A New Type of Journalism

By Bria Dickerson (JAC 310 assignment for Prof. Waltz)

New age journalists are changing the narrative on how people view the news. Though journalists are still writing stories and submitting them to newspapers; some journalists are taking an uncommon path to tell stories using "non-traditional journalism."

Today's non-traditional journalists can share stories through podcasts, on a YouTube channel, or through social media. These new and innovative platforms are freeing journalists to find a new route to share stories.

"Non-traditional journalism to me is finding a way to tell stories and communicate information using techniques and mediums that are fairly new and were not popular a couple of generations ago," said Jeremy Price, the Senior Editor at Next Big Idea Club.

Price, who considers himself a non-traditional journalist has experienced firsthand what it is like to use an unconventional way of telling stories.

At the Next Big Idea Club, Jeremy is responsible for interviewing authors, writing scripts for video content, and curating content to post for the company's website and app.

"Non-traditional journalism was a gradual learning process," Price said. "You can write, report, or make videos about anything on the planet that interests you. That is all within the scope of non-traditional journalism."

Because of the growing assortment of media, jobs in the traditional newsroom for a newspaper company are evolving into jobs in the digital media field.

From 2008 to 2019, newsroom employment dropped by nearly a quarter, from 114,000 to about 88,000, according to the Pew Research Center.

Meanwhile, employment in the digital native news sector has doubled, from 7,400 workers to 16,100 workers in 2019.

One reason is the loss of advertising dollars from newspapers.

"Facebook and Google are sucking up all the ad dollars," Price said. "Newspapers are going to struggle. We are going to see a lot of closing of local newspapers."

New journalistic media companies, such as Vice, have extended their content to different platforms, like HBO, Vice Magazine, and Vice's website. But the company still struggles to bring in revenue in an ever-changing industry as it seeks a new business model for news.

To ride this new wave, journalists should not only write well, but also know how to edit a video, design a graphic for Instagram, and record audio.

"Media and journalism are changing so quickly there is an increase in demand of people who can do it all," Price said.

Though this is a growing field and opportunities abound takes time to break through.

In this field, journalists have to build their portfolio before a big opportunity can break. Taking smaller risk projects as a freelance writer/ producer will prove to bigger companies that an up and comer is the right journalist for the job.

All this comes with a price. Or hardly a price at all. Non-traditional journalists usually get paid little for their efforts at first, unless they can find a company to sponsor them.

"When I was working for the rock band website, I only got paid $100 for about 12 stories," Price said. "But it did build my resume."

Being a journalist in this day and age calls for flexibility and being able to find your own niche as a journalist, but most importantly, a storyteller.

"In order to be a successful journalist, you must have a high tolerance of risk and failure," Price said. "But also, you must be curious and indulge in that curiosity.

Waffles are Better than Pancakes

By Camille Birdsong (Assignment for JAC 310, Prof. Waltz. Family members interviewed with permission of professor.)

Waking up and smelling the wonderful scent of breakfast that wafted into his room, Marcus ran downstairs to the kitchen. Sitting at the table, he eagerly waited for breakfast to be served. His mother was holding a large plate of something that smelled rather delicious and made Marcus's mouth water. In front of him were three perfectly golden, round, crispy waffles drizzled with warm maple syrup. Marcus's eyes shimmered with delight; this truly would be a delicious breakfast unlike the soggy, floppy, and slightly undercooked pancakes from last week.

Waffles have been around for a while in the USA, but you've probably heard of Belgian waffles too. Even the "Belgian" waffles that are sold in America aren't the same as those found in Belgium. In fact, according to The Buyers Impact, they're a combination of a few varieties that are popular in towns across the country.

Waffles are usually made in a waffle iron which gives them their distinctive cut and shape, with large square ridges and indents. The Buyers Impact says that Belgian waffles were first introduced to America in the 1950s and 1960s when Walter Cleyman (Belgian of course) began showing them at two World Fairs, first in Belgium and then in Seattle.

Waffles were a hit at the Seattle World Fair and Cleyman sold over 500,000 servings in that expo alone. He eventually created his own waffle house in Seattle after the show finished (maybe that's where Waffle House came from?).

Now, I know what you're thinking, "Pancakes are just as good!" Don't get me wrong, I love pancakes too, and I know they have a rich history (not a rich flavor, however) but waffles are special. Something about them makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Whereas pancakes don't provide the same warmth.

"Waffles are just pancakes with abs when you think about it," said Cristina Birdsong, a member of the Birdsong household.

If there is one thing I know, is that Ms. Cristina Birdsong is always right when it comes to food. Waffles simply are superior and boy, do those "abs" pack a punch.

Take the square waffle for example. According to PopSugar, with its compact squares, the waffle's texture allows for peak topping storage. If you wish for your butter and maple syrup to stay put, then just drizzle them into the waffle's squares and they'll stay in place.

Pancakes are better at soaking up syrup, yes, but I would rather not have soggy breakfast food, and that's what pancakes become after just a short while. With waffles, I am all for those crunchy little squares holding foods like chopped nuts and berries in place. But with pancakes, those tiny things will just fall right off the stack (and maybe onto the floor).

Both plain pancakes and waffles are a little sweet and bready, but according to Chowhound, waffles are more so because they have more butter and sugar in the batter. Plus, they get more caramelized during cooking, so they taste richer and more pastry-like. Doesn't that sound fancy?

Sadly, pancakes can still taste raw and bitter in the middle when not quite cooked through--but even when they're perfect, they're still a bit blander before bringing in the toppings.

Of course, you can't forget about versatility. Waffles win in that category too. When it comes to sweetness, with butter and syrup or whipped cream and berries, waffles are equally matched, but remember that pancakes still have the soggy factor. Both can have extra flavors like gingerbread and vanilla. You can mix things in from chocolate chips to blueberries and beyond, so I'll give pancakes a point too.

But it's the flavor profile that is unmatched. This is mostly thanks to their texture, which––whether they're cheddar waffles, sourdough waffles, or basic buttermilk––can stand up not just to the timeless fried chicken, but even chili or cream gravy. If you're wondering where you find those types of waffles, try your local diner, but if you do, hold on for dear life.

They also make better sandwiches than pancakes do. Want to make a PB&J with waffles instead of bread? I don't, but you can because the glorious waffle will hold your fillings right where they belong.

Lastly, waffles are portable. Well, at least some types are. For example, Eggo waffles are a staple in American households because you can put them in a toaster and eat in on the go. Pancakes: do I even need to ask?

Waffles are amazing and so are pancakes. I enjoy both and I'm sure you do too. Although, its evident that I like one a little bit more than the other. I don't think anything could beat waffles. Except for crepes, but I am not ready for that conversation just yet.

Opinion: There should be no deadline for women’s rights

By Sydney N. Shuler

Type "Women's Right's 2019" in Google, and the first three results consist of new forms of internet violence against women, a victory over child marriage in Tanzania and the fact that women's rights are still not explicitly recognized in the United States.

The last search result summarizes a more than 200-year-long battle of American women fighting for equal rights by trying to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. Abortion laws, the #MeToo Movement and the first female presidential candidates have brought the amendment back into coffee houses and dinner conversations. The state of Virginia may hold the key to a society where men and women are finally equal under the law.

Virginia's transfer of power from Republicans to Democrats on Nov. 5 changed history forever. When federal judges drew a new House of Delegates district map that revised the boundaries of more than 26 districts, many House races in the state were more equally paired than ever before, which gave Virginia citizens the opportunity to vote for representatives likely to pass the ERA.

Virginia lawmakers did just that Jan. 15 by voting 59-40 in the house and 28-12 in the Senate to pass the ERA. Women wearing sashes saying "Equal Rights for Women," some with their daughters, looked down from the gallery, anxiously anticipating their equality. The measure was ratified Jan. 27.

When American women's rights activist Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923, she said, "If we keep on this way, they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 [Seneca Falls] Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are...," according to EqualRightsAmendment.org.

Almost 50 years after Paul spoke those words, Congress passed the ERA in 1972, which declared that the rights affirmed by the U.S. Constitution are held equally by all citizens without regard to their sex. When the amendment fell eight votes short of the 38 votes necessary to ratify the amendment, Congress extended the deadline to 1979, and again to 1982. Once the second deadline rolled around, the ERA was only three votes away from ratification. From that day, conservatives who fought against equal rights declared the ERA dead.

After 15 years of sitting in the same place with the same number of votes, two more states voted to ratify the constitution via the ERA. Now, Virginia's vote may unite 168.3 million women in the U.S. with their equal rights to men. The next step is an extended legal fight to enforce the amendment in light of questions about the legitimacy of five states rescinding their ratification and the expiration of the deadline.

How is it that women have been fighting the same civil war for 200 years and there has not been more urgency to be equal? When Alice Paul first proposed the ERA, conservative female groups like the Concerned Women for America and the Eagle Forum feared that the ERA would threaten traditional gender roles, family and child-rearing and feared that women would lose their exemption from the draft and combat duty.

During World War II, women had no choice but to become equal to the men who left to fight in the war. America welcomed women with open arms in to the workforce in all aspects: politics, juries, math, technology, manual labor, and other male-dominated areas. Inequality returned when the troops returned home in 1945 after the war's end, and women reassumed their prior roles as "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen." When Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election, outlets such as CNN Politics and The Atlantic published opinion pieces stating that America was afraid of female leadership. Peter Beinart, a writer for The Atlantic, wrote, "Given the anxieties that powerful women provoke, it's not surprising that both men and women judge them more harshly than they judge powerful men."

After Clinton's unpredictable loss, the general public was convinced that the United States was not socially ready to trust a woman in the White House. Female members of Congress such as The Squad – consisting of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – make it clear that the issue with women who lead is not necessarily in the way that they lead, but solely in the fact that they are women. If you were silenced for 200 years, wouldn't you come out swinging, too?

Once again, the question occurs – this time more bluntly: how is it reasonable to wait 200 years for a group of people to be ready to properly acknowledge another group of people?

The women's rush to the work place during World War II should have been enough indication that women are ready and willing to step up and be equal. With little preparation and training time, women managed to take the places of their fathers, brothers, uncles and husbands to keep the economy afloat, all the while caring for their families.

The idea of women has expanded far beyond a pretty face and a pay gap. Women are an active and necessary demographic in America's economy. According to Catalyst.org, women make up 46.9 percent of the U.S. workforce and still only receive a pay of 68 cents to a white man's dollar.

Each state asked to ratify the ERA is home to a percentage of the 168 million women in America. Each of these states maintains a responsibility its people, thus women who are fighting for their rights. The stagnation of the ERA is the result of a society tightly gripping its control. American women are not having it.

Photo courtesy of www.EqualRightsAmendment.org