Talks with the Mayor of “Brick City” , Mayor Cory Booker

….post to come soon…

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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

Norovirus: From the view of an affect Rider University student.

By: Ankit Choubey

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J.- The recent norovirus outbreak on the Lawrenceville campus of Rider University saw many students over the past week suffer form the terrible symptoms of the vicious gastrointestinal bug. Sickening close to 40 students in the first night of its infestation the virus outbreak saw the hospitalization of many individuals through out the course of the night on February 8th. Emergency medical personnel were summoned to respond to the many cases of students complaining of symptoms related to severe gastroenteritis.

With mass commotion as events unfolded the university responded by limiting the interaction amongst sick students and highly stressed the concept of keeping clean and washing hands. Dalys Dining hall and staff took the situation to the next level by handing out bottles of hand sanitizer and barricading food to restrict the spread of the virus.

One of the effected students was Matthew Belmonte. Belmonte is a Junior at Business major at Rider University. Belmonte also resides on campus as a suitemate in Lincoln hall with a few friends. Living in such close quarters with many friends and fellow students Belmonte is a great example of how this virus could have spread to other students quickly.

When asked about how he had known that he had gotten the virus Matthew had the following to say, “I knew I had the norovirus when I woke up in the morning.  My stomach was churning, but I tried to go through it because I had to go to work.  I ended up having to leave work early that day because it got so bad.”

Belmonte described some of the symptoms that he had while he had the virus. “My symptoms included vomiting and a fever.  My body also felt weak from the amount of times I vomited. It was a pretty painful virus because of this.”

Matthew had tried to limit his interactions with other individuals especially his suitemates. He later revealed that two members of the suite had gotten the virus the weekend before he had gotten sick.

Since Belmonte lived on campus many resources were at his disposal while on campus especially in a case like this. He was lucky in the sense that he wasn’t on campus for the rest of that day. He said, “I was home, so I did not tell the [resident hall] staff because by the time I got back I was symptom free.” He also added that,  “I texted my roommates to tell them because two had already had it the weekend before.”

Since Belmonte went home and stayed home as a precautionary measure he, commented on what he had seen through out the week before he got sick and on how he felt the university handled the situation.

He went on to say, “I felt that Rider took the necessary steps in trying to prevent the spread of the virus. It was just one of those things that no matter how much you tried to prepare for it or prevent it, it was going to spread.” He also commented on how he communicated with his professors and how they communicated with him and other students through out the week of chaos caused by this virus. Belmonte said, “I did not tell my professors that I was sick, so they didn’t tell me anything about that,” he added that, “…it was already the weekend.”  He went on to say that, “they [professors] did however tell everyone to wash their hands as much as possible.”

Matthew could be said to be one of the lucky ones in the sense that he knew what to do in a time where not many people knew was going on. He took the necessary precautions and steps to prevent the spread of the virus essentially helping out his suitemates that weren’t sick and by going home so he could get further attention and better care for his ailment.

Interviewee Contact:

Matthew Belmonte : belmontem@rider.edu