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Social Media as the ‘Sky Falling Moment’

8 Dec

Click, click, click. The sound of typewriters is long gone. Today, neither writers nor journalists use these machines. The only people interested in typewriters now are antique collectors. Taking a break and looking out of the window for a moment of inspiration is no longer a part of the writing process. One’s gaze used to focus on nature. Today’s social media world pulls our attention onto the floating screen with commercials, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates. Newspapers are converting into electronic versions, and today’s journalism and communication graduates are about to enter a very different, fast-paced media world.

To communicate, almost everyone uses email and a cell phone. Landlines and letters are uncommon. People today depend on electronic devices, especially in times of crisis, when information can be easily accessed. Social media has become the new trend for journalists. Many news organizations use Twitter to inform the public.

This major industry change reinforces the importance for new graduates to be familiar with social media when applying for jobs in journalism. Some graduates wonder: will traditional journalism slowly disappear, just as the old-fashioned typewriters? And if this is the case, what is it that students, companies and educational institutions can do to prepare candidates for the industry? Continue reading

Being Undocumented

23 Nov

In one October day, Sarah Radmer realized that her goal to represent the University of Washington’s undocumented students would be a very difficult task. Sarah is a university of Washington student who is majoring in Journalism and Public relations. Prior to becoming student at the UW Sarah admits to having been a person who didn’t pay close attention to the immigration situation in the U.S.

“I passively followed the various stories about immigration legislation and the Dream Act. But I followed it in the same way that you read a news story about a car accident. Read. Digest. And move on,” she says.

She became interested in this issue when in one of her Journalism classes Sarah was introduced to the work of Jose Antonio Vargas. His story was published in the New York Times on June 22, 2011 in which Vargas, a working journalist in the U.S., described his status as an undocumented immigrant. Since then, Vergas travels to different states to tell his story. He does it to promote global awareness and to start a human dialogue about the problems attached to immigration in the U.S.

One of his stops landed him at the UW, where he visited Sarah’s class as a guest speaker.

“I have never listened to a speaker and felt more guilty. Because not only was I so ignorant of the situation, but also because I was unaware that I had been sitting in a classroom for nearly a quarter with students who had stories very similar to Vargas. I walked out of that lecture hall feeling so much more appreciative of my own citizenship status,” Sarah says. Continue reading

The Controversy Between The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and The Local Cheesemakers

9 Nov

There are two types of cheese lovers: the first kind buys cheeses prepared with Raw-milk ingredients and the second kind buys cheeses that have passed the Pasteurization process. Luckily for both types, these cheeses can sell well in different markets worldwide. However, for years there has been an ongoing disagreement between government agencies and local farmers in different states of the U.S. in regards to what is best for the overall public health.

(Photograph by Simona Trakiyska)

Many of the Raw-milk manufacturers argue that dairy products should be consumed naturally, without any pasteurization. Local Raw-milk farmers and supporters highlight the important benefits of consuming Raw-milk, some of which may include the reduction of existing allergies and the disappearance of eczema. Consumers and retailers also believe that Raw-milk products are naturally healing and that the pasteurization process harms the milk’s delicate structure making it completely distorted and no longer nutritional.

In the Raw-milk community, many wonder how come the import of European cheeses continues, but local farms are being shut down. Continue reading

“The Immigrant In Us”

5 Oct

(Photograph by Hilmi Calis)

I grew up in Europe and I now live the Pacific Northwest. When I left, I was uncertain about many things, but most importantly if I would fit. I understood that in order to find a sense of belonging I needed to “self-identify” within the new cultural space.

I realized that in order for me to have a balanced life, I needed to accept the new cultural norms and I needed to stop thinking if I would be accepted or not. The adjustments were difficult, and they seemed to be an unavoidable part of my new life.

I remember, I used to introduce myself as Mona, knowing that it was easier for the “others” to pronounce my name. A world traveler, an American, once told me: “Don’t ever change your name.”

Continue reading