News media miss an opportunity


Stephen Paddock killed 58 people from his 32nd floor room at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday, Oct. 1, during the Harvest Music Festival. He was  found dead.

The news media categorized this act of horror as the largest massive attempt of the U.S. history. Every newspaper in the nation, every magazine, TV news and Internet news outlet reporting has something to show  every day about this story.

During a whole week the construction and de-construction of the events, the characters, police interventions, President Trump meeting the families of the victims, witnesses snapshots and testimonials have saturated the news media. It has been a written and visual message of dead bodies, injured people and desperate families of the victims. It has become an open competition to monopolize the space to sell sensational horror news.

The press lost the great opportunity to fulfill one of the most noble aims of journalism. That of reporting and providing a strong opinion on the need of severely regulating the purchase and use of weapons.

We lost the chance to show that the news media can be a powerful weapon, not for evil, but for good. It should be used to generate thinking and commitment from the public.

Las Vegas coverage evolves by hour


Over the past week, the world has reacted to the gruesome Las Vegas Massacre, cited as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. In its wake, there has also been intense scrutiny into the man behind the attack, Stephen Paddock, and his potential motives.

News coverage of the event has been very high, as expected due to the magnitude of the attacks and the public interest in seeing the story develop. A renewed battle for gun control has also been sparked, with social media biting on both sides of the controversial issue.

In following the story for several days, two things have stood out to me: how the information has changed so rapidly, and each news organization has approached putting the story together in a unique way.

First, there were two people dead. Then ten. Then 20, 30, 40. The number was different with each new article until the final toll was reached, with hundreds more injured. Information about the shooter was unknown, or even if there were more than one.

There were unconfirmed reports that ISIS had taken credit for the attacks. What we saw were news organizations trying to get information out to the public that craved them, without having enough time to properly verify it. In some cases, accurate information was unknown, and could only be speculated.

I also noticed that, while each organization was telling the same basic information, they had different ways of drawing in potential readers. The Washington Post highlighted that “new details have emerged,” while The New York Times chose to focus on the “cryptic clues” and the “vexing and terrifying mystery” behind Paddock’s motivation for the massacre.

Either way, the methods of differentiation made each story slightly different than the previous, ensuring that readers had to check out all of them to understand fully.

Las Vegas video raises questions


Competition in news is cut-throat with the increase of social media and electronic reporting. To compensate, news corporations across the globe have started incorporating multimedia to stories to engage a wider audience.

But one common question has blurred over the years, as organizations push to share the most newsworthy, unique and engaging content – what should be edited and how far is too far? The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas has showed that this line is blurring even further, and news media companies will go to great lengths to gain business.

In the days following the shooting in Las Vegas, the largest in modern American history, photos and videos began emerging from the incident. Among them were point-of-view videos from people in the crowd sounding the shots raining down on the crowd, police response to the scene and the initial investigation of the shooter’s room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

But something not seen until recently stood out. Major news organizations began sharing gruesome photos of the shooter’s hotel room, including images of the weapons and ammunition the shooter had in the room, along with an image of his blood-covered body from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Before now, this type of content was not widely shared. Editing of content in mainstream news media previously protected viewers from this type of content, and if anyone wanted to view it, it would take a lot of digging around the Internet to find a not-so-reputable online source leaking the information.

So what has changed over the years? In short, social media.

Today, it is so easy for anyone to share content to a mass audience with very little regulation. The constant pressure felt by large news organizations to stay ahead and get the most viewers to their sites, requires content to be well-developed and have more stopping power on social media feeds than any other person or organization sharing the same information.

More often than not, that comes by pushing the envelope and sharing content that may not always have been widely acceptable in society. Modern news media and the use of raw, point-of-view video are some of the most important components of a story to engage users. Has this push to stay current desensitized Americans by experiencing more long-term exposure to difficult topics? The response to the Las Vegas shooting has proven that censorship is not what it used to be.

Sensationalizing tragedy on television


The story at the forefront of American news media this week has been the horrific shooting that occurred in Las Vegas Sunday night. A final count of 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the massacre. And yet, the news media embraces the violence as if it were a great show.

You know the teasers: “Tonight at 11, what is in your refrigerator that may be poisoning your food? Find out on the *insert local station* nightly news.” *intense sound effect*

These teasers, while quite reminiscent of Internet click-bait, are all well and good with such a story as the fabricated example above. However, this week the news, and specifically 24-hour news channels such as CNN or Fox News, have been teasing their stories out of Las Vegas in that manner.

It is sickening. It reminds me of the film “Nightcrawler” starring Jake Gyllenhal, who is a multimedia journalist taping gruesome crime scenes and worrying only about the “shot” but never the victims involved. And his station encourages it.

But this is real life, not a movie. As if the deaths of 58 Americans in the largest mass shooting in this nation’s history weren’t attention-grabbing enough, now news programming feels that they need to entice the viewer with dramatic music and sensational latest reports out of Las Vegas.

The hundreds of families and friends affected, as well as all of us innocent, confused Americans, could do without the 24-hour news cycle pushing a traumatic event like this down our throats as if it were a movie trailer.

While average Americans are trying to wrap their heads around such a terrifying event and go on with their days, the media is lapping it up, hyping up the fact that the shooting is now deadliest in U.S. history, and has racked up more deaths than the Orlando night club shooting.

Sensationalizing tragedy is not appealing. It should not earn viewers and in turn earn more money. Unfortunately, the news seems to believe in it, and we are living in a time of glorifying horror on television.

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.

It doesn’t matter what his name is


This past Sunday a lone gunman unleashed rapid-fire bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others attending a three-day country music festival.

The act was the single-deadliest mass shooting in American history. Only one shooter was connected to the act. Inside his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Vegas Strip was 23 guns and another 19 were found inside his house.

The suspect, who is now deceased, checked into the hotel on Sept. 28 and it was likely that he requested a room on a high floor overlooking the festival grounds, overlooking the 22,000 attendees at the concert.

President Trump visited Las Vegas on Wednesday to pay his respects and offer his condolences. Several other politicians and entertainers expressed their sorrow on social media with the hashtag, #prayforlasvegas, which has been trending on Twitter.

Police are lost as they are still looking into what the motive is for this act of pure evil. After interviewing several people close to the shooter and digging up almost every detail about his past, investigators are stumped.

The problem with the reporting of the shooting is far too many news media outlets are using the shooter’s picture and his name as if it was the president’s. They’re creating a situation of martyrdom and creating a following for him.

The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what his name is. It doesn’t matter what is gender is, his age is, his occupation is, his demeanor, where he lives, who his family is, or what his hobbies are.

TMZ the infamous celebrity gossip site took this too far when they released an article titled, SHOOTER DOESN’T FIT MASS SHOOTER PROFILE. They had this great quote, “The 64-year-old Nevada resident lived in a retirement community. He has no criminal record, at least none we’ve been able to find so far. We found Paddock has a hunting license in Alaska. He got a pilot’s license in 2003, which means he’s undergone some physical and mental evaluation.”

This is disgusting. A man killed 58 people and injured more than 500 people. Then he killed himself. He fits the mass shooter profile because he acted as a mass shooter. It doesn’t matter if he was mentally insane, or if he was “normal” to the eyes of police. He committed an act of violence and caused devastation. His name, picture and background doesn’t need to be shared. He is a mass murderer.

Muslim teenager’s death not hate crime


A group of teenagers observing Ramadan traveled from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Virginia to a local McDonald’s at around 3 a.m. on Sunday. As they left, the fast food restaurant on bikes or on foot, a car appeared behind them.

After getting into a verbal altercation with one of the teenagers, the driver, believed to be 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, drove his car over a curb towards the group.

The teenagers continued on their way, but were later met by the same man who allegedly chased them with a baseball bat, hitting Nabra Hassanen before taking her into his car and leaving.

Police units from two counties, a helicopter, and search dogs banded together before 5 in the morning. A car was seen returning multiple times to where Nabra had been abducted, and the driver, Martinez Torres, was arrested. The 17-year-old Nabra was later found dead near the suspect’s apartment building.

Although officers in Fairfax are unsure about the motivation behind the seemingly random murder, they have stated that it was probably a road rage incident. However, Nabra Hassanen’s family believes otherwise. Her father, Mohmoud Hassanen, declared that the attack must have been due to religion, explaining that the suspect knew nothing of Nabra except that she was wearing Islamic clothing, yet still chose to target her.

Darwin Martinez Torres also has family members defending him. He is a construction worker and the father to a four-year-old son. An aunt of his stated that his whole family is confused about the charges, and see him as a nice man. Martinez Torres was also said to be at a park with his mother just hours before the kidnapping of Nabra Hassanen.

​Outraged citizens have spoken up on social media about the death, arguing that it was a hate crime and cannot be justified as road rage because the teenagers were pedestrians. The incident also came at a similar time to a terrorist attack outside of a mosque in London, injuring 10 persons. One post on social media cites four different crimes from the past weekend, with the caption, “Hate has devastating consequences.”

Suicide bombing outside Manchester


At 10:30 p.m. Manchester time, families and friends gathered together to enjoy a time of music and fun at the Ariana Grande “Dangerous Woman Tour.” According to British authorities, during the time of the concert, an armed man committed suicide while detonating a bomb outside Manchester Arena near the ticketing booth, leaving 22 casualties, 60 injured, and others traumatized, scared, and confused.

The night of the explosion, I was coming back from the gym. Following my usual nightly routine, before doing anything else, I tuned into MSNBC in order to get updates on the latest news before eating and then heading to bed. As I began to watch breaking news, my mouth dropped. I was shell-shocked, lost for words. I could not process the information.

The first thing that came into mind, “Why would anyone in their right mind decide to bomb mothers, fathers, and children who are just enjoying themselves, at an Ariana Grande concert?” Andy Holey, waiting to pick his wife and daughter, flew 30 feet from the doors, when the explosion occurred. His first thought was to find his family. When he couldn’t find them, he then proceeded to searching through the bodies for them. He was lucky enough to find his loved ones alive.

Grande responded in a Tweet just five hours after the bombing, “From the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry.” Grande cancelled her remaining 36 shows.

This was a difficult decision for the Grande team to make. This allowed me to feel that Grande is a caring person, who genuinely cares for the safety of her fans.

Manchester bombing inquiry continues


All around the world, news of the Manchester bombing is taking precedence as everyone tries to comfort the affected as well as explain the appalling attack.

On Monday, May 22, thousands of fans attended an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester arena. When the concert ended and the fans were leaving, they were greeted by a loud explosion and debris flying through the air.

Twenty-two people have been confirmed dead and more than 100 others were injured. Those killed in the horrific event range in age from eight years to 51. As of Thursday, May 25, eight men have been arrested as they are believed to have been connected to the attack. The attacker, Salman Abedi, was determined to have been killed when the bomb went off.

Many have shown their support for the victims of the attack, having a moment of silence in St. Ann’s Square in Manchester as well as donating more than 80 percent of the £2 million goal on a fundraising page created by Manchester Evening News, which equates to more than $2.5 million.

Tensions were high after the terrorist attack and a brief hostility occurred after U.S. broadcasters reported information that had apparently been leaked from British officials. The British police temporarily began to withhold information about the investigation from United States agencies, but this only lasted until Thursday evening.

President Trump responded with a statement during meetings with leaders of NATO that promised to launch an investigation of the leaks and punish those responsible “to the fullest extent of the law.”

New information also points to the likelihood that the Manchester bombing was planned at least a year in advance, as receipts show that Abedi opened a bank account and purchased items to make the explosive dating back 12 months. A flat was rented in Manchester as well and it is believed to have been the site of the bomb’s creation.

Currently, the investigation is ongoing as officials believe that conspirators of the attack may still be at large. The motive behind the attack is also still being determined. Many believe that it was a premeditated action with a clear plan to target young children.

This is supported by the idea that ISIS plans to terrorize Western women, children, and elders as theirs were killed. I am hopeful that this new low encourages officials even more to find and disarm ISIS, and other terrorist organizations that harm the safety of the worlds’ citizens before more innocent lives are taken.

After nine months, an officer charged


The issue of black lives matter and police shootings is extremely prevalent in today’s society.

After shooting an unarmed caretaker, a North Miami police officer will face criminal charges.

Officer Jonathan Aledda was arrested and charged on Wednesday, April 12. with attempted manslaughter and a misdemeanor of culpable negligence.

Aledda shot and wounded a behavioral therapist who was laying on his back on the ground with his hands up in the air, begging officers not to shoot.

This was caught on video by a nearby bystander.

This was an off-duty shooting.

Miami-Dade State attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has concluded that Aledda was more than 150 feet away from caretaker Charles Kinsley. Two other officers were about 20 feet away and did not feel threatened.

According to a press release, Aledda was not even close enough to be in the position to assess the situation and shoot.

Prosecutors have been discussing this for months and confirmed that Aledda’s shots were unjustified.

Many people believe that Aledda shot the wrong target and was trying to shoot the autistic man because he believed he had weapons and was a threat to Kinsley.

This case is resurfacing, but is very confusing. Why did this cop shoot this man and was there a valid reason?

He should be charged for no reason, because essentially he shot an innocent man and he was too far away to even see what this man was doing and if he was a threat.

The news media have covered this in a very interesting way because there is no way of telling exactly what happened.

Some people think that the police officer was just protecting himself, but other people believe that it was way more than that and it should be an influential case in the black lives matter movement.

Pair accused of ordering hit man


A couple in Houston allegedly hired a hit man to kill their ex-partners. Talk about a fun couple activity.

The hit man was an undercover police officer posing as a hit man.

On Monday, a judge set bail at $50,000 for 48-year-old Valerie Busick McDaniel. He denied bail for 39-year-old Leon Philip Jacob who was already on bail for assaulting and stalking his ex-girlfriend. He and McDaniel were both arrested on Friday.

The couple remained in jail for the whole weekend and will stay much longer in jail if convicted.

The Miami Herald reported this week that “the couple are charged with solicitation of capital murder. Prosecutors say McDaniel wanted her ex-husband killed, while Jacob sought to have his ex-girlfriend kidnapped and later killed to prevent her from testifying against him in the assault case.”

Investigators with Harris County District Attorney’s Office Special Crimes Bureau had found out that Jacob had already planned to kill his ex-girlfriend and was willing to pay someone $10,000 to do it.

The undercover cop who was posing as a hit man met with Jacob and during the meeting, McDaniel came in and said she would also pay $10,000 for the hit man to kill her husband.

This is crazy to hear. People hear horrible stories about relationships, but not necessarily to the extent of killing a previous partner.

It is very interesting that this case has news media coverage in Miami because it occurred in Texas.

However, this is a unique case that has a lot of issues with it. It could even be noted as a semi-famous case because it deals with so many issues.

High school students stabbed in Utah


A school stabbing occurred at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah, injuring five students, who are all expected to survive.

It happened just before 8 a.m. in the boy’s locker room. The five students and the suspected attacker were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Inside the locker room, police say a 16-year-old straight-A student with no record of disciplinary trouble had attacked his classmates with a knife as they changed into their gym clothes.

Students were in shock and fear after the gruesome scene that they just saw. Police reported that the blade used was three inches long.

The 911 recordings were released from the police. One caller told dispatchers: “There’s someone at Mountain View killing people! He’s stabbing people! He’s stabbing people!”

Another woman called about a student in the attendance office with wounds to his neck and that another victim was on his way. She said, “We just need some help.”

The parents of the suspect later posted a letter apologizing for their son’s horrific actions and insuring everyone that the attacks were not racially or ethnically motivated.

“We are at a loss to express how deeply sorry we are for the pain and injury caused,” the letter said.

There were no indications the suspect was having problems or being bullied, so police are still investigating if there were any motivations behind these attacks.

Right after the attack, the school went on lockdown for about an hour until the police were able to decide that the school was safe. School then resumed normally, but some parents took their children out of school that day.

The school plans to investigate if the student’s actions were caused by anything that could have been addressed or stopped beforehand.

The news media addresses topics like this because a school stabbing is something that is not seen everyday, so when it happens people want to hear about it so that they can make sure that their loved ones that are in that area are safe and pray for anyone that was injured in the process. Anything that has to do with younger children is usually newsworthy because it appeals to the emotional side of audiences.

Kardashian robbed at gunpoint


Kim Kardashian, reality star and fashion guru, was robbed at gunpoint in Paris over the weekend.

Police reports stated that five armed men dressed as police officers forced their way through the hotel where she was staying, and forced the concierge to show them where she was. The concierge was tied up, and left underneath a hotel stairwell.

The armed men broke into Kardashian’s apartment and stole $11 million worth of jewelry, and tied her up in the bathroom before they made their escape.

Kim’s publicist has said that she is “badly shaken but physically unharmed.”

Kardashian’s husband, Kanye West, was in the middle of a show when he heard of the news and immediately left the stage to help his wife.

She was alone in the apartment as her body guard accompanied sisters Kourtney and Kendall on a night out.

Kim is now back in the United State, she took a private jet first thing Monday morning. The family has over doubled their security since the event.

New York City blast raises questions


On Saturday, Sept. 18 at 8:30 p.m., one of New York City’s most popular neighborhoods, Chelsea, was rocked when a bomb exploded.

The first blast was believed to be the result of a home-made, pressure-cooker, flip phone and Christmas lights. Another bomb that looked similar to this was found on 27th Street but did not detonate. Officials say that these bombs were intentional and appeared designed to create maximum chaos and deaths.

These bombs were filled “fragmentation materials.” The bomb that exploded at 23rd  Street was packed with small bearings. The bomb that did not explode appeared to be filled with the same materials.

On Saturday morning, a bombing took place in New Jersey at a marathon for marines. In New Jersey, three pipe bombs were tied together, placed in a trash can and also employed a flip phone as a timing mechanism.

“There is no evidence of an international terrorism connection with this incident,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday, but many experts believe it could be international terrorism.

Experts proved that the explosive material was similar to a compound called tannerite. Tannerite is made by combining ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder and has hardly been used in improvised bombing strategies in the United States. An expert on unplanned explosive devices used by terrorists worldwide said that a device constructed as intricate as this one indicates a higher-than-average competence than what people in the United States can create.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged for the Saturday night blast in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, an explosion in Seaside Park on Saturday morning and a foiled bomb attack Sunday night near a train station in Elizabeth, NJ.

Rahamj’s most recent address is in Elizabeth, NJ. This city is where investigators discovered five skeptical devices, one which exploded near a train station on Sunday night.

Rahami had been on the radar of federal agents two years ago, when his father told the police that he suspected his son to be involved in terrorism. They checked him for almost two months and said that he was not a terrorist. Now, the FBI says he is a terrorist. After Rahami was captured during a shootout on Monday, the police found a notebook with a bullet hole in it. The notebook expressed jihadist beliefs, and wrote of killing the “unbelievers.” It also praised Anwar al-Awlaki, once Al Qaeda’s leading propagandist who died in a drone strike in Yemen.

Rahami is linked to 10 explosive devices found in the region. The investigation of whether he worked alone, or was part of a terrorist organization is still ongoing. They believe he worked alone.

It is important for the news media to cover stories like this because terrorism and public safety are huge topics today. The United States is going through a period of time that terrorist attacks are happening at least once every few months. Bombings are important for the news media to cover because the public wants to know what is going on and if people are safe or were killed because of these attacks.

Brock Turner’s ‘welcome home’


Brock Turner, former Stanford University swimmer and convicted rapist, has been released from county jail after serving just three months of his six month sentence.

Many people have expressed outrage and hate toward the 21–year-old who was given an easy sentence (you can thank Judge Aaron Persky for that). However, his small Ohio hometown isn’t letting him forget about the horrific crime he committed.

As Turner returned home to Green County, Ohio, his street had been lined with angry protesters who held signs that said things like, “If I rape Brock Turner will I only get three months?” and “Protect survivors, not rapists.”

According to CNN, County Sheriff Laurie Smith isn’t happy about the rapist’s short sentence.

“He should be in prison right now, but he’s not in our custody,” Smith told reporters outside the county jail.

Turner’s easy sentence was just the start of a tough life he will live, the life he deserves. He was required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He is not permitted to live within 1,000 feet of a school or playground and a letter to notify neighbors within 1,250 feet of his home will be sent out.

As a huge portion of the United States focuses on the awful assault this college boy committed, an equally large portion continues to reach out and send strength to his victim, who remains unnamed.

His victim has shown strength since Turner’s trial, and issued a very powerfully written letter to her rapist, the jury and most importantly the rest of the world.

You can read the letter on CNN’s website. You might need a box of tissues, though.

Deadliest terrorist group in world is?

If you asked most Americans to name the deadliest terrorist group in the world, the response you would most likely receive would be, “ISIS, of course.” That response is actually wrong. ISIS is not the deadliest terrorist organization in the world.
Boko Haram, an African terrorist group, is the deadliest terrorist organization in the world. Americans are unaware of an issue that plagues millions of people. Why is that?
It is no secret that the news media is biased. That bias also extends to international news. ISIS is constantly in the news media because they attack the West. Boko Haram kills more people than ISIS, but most Americans have never even heard the name of the group because the group does not affect the West. But does the lack of attacks on western lives make the information any less valuable? Millions of lives lost is a problem, whether they’re westerners or not.
Boko Haram has appeared in the news media this week as a past story has resurfaced. Two years ago, gunmen associated with Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of girls from a boarding school in Nigeria. For two years, the girls were not seen or heard. This week, a video, proving that some of the girls are still alive, surfaced and was shown to the families of the girls. The emotional meeting and viewing of the video caused the name of the terrorist group to make headlines, a rare occasion.
To me, the issue here is lack of education. There is no reason why news media should avoid covering Boko Haram when it is the deadliest terrorist organization in the world. Americans rely on the news media to educate the public on what’s important. At least being able to identify such a massive terrorist group is important, whether that group is here in the West or overseas.

Texas case serves as safety reminder


While I was trying to catch up with the weekly news, as I usually do during Sunday’s night, it was impossible not to read about a terrifying murder of an 18-year-old University of Texas student.

Haruka Weiser, a first-year theater and dance major, was last seen leaving the drama building Sunday night and was found dead two days’ later near the area of Waller Creek on campus.

The same information about the case could be found among all the different news media channels, even the same video was shown in order to help the police to identify the identity of the suspect.

Many emotional details and sentimental quotes about Weiser were attached, however, none of them provided family comments about the situation.

ABC News did a great job providing a timeline specifying how the events unfolded, according to the arrest affidavit.

The story ended up in the best way it could. On April 8, the police department announces that the killer, Meechaiel Khalil Criner, “had been taken into custody and charged with first-degree felony murder.”

This is not the first time a student has been killed. This is not the first time we read this type of news and this would not be the last time we get this type of sorties hitting front page because we are not doing anything about it.

Personally, I hate reading about murders, I don’t like the way in which news media  address the topic. We don’t need to know whether the victim was wearing her mother’s bracelet or if she had plans to meet with someone that night; those are personal matters that, in my opinion, should remain personal.

It is important for people to know about this cases, but it is even more important that the same medium provides alternatives of how to prevent them. A perfect story after telling the event’s facts would be to give tips for university students or even a story challenging the University to become involved to talk about its security measures.

Even though we may be used to this type of news, we also have the power to ask for a different approach, a better approach, a more useful approach.

Sandy Hook victim father up for awards


Saxophonist Jimmy Greene has endured tremendous grief ever since his daughter, Ana Marquez Greene, 6 at the time, was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings back in December of 2012.

Greene continued by composing music and an album, “A Beautiful Life,” to honor Ana.  The album is up for two Grammy Awards this year: best jazz instrumental and best arrangement for vocals, as these are his first two nominations.

The nominations are a huge honor for Greene, but he wishes his daughter was there to see it.

According to ABC News, Greene said, “There is not a day that goes by that doesn’t have tears and just incredible sadness, … Music is a language in and of itself and it’s a language for me that kind of picks up where words leave off.”

It was not always easy for Greene to continue playing the saxophone.

“So the process of making the music, it was fraught with tears and a lot of pain, but it was a necessary expression, just like talking is a necessary expression.” Greene said, in a report from CBS News.

His time and effort towards his saxophone playing has helped Greene cope with the loss, as he has continued to do what he loves the most and that is to perform.

The 58th annual Grammy Awards will take place this Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Mexican crime reporter found dead


Mexican journalist Anabel Flores Salazar was found dead on the side of a highway Tuesday after being abducted from her Veracruz home in the early morning hours Monday.

Salazar, who reported crime for the Mexican newspaper El Sol de Orizaba, was found naked and bound in the state of Puebla, according to the Puebla Attorney General’s office.

According to Salazar’s aunt, who witnessed the abduction, the kidnappers entered the home with an alleged warrant for Salazar’s arrest.

The death reports that followed are unfortunately the norm in many countries outside of the U.S. According to CNN, Salazar was one of 11 reported journalist murders in the Veracruz state within the past five years. Regrettably, that number doesn’t include at least 10 other Mexican journalists who have gone missing or whose murders remain mysteries.

Although Mexico boasts a special prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression, the very fact that such a thing exists in the country is evidence that major changes need to be made to protect journalists’ rights.

It is the 21st century and freedom of speech and the press should be a fundamental right for all journalists worldwide, let alone all people, without fear of persecution.

This request may be difficult to make a reality given Mexico’s longstanding crime and corruption and it’s impossible to keep journalists safe from all harm, but it should at least serve as some motivation to take action.

It’s an extremely sad day for the world as a whole, when a person is killed for doing her job courageously and attempting to uncover the truth.

Major changes needed to be made for reporters in more dangerous countries, and how to make those changes will be an even more strenuous undertaking. But, as of now, justice will come only when the Mexican government convicts Salazar’s killers and develops a system to more fervently protect its reporters.

Seeking truth in the Middle East


My grandmother believed that we, the people of the “technological era,” are very fortunate. “You have access to every piece of information you want, INSTANTLY!” she said and she was right. What she didn’t notice was that sometimes the news media build a completely wrong image of something and mislead millions of people.

Sadly, this is a common problem when reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict. We have to admit it is a very difficult thing to understand, but that can’t be the excuse to portray inaccurate and misleading information.

It seems as a routine, anywhere in the world the news of a terrorist attack is always on the victim when the terrorist attack is in Israel news is about the terrorist dead.

CBS News report on Feb. 3, 2016, wasn’t an exception. “3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on,” read the distorted headline, without mentioning that they were killed after attacking and killing a 19-year-old female officer.

Although they were shot dead at the scene as a matter of defense, readers of the news site will surely think Israel is at fault of the death of three “innocent” men, who were actually terrorists.

After causing a storm on Twitter and thousands of complaints, the headline was changed to: “Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers.” That’s definitely a better headline for the story that followed it, but it was insufficient to satisfy the police narration, which stated that the Palestinian men planned to use guns, knives and explosives during an attack near a holy site.

Surprisingly, this time, other news sites recognized for posting anti-Israel news, such as BBC, had neutral headlines: “Israeli border guard shot in Jerusalem attack.”

CBS didn’t issue any statement or response over the headline, however, the unsatisfied readers accomplished their goal victoriously and opened our eyes to make us realize that if the news media can’t choose the side of facts, we can make sure that the true story is told.

Use your voice!