Monthly Archives: March 2012

Our duty is to write the truth

Events happen every day, good and bad, that people would like to know about, and should be aware of.

As journalists, it is our job to report these events so the public knows what is happening around the world.

“The role of a journalist is someone who remains objective, meaning that they report the news in an unbiased way, whether that news is unfortunate or not, or whether it is about one of our own,” said Jessica Prokop, editor-in-chief of The Linfield Review.

As a result, some people aren’t portrayed in a positive manner. However, this isn’t the intention of journalists; they simply dig for the facts, putting together the pieces of a story to discover what happened.

Events that put people in a negative spotlight, such as arrests, are written about daily in newspapers. The journalist isn’t placing judgment on the arrested person, but rather informing the public about what is happening in its community. Journalists aren’t out to get anyone, they are trying to tell people the facts.

There is always the occasional journalist who gets the facts wrong or who twists a story with bias. This is called libel, and a victim of libel can sue the journalist for it.

Last week’s issue of The Linfield Review featured a story about a student who was arrested for multiple charges of sexual abuse. The intent of the story wasn’t to place blame on him. The article simply told the facts of what has happened, and it therefore, was not libel.

When something happens in the Linfield community, it is our job to report it. The Linfield Review is a real newspaper, and just like any other paper, it attempts to publish any newsworthy event in our community.

Plus, The Linfield Review is  meant to be a training tool. If we can’t learn to write about serious situations now, how will we grow to be professional journalists in a world full of difficult events?

“The example I would like to point out is that The Oregonian just wrote about one of its staff who died of a heart attack,” Prokop said.

The Oregonian published a story about its own Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, 63-year-old Bob Caldwell, who died of a heart attack after having sex with a 23-year-old woman who was paid money for books and school supplies in exchange for sexual favors.

While some people may get upset about what is published, journalists can’t ignore newsworthy events because some people may get offended by what is published. It would be unethical to ignore a story simply because it may upset some people.

If one disagrees with an article that is published in the newspaper, take action by writing a Letter-to-the-editor. The Linfield Review will gladly publish all submitted letters to the editor.

Instead of complaining about an article, one should be proactive and voice his or her opinion on the matter. That is how a newspaper is supposed to work. All sides of a story are meant to be voiced.

-The Review Editorial Board

 

linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

 

Exercise can help people solve problems

In today’s world, Americans face problems such as obesity, economic competition from other countries and a struggling public education system. I have a simple solution to all of these problems: exercise!

Exercise can release endorphins, which are brain chemicals that reduce pain and stress while increasing feelings of happiness.

I know that if I’m having a difficult time working on homework, I go workout, so that I can come back to my assignment with a clear head and actually focus.

Also, people who exercise tend to have a healthier body weight and more energy. If more people in America had higher energy levels, we could accomplish more as a nation and keep up with quickly advancing countries such as China.

However, before we get to that point, America has to figure out how to become active.

Some of the major obstacles we face are our own creations. Living with all of the luxuries technology gives us makes it easy to live a sedentary lifestyle. The more technology we have, the less work we have to do by hand.

While this may speed up processes and be more efficient, as a result, people have stopped moving around as much. Not surprisingly, this leads to a country of overweight people.

However, we don’t need to get rid of these modern technologies to slim down. We simply have to set aside time for exercise.

There are the traditional forms of exercise, such as going to the gym or running, but this may not be for everyone. If you are someone who does not enjoy going to the gym or running, do not despair.

The goal here is to simply become more active. One does not have to workout at a high-intensity to enjoy the benefits of exercise.

Simple ways to become more active include taking your dog for a walk, riding a bike to the store or going for a hike.

What did you enjoy doing as a kid? Maybe it was shooting hoops or playing soccer. Enjoy those activities again.

One thing that I love to do is dance. Blast your music and dance like a fool around your room or house.

Love to play video games? Instead of always playing video games where you are sitting on your butt, invest in a game that gets you moving. If you have a Wii, Kinect for the Xbox or PlayStation Move, there is a wide variety of fun games that get you moving.

Exercise does so many good things, not only for the body, but the mind as well. If more people exercised on a regular basis, they would be happier and more confident because of a better body-image. They would also have more energy to get work done.

America may have a reputation as a country of fat, lazy people, but if we all get moving, we can get rid of that reputation.

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Meghan O’Rourke
/Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

 

Take the chance to make change

I have a lot of friends who don’t plan on voting in the coming presidential election, and it really bothers me. I believe that voting is an important part of being a citizen of any democratic country.

In this year’s Associated Students of Linfield College election, only a small percentage of the student population actually voted.

Whether this was due to poor advertising, lack of interest or something else, 22 percent of the student body is not an accurate representation of what the students want or need.

As Americans, we have a great opportunity to make change.

We get to have a say in who runs this country. We have a say in what laws are passed.

You have the opportunity and the right so take advantage of it. There are few other countries that have the privileges and rights that we do, and we should not take it for granted.

One reason that people don’t vote is because they think their voice doesn’t matter. However, it truly does.

Instead of thinking of your single vote as insignificant to the entire country’s population, think of it on a smaller scale. Every single state vote is counted, which determines the electoral vote.

If you think to yourself, “I don’t need to vote because everyone else is going to do it,” what if that’s what other people are thinking too?

Then we end up with only a small percentage of people voting. And like our elections here at Linfield, that doesn’t give a good picture of the school as a whole.

Another thing that keeps a lot of people from voting is that they don’t know anything about the candidates or the issues they are voting on.

Although it’s better to not vote if you’re uneducated, rather than blindly casting a vote, it isn’t hard to learn about the candidates.

To get to know the presidential candidates, I like to read newspapers or watch CNN. It isn’t hard to get familiar with platforms and it makes voting much easier. Most college students get their information from comedians, such as Stephen Colbert or John Stewart.

Entertainment seems to be one of the only ways to spread awareness. Is entertainment more important to our generation than the political issues that our country faces?

If there is something that concerns you, you have to do something about it. If you’re not a part of the solution, then you’re a part of the problem.

Everyone loves to complain, but if you’re going to complain, you have to vote.

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Kelsey Sutton/Copy chief
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com

‘Kony 2012’: A game-changer for non-profits

As Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russel asserts early on in the non-profit’s recent video, “Kony 2012,”  the rules of the sociopolitical game have changed drastically due to the advent of the Internet and social networks.

The rapid diffusion of “Kony 2012” highlights this observation. With more than 80 million views on Youtube and 12 million on Vimeo, it is probable that “Kony 2012” will be used as a template for organizations looking to replicate Invisible Children’s success.

Although I more than support the spirit of Invisible Children, I’m not sure whether to be encouraged or repulsed by this possibility.

I am no fan of children being conscripted for war and sexual slavery, but as a history major, I could not help but suspect that the conflict was not nearly as simple as it was portrayed in the video.

Being commanded early in the film that “the next 27 minutes are an experiment, but for it to work, you have to pay attention,” I’d expected a bit more content toward which to direct my attention.

An integral scene in the video featured Russel explaining the problem to his young son, Gavin, in a mind-boggling simplified manner. The rhetorical value of this sequence is obvious in its appeal to emotion, however its lack of content forced me to  see it as a metaphor for the shallowness of the video as a whole.

My dissatisfaction with the video led me to wonder why it has had such amazing success, which is evidenced by the fact that their action kits are presently sold out.

While I realize that the smooth graphics and eye-candy draw and maintain the viewer’s attention, part of me couldn’t reconcile the message with the means by which it was being conveyed. I just seem to have a mental barrier that prevents me from associating atrocities in Africa with dubstep and Mumford and Sons.

Rather than entertaining me with catchy music and nice visual effects, I would have preferred for the video to include more content and context for its cause.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that Invisible Children ingeniously executed “Kony 2012” with its young, Western audience in mind.

We are a generation that has grown up in an advertising-saturated world where we are constantly bombarded with propaganda, as the film itself recognizes.

While I was disillusioned by the way the message is conveyed, the sad reality is that this entertaining, sensationalist approach is what is needed to catch the attention of our generation.

As much as I am bothered by its simplicity, I have to admit that I would be completely oblivious to Kony were it not for this video.

Also in its favor,  it has gotten people talking, inspiring a broader dialogue in which Invisible Children has more than held its own against its critics. I was encouraged to find that the representative who visited our campus had solid answers to the tough questions he was asked.

That said, I can’t help but cringe at the idea that we are being marketed social justice in a way not too dissimilar from how McDonald’s advertises a hamburger.

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Nick Hahn/Copy editor
Nick Hahn can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Standford professor enlightens audience on women’s suffrage

A visiting professor from Stanford informed community members, faculty and students on how women’s suffrage has impacted the United States in the Pioneer Reading Room on March 15.

Grant Miller, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford School of Medicine, used historical information and statistics to explain how the women’s suffrage movement led to changes in voting behavior, public health spending and child mortality.

Miller began his presentation with a cartoon that displayed children marching with a sign protesting for their mother’s ability to vote.

The main focus of the lecture was whether households would benefit from the empowerment of women.

“This set of issues is not new at all,” Miller said.

Miller talked about how household hygiene was improved in a revolution called the “New Public Health.” He said that women were leading advocates for these campaigns and a large amount of public spending is linked to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Miller gave a brief history of women’s suffrage, explaining how a great number of states passed women’s suffrage laws before the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

The overall summary of Miller’s findings was that women’s suffrage rights have benefited children due to the bacteriological revolution, large changes in political voting, increases in public health spending and the decline of child morality.

Miller used archived works and statistics collected from census data to develop the results of his research.

Statistics he focused on included state mortality information, state-level suffrage dates, public finance data and annual state public finance data.

Miller found that voter turnout rose by 44 percent, public health spending rose by 35 percent, state social service spending rose 25 percent and child mortality declined by 8 to 15 percent.

“The timing of these effects lines up sharply with women’s suffrage,” Miller said.

He provided evidence of his approach to show that there were no drastic changes prior to women’s suffrage laws being developed.

Miller ended the lecture by leaving the audience wondering why the U.S. has had so much success in comparison to other countries.

“There are a lot of things to be learned from the historical side of things,” Miller said.

This lecture was sponsored by the Edith Green endowed lecture fund in honor of the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Oregon.

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Ivanna Tucker/
Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at
linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com.