Category Archives: Assignment

“Daily Mirror” Continues to Face Phone-Hacking Allegations

Posted by Beth LeValley

Mirror Group Newspapers, Britain’s biggest newspaper group, has been under question for articles that could include information gathered from phone-hacking. While the last three years it has been denying these allegations, it has recently confirmed that phone-hacking was involved in former stories.

Piers Morgan was an editor at Daily Mirror from 1995-2004, when these phone-hacks would have been present.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

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Ted Cruz: hypocrite or lawful American citizen?

Openly religious president candidate (R) Ted Cruz once spent 21 hours filibustering ObamaCare. So, when the Cruz family adopted ObamaCare recently, media controversy was inevitable.

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Serial Podcasts: A New Medium for Journalists?

Photo courtesy of flickr user Patrick Breitenbach

Photo courtesy of flickr user Patrick Breitenbach

As people drive around in morning rush hour traffic, they are probably twisting the car radio’s knob.  One man is trying to listen to music; a woman is struggling to find a traffic update.  Radio consists of both entertainment and news.  Is it possible to blend the two?   Considering a new podcast called “Serial” attempts to blend journalism and storytelling, it seems to be a possibility.

Sarah Koenig, a reporter and a creator of the podcast, made “Serial” as an attempt to re-investigate the 1999 murder of high schooler Hae Min Lee.  Adnan Syed, Lee’s boyfriend, was convicted of killing her and was handed a life sentence in prison.

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We don’t have a great idea of how the midterm elections will turn out, and that’s fascinating

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In case someone’s mailing address is “Under A Rock, USA,” I’ll just take this opportunity to remind everyone that midterm elections will be held on Tuesday. If you’re a political junkie, this has been a particularly exciting election season, with Republicans fighting to take control of the Senate and Democrats fighting to keep it. There is a very distinct possibility that both parties end up with 50 seats out of the 100 in the Senate, and for those without a horse in the race, that’s probably the most exciting and fun potential outcome.

As the election draws near, I’ve found myself spending more and more time analyzing polling statistics to try to predict what might happen. There are tons of polling sites online with new data to peruse each day, and tons of other sites that will analyze those polls to death.

This is what is interesting about elections: The only way we can accurately predict what will happen is by asking people what they think will happen. I can’t think of any other situation that the news media might cover that is so reliant on people’s opinions. For example, meteorologists have dozens of forecast models they can use to predict the weather. Sports have more statistics to analyze than most sports analysts know what to do with. Elections? We’re helpless without opinions.

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#GamerGate: Attacking Gamer Girls or Saving Ethical Journalism?

by Sydney Schulte

Photo courtesy of Marco Arment via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Marco Arment via Flickr

The real world can be a nasty place for people. For some people, escaping reality for a few hours in a video game may give them some peace of mind.  But as the online movement #GamerGate spews anonymous threats to opposition via social media, the virtual worlds of video games might become even worse than reality.

#GamerGate gained momentum when independent game designer Olivia Quinn released a free game called “Depression Quest.”As a non-traditional game with a more “choose your own adventure” feel, “Depression Quest” received mixed reviews. Some critics weren’t sure if it was a video game or just a new form of storytelling. Some gamers felt this was not a game at all; others saw it as a possibility to change the face of video games. This potential change is the main argument of the #GamerGate controversy.

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Hillary Clinton: the Playful Bitch, or Gender in Political Journalism

by Hilary Abrahamson

MSNBC host Chris Matthews recently made headlines when he referred to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as “playful,” “girlish,” and “youthful.”

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton, photo courtesy of Mark Nozell / Flickr

Journalists (specifically male reporters) commenting on the “feminine” personality traits of female political candidates is nothing new–the only thing notable about Matthews’ comments is that they were a refreshing change of pace, since people are a little more used to reporting on Clinton being referred to as masculine, a shrew, or “the stereotypical bitch.”

Clinton isn’t the only female politician to face this kind of gender-specific scrutiny. During the 2008 elections, Sarah Palin was subject to much commentary on how attractive she was.

This Saturday Night Live skit in 2008 mocked the way that media were representing female political candidates during the election. Continue reading

Pathway to Citizenship Guarantees an Uphill Battle

Citizenship Uphill BattlePosted by Bianca Olvera Lopez

The 844-page Senate Immigration Bill includes new border security measures, changes to the current legal immigration system, and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.

In a recent article, Immigration reform: The 1986 amnesty vs. the 2013 path to citizenship: How they compare, Rojas states unauthorized immigrants who qualify for legal status under the Senate’s immigration reform proposal should expect a 13-year path to U.S. citizenship. Which is interesting because according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immigrants who are in the U.S. legally, face a six to nine months path to citizenship under the current laws. But whether it’s 6 months or 13 years, the process to gain citizenship is difficult.

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