Fall Hits Brooklyn Campus

From a hot and very humid and sticky summer season, to the mild days and cool nights. Eventually we will reach my personal nightmare. Snow … and ice. Then back to cool, and finally to my favorite, back to summer!

However, according to Scientific American  the coming of the cooler weather is needed for our decision making! Hot weather canIMG_2099.jpg impair decision making, or even lead one to shy away from making a decision at all. The research (in detail on the website) suggests that warm weather impairs the ability to make complex decisions. As the weather begins to cool off complex decisions will become easier to make.

My fears lay with the winter season. Snow and white covered roads. Bone grinding cold weather. Face stinging wind that is unforgiving. Does this change our mood? Again, on Scientific American it shows that although there are those that struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the site suggests that after scientific research, SAD can be avoided if one is sure to get plenty of sun light. IMG_1714 2.JPG




The Hard Workers and Their Fight

Every year on Labor Day, Americans are reminded of the hard fight that laborers fought to obtain fairness and safety in the workplace. Before the fight, the job of a laborer sometimes was plagued with long hours at 12 hours a day, very little pay, no insurance, and sometimes faced workplace dangers that could lead to death.

However with the rise of unions, muckrakers to spread their story, and voices in government that were willing to listen, the laborer is now protected with over time pay, minimum wage, offered health insurance, and in some states offered sick pay. A look back before the rise of labor rights takes one to before 1920 into the industrial revolution, which started (in America) just after the country won independence from the British and through the 1800’s. For a full reminder of the deplorable and often dirty, polluted and forgotten laborers, one should read this article on the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California website.

President Obama penned a letter on Sept 4, 2016 to honor and remember those that represent the hardworking peoples from the past and present. “At the beginning of the last century, American workers came together to fight for dignity and justice in the workplace. They stood up, marched, and raised their voices. … These hard fought victories because the cornerstones of the greatest middle class the world has ever known.” The full letter can be read here.

Obama then reminded the working men and women of America how important Unions are to laborers and using them as tools to have their voices heard. “As union membership has fallen, inequality has risen. It’s not hard to understand why. Americans in unionized jobs still make roughly 26 percent more than their non-union peers.”

Along with Labor Day, J’ouvert and the West Indian Day parade was celebrated in Brooklyn on the 5th of September this year. J’Overt meaning “daybreak” is celebrated in many countries located throughout the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, even though this occasion is a fun and happy celebration for those celebrating their Caribbean/West Indian culture, the parade is shrouded with back thoughts around the violence that has been displayed at the event in recent years. ABC News reported that this year the New York Police Department had doubled the number of officers for the parade after Carey Gabay was shot last year. Gabay worked for the Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York State and was deputy counsel of the state’s economic development agency. Gabay was shot in the head while two street gangs exchanged gunfire during the festivities last year.



The Changing Media Landscape

“The disruption of the traditional business model has led many in journalism, especially those who have worked at newspapers, to questions the future for journalism. Don’t be one of them.” Mark Briggs offers this quote to point out that the changing technological landscape isn’t bad for journalists, its great!

In regards to the changing media landscape, and how traditional journalism is changing and evolving to meet today’s technological standards, Mark Briggs offers his perspective of hope. In his book Journalism Next he argues that journalism is a constantly evolving medium and that today’s changes are very reflective of the journalism from the early 1900’s, when there were many small news papers with very few reporters as each one. Journalism reached it’s height in the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, but is now facing change again, and will always experience cycles.

Journalism intermingling with technology and using technology as a tool is only in its infancy. “The future of journalism can and will be better than its past,” Briggs records Richard Gingras saying. Gingras was the former CEO of Salon.com and now works as head of news products at Google. Gingras offers wise words to help make sense of the rough transition traditional journalism has had with technology, “There’s a large amount of transformation to get from here to there. The culture of innovation is not a luxury…it must be part of an organization’s DNA.”

Setting aside the worries that plague traditional journalism, the tools that are available for journalists to deliver to their readers continues to grow everyday. Snapchat is now considered a serious medium to deliver news everyday, along with Twitter, Vine, Periscope and Facebook Live. Unfortunately, from this author’s perspective, Periscope has yet to be used in the manner that it could be and it is a tool that is currently very undervalued in the journalism world.

YouTube is a way to deliver news to viewers so they can watch it on their own time. Another thoughtful use of current technology is Reuters TV, available as a mobile app, or on their website Reuters.tv, where viewers can choose how long they want their video to be (anywhere from five minutes to 30 minutes), and download the video to their device for offline viewing later. Original reporting still taking place with tradition journalism methods, but being delivered in an updated and modern way.

BuzzFeed of course has also garnered a lot of attention, being that they were the first full mobile news service to find a way to make profit and reach thousands of readers everyday. Their model is quite interesting, with their profits coming from click bate headlines and listicles that are quite entertaining to read. Some listicles are complete advertising schemes written in a cute manner to reach big audiences. But while some traditional journalists feared this was a great undermining of original reporting and journalism standards, BuzzFeed has taken their successful business model and started an investigative unit, and allows them to follow other efforts that are more traditional methods of reporting. An excellent article that I read can be found here:  https://www.buzzfeed.com/michelledean/dee-dee-wanted-her-daughter-to-be-sick-gypsy-wanted-her-mom?utm_term=.koAbJXBmB#.wnEa36dDd.

To come to a close, Mark Briggs has inspired me to believe that journalism isn’t dying (as many in the industry argue is happening), that the integrity of information that was once delivered via newspapers, television or radio is just now  being published on new mediums and there is much more work to do. In its infancy, there will be experimentation, winners (BuzzFeed) and losers. This is only just the beginning.