Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What We're Reading: Current Events You Should Care About

Over the last few days Mass Media uploaded several current event podcasts to mediamachine14 (see below). In light of these podcasts, the Mass Media class would also like to share what we’ve been going over in class and the stories we find important, and why those articles should be important to you too.

Photo by Reuters

#1 Israel-Palestine: Listen to the mediamachine14 podcast about the conflict here, recorded and edited by Mason McNulty, Sami Nardone, and Molly Gibson. As the situation has developed, some of the information you hear may have changed between its upload date. As of 12:06 on July 15th, 191 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,400 have sustained injuries. It's important to note that most of the casualties are on the Palestinian side because of Israel's "Iron Dome" technology, which essentially blows up Hamas' rockets in the air before they can do any damage. The tension in the Middle East between the two nations has gone from bad to worse in recent weeks, and following the topic is important, because situation is ongoing and new information is released everyday. To keep up with new information as it is released, check out CNN’s homepage and keep an eye on the "Breaking News" section in the top left for updates.
 Evgeniy Maloletka, Associated Press

#2 Ukraine-Russia: Another ongoing story that has been brought up a lot in class is the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Mau, Peter, and Franklin covered this in their podcast, uploaded on Thursday last week. The Ukraine story’s nature is similar to that of the Israel and Palestine conflict in that new events are constantly occurring as rebel fighters continue to clash against the Ukrainian government. With the President of Ukraine ending the cease-fire order a few weeks ago, the Ukrainian army is taking the fight to the rebels, capturing several cities in the eastern part of the country. With pressure from several international entities to stop hostilities and reach a compromise, the situation has slowed down but quickly picked up again, so it's important to stay informed. This may seem like far-off and foreign news, but the United States plays a fairly large role as the mediator between the two nations. Keep up with the Ukraine conflict Mass Media suggest checking places like CNN or BBC Europe.

Photo by Associated Press

#3 NSA and Edward Snowden: Last but not least, a more nationally centered story has occupied our time in Mass Media. This week’s unit on censorship produced robust discussion about the NSA and its dealings in information (hopefully not enough to get us put on a list though!) and lives of American people. With Edward Snowden releasing new information about NSA activities every few weeks--the most recent being about which countries the NSA “can’t spy on”-- people are becoming more and more aware of what exactly they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Basically, the NSA can mine troves of information about you through a government court called FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), where all the judges are government appointed. While this might sound like a good system of checks and balances, the FISA court has only denied 11 requests in 33 years. When almost 34,000 requests are made in that same time, the court seems kind of pointless. 
The National Reconnaissance Organization has also come under fire for their choice of a giant space octopus devouring North America and the slogan “Nothing Is Beyond Our Reach” to represent their newly launched surveillance satellite. In this age where everything we do is online, many people are upset and afraid of what it means that “Big Brother” could be monitoring and recording our every move. One saying that has come out of this ordeal is: “Are you listening? Because we [the NSA] are.”
Stay up to date with NSA and Snowden by following The Guardian - the news outlet Snowden leaked to - on their website and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Emmet! Great post! You did a really nice job of including three huge, and super relevant, topics in one post. You were efficient in your writing, and made it really easy for any viewer to follow along and understand the conflict. I appreciate that you tied your post to other things we've done in this class (shout-out to my group's podcast was really thoughtful) and I think it encourages your viewers to consume more of the information we give.
    Great job, thanks so much.