Final Globe Critique

Although I have not done many of  the weekly blog posts, I must keep up with The Boston Globe as a journalist. Formerly, I had a negative perception of The Globe and unfortunately, this did nothing to sway my opinion. This is not to saw that the newspaper and organization in general is not amazing; they have truly taken part in some of the most amazing feats in journalism. But as a reader, ignoring the content that is undoubtedly some of the best in the world, the cluttered interface not only discouraged me from selecting a story each week, but caused be to view the newspaper as one that was on its last legs, as if it would perish due to its own inability to modernize its own website to make it easier to navigate by paying readers at least. Truly, if The Globe revitalized their internet presence, and finally stopped formatting their page like an actual newspaper (it was cute at first but is just now played out and impractical for streamlined usage), more people my age would be eager to read it. There is a reason that The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as online-only news sources such as Buzzfeed, Politico, FiveThirtyEight, etc., have hit it off with millennial: their interfaces are not only organized with in an extremely user-friendly way, but they are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The Boston Globe should follow suit and finally join their other counterparts so they could become part of the “new wave” of internet journalism.

One article I read that I wanted to highlight was the one I critiqued last week about the mentally ill man who went missing. While I did have my problems with the piece, such as the overall lack of information originally available, it piqued my interest enough that I have kept my eye out for any follow-up stories, in The Boston Globe or other newspapers. I have yet to see any of the sort, but it is worth praising The Globe for sustaining my interests, because while journalism should be more about the information than about clicks, if I read things I like in a newspaper or on a website, I am more likely to go back.

The critiques are obviously highly biased and generally coincide with my own personal style of journalism and, thus, they be taken with a grain of salt. The Boston Globe and its staff have been fighting the good fight for years and I hope they continue keeping up all the incredible work.

Missing Student from Brown University

The Boston Globe published an article about Aravind Elangovan, 19, who went missing on Friday night. The article was well-written, however, it was extremely short considering how important this issue is. Not only is Aravind a missing student from an elite United States college, but he also has a history of mental illness. This makes the issue more pertinent, as there is an epidemic of college students developing mental health issues, especially at elite institutions.

The quotes didn’t really add anything to the story, aside from characterizing Aravind. The story would have benefitted immensely from quotes from his friends highlighting his deteriorating mental health, or police officers outlining their plan for finding him. The lack of depth of these quotes left the story lacking; although they did provide a bit of background to the victim, they did little to ease the concerned reader.

Something this story did not explain was why his parents did not question him leaving in such a disheveled state, especially considering the fact that he had returned home to recover from his illness, that had gotten worse during his time at Brown. Perhaps a more investigative piece is being worked on, as I believe there is more to this story that needs to be explored and delved into, however, that does not change the fact that this story overall is lacking.

Despite this, I enjoyed the implementation of pictures of Aravind and the call for action at the article’s end. This is a necessary component to the piece; perhaps news websites should have an extra section dedicated to missing persons or developing stories regarding people who have gone missing or criminals who have yet to be found. This could be updated frequently and would be a great way to inform the public of what people they should look out for as they go about their days.

Trump Inauguration Inspires Protests Worldwide

Opponents to Donald Trump are making history by uniting to oppose the new president’s policies on immigration, race, and women’s rights, according to a lawyer who spoke at Northeastern University (NU) on Tuesday.

Margaret Burnham, an NU law school professor, called the the women’s marches that took place worldwide the day after the Presidential Inauguration, a “powerful rejection of the most brazenly misogynistic campaign in the history of our country.”

Burnham said the marches were simultaneously “peaceful and aggressive.”

“History will turn on this moment in many ways,” she said.

Burnham, who has an expertise in civil rights, credited this movement’s success to other previous demonstrations, such as the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999 and the more recent Occupy Wall Street and Standing Rock movements.

Technology has played a key role in in popularizing the women’s marches.

“They’ve used a digital space to claim a public space,” Burnham said. “They’re movements that are multidimensional in many ways.”

The women’s marches united women from completely different political backgrounds, Burnham said, and were organized as efforts to preserve shared values rather than argue over specific issues.

“What they did share on that day was the need to separate themselves from their ordinary lives, get on a bus or train, and do something extraordinary,” Burnham said.

Emily Grew, a first-year Biology major at Northeastern who attended the Women’s March on Boston, agrees.

“Being a part of the protest was like being a part of history,” Grew said. “I am fortunate enough to be able to have a voice, and hopefully that voice, along with the voices of all the other women there, will be heard.”

Burnham also said she believes this demonstration was only the beginning of the fight for gender equality under the Trump administration.

“It was a rehearsal for the future in that it directed our attention to the kind of strategy that will be needed in the future,” she said.

Already, many more women’s marches are being planned, as well as marches to support members of the black, LGBT, and Muslim communities.

“I am certainly going to be a part of every single protest I can,” said Hannah Pettit, a first-year Human Services major.

The American people are taking strides to fight for what they believe in, using protest to let their voices be heard.

Burnham concluded: “That voice is not going to die.”

Newbury Street Gallery Robbery

The Boston Globe posted an article explaining the events surrounding a robbery that took place in a Newbury Street gallery on February 5th, the night of Super Bowl LI. I thoroughly enjoyed this article and feel that if I were selected to cover it, I would have done so in virtually the same way the Globe staff did.

The article’s title immediately caught my attention and caused me to click on it. Although the it essentially told the entire story, it was still intriguing enough to make me want to learn more about the robber, the motives behind the robbery, and why the robber picked the moment he did to strike. I particularly enjoyed how concise the article was. The case was detailed, the owner of the gallery was interviewed, and some background information about the perpetrator was explained, all in a very brief and easy-to-follow manner. I enjoy articles that don’t waste my time with fluff and just get straight to the point, especially in cases such as these that involve criminal activity. It was also a refreshing change of pace from all the Super Bowl and Patriot-centered articles that dominated the news world today.

In terms of content of the article, I found it interesting how it was painfully obvious the thief did not know the value of art, being as he did not steal the most expensive works at the gallery, but the article did not mention it because it is unsubstantiated. There is no way to know for sure why he didn’t steal the more valuable paintings, without an interview with the thief or some other type of concrete proof, and thus it was omitted. This makes me see The Boston Globe as a more credible source.

Screen Actors Guild Awards & The Muslim Ban

This past weekend has been particularly hectic for journalists around the world. Not only has Donald Trump been making executive orders practically each day since his inauguration just over a week ago. The most notable of these orders, arguably, is the so-called Muslim ban he put in place this past weekend. People all over the United States and world have been responding to this order with fervor, in the form of protest. The Screen Actors Guild Award was no exception.

This Boston Globe article outlined the political things that were said at the award show by celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson and Ashton Kutcher. While I believe it is incredibly important to highlight those who are using their celebrity status to defend human rights and American values, this article did a subpar job of getting the message across. It seemed to lack a focal point, and kept switching from talking about who won which award to talking about what they said to decry Trump’s actions. This article would have been much more successful had it been split into two articles: an entertainment piece outlining the winners of the night, and a more news-styled piece that explained the significance behind celebrities speaking out against the president, who is a celebrity himself. The title is also very misleading and, may I say, very clickbaity.

Despite this, I commend The Boston Globe for deciding that this story was newsworthy, as it undoubtedly was. It would have been great to have a comparison as to whether or not something like this has occurred in the past or if this is unprecedented, however.

Northeastern Preserves History

On Saturday January 21, over 300 women’s marches were led around the world, protesting the misogynistic policies they feel the Trump administration will bring to the United States. One such march was held in Boston, and roughly 175,000 women were in attendance, according to Nicole Caravella.

As news media outlets scrambled to cover such a significant event, The Boston Globe published an article about Northeastern University’s efforts collect protesters’ signs in order “to preserve a piece of history.” The article, excellently written, highlighted Northeastern’s efforts to gather as many discarded signs as they could to ensure they were in safe keeping for a future project. Though it is unknown as to how long they will be kept, how many will be kept, whether they will be kept solely digitally, etc. the article did a great job of capturing the plan as it it known right now.

I also appreciated how the writer used quotations to demonstrate the motive behind Northeastern’s actions; they highlighted the nonpartisan nature of what the university is seeking to do. It wasn’t displayed as a university taking a stance and denouncing the treatment of women in societyit was represented as what it was: an academic institution seeking to preserve memorabilia from an event that will undoubtedly go down in history.

Being a student at Northeastern University, and a member of the College of Arts, Media, and Design, the college that spearheaded the mission, this initiative makes me incredibly happy. As journalists, we preserve history by writing about it. To see that the institution of which I am a part of taking such an important measure to preserve history in its own way is phenomenal. I look forward to seeing what the university does with the signs they collected. I have no doubt in my mind it will be the right thing.

Elizabeth Warren Would Not Call Trump a “Legitimate President”

According to The Boston Globe, Elizabeth Warren skirted around a reporter’s questions that were asking her if she considered Donald Trump to be a “legitimate president,” alluding to John Lewis’ confession earlier in the week. It was apparent that Warren did not want to be at the head of this controversy and thus, she evaded the question.

This story is incredibly important because throughout the entire presidential election, Warren was extremely vocal about her disdain regarding Donald Trump, frequently tweeting about him and criticizing him in other public ways. But despite this, Warren did not take the opportunity to further insult Trump and instead matter-of-factly explained what we know for certain: Russia hacked the election, but we are unsure of the specifics. Warren is also attending the inauguration on January 20, an event that many political bigwigs are boycotting as an act of defiance against the upcoming administration.

In regards to this Boston Globe article, titled “Warren Won’t Say Trump is ‘Legitimate President,'” the headline seeks to stir controversy that is not only unnecessary, but unfair. Anyone who follows Warren knows she detests Trump and all that he stands for—this is no secret—but this does not mean she must comment on his legitimacy. The fact of the matter is that as of now, whatever she would have said is opinion. The truth of the Russian hacking of the election is still to be found and because of this, there is no way to accurately comment on Trump’s legitimacy. That is, if the reason to question Trump’s legitimacy is solely riding on the hack. For a moment, let us ignore his bigotry and blatant misogyny—I know it’s hard—for the purpose of understanding the position Warren was in. She clearly admires John Lewis, as a political leader and civil rights icon, but she also believes in democracy and, as far as we know, Trump was elected by the very government she supports and works for, so to question his legitimacy is to question not only her own legitimacy, but her values and beliefs as well.

Though many people are criticizing Warren for not taking this opportunity to slam Donald Trump, her actions show that she is above his persistent name-calling and toddler-like behavior, and that is the true mark of a leader.