“An island imperiled; As their home melts, Greenlanders confront the fallout of climate change” By Denise Chow News Comments

Reporter and editor at NBC News MACH, Denise Chow, reports on the effects that climate change is having on Greenland. Chow begins the article with a specific thunderstorm that scared the people of Greenland, for they never have such storms. She then incorporates Greenland civilians’ stories of what it was like when they were kids versus now, what businesses are beginning to look like with the environmental change, and even what Greenland may look like in the future. 

Chow unpacked a lot of information within her news story. I noticed that she started and ended the story with the same Greenland woman’s quote, first quoting about “when [she] grew up…” and then ending with how she wishes people would be aware of “how much it means for [them] to keep [their] culture”. This added a lot of credibility and unbiased content from the author, showing how scary it is that the snow is melting. She also incorporated the hardships that the climate change is having on small businesses that depend on the ice, giving readers another reason to care about the issue at hand. I think that with as many details that the story included, the lead seemed very vague and general, so readers had to actually read if they wanted to know what the article was about. 

Quick Reflection over Article #1

I put a lot of my effort into writing and revising the lead and first couple of paragraphs in my sentence that regard to Morningside’s tradition of “survivor night”. I wish I would’ve spent more time looking for articles and sources that could help effectively support or add information to the story, I just knew there would be little to none about Morningside parties so that discouraged me a bit.

The most difficult part of the process was choosing multiple articles and quotes that could fit in with what my story was about. My story was more specific to Morningside College and because it’s a smaller and more reserved school, there were no articles relating to the parties that take place on campus. So, I had to instead use articles that referred to different police in Iowa that would most likely be following the same guidelines as Sioux City Police and other Iowa colleges that may have seen consequences ensue from partying. I also used an article referring to the possible consequences of police busting a house party, according to attorneys. 

The biggest problem I encountered when writing this article was the switch form general Iowa marijuana laws to the campus specific parties caused me to have writers’ block a few different times. I would have a good idea of how to transition and then I found myself not being able to execute it that well. I solved this problem by writing paragraphs I knew I wanted to include and going back through to add transitions that may make the story and information flow a bit better.

Article #1 Final: Morningside students are surprised when Sioux City Police show up on “Survivor Night”

The weekend before fall semester classes began, Sioux City Police patrolled the Morningside area, seeming to be aware that students were planning to participate in “survivor night”.

Photo found: https://siouxcityjournal.com/sioux-city-police-patrol-car/image_6e4f3f06-90c1-5bc7-a3f7-231fb79d3f38.html

“Survivor night” is an end of pre-season tradition where multiple off-campus houses host parties throughout the weekend. These parties were meant to celebrate the survival of pre-season conditioning and practicing before the semester begins for the college students. 

“It’s a weekend where we can just relax and enjoy the time we have with our newfound friends on our sports’ teams, a break in between a stressful time of conditioning and practicing every day that turns into classes and homework as well as preparing for seasonal games,” an anonymous source said.

Typically, the athletes wanting to take will choose a date that is two or three weekends before school starts, ensuring only pre-season athletes would be in attendance. Some students were shocked to learn that this year’s gaggle of parties were planned to happen only days before the first day of classes. 

With it being that close to the start of the school year, many who were not a part of a sports’ team and already on campus for pre-season, attended these parties, almost doubling the size they would have originally been.

One reason the amount of people attending the parties that weekend was unexpectedly high could be that Morningside welcomed the third-largest freshmen class in the last two decades, according to a Morningside press release. This increase for sure bumped the party attendance up quite a few notches.

The number of students attending the multiple off-campus parties was the leading reason police were able to find the parties so quickly. They were quick to follow students who were wandering the streets at late hours of the night. The police weren’t looking to make any arrests but they did want to ensure that students saw their active role in the community.

In fact, News 7 KWWL reported that police in Dubuque, Iowa, did this same thing by going out at the beginning of the semester “not to just bust parties, but rather to talk with students… about practicing safe habits this school year”.

This seemed to be the same goal Sioux City Police had in mind when they went out.

Although they knocked on doors and stopped students walking around at night with back-packs, police decided to give students simple warnings instead of handing out fines or arrests, one anonymous student said.

“They said that if we were not 21, we just had to dump out the alcohol and then we could be on our way for the night,” said the source. “But, they warned us that this would not be the case for every weekend.”

One attorney’s office, Worgul, Sarna, & Ness Criminal Defense Attorneys, warns of the consequences that ensue when a house party is busted. Police will bust a house party due to complaints, but they usually can’t enter the house unless they suspect illegal activities. Drunk teenagers outside of the house can be enough cause. If found to be partaking in illegal drugs or drinking when you’re a minor, serious consequences most likely will occur that align state guidelines and consequences.

“Scientists Find Water Vapor on the Most Habitable Exoplanet Yet” by Daniel Oberhaus Comments

According to Journalist Daniel Oberhaus, a team of astronomers from University College London announced Wednesday that they detected water vapor in a “super-Earth” planet outside of our solar system. According to their findings via the Hubble Space Telescope, this planet is the only planet outside of our solar system that has the correct temperature to support water has an atmosphere with vapor in it. The astronomers do not believe life, or even liquid, could be found on the planet but it does have one of the criteria required for a habitable exoplanet. 

This article was extremely long and repetitive of what the proper title of this planet should be. It was too lengthy in the format of each paragraph, making it hard to stay focused since there was so much text on the screen. I did not like that the author’s name was not up by the title but instead placed at the bottom of the story, along with a short bibliography of him. I also found the headline misleading. Before reading the article, I thought maybe they found a planet with life on it, which would be major news, but as I began reading I soon realized that the planet just had a characteristic needed for a habitable planet. It did have an interesting topic that included a rare finding, though, so the story itself was definitely worth writing about.

“A young swimmer was disqualified after a race for how her swimsuit fit her body. The outcry led to a reversal” by Ryan Prior Comments

 Journalist Ryan Prior reports that on Friday in Anchorage, Alaska, a high school swimmer was disqualified because of her swimsuit. She swam and won a heart during the meet, but an anonymous race official said her swimsuit shifted and showed too much of her rear. Since no one had made the disqualification before she swam in the meet, the “heavy-handed and unnecessary” disqualification was tossed out. The high schooler’s mother called it sexual harassment because the school-issued swimsuit only shifted because of the girl’s body type. The director of sports for the National Federation of State High School Associations brought out a diagram of “Appropriate and Inappropriate Female Suit Coverage” that the mother called outdated, representing a 1950’s swimsuit style and model.

The most interesting part of this article was the fact that it was chunked with titles, like you see in textbooks. Every time it introduced a new idea, like the mother believing it to be sexual harassment or the diagram being brought into the argument, it would have a centered title that introduced the idea. This made it easier to transition and understand the shift. Prior wrote a story about a girl in Alaska but because it involved a conflict that might be relatable for people all the nation, it was newsworthy. High schools deal with dress code problems everywhere, so I think that reporting on an event that not only tells a story but also offers the solution to that specific situation. 

“Boy, 12, survives ‘freak’ trampoline accident after metal spring shot into his back ‘like a bullet’” by Madeline Farber

Reporter Madeline Farber describes how a 12-year-old boy from the United Kingdom was jumping on his family’s trampoline one day when a metal coil from broke off and shot into his back. Jamie Quinan was quickly rushed to the hospital, finding out there that the coil was only centimeters away from his spine. With Jamie’s bravery, his parents are using this freak accident to advocate for trampoline safety everywhere. Farber points out that there were 94,000 ER injuries that were due to trampoline accidents in 2012. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents that children under six are most at risk for a trampoline injury. Jamie told Farber that he can still feel the coil in his spine, but he’s getting better and is relieved that it wasn’t worse.

To begin with, I noticed that the story covered a very bizarre topic. The article points out how common trampoline injuries are, but I have never personally heard of a metal coil popping off and impaling someone. Another thing I noticed FOXdo with this article was they used a lot of visuals, even though this story was very short and simple. It lacked background information but made that up with graphic images and pictures of the boy holding up the spring in a heroic manner. 

“Plattsmouth Water Plant Resumes Operation After Being Battered by March Flooding” by Nancy Gaarder Comments

Journalist Nancy Gaarder explains that one of the five wells in Nebraska, Plattsmouth’s water plant, is once again operating at full speed. It supplies 7,000 people in the area with drinking water and since the historic flooding that occurred last March, people were having to watch their water usage and conserve as much as humanly possible. The city had people working 24/7 on getting the power plant up and running again and after three months, the city can pump 100,000 gallons more than it did before the flood. The city hopes to get two more wells up and working again, all while trying to find a long-term solution to the fixture of the water plants. 

Gaarder’s article is set up in a way that requires readers to understand the context of the flooding that occurred last spring. Though she does give the date and hints at the massive destruction it left, it does not go into any extra detail that would help readers understand the excitement and relief the article is trying to portray. The two things that really make this story newsworthy are the proximity and impact it has towards its readers. People who live in the Omaha Metro were greatly affected by the flood, so hearing of any accomplishments to recover from it allows hope to be redeemed. Nationally, it may not be the biggest story right now though, since it does only matter to the people in the area. The point of the story also impacts many people, around 7,000 people to be exact. The water plant reopening makes it so people who get water from the Plattsmouth Water Plant no longer have to closely watch how much water they use because it is back to functioning at a regular pace. It’s something that people would need to hear about in order to know whether or not they need to continue extreme conservation or not. 

“Hurricane Dorian is on Course to Hit Florida as a Category 4 Storm” by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs Comments

Journalist Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs writes about the category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Dorian, that is supposed to hit Florida as soon as Saturday evening. Because of the unexpected course of the hurricane thus far, Gov. Ron DeSantis and officials have been warning Floridians all along the East Coast to be prepared for the “catastrophic damage” it could cause. 

Bogel-Burroughs then goes on to talk about Hurricane Dorian’s impact on Puerto Rico it caused on Wednesday. Far less intense than Hurricane Maria, residents still rushed to stock up on supplies and to calm their nerves through the mental health hotline due to the difficult memories they have from two years ago. Last year, federal and local emergency managers announced a technologically advanced emergency alert siren downstream of the Guajataca Dam. Unfortunately, they have not yet granted themselves the permits required to install the alerts so they could not use it to warn residents about Hurricane Dorian. 

The hurricane also unexpectedly hit the Virgin Islands, but luckily it spared them horrific devastation. A lot of people haven’t yet recovered fully from the drastic damage Hurricane Irma caused so once they learned that the hurricane was headed their way, anxiety increased and they had no confidence in what they did restore. 

Reading this article instilled great empathy within me for Florida residents. I feel like the East Coast was just now getting back on their feet from the last hurricane that left them in devastation and now they have to scramble to get supplies and face yet another hurricane. Even though Bogel-Burroughs mentions that it will be far less intense than Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane is named for a reason; because it’s memorable. Being in the Midwest, we only understand coastal storms through television and the internet. Unless we, of course, go to the coast to experience one.

This summer, my parents and I took a road trip down south to New Orleans. At one point, we were tired of the tourist town and wanted to see some outskirts of Louisiana. We ended up driving to a little town next to the ocean that looked abandoned, yet still lived. It was hard to see but it gave me a new perspective on how lucky I am that I’ve never had to endure such a tragedy. 

My hope for Hurricane Dorian is that people gain a sense of urgency, understanding that climate change has affected how sporadic hurricanes can come. Puerto Rico hopefully realizes how helpful that warning siren could’ve been if only allowed themselves the permits to set it up. People should be preparing for the worst, if they are choosing not to evacuate.

“America’s Prisons Owe Their Cruelty to Slavery” by Bryan Stevenson Comments

In this article, journalist Bryan Stevenson mainly blames the cruelty and violence that occur in America’s state penitentiaries on our long history of slavery and racism. Stevenson makes the point that the treatment of prisoners is largely due to the segregation and racial laws that emerged right after the emancipation of slavery. At the time, if a black man just tried to challenge the “racial hierarchy” that was established by society, he could be punished by either the “law or by [being lynched]”. Stevenson compares this to the same type of dyanmic we see today between cops and African Americans. “Driving while black” is a very familiar phrase, only one of hundreds that demonstrate the idea of African Americans being arrested for non-crimes due to racial injustice. Because of these laws that targeted one group of people, African Americans became the leading race of prisoners in the United States. The harsh punishments that followed them into the prison systems modeled slavery-type work. One particular prison, Angola, even began using cotton field work as a form of punishment for its inmates.

      I believe that our nation is indeed founded in racist ideals and no matter how hard we try to move away from the path our four fathers paved, we still have a lot of time before we reach the place where racism isn’t a daily occurrence. Generational opinion differences have helped a great deal in changing how people think and act towards others, but that does not mean it is all fixed. Throughout the years, police brutality has continued to grow. Those in power, such as police and political personal, still feel as if they’re subject to treating others poorly. The only way we can fix this, is teaching future generations the wrongness of racism and reminding them of America’s history.

“Report on Racism, But Ditch the Labels” by Keith Woods Comments

In the Code Switch article, “Opinion: Report on Racism, but Ditch the Labels”, Journalist Keith Woods discusses with a few colleagues the use of the word “racist” and when it’s appropriate to use it in a published article. He points out that no journalists were calling President Trump out when he tweeted that Mexicans were rapists and perverts after he had just been elected but now, since he attacked four congress women, news sources are up in arms. The question of whether this reaction was because it was aimed at specific people or because they specific people have a powerful office position was also posed. The main idea they wanted to get across to their audience was that it is not the responsibility of journalists to deem something as “racist”, but the responsibility of the public. Journalists only do the reporting of what the public say and how they react.

            I do agree with Woods that the term “racist” should hold some kind of standard when it is being used to report on something, so then actions would be judged in a way that is easy to stay consistent. I think that this whole article and NPR talk was honestly not a relatable subject for the audience, though. These days the word “racist” is used so casually. You hear kids say things like “That’s racist” to another kid who says he likes the black crayon more than the white crayon. Yet, when it comes to respectable journalism, the practice of using correct terminology is still important because people’s opinions are easily influenced by others’ words. I believe other candidates can be guilty of using “racist language” but the President is held to a higher standard, being an influence to literally all of America. The main thing I took away from this is article was that journalists report on the issue, quoting what the public believes but are also people too, who can make mistakes when there are no boundaries already set.