What the outcome of the 2016 election means for journalists

In response to the madness associated with the 2016 presidential debate, many Americans have been seeking comfort in Obama’s stability and dependable demeanor. Except for journalists.

While campaigning for the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama convinced millions, with his famous speeches, that the Espionage Act would be dialed back on, even Edward Snowden, according to an interview with the Guardian. Although Snowden did not vote for Obama in the election, he led to believe that things within the United States intelligence agencies would change, which caused him to hold onto the files for a longer period of time. Obama did not only lie to Snowden and the American public concerning his policy, he is now charging him with the exact offense in which he said he would change.

Not only did Obama make false promises, freedoms and liberties for journalists were encroached upon during his presidency. Under him 11 journalists or “national security leakers” have been prosecuted, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. This adds up to a total of 526 months of prison time; over 43 years.

As Obama’s presidency comes to an end and many look fondly back upon our years under his leadership, journalists cringe to see what might be their fate under Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. Of all of the topics discussed at throughout the debates, national security has been scarcely mentioned, except for the Oct. 13 debate .

At this debate, Clinton acknowledged that Snowden could have been a protected whistleblower in saying, “He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that.” Her statement in regards to his protection has been found “mostly false” by Politifact.

Moreover, she goes on to denouncing him for turning to Wikileaks, instead of elsewhere. The irony in that statement is that Wikileaks is the exact website that was credited with exposing a multitiude of Clinton’s emails. What Clinton and many other people and the political spotlight do not know is that Wikileaks does not have an agenda, they are merely an open anonymous space for whistleblowers to share information on any topic.

Following in the absurdity of trying to construct a Mexican-funded wall, Trump is quoted in saying that Snowden is a traitor and should be executed.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Frustration.

As a high school student when I was tasked with the job to choose the major I’d like to pursue in college, I was immediately drawn to journalism. Not because I knew what a nut graph was, or how to write an anecdotal lead, or because I knew how to tell the difference between corporate and independent media, but because writing was something I was good at. When it came time to choose a school, Ithaca College seemed to be a perfect fit for me, and I couldn’t have been more right.

As a freshman in Intro to Journalism I learned AP Style like the back of my hand, how to structure an article in a way that made sense, where commas actually belong and to never write “1”.

Now as a junior my eyes have been opened to all that journalism has to offer, and the real reason why I chose to pursuit it as a highschooler.

I have always been obnoxiously curious, and with journalism, I am not alone in that regard. I leave every journalism class either frustrated, obsessed, confused and sometimes all at once. As journalism students we are told that it is important to know what is going on in the world, but I’ve become obsessed with knowing anything and everything.

My newest obsession has become whistleblowers, primarily due to this class. First it was Edward Snowden and now I have taken a particularly deep interest in Chelsea Manning. My interest lies in what their motivations were to do something so unheard of, and to risk their lives to do it.

I think both Snowden and Manning acted upon the basis of “knowledge is power.” Both believed that the American public should be able to know what is actually going on in the country.

Tomorrow, Chelsea Manning will go before the disciplinary board of the U.S. army to face the charges that are the outcome of her suicide attempt. The worst outcome that she could face? Solitary confinement.

What Manning has gone through not only for leaking government documents through Wikileaks, but due to her mental state while in prison, has been appalling. She has been denied the proper medical treatment that she deemed necessary and has been forced to stand naked for hours.

Creator of the infamous Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has agreed to turn himself in if President Obama decides to pardon Manning. Assange’s lawyers at Wikileaks has even written a letter to the Attorney General of the U.S., Loretta Lynch, stating the conditions.

After Oliver Stone’s film Snowden, came out, a petition was released, spearheaded by Amnesty International, along with other human rights groups, for a presidential pardon of Snowden.  Additionally, Snowden has released a statement stating that he will come back to the U.S., if he receives a fair trial. However, the Obama administration denied the pardon and seem unwilling to give Snowden a fair trial. Therefore, if he ever returns to the states, he will most likely spend the majority of the rest of his life in prison.

I guess my frustration lies in the fact that people such as Manning and Snowden, who are trying to fix things in our country are facing dangerous charges and are seen in a negative light by a majority of Americans. Meanwhile the people who pretend they are “fixing” things, such as politicians, are seen as saviors.

Sitting down for what they believe in: Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe

On Friday August 26th San Francisco 49ers quarterback stood up, or sat down rather, for something that he felt passionate about. Less than two weeks later soccer player United States Women’s National Team and the Seattle Reign, Megan Rapinoe, followed suit. Perhaps the best part of this whole situation is how the world and the media reacted, or did not react.

Both players decided against honoring the National Anthem of the United States during the habitual playing of it before American sporting events. Kaepernick provided his reasoning in an interview with NFL Media following the game saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” After exemplifying her own form of silent protest by kneeling, Rapinoe said in an interview with American Soccer Now that her actions were completely intentional and were intended to support Kaepernick. She said that the reason for her support is due to the fact that she is gay and that she also feels discriminated against in this country.

Both professional players make over triple digits, and both players have been threatened by both media outlets and fans alike that their contracts will be terminated. This goes to show that both athletes were not protesting anything over than how minorities are treated in this country.

Although both athletes have been shown support from their teammates, coaches, and even Mr. President, the media has done  the opposite. They have both been played out to be villans. One of the most destructive coverages of the event comes from online video host and conservative political commentator, Tomi Lahren. In her video titled “”If you don’t think I’ll say anything about soccer star Megan Rapinoe because she’s white, you thought wrong“, she makes a reference about people who are gay getting thrown off of buildings as a threat towards Rapinoe. Likewise, Kaepernick has also received criticism from Lahren.

The criticism does not seem to bother either Kaepernick or Rapinoe as they both declared that they will continue in silent protest until there is change in the way that minorities are treated in this country.

The Drudge Report-beneficial or harmful to American politics?

The Drudge Report has been a prevalent click bait website attracting everyone from esteemed journalists to eccentric video game enthusiasts, however somehow he has been able to stay on top since 1996. Existing solely due to profits made from two advertisements on the page which as created by ad-tracking methods and sold by the internet advertising company, Intermarkets according to an article by the Atlantic.

Advertising aside, the company is made up on the most simple HTML code and somehow gets over 30,000,000 visitors a day, according to their website? How are they able to do this? Heather Digby Parton of Salon.com writes that Drudge is able to stay relevant by continuously updated his page with compelling headlines.

“Drudge doesn’t even try to find political relevance to his lewd, juvenile innuendo,” she said. “As long as Matt Drudge is driving the news cycle, it will only get worse.”

From the looks of it, Drudge will never lose his prevalence in American media and politics, and due to this, he will be able to continue to push whatever agenda he would like, and as of lately, that seems to be anything to break down the Clinton Campaign. However, if he had use the power that he possesses against Donald Trump, the campaign could have been halted, according to Oliver Darcy of Business Insider.

“Such coverage could have made a noticeable difference in the Republican primaries. While mainstream outlets were, as a whole, critical of Trump, their coverage largely fell on deaf ears, Darcy said. “Over the years, a sizable portion of the GOP electorate had been convinced not to trust the “dishonest” mainstream media. Instead, they turned to and trusted alternative news sources like talk radio and right-leaning websites — all of which were heavily influenced by Drudge.”

I cannot say that I disagree with Darcy in the least.