The lesser of two evils: Clinton and Trump fight against their own unfavorability

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A discarded Bernie Sanders campaign sticker [Photo by Cooper Dahlen-Pagano]

Now that Hillary Clinton nearly has enough delegates for the Democratic nomination and Donald Trump has secured the delegates needed for the Republican nomination, Americans are now considering the pros and cons of a Clinton or Trump presidency much more seriously. However, while they have prevailed in the primaries, the months leading up to the general election are going to be an uphill battle for both candidates, as they each face record unfavorability ratings.

According to a recent survey conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Clinton has a net favorability rating of -9%, as 44% of survey respondents expressed a favorable opinion and 53% expressed an unfavorable opinion. On the other hand, Trump doesn’t fare any better with a net favorability rating of -23%, as 37% of respondents expressed a favorable opinion and 60% expressed an unfavorable opinion. Continue reading

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DU apathetic towards Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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The Hillel Library at the University of Denver [photo by Helen Filanowski]

DENVER-College campuses have been in the spotlight as havens for social justice since the 1960s, when students began to protest the Vietnam War, Civil Rights and the Free Love movements. Today, the issues have changed but the forum that college campuses provide for young activists has remained.

Is every college campus as active as one might think, however? The Israeli-Palestinian issue is one of the most hotly debated of our time. The conflict is centered around the country of Israel and the Palestinian people, many of whom were forced to flee Israel as refugees after Israel fought for independence in 1948. Continue reading

Why are so many college students enthralled by Bernie Sander’s push towards a socialist economy?

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The American flag waves in the wind at the University of Denver [Photo by Palmer McGraw]

Denver, CO– November 8, 2016, will mark the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election which will determine who will be the 45th president of the United States. Currently Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are running neck and neck to win the Democratic nomination. However, unlike candidates in the past, Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist, a political ideology frightening to some and appealing to others.

Currently Sanders has been deemed a popular candidate especially amongst Millennials, and a recent poll found that 58% of young people would choose socialism over capitalism. However, it is unclear if Millennials, who did not live through the Cold War and witness the collapse of Soviet Russia, truly understand what Socialism is and the potential implications it could have on America’s capitalist economy.

The United States is a representative democracy, which grants the people the right to elect representatives to speak for the interests of the voters. Two major parties dominate the United States; those being the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, and both parties hold differing beliefs on tax policies, social issues, health care, labor and free trade, education, and capital punishment. Republicans are known for being capitalists, wanting less government and free trade without strict regulation; while Democrats are known as being more toward the socialist end of the spectrum, due to wanting more government control and further regulations on trade.

Capitalism as a form of government advocates for free market and free trade. On the other end of the spectrum is socialism, which is a system where all property is controlled by a small group of individuals, in this case the government. They determine what the common good will is. Democratic socialism on the other hand is more in line with the political systems seen in Europe, in countries such as Scandinavia where there is more governmental control in terms of creating financial equality, but there is a higher happiness index because their citizens are not competitively profit driven like they are in the U.S.

Sanders, a democratic socialist, has pushed for policies such as free college, single-payer health care, wealth redistribution, minimum wage increase, increased estate tax, expanding social security through tax increases, and curtailing free speech. After hearing some of these proposed policies, for a Millennial, it would be hard not to vote for Sanders, given the amount of student debt in our country. Even more distressing is the fact that many recent college graduates are knee deep in debt and finding it increasingly more difficult to find jobs. Tuition rates are getting higher and higher every year, and economists have noted the price tag is rising past the point of inflation.

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Creating the DU Mascot!

The University of Denver will be releasing a new mascot soon after years of development. Boone, the previous mascot, represented a highly controversial figure, and was terminated in 1998 only to be brought back by alumni in 2009 as an unaffiliated mascot. Rufus “Potato” Clarke may be the answer, as a role model, DU graduate and donor, his story is more relatable. A board of influential DU students called the 14ers were brought this task, of changing and rolling out the new mascot. The mascot must represent the DU community and embody its spirit.

Chancellor Chopp in a recent interview stated “So, down the road, if the students were to want a mascot and want to imagine one, that would come after a much greater sense of school spirit.”

http://duclarion.com/2016/02/chancellor-chopp-discusses-dus-future/

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Why people need to protect the wildlife

 

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Photo by Shihua Shangguan

 

In order to preserve wildlife, there is a need for positive actions by the citizens. These actions are accompanied by change in lifestyle and the way of thinking. There are some species that have become endangered and the citizens can act as resources in protecting these species. “This problem has become large and complex and the related organizations cannot eliminate the problem alone but needs the assistance of the citizens,” said Richard Reading, PhD,  Visiting Scholar at DU’s Graduate School of Social Work.

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Photo by Shihua Shangguan

“ The citizens can through reducing, reusing, and recycling the waste to save the wild life,” he said. The slogan “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle goes together with “Think Globally, Act Globally”. Though these slogans have been overused, they have a great meaning in them. These three activities play a great role in reducing the environmental degradation and saving the wildlife. Reducing can be utilized through lowering the number of materials and energy that are consumed by purchasing lesser-prepackaged goods, driving in a good manner, and reducing heating and air conditioning that are used. Reusing means putting into use again, the materials that have already been used such as old wine bottles. Finally, recycling can also be used in making the planet better. The citizens can demand for bins for recycling if they do not have. The activity has many benefits to the people and the animals.

A DU Junior student Brand also proved a way to protect the wildlife. “The citizens can protect the animals is through keeping the pets such as dogs and cats on a leash,” said by Brand. When pets are unleashed, they die since they are carnivores by nature. They can also destroy the nests or harass the birds that dwell on the ground. The citizens should also keep their cats indoor. Cats have been reported to be the first cause of the death of birds. According to a study carried out, a cat can kill around 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals per year in the United States of America. To protect the wild animals’ citizens should place decals on their widows during the season of migration to protect the birds that are prone to hitting glass. In addition, they can apply a transparent contact paper or bird tape to the outside of the widows to prevent the same. To ensure that there is maximum effectiveness, the tapes or the stickers should be four inches and below.

Moreover, “the citizens can protect the wild life through avoiding littering since litter is harmful to the animals and plants,” said a freshman Lee in DU, “for example, gum that is discarded is said to kill birds and animals.” Another interesting means of saving the wild life is through sticking to the official trails while the citizens are walking in the parks. Using informal paths disturbs the animals and especially those that are bleeding and they cause fragmentation of habitat. When a new path fragments a habitat, the parasites, predators, invasive plant, and animals get a way to attack. This makes the habitat less important for the native animals. The animals should not be removed from their habitat. It is illegal to remove animals from the parks since they cannot make good pets. They demand for extreme care from their caregivers and person who is not trained cannot offer the required care.

“Joining conservation organization also plays a great role saving the wild life,” Reading said. As resources of saving the wild life, citizens should join these organizations and work together to protect the endangered species and animals. Different organizations that protect the wildlife differ in their goals and objectives. There are some that work to ensure good environmental policies; others work to protect the whales while others focus on protecting a small piece of land.

An individual should join in the sector she is most interested with and he/ she can find an organization that protects the species that they are interested with other basic means of protecting the wildlife is through slowing down when driving. It is also important for the citizens to raise their concerns and get locally involved through letting the national and local government know that they are interested with protecting the wildlife. That increases the likelihood of someone doing something about it. Having love for the wild life and appreciating them, as a part of the beautiful nature will give people morale to protect it.

Wildlife is part of human life and the citizens should act as a resource in protecting them. The citizens can create programs and seminars that will educate the other citizens on the importance of wildlife. The programs and seminars should also aim at educating the people on how the wild life can be protected through means such as reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides on their firms. They can also form campaigns that speak against wild life destruction. Citizens can also come up with anti-world life destruction organization that punishes those that destroy the wild life. The human should by all means protect the wild life through protecting their habitats, and reducing, reusing and recycling.

News, an ever Evolving Industry

 

DENVER – 2:00 P.M. Friday, May 13, 2016

By Philip R. Wilkinson

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Tim Ryan at 9News Denver, CO  Image by Philip R. Wilkinson

Walking through the doors to 9News I was met by Tim Ryan, a News Manager for 9News Denver.  As we walked through the news floor there was a sense that employees were counting down till the weekend.  However, Ryan was calm and collected as he explained the basics of his operation.

As a News Manager Ryan is responsible for helping his new staff develop their stories and news shows while keeping a general eye on the reporting staff.  He first became a news director 25 years ago after being an on-air reporter and while he enjoyed reporting, Ryan wanted to have a larger influence on the news so he switched over to the managerial side of 9News.

Ryan is not afraid of reporting controversial news from any beat even if it involves sponsors.  This freedom is what makes Ryan enjoy his profession, which in turn makes him good at it.

Freedom to explore expression is important to Ryan, to the point where he would not be happy;

“If I worked for an organization that only covered politics, or only covered entertainment, or only covered sports, or only covered a particular thing.” – Tim Ryan

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Strategic Communications and Renee Bota

reneeRenee Bota in Nairobi Africa

 

Strategic communications is an expansive field in which just interest is not enough. This interest needs to specified and experienced as strategic communications encompasses many different subgenres. Within Strategic Communication one could work within an agency, a nonprofit, a political campaign, a health organization, etc.

Renee Bota, an Associate Professor of Health & Development Communication at the University of Denver studies, practices, and teaches strategic communication. She entered this field during graduate school where she added a Masters in Health Communication to her Journalism Bachelor’s degree. At grad school Bota did strategic communication work for Health Care Consortium and Comprehensive Health Support System.

Bota was able to develop and hone her interests through school and work, so that after graduate school she knew she wanted to practice Health Communication and has been happy in this field ever since. Renee’s experiences and knowledge of Strategic Communication are valuable for anyone potentially interested in working in this field.

After working within Journalism and Strategic Communications Bota was able to understand the fields and see her passion lied within Health Communication. Internships are necessary within this field before full time work not just for building one’s resume but also for what Renee calls, “interviewing the field”. Where one can learn about different subgenres of their interest and see what appeals to them most.

University of Denver students looking for internships within this field should contact Erika Polson, the director of internships for the Media, Film, and Journalism School.

After receiving her PhD Renee worked as a Fullbright scholar in Zambia studying HIV/AIDS communication. This made her fall in love with both her field and Africa, having continued her work in both.

Zambia is a country in Southern Africa which has long suffered from high HIV and AIDS rates. The culture has a significant stigma against HIV and AIDS which results in people not getting tested. Also Renee worked here at a time when antiretrivirals were low, so Zambians would frequently not get tested because there was no cure even if they were identified as positive.

Bota worked on a communications campaign with a mining company to educate and reduce the stigma around HIV and AIDS. The company was losing many of its trained workers to AIDS so they purchased antiretrivirals which were very expensive at the time and opened a clinic. However, none of the workers attended due to the stigma as well as being scared it was a trap to test for AIDS and fire those who tested positive.

Bota identified the most effective communication plan in Zambia as peer education workshops. A worker- with their understanding of the culture and how to communicate, and geared with the important information taught to them about HIV and AIDS, was able to effectively communicate Bota’s campaign’s message.

“And that’s the difference between messaging and strategic messaging, and that’s so important, what makes it strategic is that you’ve done a lot of research a lot of relationship building a lot of communication before you start doing your messaging, so you’re right understanding the context is a huge part of that.”

Renee Bota also worked within Kenya on a Sanitation campaign. This was the most satisfying project Bota ever worked on because of the success of the campaign. Bota’s group identified the “barriers to action” which were causing poor sanitation, like running water, water supply, and expensive bar soap. Renee explained, “Strategic communication is not just the messaging, it’s not just telling them to wash their hands right? Strategic communication is about communicating with people to figure out what their barriers are in the first place and then figuring out what are solutions that work for them within their lived reality.”

After studying the area and how sanitation was treated Bota and her team found a local woman making soap out of local ingredients. This soap was cheaper than the normal bar of soap as well as locally sourced and manufactured. A nonprofit came in and expanded this soap creation into a viable business where the soap workers were getting well paid and the area was using more soap.

Another strategic plan that worked in Kenya was training community health workers to be hygiene trainers. This strategy, like the peer education workshops in Zambia, worked because of the local’s ability to communicate well.

When asked what she believes is the most important skill within Strategic Communications Bota answered that most employees would answer writing. However, she believes listening is just as important because of the strategic aspect which requires research, listening to the media and the public’s communication as well as the advice of those in your team.

The most important information I learned from Bota was the amount of research and context necessary before beginning a campaign, especially an international one. Communication varies quite significantly with changes in geography especially with certain topics. Before beginning her work in Zambia and Kenya Bota spent a lot of time studying how newspapers discussed the issue at hand as well as communicating with locals and understanding their sentiment.

The field of Strategic Communications can feel confusing and broad and for those reasons intimidating. However, as Bota said, it is important to “interview the field” with internships, and in this way one can understand more about strategic communications as well as find what they really enjoy.  Breaking down strategic communications as well as one’s own interests is necessary before one can begin their exploration and begin making decisions to advance their career.