Blog 4

In a recent event that took place in New Brunswick a local teen was shot for his attempt to break up an altercation between two other individuals by using a handgun to fire blank shots in order to break up the incident. With New Brunswick having many gun related incidents, family of the 19 year old Victor Rodriguez felt that the two responding officers acted with excessive force by firing first and asking questions later. Officers were said to be on a routine patrol when they heard Rodriguez fire shots, and responded quickly where Rodriguez was taken down with critical shots fired by the officers. Neighbors and family members were outraged by the fact that there was no warning given before the officers decided to take action. A family member of the victim questioned why Victor was shot multiple times and from what eye witnesses say he was even shot while on the ground. The family described Victor’s condition as fair while he recovers in the hospital with a bullet in his spine. The officers involved in the shooting have since been put on administrative leave. The incident took place only a few blocks away from another police shooting of Barry Deloatch, which had happened the September prior to the Victor Rodriguez shooting. An organized march and protest is planned for next Tuesday, Feb. 14, and will take place at 6:15 pm, the same time that the shooting had taken place.

The reporter of this article showed that they have done their research and fact finding on the story buy getting eyewitness testimonials and by asking other members of the community. The reporter here has taken an unbiased approach and talked about both sides of the party through out the article. The strategies they might have used to get their information could have been a phone call to the local PBA President to get further information about the two officers that were involved in the situation.

Links:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/family_of_19-year-old_man_shot.html

Blog 6

On February 21, 2012 the Lawrenceville Township council will meet to further discuss the crucial issue of the townships 2012 budget. In a previous meeting on February 7th council members were presented with a budget proposal, which could potentially save the township form depleting most of its surplus balance on the municipal spending this year. Township manager, Richard Krawczun, in a previous council meeting that was held on January 17th, presented the proposal with three different scenarios in order for the proposed budget to stay with in the states 2% tax increase cap. The proposal initially called for a municipal tax rate increase of $0.05 would result in an increase of taxes from $0.84 to $0.89 or use the current $4.87 million out of the $5.02 million surplus that would be needed to balance the 2012 municipal budget of $42.35 million. After projected spending for the 2012 year the $0.05 tax increase would be enough to just meet the surplus. In the first proposal presented to the council was to increase taxes an additional $0.09 on top of the $0.05 increase bringing the total from $0.89 to $0.98. This $0.09 increase would be able to bring the surplus close to $2,275,000 but since this proposal exceeds the state tax cap of 2% it would have to be voted on by township residents in a referendum that would have to coincide with the current school board election for timeliness approval. Two other scenarios proposed instead of generating the excess $2.3 million is the removal of trash collection costs from the budget. In this scenario trash collection would be assessed through a fee that would be paid by the residents instead of it being paid through taxes as is being paid for currently. The other option under the same trash collection proposal would give residents the option of selecting their own trash collection contractors. Other actions put forth on the agenda for the meeting this Tuesday are, refunds for recreation fee authorization, open space tax rate authorization, along with other orders of business. The main focus of this meeting will be the decisions on the approval for the proposed budget to be put forth to Lawrenceville residents in the form of a referendum that will be voted on during the current school board election.

Links:

http://lawrenceville.patch.com/articles/details-of-tax-referendum-other-alternatives-given

http://www.centraljersey.com/articles/2012/02/08/the_lawrence_ledger/news/doc4f29aad5de37b469488183.txt

http://www.lawrencetwp.com/calendar.html

Blog 8

Through out the years technology has been changing the way us humans go about our daily business. This has shown to be true in journalism as well where you are only limited by the technology and visions you may have. One may ask themselves how has journalism changed, in the past 10 years I have seen journalism change more and more every few months, years, mainly due to the introduction of new technologies. Journalism though has definitely changed, from what used to be a print based art that would inform of news from relatively recent events to a live updating beast that keeps up to meet the information hungry people of present. Journalism has been a 24/7 information feeding beast that would constantly push news and other things towards an audience no matter what. With increasing bandwidth communicating news and other events is almost instantaneous a task that would have taken days, months, and possibly years to produce at least a hundred years ago.

So how has Journalism changed:

– It is much easier to report news as it is happening and equally as easy to push the information to the audience almost instantaneously as events unfold with the aid of new technologies.

– New forms of journalism have arisen. journalism is no longer bound by print, radio, or television, you can now receive news on your phone, on the internet, on your computer, through social media, etc.

– Print News is decreasing more and more everyday with the move of companies to adapt to new technologies for getting their content to the intended audience.

– Almost everyone is now a Journalist, before journalists were a select group of people hired by news companies, now a journalist can be a blogger, an i-Reporter as CNN has said, essentially news is more readily available while making the job of information gathering and the jobs of journalist simpler.

– Journalists must adapt and be able to use new technologies to survive in their profession, a journalist has to be a master of many trades now days in comparison to the past where all they would do is go out, record events as they happened and return to write about them for the next issue of a paper.

With all this said I believe that journalism is headed towards higher heights as it has been doing so in the past. Independent news is on the rise there is no more influence of corporations on what journalist can and can’t say.

Blog 3

As a journalist your job is to serve the people by giving them what they need to know. Journalists basically tell it as it is, they inform the public about what really goes on in the world so it is essential to get the facts right. The backbone of journalism is fact finding, facts are what make up the one huge story for every one to digest in one sitting. Journalist basically do all the dirty work for society to bring them closer to the truths that may be hidden all over this convoluted world. Facts also show how credible a report is by being thorough with facts because it is the responsibility of journalists to be truthful which can be accomplished with multiple facts from many sources. Along the lines of fact-finding, fact and source verification is probably the biggest part of a journalist’s credibility, you just don’t assume that a journalist is making stuff up. The movie Shattered Glass is a perfect example of why you journalist do not state bogus facts and verify facts like crazy. . A great real world example is the whole Watergate scandal, which proved that fact finding and source verification prove vital in revealing what was going on inside of the government exposing the president for his wrong doing. It’s verification of facts is like a journalists works cited or bibliography, it shows that you did the work to see if your facts were valid and came from multiple sources as opposed to just one random source. Verification not only defends your facts it also helps in making your facts more accurate.

Accuracy is another important aspect of journalism, most of the time a journalist misses an important event, so to make up for this you would expect a him/her to get a source that was present at said event. Accuracy also plays into the crucial role in the truthfulness aspect of journalism, so accuracy matters a lot in journalism simply because inaccuracies leads to a misinformed and harmed society. The example set by the Watergate Scandal, and by the movie Shattered Glass, inaccurate facts can will harm a journalist reputation and credibility, the reputation of the journalists employer, and tarnishes journalism as a whole since it has violated one of its main principles of truth telling. All in all a journalist has to protect themselves from these huge aspects of journalism because if they are ignored then they have to pay the consequences of their own wrongdoing.

Links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/arianna-huffington-ignition-video_b_794107.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/

http://www.journalism.org/resources/principles

An evening with Senator Frank Lautenberg

Lawrenceville, N.J. – An all American man, words that describe a man with over 30 years experience dealing with the men and women of Capitol Hill, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg exemplifies the qualities of an experienced and successful American.

The native New Jerseyan graced Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ with his presence on Wednesday night, April 11, 2012. The event concluded a series of political speakers brought to the University by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics.

The senator was born in Patterson, NJ in what was a semi-impoverished home with a father that worked the silk mills of Northern New Jersey. Seeing the tough hand his parents were dealt, Lautenberg learned the vital key to success is a great education, a lesson not only learned by his family’s financial state but by the words of his father encouragement. Lautenberg recalled the time when his father had taken him to his workplace to essentially teach him a lesson so his future could be much more prosperous than his families current financial situation and work situation.

“He took my hand and said I want to show you something… you see that, that’s bad for you…you must never work in a place like this, you have to get an education,” Lautenberg said while explaining his fathers working conditions.

Six years later Lautenberg saw the loss of his father who was 43 years old at the time of his death with Lautenberg being only19 years old.

“Why should children that can learn, not be able to go to school? I believe in the system we have, it just has to be fairer, and it has to be better balanced. Our obligation is to make sure that there is equity in our society.” Lautenberg said after touching on how important education was in his development.

Soon after the passing of his father and graduating from high school Lautenberg decided to enlist in the United States Army. He joined the army as a part of the Signal Corps, mainly to help support his family and mainly because he “wanted to do something different.” Using the GI bill and the skills he had obtained in the army Lautenberg took his fathers advice on education and went to Columbia University.

“Thank goodness that the army helped me to get into Columbia University,” Lautenberg added while speaking about his college education.

He attended and graduated Columbia with a degree in economics, which lead to his business career as Chairman and CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP). He and a handful of friends made it possible for the company to thrive which paved the way for Lautenberg’s success as a businessman.

When speaking about the company Lautenberg explained how the experience was positive motivator towards his career. He had this to say about his experience, “It set a tone for me, ADP was an outstandingly successful company.”

With the success that he had seen form bringing his company from the ground up Lautenberg wanted to give some of the entrepreneur and business minded students in the audience a bit of advice. He went on by saying, “I would give a young person or an older person the same advice. Make sure that you treat your employees fairly, with respect, and with the ability to earn a living, because frankly for ADP that was the measure that built our company.”

Finally after being in business for a while latenberg decided that he once again needed to do something different. Having already served his country in WWII, he stepped up and decided to try his hands in politics specifically the senate and in 1982 he had won a seat in the senate as a New Jersey State Senator. When asked about this he briefly and strongly exclaimed that, “I belong with my country.”

When speaking about some of his accomplishments in the few years as senator, the senator spoke about how he was behind many of the restrictions on increasing the drinking age to 21 along with decreasing the BAC content form 1.0 to 0.08 for drunk drivers. This one feat that he was really proud of because it has saved many lives since it has been enacted as a law.

“We save 1,000 kids a year from dying on the highway, and then I dropped the drinking content from 1.0 to .08 and we saved another 500 people a year. So overall since the law was made we’ve saved 30,000 people,” the senator commented.

The senator also was part of the elimination of smoking on airplanes, and fights for students till this day while trying to lower the prices of student loans and college tuition in hopes of making higher education much more affordable.

When asked about his views on the current president and on the two wars the country is in the senator had this to say.

“I think that President Obama is a good president,” said Lautenberg adding that “he is almost professorial in his commentary,” and that “I think he has his mind in the right place.”

As far as the wars were concerned the senator spoke about how during the time of September 11, 2001, he was for the war and voted to go to war. He stated that based on the information that was being passed down from the upper echelons he acted in the way he thought was best. The senator also added that, “the wounds from these two wars are the worst out of any [other] wars.”

With a feeling of having so much more to offer, the 88 year old senator feels that he will still be in the senate for a while longer and shows no hopes of leaving soon, as “…a devoted believer in America.” He still feels we can change things and better ourselves as a country.

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, a brief overview of an all American man.

Who is Frank Lautenberg.

Born to Polish and Russian immigrant parents on January 23, 1924 in the northern New Jersey town of Patterson, senator Frank Lautenberg has been making changes to the New Jersey landscape for many years. With a hard working father who worked many jobs including the silk mills of Patterson, the young man took his fathers example and worked and continues to work hard for the people. After graduating from highschool the young Frank Lautenberg joined the United States Army Signal Corps in World War II. Using the GI bill to finance his college education, Frank Lautenberg attended and graduated the Coloumbia School of Business with a degree in Economics in 1949.

Using his military background, hard working nature, and his economics degree Lautenberg along with a group of friends founded the nations first payroll service company, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), one of the worlds largest computing companies. In 1978 he served as the Executive Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for four years till 1982.

In 1982 Lautenberg was successful in making his move into politics, he was elected into the United States Senate as part of the Democratic Party. Senator Lautenberg served the Senate from 1982 till 2000 where he announced his retirement from the senate and was succeeded by Jon Corzine. In 2002 he rejoined the Senate to replace Senator Torricelli and was once again reelected to the Senate in 2008.

In his first three terms as Senator, Lautenberg, served the people of his state successfully. He had helped in banning smoking on airplanes, which was a huge problem in the 1960s and 1970s. He is also responsible for raising the drinking age to 21 which served to drastically reduce the amount of drunk driving accidents and incidents linked to under aged alcoholism. Another great feat of the senator was keeping firearms out of the hands of convicted felons and balancing the federal budget that helped in the stopping the financing of hostile nations that support terrorism. The Senator in the recent years has helped in many environmental issues such as protecting the ocean and the taking supporting the global warming issues. For students he has worked hard to make higher education affordable and updating the GI Bill for those who served the country. On Wednesday April 11th, the man behind many of the important policies for a better American society will be present in an interview style session held at Rider University by the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics.

Links:

http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/

http://www.rider.edu/offices/services/rebovich-institute-new-jersey-politics