I am gay.”

ABC News, in avoiding the major story in this apology, which is the apology for the molestation of a 14 year-old-boy, and instead choosing to highlight Spacey’s coming out of the closet, is appalling. First, ABC is allowing Spacey this cop out, affording him the luxury of basically saying “don’t focus on that, focus on the fact that I am gay.” Focusing on Spacey’s homosexuality instead does a massive disservice to both the gay community who criticized Spacey for the manner in which he came out, and the victim(s) of Spacey’s abuse.

Second, ABC is ignoring journalistic standards by highlighting what should be perceived as secondary information. Most news outlets reported Kevin Spacey’s apology most prominently as well as the circumstances that called for such an apology, but ABC made it the main story. The headlining is akin to beginning a news report with a bus crash and waiting until the end of the story to inform the viewer that there was a death.

Finally, ABC’s use of the word “heartwrenching” is simply incorrect. Any decent human being will point out that “heartwrenching” is not the applicable word when reporting on a sex offender. Nothing about Spacey’s actions or apology was heartwrenching because he is not the victim. He is at fault and he does not deserve the sympathy that ABC allots him with this generous phrase and headline.

ABC dropped the ball covering the Kevin Spacey apology in an extraordinarily embarrassing way. Let’s hope they don’t do anything like it again.

8 killed in New York City truck attack


Police and witnesses say a man deliberately drove a rented truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in Manhattan which killed eight people and injured at least 12 others.

The man later got out of the truck waved around a fake gun before being shot by police.  He was wounded and taken into custody.

“This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians.  It was a very painful day in our city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

This was the deadliest act of terror in New York City since 9/11.

The suspect was identified by law enforcement as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old truck driver from New Jersey and Florida.  He immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010.

A federal law enforcement source said a note had been found inside the truck that was in reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Saipov does not appear to have an extensive criminal background, according to the FBI and the NYPD.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the attack appeared to be a “lone wolf” incident with no links to a wider terrorist plot.

The incident occurred at West Street and Chambers Street at 3:05 p.m.  The truck drove down a bike path for about four blocks and stuck cyclists and pedestrians before moving back into traffic lanes and striking a school bus.

The media should pay very close attention to the fact that this attack occurred without the use of any firearms.  Lately the media has been giving a lot of attention towards the possibly of banning firearms to increase safety.  However, I believe that they do not realize that there are many other ways that criminals commit murder.

This incident shows that even without a gun, a person can murder multiple people at the same time.  Firearms aided the police in this situation.  They wound the man with their firearms and stop him from creating anymore havoc.

If firearms are banned, I believe that terrorists will find other ways commit mass murder.  As seen in Nice, France last year, a trunk ran over and killed 86 people.  This was more than the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history last month that killed 58 people.

Media should report these facts accordingly and point out the fact that this incident shows banning guns will not solve the occurrence of mass murders.

Woman is killed in boy’s suicide attempt


Marisa Harris, 22, was killed instantly when a 12-year-old boy jumped off an overpass above a Virginia interstate highway in a suicide attempt, falling onto her car.

The 12-year-old was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and is currently being treated.

Police are still investigating suicide attempt.

Harris was driving while her boyfriend was riding in the passenger seat when the boy fell onto the car. Harris’s boyfriend immediately took control of the steering wheel to get off of the interstate. He suffered no injuries.

Harris was a graduate student studying mental health counseling in pursuit of helping children battling depression. Her uncle spoke to reporters telling them it was ironic that the boy who killed Harris was someone she could have helped.

When this story first came out, news articles stated that Harris’s mother and father had declined to speak to the news media. Due to this, her uncle talked to reporters instead. I know that it is the news media’s job to contact family members during a tragedy, however it is really hard for a mother and father to want to immediately talk to the news media when their child just died.

It has now been several days since this incident and Harris’s mother has said a few words to the news media about her daughter. She told reporters that her daughter had graduated from Towson University and was currently getting her master at Marymount University.

Cartel chief son: Netflix hurt reputation


William Rodríguez Abadía, the son of Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, former head of Colombia’s powerful Cali drug cartel, says he was never a hitman and worked for his father as a lawyer while fighting a legal battle against the U.S. government.

Rodríguez Abadía decided to reappear and present himself to the public to declare the fact that his portrayal in the famous show “Narcos,” which has an audience of more than 3.2 million people around the world. Rodríguez Abadía, 53, and living in Miami, said that it’s “more important to clarify all the misunderstandings” and the more than 10 lies he said were broadcast during the third season of Narcos.

The Colombian who is hoping to obtain a special U.S. immigrant visa, claims he has been portrayed as a hitman and an assassin. Moreover, he emphasizes that a series like “Narcos” and others glorify drug trafficking. Rodríguez Abadía also said that he is not running away and that he has always admitted the mistakes he made in surrendering, accepting and serving his sentence.

This is not the first time that relatives of former drug traffickers complain to Netflix about the three-season show. Roberto Escobar, brother of Pablo Escobar, is seeking $1 billion from Netflix for the use of the late Medellín cartel chief’s image. Netflix has claimed that he was a public figure and that it obtained the information about him from court documents.

According to law, if the plantiffs are public figures, they have different defamation rights than a private person. There are specific restrictions applied to defamation claims with regard to someone who holds public office or chooses to be in the public eye.

Courts have upheld this rule based on the U.S. belief that the public should be able to freely discuss national issues without fear of any repercussions. If a public official or public figure believes that he or she has been defamed, he or she must prove with convincing evidence that the statement is false.

On one hand, I think that Rodríguez Abadía could have been portrayed in a different way, however, it is part of the public opinion. How many films have portrayed people not exactly as they are in life? Probably a huge number that we wouldn’t even imagine. I also consider that he has a motive to change the image people have of him in the United States, especially the most important newspaper where he lives.

Lastly, I also want to take into consideration the other side of the story that could include a lot of people who are famous because of an event or some other reason of which the public does not know. Many of them could have this false portrayal released out to a big number of viewers and are not able to sue powerful company as Netflix for damages.

Documents about JFK death released


President Trump has ordered the long-awaited release of more than 2,800 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  However, due to pressure from the CIA and FBI, he withheld thousands of additional papers and put them on pending review before release.

These documents are a treasure for historians and conspiracy theorists who have spent years searching for information on what really happened in Dallas on the day of JFK’s assassination in 1963.  The papers include suspicions that Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the killing and other talks of mobsters and spies.

The documents had fuzzy images of CIA surveillance photos from the early 1960s.  There was a report that Lee Harvey Oswald obtained ammunition from a right-wing militia group.

Some of the files convey the drama and chaos of the days immediately after the murder  of the president.  One of them is a memo dictated by then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover on Nov. 24, 1963 after Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as he was being moved from police headquarters to a local jail.

President Trump, who has shared his own speculation about the assassination, had a strong desire to finally open the last government files since he was campaigning for president. This was when he accused Ted Cruz’s father of being a part of the assassination.

Although Trump has rather outlandish ideas involving the killing of JFK, I believe that having released these files is a useful decision for this country.

Citizens have a right to know everything that the government knows involving this.  Having this information out there may allow people to draw firm conclusions and put conspiracy theories aside.

The act of releasing these files is really something that President Trump has done to fight against the elites and give power back to the common people.

Aside of the content of the files, the news media should report that Trump is taking a stand against big government and bureaucracy. This is a step in the right direction for our nation. Freedom of information has always fueled this nation and I hope that the major news media organizations will report Trump’s efforts in this step forward.

Fake stories, enemies of news media


Since Oct. 15, Spain has suffered a wave of fires affecting Galicia’s region. These fires have calcined 35,000 hectares just in Galicia and have killed four people.

The victims were two old women, 80 and 88 years old, who died when they were trying to flee in a van, and two men that were trying to extinguish the fire. The number of deaths in Portugal has risen to 30 people.

Most of the fires were arson attacks. Two people have been arrested as the alleged originators of the fires. The first one, Miguel Angel, accused of setting fire to his farm when he was cooking with a barbecue. The second one, Maria Luisa, who was burning weed in her house.

But the government of Galicia, the Xunta, has qualified these fires as forest terrorism. The Xunta has suspicion that some of the other 146 fires have been started by an organized gang.

In that situation, when a whole country is focused on the issue, there are a large number of impressive photos with more impressive backstories. One of the most popular photos, in this case, has been the photo of a dog carrying a carbonized puppy. It was taken by the photojournalist Salvador Sas for the EFE agency.

The picture flooded social networks and accompanied many of the news media articles about the fire. Everybody knew about this mum dog, Jacki, carrying her own dead puppy. That was the story that many people are sharing. Everything right, so far. The problem occurred when a journalist discovered that the story attached to this photo was fake.

Jacki wasn’t a female and the dead puppy wasn’t his.

This is the article that uncovered the truth.

The owner of Jacki, recognized to the newspaper La Voz de Galicia, that her dog didn’t have descendants and that he was carrying a rabbit to eat, far from the story that was spread.

It is maybe an insignificant story and nothing will change after knowing the gender and the story of this dog. But once again, it is an example that news media publish and broadcast news without verifying. They seem to be following emotional criteria or mirroring everything that leads to success on social networks to attract the attention of an audience. Then, they correct the news en bloc. But it’s too late, the bad practice has been done.

If this has happened at this time, it could happen with other more relevant stories and the consequences affecting the reputation of the news organizations and society’s reliance on them would be far worse.

Kid Rock considers run for Senate


Songwriter and singer Kid Rock expressed interest in running for political office on Wednesday.

“I have had a ton of emails and texts asking me if this website is real … http://kidrockforsenate.com The answer is an absolute YES,” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

In another tweet, the Michigan native said, “I will have a major announcement in the near future.”

The website Kid Rock referred to in his tweet features a photo of the 46-year-old wearing a hat, aviator sunglasses and a leather jacket. The website has a logo that reads “Kid Rock ’18 For US Senate.”  There is also sales of stickers, shirts, lawn signs and caps that say “Kid Rock for US Senate.”

The artist has been speculated to be a potential opponent for Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who is up for re-election next year.

A supporter of President Donald Trump, Kid Rock performed at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“I’ll bet you he would generate as much excitement as Trump did,” said Wes Nakagiri, a Michigan Tea Party activist.

Considering that the media will do anything for an intriging story nowadays, Nakagiri is probably right.

Similar to President Trump, Kid Rock is a controversial figure.  He enjoys swearing and bashing groups of people that he is against.  In response to the uprising of white supremacists he said, “Nazis. F—ing bigots. And now again the KKK? I say F— all you racists. Stay the hell away.”

I believe that if the news media gives Kid Rock the immense amount of attention that President Trump was able to receive during the election cycle, he will easily be able to win the senate seat.

What reporters seem to be unable to understand is that negative news media attention does not necessarily hurt a candidate.  In fact, in can actually help a candidate by getting his name out to more people. Trump had a much greater amount of news media attention than Hillary Clinton. The fact that a lot of it was negative did not prevent him from winning.

Many other celebrities such as Kanye West, Mark Zuckerberg, Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey have been talking about running for public office as well.  If the news media decides to give all of these people coverage, they too are not far from the White House.

A 2020 presidential election with Kid Rock on the Republican ticket and Kayne West on the Democratic ticket is not something that far out of reach.

Miami-Dade installing cameras in parks


Miami-Dade County is developing a project that consists of implementing high technology surveillance cameras in several public parks and spaces around the area.

The plan started by installing four cameras that take a 360-degree angle at Haulover Marina. Other than giving a wide and clear view, the cameras send the information through a private signal only available to government entities.

According to local crime statistics, there have been almost 50 car robberies in this location during the past year.

“Although it is important to protect private property, it is also important the safety of our citizens and mostly our children,” said Victoria Galan, public information officer for Miami-Dade’s Parks and Recreation Department.

For all these purposes, the cameras are able to recognize people and take a digital image of them. All the images are sent directly to the central offices of the county, later compared and identified as possible suspects. These parks are the first ones with this system and the county is looking forward to adding more to their list.

This story was reported by Sandra Peebles yesterday for Univision Channel 23. Peebles, currently teaching a class in television performance at the University of Miami, mentioned in her class how she did that story and the ethics a reporter needs to have when reporting. In agreement with what we said in our reporting class about the code of ethics, Peebles mentioned that, when doing this story, the county didn’t want her to release the information. However, she considered that it was significant news to any citizen who is near the area and goes to the park, prioritizing the safety of adults and their children.

Peebles also faced another obstacle with her story. Police said that, according to a jury, the reporter couldn’t say that the surveillance cameras had facial recognition due to the fact that the digital image or footage of the suspect wouldn’t be the only evidence to convict him. Police can use the new system as a tool, but not as the only proof.

Lastly, Peebles told the class that some television news channels have more strict ethic codes than others and that moral decisions some times lay on the reporter.

Media coverage of Harvey uneven


For the past few days, Hurricane Harvey has made its way over Texas and Louisiana, wreaking havoc in its path. The storm has been moving unusually slow in comparison to other hurricanes of the past, which has led to extensive flooding in Houston and other areas as the storm continues to develop. The way news organizations are covering the storm has been very interesting to study as a broadcast journalism student.

Organizations like The New York Times and CNN have done a great job updating online readers with content, including storm updates, footage, and personal stories of tragedy and heroism. While this is to be expected, it has been a great reflection of classroom conversations about media and content delivery.

There has been some public backlash to the intrusiveness of reporters, particularly in these disaster stories. Shoving a microphone into a grieving victim’s face can often be seen as overly aggressive, particularly in the aftermath of this chaos. While this behavior is a direct result of consumer demand, the ethics of doing so affect each reporter differently. Some reporters have taken a softer approach, offering aid to victims while also gathering their story, which has been very interesting.

One of my friends at UM is from Houston and he made an interesting point to me at dinner the other night. He was upset that news organizations, specifically on the broadcast side, haven’t done any stories about the recovery process. Personally, I think that the coverage up until this point has been about tracking the storm and the devastation, because the storm is still developing. Once the weather clears and the water begins to recede is when the recovery effort can truly begin, and that’s when those types of stories will be possible for news organizations to cover. Until then, the outlook for thousands appears bleak, and so do the stories.