Life after death on Facebook


Have you ever wondered what happens to an individual’s social media account after they pass away? Well, Facebook has generated a new system to handle the deaths of social media users.

On Tuesday, the social media giant announced that legacy contacts would be given majority of control over a validated deceased account on Facebook. There is also a new “Tributes” section on the network that will allow loved ones to honor the deceased person. Legacies will be permitted to manage this “Tributes” page as well. In continuance, Facebook has made changes to assure that profiles of dead people will not show up in unexpected places on the website.

This new system is in response to Facebook’s 2015 project to allow people to assign a legacy contact to manage their social media account in the event that they passed away. However, many legacies and loved ones made complaints about finding the deceased accounts in invite recommendations or even birthday reminders.

For the past few years Facebook has been struggling to devise a solution to the problem of deceased user accounts but now they believe they have found a solution. With the new system deceased accounts must be memorialized.

Essentially Facebook must confirm that the account at hand belongs to a dead person. Accounts can only be memorialized by friends and family of the said user. In continuation, only users 18 and up can assign legacy contacts, but parents with young children are now permitted to apply for legacy contacts to control their children’s account.

Memorized accounts can be controlled by legacies in the sense that profile photos and posts can be edited however, private messages cannot be read and no past posts may be deleted. Rather than old and new posts being merged together, there are separated sections between deceased and alive, serving as a digital memorial.

While Facebook has offered a number of solutions to this perplexing issue, there are still a number of questions being asked. Many are concerned at the fact that users are only permitted one legacy. The questions is: What happens if the user and the legacy die either in the same incident or in two different scenarios, who will manage the account? Facebook administrators have recognized this issue but have yet to find a solution.

As social media networks continue to rule the internet, the issue of deceased accounts and what happens to digital footprints is still a question at hand. Facebook promotes the idea of users using the network to share influential milestones, including the death of loved ones. According to Facebook, 30 million users view memorialized profiles per month. The social network is doing all this in an effort to continue life after death and let people’s legacies live on, connecting people dead or alive.

This story has been reported by a number of sites such as, NBC and WIRED. Both articles provided relevant information about the subject. This is a very relevant story as many social media users are concerned of digital footprints after death.

Facebook faces password trouble


CNN Business posted an article on March 21 by Donie O’Sullivan and Kevin Collier. The article discusses how, once again, Facebook has made headlines concerning its staff. We’re told that Facebook staff had access to hundreds of millions of people’s passwords.

The article explained how users that were mostly affected were those using its Facebook Lite product, which is a simplified version of Facebook. This product serves to help users who experience slower internet connection.

I am honestly not surprised with the news of Facebook having hundreds of passwords. The internet is tricky and nothing is ever completely private. In a world like today with so much advanced technology, there is barely any space left for privacy. 

Although, this news does not look good for Facebook at all, especially, as mentioned in the article.The news comes days after the one-year anniversary of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This scandal revealed that Facebook shared the personal data of about 87 million users with a political data firm.

This latest news shows that we shouldn’t share anything too private not only on Facebook but any social media platform. You can never really know much private information is being looked at and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sullivan and Collier did a good job on this article by not making it too lengthy and getting to the point in a quick but efficient manner. They also attached a video explaining the situation in more detail. 

Mainstream media vs. Momo Challenge


By now, many have heard of the terrifying new phenomena on Internet. According to news media reports, the “Momo Challenge” involves several videos on YouTube encouraging children to harm each other and commit suicide. The videos are accompanied by a photograph of a terrifying creature that appears to be a woman with bird like features. As a result, parents across of the nation have been terrified for their child’s safety and have been calling for stronger regulation of Internet content.

There’s just one problem: the “Momo Challenge” is a hoax.

To begin with, if such a challenge were to exist, it wouldn’t last long anyway as YouTube is very strict with its policy involving content promoting violence. Also, the infamous image of Momo is actually a sculpture created by Japanese artist Keisuke Aisawa entitled “Mother Bird.” As a result of this panic, the Internet has responded with several memes involving the supposed challenge, mocking those who were gullible enough to believe it existed.

The fact that many parents were fooled into believing this challenge existed represents not only a failure on their part to do their own research, but also a failure on the part of mainstream news media. Several videos and articles related to challenge have only fed into the fears of parents. This kind of misinformation can potentially do even more harm than good. As I previously stated in my post about the vaccine crisis, it is the responsibility of journalism to spread the truth and set the record straight and this incident is an unfortunate example of journalists failing to meet that standard.

Grande drops album ‘thank u, next’


If you know anything about the singer Ariana Grande, you know that she has been through an ordeal the past few months. From her ex-boyfriend dying from an overdose to a failed engagement, Grande has been through quite a lot. 

Although, Grande’s music career one can say has never looked better. After recently releasing her album “Sweetener” on Aug. 17, 2018, Grande has decided to drop yet another album. 

The new album entitled “thank u, next” after one of her top singles just dropped last night on all streaming devices including Spotify and Apple Music. Grande also decided to drop a new music video as well. 

With the Grammys coming up, many thought Grande would be performing as she is nominated for two Grammys this year. 

“Good Morning America” published an article written by Michael Rothman explaining the controversy behind her reason for not performing. 

Apparently Grande had a falling out with Grammys executive producer, Ken Enrlich. Enrlich quoted in an Associated Press report that he had discussed with Grande about the possibility of performing at the Grammys, but the singer felt it “was too late for her to pull something together.” 

Grande had a lot to say about Enrlich’s comment on Twitter by mentioning that what Enrlich was saying was nothing but a lie. 

The singer expressed herself by saying that she is deciding not to perform when she felt that her creativity and self expression was being stifled by Enrlich. 

It truly is a shame that probably the most successful singer of the year won’t be attending the most important music award of the year. 

This type of publicity will not look good on Enrlich as he is the reason behind why the popular singer will no longer be presenting herself at the Grammys. 

Don’t miss out on music’s biggest night to see if Grande takes home any Grammys at 8 p.m. on Feb. 10 on CBS. 

When bias clouds reporting judgment


College football writer Brett McMurphy has had an impressive career and gained the respect of many college football fans for his outstanding reporting. In 2017, after spending five years at ESPN, McMurphy was included in the round of layoffs that saw many writers and analysts let go by ESPN.

Since leaving ESPN, McMurphy saw his notoriety rise when he published a story about former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith and his alleged history of domestic assault. McMurphy’s report led to an internal investigation by Ohio State and eventually a three-game suspension of head coach Urban Meyer stemming from his role in potentially covering up Smith’s alleged indiscretions. Unfortunately, this week McMurphy published another story about Ohio State that was irresponsible and exemplified his disdain for the program.

McMurphy’s story surrounded former Ohio State receiver Trevon Grimes and an altercation he may have had during a practice. According to McMurphy’s reporting, an altercation during an Ohio State practice ended in Smith directing the N-word towards Grimes, which led to his decision to transfer to the University of Florida. Before this story, it is widely believed that Grimes, a South Florida native, transferred due to his mother having been diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer and his desire to be closer to home.

The story also alleges that the waiver Grimes’ received from the NCAA that allowed him to play right away due to his mother’s condition may have been based on false, and that his mother does not have cancer at all. McMurphy’s main source for the story was Grimes’ estranged father Lebron Grimes, who Trevon claims he has not spoken to in over two years.

In reading the story, it is clear McMurphy was extremely diligent in his research for the story. He reached out to various players on the Ohio State team, Ohio State’s Athletic Department, friends of Grimes, and attempted to contact Grimes and his mother. Unfortunately, he wrote a story that was at the very least incomplete, and at the worst irresponsible.

He was also reckless in conducting his research, badgering both Grimes and his mother despite both of them personally, and through a University of Florida spokesperson, requesting he stop reaching out. McMurphy admitted as much in his actual story. McMurphy also gave a lot of credence to the story presented by Lebron Grimes despite his description of Grimes’ legal indiscretions and the allegations of domestic abuse that had been made against him by his ex-wife, Grimes’ mother.

Since the story has been published, Grimes, Ohio State’s Athletic Department, and all of his former Ohio State teammates have publicly denied the accusations in the story. While this is to be expected, McMurphy’s ultimate error was publishing a story prior to verifying the allegations in said story. Without a single Ohio State player or even Grimes agreeing to corroborate the Smith incident, it was irresponsible to publish that part of the story based on Grimes’ estranged fathers account.

As to the allegation regarding Grimes’ mother potentially lying about having cancer, McMurphy once again published a baseless accusation and badgered a woman who is not a public figure. While McMurphy’s research allowed him to create context for this story, without any evidence that Grimes’ mother actually lied about her condition, it was an irresponsible accusation to publish.

While the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 makes finding medical information about an individual very difficult, McMurphy had a responsibility not to publish the accusation without a source other than Grimes’ estranged father.

The story illustrated that McMurphy is a talented writer who conducts extremely thorough research, but it also showed his judgment has been clouded by a deep contempt of the current Ohio State program. The story was so diligently researched and transparently written that his own conclusions were both debunked. McMurphy’s search for the truth can be seen as a noble crusade, but he published a story with conclusions that he may have been able to prove or even disprove had he waited for further evidence.

Kardashians show off Halloween outfits


The Kardashian sisters once again take over Halloween.

This year all the sisters had more than four Halloween outfits to show off on social media, including the Victoria Secret Angel look that all the sisters rocked.

Victoria Secret personally landed the Kardashian sister’s actual VS wings from the runway.

Kim Kardashian’s dream was made come true after she’s dreamed for year being able to be a VS Angel and for Kendall Jenner it was just practice for this upcoming fashion show.

Kendall Jenner has been part of the show for two years, this year being her third.

The five sisters made sure to give Victoria Secret credit on social media for letting them borrow the wings for that night.

According to E! News they had a paid partnership for them to let the Kardashian’s borrow the wings.

The Kardashians weren’t the only ones showing of their cute costumes, they made sure to dress the next generation to live up to their Halloween legacy.

According to E! News, It is clear to say to say that Kylie Jenner won this year’s Halloween competition outshining all the sisters with her creative Halloween costumes.

Blackface costs woman her job


Halloween is that one time of year where you can dress up as almost anything you want, Key word being almost. You have people impersonating police officers, dressing up as policemen/women, and even Jesus Christ himself. But when is it that people can say “you have taken it too far”?

For about a week, many stories have gone out about men and women using “blackface” as part of their costume.

In Missouri, Shelbi Heenan, a Caucasian-American, was terminated from her job, St. Luke’s Hospital, where she was a registered nurse. Her post went viral on Facebook where she and another man dressed as the power couple Jay Z and Beyoncé. Her clothing was fine, but both her and the male companion colored their faces and hands for a black pigmentation.

Sharon Solomon, a friend of Shelbi, tweeted Tuesday “You know what’s REALLY insulting!? That one day out of the entire F-N year people can’t  stop trying to tag another as racist! IT’S A COSTUME! She is intentionally trying to look like Beyonce! Beyonce is black…. so to get the entire look, dark makeup!”

But she was not the only one to face consequences.

Philadelphia Police are currently investigating a employee who is currently on “desk duty” for the use of blackface. Officer Hung Nguyen also posted his costume on his Facebook account where his face was colored black with a white t-shirt and a Afro wig. Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew thinks there is a nexus in the photo; it could have been a computer graphic instead of Officer Hung physically painting his face black. The case is still currently under investigation.

Is there a way for people to dress up as someone of the opposite descent without coloring their skin?

Woman stabs 14 in Chinese kindergarten


In Chongqing, China, a 39-year-old woman stabbed numerous children with a kitchen knife as they were going back to class after their 9:30 a.m. exercises at Yudong New Century Kindergarten, said Chongqing City Banan district police.

According to residents, the kindergarten does not have any outdoor space for the children to play so they usually go to a local public park to play and for their morning exercises.

Graphic videos have gone viral due to nearby residents who intervened and tried to help as much as they could. Unfortunately, kids were rushed to the hospital with massive face cuts and wrapped in bandages around their heads.

According to CNN, this incident is not the first time school children have been stabbed and severely hurt. Nine students were killed at a middle school by a 28-year-old man in Shaanxi earlier this year in April.

In 2017, 11 students were attacked as a man invaded the school and climbed over a wall of a kindergarten with a knife.

Prior to this terrible event, there has been protests over faulty medicine for children also. And as America suffers from school and public place shootings, China also suffers as they constantly face knives attacks due to China’s strict gun laws.

The video shows furious nearby residents and some even shocked at what was going on. Luckily there was enough residents who were able to intervene and try to help the situation by attacking the attacker.

The power of today’s technology and social media outlets allow residents with the power of providing footage at the scene of events like this. As graphic and horrible these videos were, it allows the viewer to feel as if they were there.

Swift post leads to registration spike


As the deadlines for voter registration approached in many states, voter registration sites noticed an uptick in traffic. Late registrations? Maybe. Forgetful teens? Could be. Voters who follow Taylor Swift on Instagram? Absolutely.

On Sunday, pop star Taylor Swift announced on her Instagram her support for two Democratic candidates running for Congress in her home state of Tennessee.

“I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” Swift wrote in the Instagram posts.

Swift’s Instagram post on October 7th lead to unprecedented numbers of young voter registrations (Photo courtesy of @taylorswift).

Swift has notoriously remained apolitical throughout her almost 12-year career. Many speculated that Swift’s silence on political controversies alluded to her support of President Trump.

Following Swift’s Instagram post, reported unprecedented numbers of voter registrations.

“We have never seen a 24- or 36- or 48-hour period like this. This is leaps and bounds beyond what we typically see,” spokesperson Kamari Guthrie, said in an interview with the New York Times.

It is reported that since Sunday, 6,200 new voters have registered in the state of Tennessee alone. That number alone surpasses the total number of registrants in the state of Tennessee from the months of May to September.

When asked about the comments, President Trump was quick to attack Swift’s music.

“I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, O.K.?” he said.

Times shows how to delete Facebook


It is no secret that social media have taken over as the premier way to absorb content in today’s world. Specifically, Instagram and Facebook have become the modern-day radio and television. However, because of recent issues with data breaches and studies coming out that show the negative effects of social media, many people are saying goodbye to these platforms.

Brian X. Chen, a writer for The New York Times gives us a look at exactly how to do that, and why its not as easy as just deleting the apps off your phone.

What’s great and refreshing about this article, is that it cuts out all the unnecessary commentary about the pros and cons of social media. It just shows the readers how to cut these platforms out of their lives and the things they need to be concerned about.

For example, he shows that temporarily suspending his Facebook account revealed that using other apps on his phone became much more of an issue. He had created accounts with his Facebook account, which can be linked to a variety of other apps. He realized he could no longer promote products on his Instagram and had to recreate a lot of account like Pinterest for example.

This article shows how these platforms have dug deeply embedded roots in our lives and why it’s so hard to break away from them.

The step-by-step guide is very helpful and tells the reader how to keep their data safe while making the process as simple as possible.

Nations unite against Venezula’s crisis


Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Canada leaders signed on Wednesday reached out to the president of the International Criminal Court and signed a statement asking for a probe into possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela.

According to CNN, the crimes, dating to 2014, range from extra-judicical murder, torture and the random arrests and detention of political opponents and anti-government protesters.

The protests throughout the last five years has caused unforgivable types of punishments towards Venezuelan citizens and it does not matter the age. Kids as young as 14 years of age have been arrested, or as some say kidnapped, and taken to unknown prison locations. Protesting because citizens want a better, safe, respectful and fair type of government its considered a crime in Venezuela.

Once known as the richest and most potential country for opportunity, Venezuela it is now at the bottom of the list with the highest dead rates, food shortages, starvation, inflammation, the list goes on. The hospitals are overcrowded with not enough doctors or medicine and supermarket shelf stands still remain empty.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, where the request was made, will meet in New York this week with the UN General Assembly General Assembly. According to Human Rights Watch, this is the first time International Criminal Court member governments have decided to follow an investigation of crimes on the territory of another country.

Due to the financial and economic crisis, people have migrated to other countries by the millions. But there are still also millions of civilians living in Venezuela and those who are not as lucky or have the necessary assets to leave and start over in another country.

It is not only about moving to another country for a better life. Venezuela wants its country back. Citizens wants its once almost perfect country. People are dying of hunger and in need of medicine. President Maduro and his allies can no longer hide this throughout their media communications in the country or the world.

If it wasn’t for social media or other communication outlets like Skype, Face-Time and Whatsapp, I don’t believe President Nicholas Maduro would get away with lying to the world about how good and peaceful Venezuela currently is.

Human rights have been violated for years now in Venezuela, and jails are filled with protesters and there are rumors they are not allowed to communicate with one another or they are not allowed to see daylight.

This investigation will hopefully turn down Maduro and the government.

NFL’s Vontae Davis retires at halftime


In 2018, most people realize that football can take an extreme toll on your body and brain, especially as for professionals. Players have become far more aware of the long-term consequences and therefore have been retiring earlier.

However, Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis took that to another level when he retired at halftime on Sunday, in the midst of their NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey wrote an article about this for The New York Times. They usually have very good insight in their articles and this one was no different. What was great about this article is that it addressed the massive scrutiny that Davis faced because of his actions. He is the only player to ever have retired in this manner and fans on social media and journalists for sports outlets alike laid into him for quitting on his teammates. Yet, the article points out why the decision shouldn’t be so heavily criticized

The article features a picture of Davis’ official statement to the press where he says that he “felt off” and didn’t feel like he should be out there any more, even though he was not injured. The article mentions other cases of people who were not injured that decided to retire early to prevent long-term health issues. Two examples that they use are Chris Borland, who retired after his rookie year, and John Urschel, a former Ravens offensive lineman who pursued his Ph.D. in higher mathematics.

So, the question is, should Davis had at least stuck it out until the end of the game? Probably, for his teammates, if nothing else. However, Davis has had three concussions in his NFL career (the article goes into this as well) and by going back out there and basically ‘feeling out of it’, he risks receiving another concussion which surely would do more long term damage.

Twitter bans Alex Jones, InfoWars


Twitter banned Alex Jones and other accounts pertaining to InfoWars, his fake news website on Thursday afternoon. This was covered by countless local and national news sources including ABC, CBS, NBC, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to name a few. This story has also been covered by a number of tech websites such as CNET and Engadget.

InfoWars is known for promoting fake news stories and conspiracy theories such as 9-11 being an inside job, the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, and countless untrue stories about various public figures.

“Today, we permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope. We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations,” the company wrote on its account.

Twitter is not the first high-profile company to drop Infowars. Apple, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify removed InfoWars from their platforms earlier this August. These companies mostly cited “hate speech” as their reason for removing Jones and InfoWars from their platforms and not for deliberately spreading false information.

Back in August, Twitter publicly stated that they would not remove Jones or InfoWars because they did not violate their policies. Twitter had previously suspended Jones for one week for promoting violence against news reporters, saying to get their “battle rifles” ready.

Twitter decided to ban Jones and InfoWars after Jones publicly harassed Oliver Darcy, a reporter at CNN. On this same day, Jones also harassed Senator Marco Rubio.

News sources such as The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post and The New York Times have done a better job of covering this story than most other news sources because they also mentioned that these tech companies have been criticized for waiting too long to remove InfoWars and other fake news sources from their platforms.

Many believe that some of these companies only removed Jones and Infowars because other companies did so and not for the reasons that they provided. This is a fair and valid point, as sources like InfoWars have already made a major impact on the public. In addition to this, InfoWars has been around for years and has had few problems releasing false information, hateful content, and promoting violence. Many news sources have made the mistake of labeling InfoWars as a far-right website and not a fake news website.

NBA 2018 playoffs begin Saturday


By now, the long 82-game NBA season has come to a close and the playoffs begin Saturday. This year, especially compared to last, there have been many intriguing stories and moments that will definitely make these playoffs worth watching. Last year, everyone knew that the Golden State Warriors were significantly better than everyone else and they showed that in the playoffs by nearly sweeping every team they played.

The Boston Celtics were everyone’s pick to upset the Cavaliers this year in the playoffs. But after an injury to Gordon Hayward and a recent injury to Kyrie Irving, the Celtics are without their two best players.

News articles all across the Internet and social media have surfaced about Irving’s status and the Celtics decision to rest him until next year. Coverage has been heavy and persistent because of the aftermath of him leaving Cleveland and his rivalry with Lebron James. The media has been talking about how much it would mean for Kyrie to eventually overthrow Lebron and have continually updated on his injury.

The Washington Post, along with other newspapers, have put off a full first round prediction for each series. Included in this article is a summary of each team’s regular season and then a prediction of who will win the series and why. has an article that included the schedule for all of the games in the first round. Overall, the coverage for the upcoming playoffs are on everyone’s radar and will eventually turn in to articles reviewing series and talking about the next series.

Sports Nation also made an article of a hypothetical where the playoffs weren’t split up into East and West. Instead, it took the 16 best teams in the league by record, ranked them, and matched them up this way.

This was a very interesting article because this was something that has been talked about in the NBA for years: the idea of ignoring conferences and pooling all the teams in the league at once. If this had been done for this year, then the matches would be completely differently and a lot more intriguing.

The Celtics would play a tough west coast opponent in the first round in the Timberwolves. The Warriors would face a tough Utah Jazz team that would only have made the playoffs with this method of pooling.

Overall, coverage of the NBA playoffs is already heavy, even though it hasn’t started yet. All of the NBA analyst are tweeting their first round predictions and why they picked them. The 2018 playoffs should be a roller-coaster and the media is going to cover it to its fullest.

Zuckerberg testifies before Congress


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, testified before Congress today for the first time at Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers questions about the data hack.

Zuckerberg said he takes full responsibility for what has recently happened with the data hack. As soon as he entered the room, he told Senate, “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

The data hack was started by an American researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, who gathered information from basic profile information of Facebook users. People are very upset because Kogan lied and said that he was “gathering research” but then violated company’s policies by passing the data to Cambridge Analytica.

According to Fortune, this type of data is used to target voters with hyper-specific appeals on Facebook and then that try to change their opinions. Cambridge Analytica is a site that uses “data to change audience behavior.” Basically, data is being leaked about people’s political views on Facebook.

It uses such data to target voters with hyper-specific appeals, including on Facebook and other online services, that go well beyond traditional messaging based on party affiliation alone. This is known as “psychographic” targeting or modeling.

“Here are a few things that we are doing to address this and to prevent it from happening again. First, we’re getting to the bottom of exactly what Cambridge Analytica did and telling everyone affected. Second, to make sure no other app developers out there are misusing data, we’re investigating every app and to prevent this from going forward, we’re making sure they can’t access as much information now.” Zuckerberg, 33.

This has been covered by almost every large news broadcast network, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, and more.

NBA Playoffs: Jump on the Utah Jazz


The NBA Playoffs are fast approaching, and if your team isn’t a part of the festivities, that may seem bittersweet. As a Knicks fan, I’ve grown used to not having a dog in the fight. However, the playoffs offer a great opportunity for people like myself to be fan mercenaries and pick a new team to jump on the bandwagon for. It might feel a little dirty, but what fun is watching sports if you don’t have a rooting interest? With that in mind, let me introduce to you a great candidate for this exercise: the Utah Jazz.

“The Jazz? Really?”, you might scoff, but hear me out. The Jazz might be the hottest team in the entire league. Prominent NBA writers like ESPN’s Zach Lowe have covered the team’s exploits since a 10 game winning streak ten weeks ago which catapulted them back into the playoff picture.

After beginning 16-24, they’ve gone 31-9 to storm to a likely top-four finish in the West. In that stretch, they’ve had the 12th best offensive rating (108.4 points per 100 possessions) in the league, an eight-spot jump from the first 40 games. More impressively, they’ve boasted a defensive rating of 99.1, best in the entire league in that time frame, and the second-ranked 76ers are closer to the fifth-place team in that metric than they are to the Jazz.

A lot of that jump has to do with likely Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, healthy after missing chunks of games in the early going. He’s basically a 7’1” pterodactyl, his extendo-arms enveloping so much space that it deters opposing players from even daring to enter the paint where he orbits. Utah has many solid defenders, but it’s Gobert who warps the court and allows perimeter guys to play with aggression, knowing that Gobert is back there to put out any fires.

If defense isn’t your thing, that’s OK. Enter Donovan Mitchell, an uber-talented rookie guard averaging a team-high 20.5 points per game. Mitchell has been simply spectacular this season, becoming the top offensive option for a team with home-court advantage in the playoffs, which is virtually unheard of for a rookie. We’re watching a future superstar grow in real time, and the only reason that he might not capture the Rookie of the Year award is the equally remarkable play of Ben Simmons in Philly. Mitchell is a thrill to watch, a threat to put someone on the ground with a crossover, drain a deep three, convert an acrobatic layup, or dunk on someone on any given play. If you want to know why he’s so fun, just watch this:

If you’re a hoops nerd who loves the little things, and don’t care so much about the flashy guys, well Utah has what you’re looking for too. Ricky Rubio showed sparks of greatness during his tenure in Minnesota, but head coach Quin Snyder (a leading candidate for Coach of the Year, by the way), and his staff have unlocked the best version of Rubio that NBA fans have seen. A notoriously poor shooter in years past, Snyder had given Rubio the green light to fire away, and he’s been on fire from everywhere during Utah’s half-season run, shooting a blistering 42.5% from three, and a tidy 45.4% from midrange. Plus, he’s still one of the association’s most creative playmakers:

Speaking of creative players, Joe Ingles has had an incredible season for the Jazz. The 6”8’ Aussie might be my favorite role player in the NBA, and he’ll soon be yours too if you give him a watch. Ingles is the ultimate glue guy. Need someone to run a pick and roll? Ingles has developed a beautiful two-man dance with Gobert, and can score at the rim or dish to open teammates with ease. Need someone to space the floor? Ingles has been on fire all year, ranking third in the league in three-point percentage at 44.1%. Need to slow down an opposing perimeter guy? Ingles can clamp down on the less glamorous end of the court, and he’s an expert at staying in front of his man, even though he gives up speed and athleticism to many NBA players. Overall, Ingles is a joy to watch, and his success this season is an incredible story. He can even throw down a dunk every once in a while:

Those are the main guys, but the supporting cast offers intrigue as well. Dante Exum, a top-5 draft pick in 2014, is back after missing much of the season with a shoulder injury, and he’s wasted no time in becoming a valuable piece off the bench. The 6’6” Aussie has been attacking the rim relentlessly since his return, and can even offer rim protection on defense.

Royce O’Neale is another rotation cog for Snyder, and he’s been a solid player for Utah after spending the last few years playing overseas. Jae Crowder is playoff tested from his Boston days, as is Jonas Jerebko, and big man Derrick Favors is a nightly double-double threat. The Jazz go ten-deep with useful players, an attribute sure to help them as they enter the postseason.

Part of the team experience comes off the court, and the Jazz don’t disappoint there either. It’s obvious that the players are really close from following them on social media. They hang out together on the road, poke fun at each other on Twitter and Instagram, and interact with their fans regularly. Plus, you can always count on Gobert to talk trash to rival players on Twitter if you’re looking for laughs. It’s a lovable group, and their passing and teamwork on the court clearly translates off it.

So, while the NBA media focuses on the Rockets and Warriors, give some love to the upstart team in Salt Lake City. The Jazz have the talent and coaching to make a playoff run, and could even pull off an upset of Houston or Golden State if things break right. No matter where they end their season, consider hopping on the Jazz bandwagon. You might be surprised at how quickly you grow attached to this squad.

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.

Villanova wins its second NCAA title


On Monday night, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Michigan Wolverines 79-62 to win their second NCAA title in three years, capping off an impressive run through the tournament. Villanova was the most talented and best team in the country throughout the entire year and the team proved it by winning it all.

National Player of the Year Jalen Brunson had an off shooting night for Villanova and was on the bench for a longer period of time because of foul trouble. Because of this, Donte DiVincenzo had the opportunity to have a big game.

DiVincenzo responded with 31 points and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Michigan’s hot streak came to an end at the worst time. The team hadn’t lost since January, winning the Big Ten tournament and beating its first few opponents in the NCAA tournament by decent margins.

Overall, the news media did a great job covering the championship game, especially with it being such a popular and heavy televised event. Right after the game, SportsCenter offered full highlights and interviews with several players from both teams.

There was also footage of the trophy ceremony and Villanova cutting down the nets all over the TV and YouTube. There was footage of all of Villanova’s top plays throughout the entire tournament.

There were articles publlshed all over the Internet by the next morning describing how Villanova pulled it off and what this means for the program and for Jay Wright, head coach. There are articles on CBS news,, Washington Post, and ESPN.

All of the articles were pretty similar and talked about DiVincenzo’s stellar performance. There was also an uproar on social media about DiVincenzo. It seemed like not many people had heard about him and people the media was raving about his performance and covering how well he complimented the rest of his teammates. There was even speculation from some media personnel that he could be picked in the upcoming NBA draft.

The one thing that I think could have been covered better was DiVincenzo’s backstory and how he got to this point. He pretty much became an overnight sensation because of how impressive of a player he was, especially since not many people had heard about him.

There were some mentions of where he was from in some of the articles, but there wasn’t much about why he red-shirted and the injury that caused it and how he bounced back from it. Other than more history about DiVincenzo’s career, I feel like the championship game as a whole was covered well.

The Rock latest celeb to talk depression


Continuing a movement that has seen a huge amount of growth in the past few months, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson became the latest prominent male figure to publicly share his experiences with depression.

Johnson is one of the most famous celebrities in the world and one of the most beloved (and a University of Miami alum to boot). He’s also famously strong and muscular, playing the hardened, badass character in many of the movies in which he stars.

Some people may see this news and say, “Who cares? Boo hoo. A multimillionaire is crying on his yacht, am I supposed to feel bad?” This misses the point entirely. Mental health is not based on one’s bank account and despite what some may believe, celebrities have an enormous impact on the public, especially young people. Johnson is an activist, philanthropist, and general good guy, so there are worse options for kids to mimic.

What Johnson’s story does is continue the conversation, allowing mental health to be discussed openly and without shame, not something that gets bottled up and ignored. The fact that he is a man, and a non-white man at that, is even more important.

Generally, famous women are the ones who share their stories about battling mental health, and in movies and television its usually women who deal with these issues. Of course, that’s perfectly fine, but as Johnson says himself, men have more trouble discussing their emotions and mental states. The social norm is for men to not show their emotions, and women typically are much more emotionally healthy as a result. Johnson shows that you can be a tough guy and have emotions, they aren’t mutually exclusive.

DeMar DeRozan, the Toronto Raptors All-Star guard, really got the ball rolling when he opened up about his own ongoing battle with depression, and he expressed support for Johnson. If an NBA All-Star and a world-famous actor can thrive in their field even with depression, that helps others realize that you can still be successful while dealing with a mental health issue.

Many of the responses to Johnson were like the one displayed earlier, expressing surprise that Johnson dealt with depression and happiness that they weren’t alone. Many news outlets covered this story, which helps to spread Johnson’s message even further. Hopefully, guys like DeRozan and Johnson become the rule, not the exception, and help us move toward a future where we can talk about our problems and heal them, not just hide them and let them eat away from within.

Fox News show host mocks student


Fox News weeknight host Laura Ingraham is embroiled in a controversy after mocking Parkland student activist David Hogg’s college rejections.

Ingraham retweeted an article posted by right-wing website The Daily Wire with the headline “Gun Rights Provocateur David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied.”

“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it,” Ingraham commented in her retweet. “Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.”

Soon after, Hogg took to Twitter to ask his followers to ask companies who advertise during Ingraham’s show to pull their ads. Many of these companies, such as Hulu and TripAdvisor, have already listened to the public outcry and are now boycotting Ingraham’s show.

Ingraham has since apologized on Twitter for her comments. Hogg has not accepted her apology, stating that “an apology in an effort to save your advertisers is not enough” and that he will only accept the apology if Ingraham denounces the way Fox News has treated the student activists from Parkland.

Most of the drama in this story played out on Twitter. Ingraham’s initial comments and apology, Hogg’s responses and calls to boycott, and some companies’ statements of pulling their support were all tweets.

As a result, most news organizations have embedded many of the tweets in their coverage of the story. I found that the more tweets a news organization embedded, the more engaging I found the article.

For example, The Washington Post included the most tweets out of any of the articles I read, and I found that that was the article I enjoyed most. Being able to see the exact tweets allowed me to see the article Ingraham retweeted and click on it, making the story more interactive. It also made for a visually appealing article since the embedded tweets broke up the blocks of text.

Other outlets, such as The New York Times and CNN, included only one tweet. I found that decision puzzling given how much of the story played out on Twitter and it made the stories a duller read.

I also found that embedding the tweets made the articles flow better, since tweets can be very awkward to quote due to their conversational nature and usage of links and hashtags.