Singapore summit news lacks objectivity


President Trump met with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday and they have come to an agreement to work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The news media have covered this issue with much scrutiny towards Trump. In other words, no one seems to show the president support for efforts to reach peace with North Korea. The coverage comes with very little information because the agreement lacks detail. Although there is much talk about getting rid of these nuclear weapons, there is no deadline set for when and no guarantee that the agreement will be irreversible.

The lack of detail has been leading journalists to cover this issue with much skepticism. News outlets believe that Trump is giving up too much and reporters are not hiding it. Objectivity has flown out the window for this summit’s coverage and Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was not happy about it. Rubio jumped in to defend Trump by pointing out the news media’s “hypocrisy.”

“Presidents meeting with #KJU exposed incredible hypocrisy of many in media,” Rubio tweeted. “When Obama did these things, he was described as enlightened. When Trump does it he is reckless & foolish. 1 yr ago they attacked Trump for leading us towards war,now attack for being too quick for peace.”

The New York Times’ opinion columnist, Nicholas Kristof, wrote an article where he too criticized the exchange between Trump and Kim Jong Un. Kristof believes Trump was”out-negotiated” by Kim.

Rubio came back in with another two cents to swoop Trump away from scrutiny. Kristof’s piece was one out of the many opinionated journalists who expressed the same view about the exchange.

This issue leaves many questions unanswered for both sides. It is hard for the news media to cover an issue like this objectively without the right amount of detail needed to inform  readers and viewers. If politicians want to start seeing less “fake news,” then they should give the news media enough information to avoid misinformation. Until we get more detail, journalists will most likely continue criticism towards Trump.

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.

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.

UM student drives car into campus canal


On April 5, a University of Miami student drove his car into a canal connected to Lake Osceola.

University and Coral Gables police responded to the call at approximately 8:30 p.m. There were no injuries. The student’s car, a silver Nissan convertible, was fished out of the lake by a crane.

Officers on the said told Miami Hurricane reporters that the driver lost control of the car while cutting another driver off to enter a parking space. He was described as “driving too fast for road conditions.” A concrete parking barrier on Stanford Drive was destroyed when the car jumped the curb.

The Miami Hurricane did an excellent job at reporting this story. Their initial coverage was a “breaking news” Facebook post. The newspaper does these kinds of Facebook posts often, making them a convenient source to check immediately in the aftermath of an incident.

The Facebook post was very brief, stating simply that a car drove into the canal by the Whitten University Center, that there was no information on passengers or injuries, and that updates would be forthcoming. The post was accompanied by a slideshow of pictures taken at the scene, adding a compelling and informative visual element to the story.

The post was later updated as promised. The update mentioned that there were no injuries, that the driver was a UM student, and that the driver was speeding.

A news article was posted very quickly by The Miami Hurricane. It included a number of relevant quotes from police on the scene and from Pat Whitely, the vice president of Student Affairs.

The Miami Herald also reported on the story. While it is a very local story to Coral Gables, it makes sense that the Herald would report on it since it is unusual, and many outside of the Coral Gables area are interested in what occurs on the UM campus. The Herald pulled most of its information from the Hurricane, illustrating the reach and influence student news media can achieve when the reporting is reliable, well-written, and well-managed.

More companies cutting ties with NRA


In the wake of the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., many companies have cut ties with the NRA.

Gun control activists have been increasing the pressure on companies to end their relationships with the NRA. The list of companies that have done so includes major airlines such as United and Delta and rental car services such as Hertz.

Much of the pressure being put on companies is happening on Twitter. Twitter users have been tweeting at companies asking them to publicly state their stance on the NRA and to reevaluate their relationships with the NRA in light of the NRA’s pushback on strengthened gun control legislation.

Many of the companies have been using Twitter to make these announcements, which makes sense given that much of the pressure to cut ties is happening on Twitter. Many articles covering this developing story have included screenshots or links to tweets from the various companies that have cut ties.

I find that including the tweet is more visually appealing than simply copying and pasting the company’s statement into quotes for the text of the story. Including the screenshot also allows readers to see if the tweet was in response to a user or a stand-alone tweet, which is a detail that some readers want to know.

Parkland continues to dominate news


More than a week later, the mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High in Parkland, Fla., continues to be the biggest talking point for most news organizations.

A quick visit to CNN or The New York Time’s websites will reflect this, as the stories closest to the top of the page and in the biggest fonts are related to Parkland. Even stories about the Winter Olympics or new developments from the Mueller probe into the Russia investigation, stories that at any other point in time would eat up most of the space on the homepage of any news organization, have not been garnering the same attention as any of the stories related to the Parkland shooting.

This is a typical occurrence with mass shootings. Tragedies such as these come as shocks to the community and to the country as a whole and we find ourselves unable to turn away our attention from the aftermath. Writing and profiles of victims and survivors become a means of paying respect to them.

Another aspect of mass shootings that keeps them in the news is the political debate over gun control and mental health that always follows. Some recent examples of this are the stories on the chief of the NRA attacking Democrats about their gun control stance and Trump’s suggestion that we let teachers be armed and incentivize them to carry guns with a bonus. Many marches and demonstrations have happened, and more are being planned, each one garnering coverage.

Details continue to emerge about the shooting, consistently reigniting interest in the story and leading to more stories. For example, a recent look at the police response found that an armed school resource deputy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School never went into the building where the killer was, drawing intense criticism. The deputy has since been suspended following an internal investigation.

Vigil at UM honors Parkland victims


After the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) that took place on Feb. 14, the University of Miami organized a candle light vigil on Feb. 20 to honor the 17 victims.

This took place at the Rock Plaza at the Coral Gables campus and according to The Miami Hurricane, “hundreds” attended the event.

During the ceremony, UM students and faculty gathered to listen to different student speakers speak on the matter. Additionally, attendees were encouraged to write letters to the school and the families affected as well as sign a banner that will be sent to the High School on UM’s behalf.

The Miami Hurricane’s coverage of the event focuses on UM’s strong connection to the Parkland tragedy. Not only is MSD geographically close to Coral Gables, but many UM students attended the high school. Some of these students, who also lost family members last Wednesday, spoke out during the vigil.

The article highlights the words by sophomore Ally Rosenberg, who lost her cousin, Alex Schachter at the shooting. Rosenberg spoke to the attendees about the hardships this has created for her family, but also used her platform to advocate change in gun control laws.

The article also makes note of UM senior Matthew Labkovski, who also lost his cousin, Meadow Pollack. It also mentions the loss of UM’s own alumnus, Scott Beigel, who was a teacher at MSD.

Additionally, the article mentions that 128 MSD students have attended UM since 2006 and that the school has 27 currently pursuing their education.

By taking this focus, The Miami Hurricane not only reports on this vigil but also demonstrates the toll that this tragedy has taken on this campus. This coverage shows that events like the ones at MSD can happen to anyone in this country and further demonstrates the importance of policy change when it comes to firearms.

The article can be found here:

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.

One in 8 Million, a new approach


When we talked about multimedia in class, one thing came into my mind: One in 8 Million.

One in 8 Million is a feature article about stories of different people in New York. The newspaper canvassed a large collection of different portraits of New Yorkers and attached them to their story in an audio piece.

Not only does it have a very user-friendly system, but also a very elegant and polished one, making it seem as if you are in presence of a true work of art. In black and white, they display many characters and a title for each story that catches the eye of the readers.

The stories are about one minute or two in length, however, they are accompanied by stunning professional pictures that show us the everyday life of the protagonists.  It is important to remark as well the impact the audio has on the reader, mostly because of how it was recorded. It has a lot of natural sounds, and one could even feel as they are talking to you.

I thought this format was very similar to the one we saw in class called “Snowfall.” I loved both pieces because I think they engage the readers in a completely different way. It is a more crafted piece, very detailed and woven into something bigger. It illustrates what the writer wants to say in various segments with a number of tools. In my perspective, it is an amazing way to use technology in a newspapers advantage, going further than using social media which has become more popular. I would love to see more stories like these ones.

Reference links:

Sen. Jeff Flake not seeking another term


U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona who has long spoken out against President Trump and his actions, announced that he would not be seeking re-election for another term on Tuesday. His speech, which lasted 17 minutes on the Senate floor, was filled with powerful rhetoric aimed against Trump and his policies, and toward a call to action.

Flake addressed several issues that he has seen with the current state of the country, including a direct challenge to his fellow Senate Republicans.

“It is often said that children are watching,” he said. “Well, they are. And what are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say?

Flake spoke at length about the principles of democracy, and how he believes the very nature of these ideals have been undermined by the current administration, quoting Lincoln, Madison and Roosevelt in an attempt to recall a past where things were different.

“We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal,” he said. “They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as telling it like it is when it is actually just reckless, outrageous and undignified.”

Thanks in part to the fact that these Senate speeches are usually quite dull, the story has received much attention, but the explosion of eyes has been aided by the use of buzz words in the titles of stories, to make them pop.

“Jeff Flake Gave the Most Important Speech of 2017,” wrote CNN. All news outlets have also included links to the full transcript of the speech, and The New York Times included a video of the speech in its entirety. There were also links to related stories, including similar denunciations of the president’s policies by George W. Bush, John McCain and Bob Corker. Using these various online media strategies to keep viewers interested has also helped the story develop and has given readers across the country a deeper understanding of the importance of the speech and the issues with which it deals .

Italian schools to teach about news


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

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

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

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

The day that media took Weinstein down


The news story that has most shocked in Hollywood lately has been coveeage of Harvey Weinstein’s harassment.

It was The New York Times that published an article with statements and letters of women that have been harassed by Weinstein on Oct. 5. Journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor authored the story.

After that, a succession of publications reporting the same crime appeared. For example, Ronan Farrow published in The New Yorker an investigation of 13 sexual harassment instances and three rapes by Harvey Weinstein. The New York Times issued another report with the statement of celebrities, as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow claimed have been harassed as well.

The question that I wondered was: How had something that has been happening for so long not gone public before? Why does everybody want to speak now?

The answer was easy. As articles about more harassment cases were showing up, also other journalists reported that they tried to publish that information before but they were blocked. In some cases, professional colleagues as Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, were involved.

Thanks to an article, actresses are denouncing Harvey Weinstein, Los Angeles police are investigating Weinstein and the truth has come to light.

Again, we can see the important role that news media play in the world. A newspaper, in this case, The New York Times, could uncover a crime and encourage victims to report it. If it hadn’t happened, as the other articles that were censored, a criminal would be still unpunished, victims muted, the world would ignore the truth, and there could be no justice.

So, that’s why news media have to be independent of external pressures. Because this is the way that they can do their work and function as a “watchdog” in society.

Trump blasted by widow of soldier


Donald Trump continued to make headlines this week after speaking on the phone with the widow of a soldier who was killed in action. Sgt. La David T. Johnson was one of four Americans killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4. As is customary for the commander-in-chief, Trump contacted Sgt. Johnson’s widow and spoke at length with her.

Listening to the call were Sgt. Johnson’s mother, and Democratic Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson of South Florida. Sgt. Johnson’s mother accused Trump of saying that he “knew what he signed up for,” and only referenced him as “your guy.” Trump denied these claims, insisting that the entire story was “fabricated” in pursuit of her politics.

Due to the emotional nature of the issue, it was a very complex story for the media to handle adequately, and in analyzing the work by news organizations, it is clear that decisions were handled with care. Maintaining impartiality was key, especially since the majority of the story rests solely on accusations. The New York Times, for example, made sure that the sources were the ones making the claims, while the narrative of the reporters was more focused on connecting the dots between them.

Balanced reporting, especially in the era of fake news and the constant attacks on the media by the Trump administration, is very important. The New York Times ran a piece about the issues other presidents have faced in reaching out to families in this similar situation. This allowed their organization to remain neutral, and to offer a look into the other side, and examine the complex issues involved through multiple perspectives.

On a much more humorous note, The Times chose to refer to the complex aftermath of the accusations as an “imbroglio” in the title of their online story, a word so incredibly articulate and yet completely obscure that I could not help but chuckle.

Challenges reporting breaking news


Last Sunday, there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas during Jason Aldean’s concert performance. A lone gunman unleashed bullets from the 32nd floor of Mandala Bay Casino and Resort.

The shooter killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 others attending a country music festival below, according to officials.

The initially unknown shooter, now identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, fired shot after shot from his room at the hotel down on the crowd of about 22,000.

Terrified concertgoers were literally running for their lives. It has been the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

As one can see, this story was breaking news late on Sunday and early on Monday. However, most of the information was incomplete and unknown. It is a story that has been developing during the week. Each day adds new information that sometimes leads to new stories.

This is one of the challenges of covering breaking news. Sometimes you could get more information, details and sources than others.

The process begins with an alert that carries immediate, yet very limited information. That would be the first news on Sunday night. Next comes the news break, which includes the answer to main facts (who? what? when? where?), the source and the circumstances.This would be the stories from Monday and Tuesday talking about the details of the event, most importantly who committed the act and why.

Last, but not least, the updates and second stories that are stories carrying an earlier report by weaving together fresh developments, reactions, added context and analysis. These are stories like the ones about the gunman’s girlfriend, heroes that saved lives, interviews with the killer’s family.

Little by little, journalists get to weave the story, starting from the very basic and developing into the more complex details.

Puerto Rico desperate for assistance


Hurricane Maria left a disastrous mark on the U.S. territory, leaving 3.4 million American citizens without the essential resources of life: food, water, electricity, communications, transportation and much more.  These residents urgently need assistance.

The U.S. federal government bears a huge responsibility in this crisis.  When a natural disaster strikes the mainland, such as with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, trucks with federal assistance arrive to help with rescue efforts.  Shelter is also provided to those who are left homeless.

However, in Puerto Rico, barely any of this assistance has been provided.

Residents of the island are running out of the meager supplies they had before Maria hit.  Most of these people can learn to live without air conditioning and electricity, however they cannot survive without clean water and food.  To make matters even worse, most of these people had not even fully recovered from the effects of Hurricane Irma that hit just a few weeks prior.

Unlike, individual U.S state governments, the territory’s government cannot provide much help because it is in a deep financial crisis.  Plagued by debt, the government is barely even functioning at all.  The island has no resources and its infrastructure is old and dilapidated.

The capitol city, San Juan, has an international airport that is open, but its flights are very limited.  People in the U.S. mainland who want to offer help are simply unable to.  Most have no way to even get in contact with their relatives on the island.

Things get even worse.  Hospitals are running out of fuel to keep generators running.  When these generators stop running, patients will die.

Some rural areas are cut off because roads are blocked by fallen trees and flooding.  Police across the island are exhausted and overworked.

Lots of water, food, and fuel must be brought immediately in order to keep people alive.  More workers must be brought in to fix power stations and bring back electricity.  Shelters must be created for tens of thousands of people who are homeless.

These are our fellow Americans, they deserve the same support that any state would receive.

Facebook: News for demanding readers


It’s common use Facebook as a newspaper. When some event has just happened, many people open the application looking for breaking news. But Facebook is also used with that purpose because of its huge coverage of all news, particularly the news that newspapers and other media don’t pay attention to.

The last one that I received was an event of a charity concert organized by Un Micro para el Sahara (A Microphone for Sahara). This is a non-profit organization ran by young journalists.

The importance of this example is double, because we receive the information about the Sahara’s situation through Facebook and not from mass media. And because it’s necessary for NGOs to overcome misinformation sometimes found in the news media.

Social media (Photo from Flickr, courtesy of Hazma Butt).

As they exposed on their Facebook site, their goal is “ensure visibility for the helpless situation of the Saharan people that has been forgotten by the mass media.”

So, it’s another kind of journalism, headed by young journalists away from the big news corporations. These journalists are independents with non-commercial interests and they’re aware of the news media’s deficiencies.

Furthermore, they want the money raised to go to buy journalistic tools for support of the journalists’ work for public radio and TV of the Sahara and to organize workshops for them.

We have to think about the journalism that we want and the journalism that we consume, because it’s clear that quality journalism is not about the money and the resources, but about spirit and ability to inform without following political or economic agendas, just the purpose of meeting journalistic values.

So, if we continue to consume the big corporations’ journalism that neglects news that don’t provide them benefits, without trying to change it, we will encourage a form of partial journalism that doesn’t reflect the whole world.

Reporter’s questions upset storm victim


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

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

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

Documentary film vs. news story


Recently some friends and I were discussing the differences between a documentary film and a news story. Most of them couldn’t tell them apart. There are a few main points to look at.

A documentary film is basically a movie that attempts to document reality. Even though the scenes are carefully chosen and arranged, usually through editing after filming, they are not scripted and the people in the movie are not typically actors. Sometimes, a documentary film may rely on voice-over narration to describe what is happening in the footage; in other films, the images speak for themselves without commentary.

A documentary often includes interviews with people in the film for additional information. Documentaries can use more time to establish world, character and struggle whereas, with news, a journalist has only a few seconds or minutes. There is often more mat sound with a documentary, also. Many documentary filmmakers attempt to change or improve society in some way with their messages. They want to inform.

Their goal is to bring to light a certain cause or injustice with the hope that their film will help galvanize the masses to demand change. An example might be a documentary on all the recent crimes that have been happening. In general documentaries are longer than news segments or stories and they focus more on real life. The mood of a documentary is also changed smoothly by the music that was chosen by the filmmaker. The news doesn’t use music as much.

News is defined as newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events. The news also wants to inform just like documentaries. There is less time that the news has to establish world,character, and struggle. News also tries to entertain its viewers. They entertain viewers by choosing to talk about stories that are new, unusual, interesting and also about people. News covers many different topics.

The freshness of news gives it an uncertain quality which distinguishes it from the more careful investigations of history. The news describes the world in the present or immediate past. The news is given to you from a news anchor in different segments. All in all a news story is a factual, prose story for print or broadcast media about a person, place or event answering these five questions: who, what, when, where, why and how.

Last, but not least, a news story is sometimes written in the inverted-pyramid style, giving the most important information first and additional details later.

Media monarch lives on after death


One of this week’s top news stories focuses on someone who used to lead the news by reporting it.

Gwen Ifill, former co-host of PBS NewsHour, died on Monday at age 61.

Ifill dominated the world of news media and politics, having covered the White House, Congress and many national campaigns over the course of her career. The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC and PBS all hold spaces on her impressive resume.

Another impressive accomplishment, Ifill broke glass ceilings before it was cool. She began her journalism career in the 1970s, a time when white men ruled the newsrooms, as an African American woman. And she didn’t stop there.

More recently, she became half of the first network nightly news female co-anchor team with Judy Woodruff on PBS.

According to her family, Ifill’s death was related to uterine cancer.

Ifill as a news media monarch is still ruling the news today. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and more paid tribute to Ifill with headlines and stories this week.

“I got my first job by exceeding expectations,” Ifill said in an interview with the Archive of American Television in 2011.

Ifill changed journalism with her acclaimed work and dedication, and helped pave the way for females and minorities now and for years to come.