Jayson Blair

I’m sure many of you have never heard the name “Jayson Blair” before. The first time I heard about him, I was a junior in my spring semester here at BU. The due date for the first installment of my research paper was coming up, and my Social Foundations of the Mass Media professor, Dr. Magolis, was talking about citing sources and how to avoid plagiarism. The name Jayson Blair came up, and most of the class didn’t know who he was. I think Dr. Magolis was a little bit surprised that we had never heard of the man who committed one of the most serious and famous cases of plagiarism the journalism world had ever seen.

In 1996, Jayson Blair started out as a journalist, later to become the editor-in-chief, of the school newspaper, The Diamondback, at the University of Maryland, College Park. During his time as editor-in-chief, Blair’s integrity was questioned when a report that four serious errors were made in reporting (Jayson Blair). In November of 1999, Blair became a reporter at The New York Times.

In April of 2003, just three years after Blair started working the the Times, Jim Roberts, national editor of the Times, called Blair questioning him about similarities in a story he wrote and one written by Macarena Hernandez of the San Antonio Express-News (Jayson Blair). This lead to the an in-depth investigation into the 27-year-old Times reporter. According to JaysonBlair.com, “In the initial investigation into Blair, an incredible 36 of the 73 national news stories he had written since the previous October were found to be suspect. When the investigation was widened to the approximately 600 articles he had written over four years for The Times, yet more problems were encountered.”

Not only was the integrity of Blair compromised, the integrity of the New York Times was also in question. Blair was forced to resign from the paper.

In the aftermath of the fallout, Blair wrote a memoir entitled, “Burning Down My Master’s House” as well spoke at numerous conferences to discuss the incident. Even after all the wrong that he did, Blair was still getting paid for the book and the speeches.

Jayson Blair is a prime example of why you shouldn’t plagiarize. What started out as simply adding a false quote turned into something much much more. Plagiarizing is never worth it.

Wedding Guest Wardrobe

Okay, who doesn’t love a wedding?! I think it’s safe to say that no one would pass up the chance to go to a wedding. It’s the perfect time for romance, dancing, drinking (for those of age ;]), and, of course, fashion!

I will be attending my cousin Jay’s wedding in April. He is getting married to his high school sweetheart, Julia, at the Plymouth Meeting Country Club. So, like any typical girl, I have been looking for an outfit since they got engaged last spring! Nevertheless, styles have already changed since last spring. I thought I had a dress picked out, but I definitely need to go shopping for a different one.

Of course I’ve turned to Pinterest to help me find the perfect dress to wear asa wedding guest. Pinterest makes it easy. All I need to do is type “wedding guest dresses” into the search bar and endless options pop up. Not only does it show dresses, Pinterest also gives options for shoes and accessories!

It’s literally the easiest way to shop! I’ve found a few options for dresses for the wedding, but I haven’t been able to find the right sizes. Here are a few of my possibilities:

Generally, I like to wear black, white, and grey, so I figured I’d try to add some color to dress things up a bit. I really need to figure out which dress to chose, but Pinterest makes things so much easier for me! Pinterest really is a girls best friend. If only each clothing item went directly into your closet when you press “pin”!

The Pentagon Papers- Courtesy of Newseum

When I first heard about the Pentagon Papers, I was taking a Media Law & Ethics class. The class dealt with the First Amendment which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (US Constitution Bill of Rights).

During the late 60s and early 70s when much of the United States was protesting being involved in the Vietnam War, President Nixon was telling the country his plan to get out of Vietnam. However, when Daniel Ellsberg discovered the Pentagon Papers, officially called the Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, he believed the Nixon administration was not to be trusted and the public must know the truth (Pentagon Papers). In 1971, Ellsberg released the confidential government documents to the New York Times who published the papers on the front page. The President ordered for a restraining order to be issued to stop further publications of the New York Times. After a judge agreed, Ellsberg gave the papers to the Washington Post. The same thing happened again. The most read newspapers in the country went to court saying the restraining orders went against their First Amendment rights of freedom from government abridging the press. The supreme court overturned the ruling and ruled 6:3 in favor of the press (The Pentagon Papers).

This was the first time in history that anyone, including the government, tried to halt the printing of the press. The case about the Pentagon Papers shows how important freedom of the press is. Daniel Ellsberg felt that the public needed to know what was going on regardless of the fact the papers were classified. This case forever changed the press.

Video courtesy of Newseum.

Walter Cronkite, the Most Trusted Man in America

Known as the most trusted man in America, Walter Cronkite helped solidify CBS Evening News as a credible news source during his 19 year stay as a news anchor. Even though he was an anchor for almost two decades, Cronkite didn’t start out that way.

In 1935, Cronkite dropped out of the University of Texas to become a journalist for the Houston Post (Walter Cronkite Biography). During his time as a journalist working for Unite Press, Cronkite covered topics during World War II on the battlefield along with the Nuremberg trials. In 1950, Cronkite joined the CBS News team, later becoming the evening news anchor in 1962.

During his time as an anchor, Cronkite covered hard-hitting topics like the Vietnam War, the assassination of JFK, and the scandal of Watergate and President Nixon. Because of his lack of bias and honesty, Walter Cronkite was one of the most respected and liked news anchors in America (Top 10 Walter Cronkite Moments). I have attached a video entitled “Top 10 Walter Cronkite Moments: JFK, Vietnam, Watergate” courtesy of watchmojo.com.

Top 10 Walter Cronkite Moments: JFK, Vietnam, Watergate

After watching this video, I was able to see why Walter Cronkite was such a respected and credible man and news anchor. The world lost a great man in 2009 after Mr. Cronkite died in his New York home after falling ill with cerebrovascular disease (Walter Cronkite Biography). He set a very high standard for news actors today.

Guilty Pleasure

Everyone has their fair share of guilty pleasures, wether that be a tasty over 100 calorie snack, a jump-on-the-bed-sing-into-your-brush girl power rock anthem, or a luxurious lavender scented bubble bath. Well, my guilty pleasure is pretty simple… I LOVE TRASH TV! I consider reality TV to be the trashiest of all, and currently, one of my favorite reality shows is Vanderpump Rules.

Vanderpump Rules is a spin off of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It follows a group of young and sexy wannabe models/actors working as waiters & waitresses in Lisa Vanderpump’s chic LA restaurant, Sur. One of my favorite aspects of the show isn’t the drama and the fighting, it’s actually the fashion. In my opinion, Stassi Schroeder has the best sense of style out of the cast. If I had more than $14 in my bank account, I would definitely spend money to dress like Stassi!

How, you may wonder, does Stassi do it? She always looks so fabulous! Well, Stassi can tell you herself in her very own blog. Stassi started as a writer for Pandora Vanderpump’s blog, The Devine Addiction, but now has her own blog, Stassi Schroeder. In her blog series on The Devine Addiction, Style Diaries, Stassi explains how mixing high end pieces with less expensive ones can make for a beautiful wardrobe. She also adds prices to each piece and where you can find it. If you really love fashion and styling, I suggest you check out Stassi’s blog!

Sorority Recruitment; The Best Time To Rock Your Style!

Everyone has their own idea of a sorority girl. Ever since Legally Blonde came out, people perceive sorority girls as blonde, stupid, and “loose” with boys. As a sorority girl myself, I can say that these stereotypes are so wildly incorrect. Yes, there are always a few girls or sororities that perpetuate those stereotypes, but I find sorority life to be much much more than partying and making out with a different boy every night.

I’ve been a member of one of Bloomsburg’s local sororities, Theta Tau Omega, since spring 2011. One of the things that I’ve found about sorority girls is that we have a pretty awesome sense of style! And I’m not talking about our every day attire which includes leggings, some form of letters (t-shirt, sweatshirt, spirit jersey, etc.), sorority rain jacket, and Uggs. We all look pretty fabulous at mixers and other social events, but my favorite sorority fashion time of the year is definitely during recruitment season!

Bloomsburg’s Greek Life is a little unconventional compared to other universities in regards to recruitment, so I will only speak about what I know. Every sorority on campus picks a rush theme. Rush themes are important because they show potential new members what each sorority is all about. This is definitely the time to get creative with your personal style! This year, my sorority, Theta Tau, has decided to do an Alice in Wonderland rush theme. Our tank tops are purple and say “Welcome to Wonderland” in gold foil letters. The back reads, “You Would Have To Be Half Mad To Pass Us Up”. And don’t worry, it’s covered in glitter, because why wouldn’t it be?!

TTO Spring Rush Shirt

You Would Have To Be Half Mad To Pass Us Up

During bid’s night, the night the rushees reveal which sorority bid they chose to sign, the members of each sorority get dressed up in some pretty awesome outfits! I already have my outfit picked out for February 20th but its top secret!

Many people criticize sororities for many different reasons, but if you could be in the ballroom on bid’s night, you’d see some pretty amazing things coming from Bloomsburg’s greek life (crazy trendy fashion being just one of them)!

Woodward & Bernstein

On June 18, 1972, a story that would uncover one of the most famous political scandals broke in the Washington Post; The Watergate Scandal. Five men were arrested on June 17, 1972 for breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s office at the Watergate facilities in Washington, D.C. Two reporters for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, investigated the break in and later uncovered President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the scandal.

According to the Web Exhibitions at the University of Texas at Austin, Woodward and Bernstein were unable to connect President Nixon to the five burglars until they got a big break from an anonymous source which they called, Deep Throat (The Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers). Thanks to the information reported by Woodward and Bernstein from Deep Throat, President Nixon, along with much of his administration, was found guilty. Nixon knew impeachment was undoubtedly going to be his punishment, so he chose to resign on August 9, 1974 (Richard Nixon Wikipedia). In 2005, Deep Throat was exposed as “William Mark Felt, Sr., the former deputy director of the FBI” (Watergate Scandal Wikipedia).

Social media did not exist in the 70s. The general public had to rely on information from reporters like Woodward and Bernstein and newspapers like the Washington Post to get their information. Many skeptics questioned wether or not the information in Woodward and Bernstein’s articles were reliable. According to the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers, after Nixon’s dirty laundry was aired and his involvement was confirmed, the Washington Post received the Pulitzer Prize.

The case took many years before everything was finally uncovered. I believe that in today’s day and age, a scandal as big as Watergate would break much much sooner. With social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook where things can be posted so quickly at any time of the day, scandals could be broadcasted much quicker than in the 70s. I find it interesting to think about how different the Watergate Scandal could have ended if it happen in 2014 rather than in 1972.

Kerner Commission Report

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Kerner Commission to investigate the race riots in cities such as Detroit and Los Angeles. Race riots started happening in 1965 in predominately black neighborhoods due to tension from the Civil Rights Movement. According to Wikipedia, President Johnson set up the commission to answer three questions: “What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again and again?” (Kerner Commission).

After seven months of investigation, the commission found that the riots stemmed from unrest for “lack of economic opportunity” for blacks. The federal and state government was to blame. In the 426-page report, the commission states, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white– separate and unequal” (Kerner Commission). With unequal housing, education, and service opportunities, the black race felt frustration and that the government was failing them. The media, the commission found, was also to blame. The report states, “The press has too long basked in a white world looking out of it, if at all, with white men’s eyes and white perspective” (Kerner Commission).

Although these were strong reasons for black unrest, the main cause of violence was due to racism by the whites. The commission suggested that by creating new jobs and housing, and ending segregation would help ease the tension and bring a better environment to all of those who live in the urban areas (Kerner Commission).

After the commission was published, President Johnson ignored suggestions made in the report. After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April of 1968, more riots broke out in hundreds of cities across the country.

Many critics believe the report was unsound because it took the blame and responsibility off of the actual rioters. In my opinion, I think both the government and the rioters are to blame. Even though there was lack of help and support for blacks by the government, riots were not the answer. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. chose to seek reform peaceably. However, I don’t think that rioting will ever stop even with all the help from the government. Almost 25 years after the riots of the 60s, there were huge riots in Los Angeles after the acquittal of four police officers accused of assaulting a black man, Rodney King. Race and racial equality is a very sensitive subject to most people. It has been and will continue to be a difficult issue to figure out.

All information about the Kerner Commission Report came from the Wikipedia article, Kerner Commission. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerner_Commission