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1.16.16

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The original article, “A new initiative targets children of opioid addicts” was written by Sacha Pfeiffer for the Boston Globe. A new program in Massachusetts has been implemented to assist children whose parents struggle with opioid addiction. Funded by the government, the program will finance multiple services, including nutritional, nursing, and educational assistance on a weekly basis to families residing in New Bedford. The program, which is an initiative of the Federal Early Head Start Program, aims to prevent the negative effects on child development that are often attributed to parental drug addiction. This article possesses the characteristic of (geographical) proximity, as far as a sizeable portion of the Globe’s readership is concerned; the initiative is local, and therefore newsworthy, as it is “close to home”. The article also possesses the characteristics of both impact, as well as magnitude. It is impactful, as, according to Pfeiffer, opioids are responsible for killing over 130 people monthly in Massachusetts alone, causing harm to children (of addicts) in the process by way of birth defects, developmental disabilities, and neglect. These facts alone emphasize the need for the program (magnitude), as well as its potential for impact. The article also implements the characteristic of prominence, as it tied in Governor Charlie Baker’s 2016 approval of a law that placed stricter controls on opioids.

Globe Article Review 4.11.17

Laura Krantz’s Globe article, “At UMass Boston, courses abruptly canceled” is about the university’s sudden elimination of 20 classes for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. Krantz uses quotes from a history department chairman, an economics professor, a university spokesman, the director of the mental health graduate program, and the chairman of the American Studies department. I think it would have been valuable to hear from some of the UMass students who were negatively impacted by the class cancellations, in order to get more of a perspective from those directly affected. Additionally, I think more input from professors who may have been responsible for teaching the courses that got cancelled would have been interesting. This article seemed to focus more on the reasons for the action, rather than who was impacted.

“Other summer and fall classes appear to have been canceled in economics, history, and computer science, according to professors in those departments,” is also somewhat of a vague assertion. It would have been nice to get some direct quotes from said professors, rather than mentioning them briefly and passively.

Globe Article Review 2.4.17: Laura Krantz

Laura Krantz’ Globe article, “Growth spree has the UMass Boston Campus in a bind” examines the contributing factors leading to UMass Boston’s unfortunate current financial situation, as well as their impact on the school as a whole. Krantz does a great job of providing background information, including construction projects that ran over budget, more students, more professors, etc. I especially liked the focus upon current students who are being affected by the budget cuts. I think it may have been more helpful to provide more information regarding why the school chose to pursue these expansion projects with the knowledge that they would create debt. The quote from Phil Johnston is good, but I was curious to know a bit more.

Another article written by Krantz, “UMass Boston was warned of financial crisis years earlier” focuses on the warnings of Ellen O’Connor, former vice chancellor for administration and finance pertaining to the  impending (at the time) financial crisis. The quoting throughout the article from the memos sent by O’Connor provided quite a bit of helpful information, and made the story more interesting, in my opinion. I especially liked “There is no room for bad news, and we are so tight in this forecast that there are no reserves to absorb any bad news,” the memo said. “This is not a solid game plan,” as I thought it really captured O’Connor’s sense of urgency pertaining to the school’s financial state. I think that perhaps the tidbit about O’Connor being fired probably should not have been included, as it is somewhat speculative considering it did not come from a campus official.

Finally, Krantz’ article “Pressure mounts on public records law” talks about governor Charlie Baker’s office’s exemption from public records laws. Overall, I thought it was pretty interesting, but would have liked to know a little more about the “Lambert” case and how/why it exempts the office.

 

Globe Article Review 3.27.17

Akilah Johnson’s Globe article, Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one, does not provide as much analysis from actual teachers as I feel it should, according to the assertion that principals and teachers are most knowledgeable about what occurs in schools. The article begins with a statement from the district’s superintendent, who is obviously credible, but may not know as much about the impact of the new maps as an actual teacher would. There is also some analysis by Vernon Domingo, a geography professor and member of the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance. His input is helpful in contextualizing the information contained in the article, but again, fails to contribute a perspective of someone who is actually impacted. Only one actual teacher, Casey Cullen, is interviewed. I think the ratio of teachers to other experts featured in this article should have probably been more equal, as to give readers an idea of how the maps would be used, or the opinions educators have on their implementation.

Event Story

Students explored the motivations behind volunteerism at Northeastern University Thursday at part of a program to encourage dialogue on campus.

 

The “Philanthropy and Voluntourism” event was hosted by Open Narratives, a student group that leads discussions on various social issues and concepts.

The goal was to explore the motivations behind charitable acts and to answer the question; “Is it okay to do good things for the wrong reasons?”.

 

The event began with participants reflecting on their experiences volunteering for charitable organizations.

 

Attendees discussed whether it is acceptable for people to engage in charitable causes for selfish reasons.

 

“If you’re doing the work that needs to be done and the tasks that are asked of you … I think it’s completely fine,” said Joseph Newmann.

 

There’s so much that needs to be done and so many people that need to be taken care of

…so as long as that’s happening, I think it’s okay. I have met a lot of people that have gone volunteering with me who did it for social reasons that didn’t actually make that big of an impact or make an effort, so I think that’s where the harm is.” said Danielle Shayani.

 

 

Members of the group also addressed the issue of engaging in volunteering for the purpose of learning a particular skill.

Many attendees agreed that it was ok to lean a new skill if plan to use it to help others in the future.

 

A large component of the discussions centered around the moral correctness of the use of community service as a punishment (namely for a crime, or as a form of academic discipline). Read out loud: rewrite for clarity

 

“I don’t think it should be a punishment [for disciplinary infractions], I think it should be a requirement. If you do something bad, it shouldn’t be “Oh, you have to do ten hours of community service”, I think every high school kid should just have to do those hours,” said Shayani.

 

Members also touched upon the reasons as to why individuals fail to engage in volunteering, which multiple participants identified for the most part as lack of time, and the fact that peers are not interested in volunteering.

 

The event concluded with a call to action; The group’s president urged attendees to offer kindness to those in need, to acknowledge, rather than ignore, homeless individuals in public places, and simply to help others in any way possible.

 

Adin Vashi, president of Open Narratives said the goal of the event was to

get conversation going, rather than debating right or wrong or specific fact.

 

“ It’s all about your own personal experience, what you’ve learned, and in the end the most important thing, more than anything else, is gaining perspective, learning about what other people have gone through, because that’s the most insightful and enriching thing,” Vashi said.

 

 

Globe Article Review 3.21.17

The nut graph for Jaclyn Reiss’ Globe Article, Chicken & Rice Guy’s Downtown Crossing location officially opens; “The store, which replaces Cheeseboy at 280 Washington St., was slated to open in late January but appears to have officially opened on Monday. The store had a soft opening this weekend before a “grand hatching” Monday, according to a Facebook event.”, transitions effectively from the lead, but does not necessarily offer much information in order to sum up the article. The article goes on to mention the reasons as to why the opening was delayed, which is a central part of the story and could have probably benefitted from being included in the nut graph.

The nut graph in Felicia Gans’ Globe article, 17-year old Roxbury teen charged in Boston’s first homicide of the year is as follows: “Authorities say Tykorie Evelyn, 17, shot Khisean Desvarieux, 19, near a Roxbury community center on Jan. 9. Witnesses at the time said they heard about five shots, and one man said it sounded “like the 4th of July.”.” This is a great summation of the article, as it includes the fact that the charged individual was a teenager, the location of the crime, the date, and the name of the victim. This is further elaborated upon in the remaining part of the article. No pertinent information was left out of the nut graph in this case.

Finally, the nut graph in John R. Ellement’s Globe article, Arrest made in murder of Worcester Woman; “The body of Sandra Hehir was found in her Congress Street apartment Feb. 5, and authorities later said she had been strangled. Jose Melendez, 54, of Worcester, is charged with her murder, and the Worcester district attorney’s office said DNA recovered from the crime scene had connected him to the case.” covers the central point of the story quite well , but the information about the DNA evidence doesn’t seem very relevant in terms of the information that follows. Overall, the fact that it includes information about the charged individual as well as the victim makes it effective, in my opinion.

Globe Article Review 2.28.17

The article “Is violence a contagious disease,” written by Felice J. Freyer, exemplifies the focus style.

The focus lead, “Kynndal Martin was lying on the couch, still sore from the bullet that tore through his calf a few days before, when a woman arrived,” provides an anecdote about one particular individual that is later brought up again in the kicker.

The nut graph transitions to the focus of the story, the organization Cure Violence.

The kicker is somewhat lengthy, returning to Martin’s needs, and finally, his prospects for a job in the future.

Globe Article Review 2.21.17

The Globe article, Lynn clinic works to bring tuberculosis out of hiding, by Felice J. Freyer is an example of the use of the focus style.

The story begins with the focus lead, multiple anecdotal paragraphs about Antonio Frias, a Lynn resident who was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis at the Lynn Community Health Center, with mention that he may have it since before he left the Dominican Republic multiple decades ago.

The story then moves on to the nut graph, which transitions from the focus lead into the body of the story by detailing the story’s newsworthiness; a $1.5 million grant was recently awarded to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that will allow for an expansion of the effort to identify and treat individuals infected with tuberculosis before they become ill.

The body of the story explains the large amount of individuals, like Frias, with latent tuberculosis, the danger that these cases could become active, not only causing harm to the victim but potentially spreading TB to others, the high cost of treating active TB in relation to the comparatively lower cost of treating latent TB, and Lynn Public Health Center’s plans to use the funding to bolster its TB testing and treatment.

The kicker, however, does not relate the body of the story back to Frias directly, but rather, back to immigrants in general, mentioning that most immigrants in Lynn come from countries where TB is endemic. It may have been more valuable to add another small anecdote about Frias, in my opinion.