Tag: Donald Trump

My shift break at the Autry Museum

My shift break at the Autry Museum

With the panic over President Trump DACA in full swing, it has been a rather crazy day for us Daily Titan reporters. However, the fruits of that labor are quite sweet if I do say so myself, and I’ll undoubtedly be talking more about it tomorrow.

But for now that’s neither here nor there. It deserves its own spotlight and this isn’t the place for it.

Instead, tonight I wanted to highlight a cool little event I got to attend in the midst of all the craziness. One of the benefits of working with Dr. Jason Sexton on Boom has been the opportunity to attend neat things he pulls together.

In this case I got to go to the Autry Museum of the American West for a late night talk discussion between Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold and California State University, Long Beach Sociologist Oliver Wang.

img_6054
(Left to right) Jonathan Gold and Oliver Wang talk at the Autry Museum in a discussion moderated by Jason Sexton and overseen by an Autry representative.

The two discussed a range of issues regarding food culture and gentrification in Chinatown with a degree of depth and sociological intrigue that I rarely consider when thinking about food. It was frankly fascinating to listen to, and having the break from the newsroom was nice amid the stress. Though I do feel like I spent more time on the road going to and from Fullerton since the Museum was about an hour away…

I was also a little bit distracted the whole time I was at the event, as I was on call with the DT to help my co-editor Brandon work on the big DACA article. Not only did I read the piece he was assembling from the elements we put together to edit it, I also helped with some last minute elements, including a rather serendipitous interview.

On that note, I do mean it when I say I had arguably the biggest moment of serendipity I’ve ever experienced as a reporter.

While staking out the center for DACA students on campus, I was also trying to get a hold of the Dean of the Library to get a statement about the center’s position in the library and whether that has been endangered.

I missed him a number of times at his office while he ran back and forth between meetings, and by the time I had to leave to make it out to the Autry Museum he was already out of the office for the day. So, I left him a message to call me and brought along a recording device for the (almost an hour and a half) drive to the Autry from CSUF hoping he would get in touch.

He did, but as it turned out the recorder I borrowed was out of battery life.

It turned out that the Dean left CSUF early because he was going to the exact same event I was. After all, the event was being moderated by Boom, which is operated out of the Pollak Library. We both found it rather funny that the meeting I was hoping to avoid interrupting on his schedule happened to be the same one I was also attending.

Once I had that interview together I was able to show off the true benefits of being a reporter in the 21st century. I used my iPhone as a personal hotspot to upload the audio recording to gmail so I could send it back to the newsroom for transcription and implementation into the story. It even wound up being a big chunk of it too, so it was a worthwhile grab.

After all was said and done, I also had time to come back to the newsroom to help finish our shift. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this very post from there. I don’t know, something about the whole exchange just stands out in my head as being really cool.

While that story I’ll be able to tell about going to the event was certainly one thing I’ll always remember, it also held a rather important distinction as being something I was able to share with my Dad. When I first RSVP’d to go, Mom had told me that he was a fan of Jonathan Gold’s work. So, I snagged two spots and managed to slip the time off onto his work schedule.

Even though it was short-term and I went straight into a 40-minute drive back to work right after, the fact that I was able to spend some time with my Dad at an interesting and cool event at a place neither of us had been to was awesome. I feel like I so rarely get the chance to thank him for everything he has done for me growing up taking him to a new experience like this was great, even if I was half-working the whole time.

Plus, it gave him the chance to meet Dr. Sexton, who has probably become my mentor for a solid 1/3 of my education experience at least. I liked being able to see that happen.



Editor’s Note: Because of how busy we’ve been putting our pages together, this post is actually being finished much later than I anticipated it would be. Thus, my issues with typing up temporal moments regarding ‘tonight’ or ‘tomorrow’ or whatnot are likely more than apparent. Hopefully it all makes sense.

I also feel like I started to sound very repetitive… But that could be attributed to just being tired and criticizing my work too heavily. So I think I’ll leave it as is and come back to things later if I need to. In the meantime, I need to go get some sleep because there’s a lot of stuff going on tomorrow.

Or today technically. You know what I mean.

Visiting the L.A. Weekly

Visiting the L.A. Weekly

Today I had the chance to visit the office of the L.A. Weekly in Culver City.  I know the publisher, Mathew Cooperstein, because he’s the father of one of my younger sister’s good friends, so we’ve been talking about the possibility of my coming over to tour their office for some time.  With Spring Break this week, everything just so happened to line up perfectly for me to check the place out, and I’m really glad I finally got to do it.

Not only did I get to tour the office, which is housed in a pretty awesome looking building as I’m sure you can see in the featured image I have above, I also had the chance to sit down and chat with both Coop and the L.A. Weekly’s Managing Editor Drew Tewksbury. Both of them were really receptive and nice, and it was great to be able to swap stories and get some advice from people who have been entrenched in the news industry longer than I have.

Drew and I talked more about the writing side of things, both for short-form daily (or in their case, weekly and heavily online-based) reporting and for deeper investigative stories. Meanwhile, Coop talked with me more about the advertorial side and about things like community outreach, audience demographics and search engine optimization.

While I was at the office, I also picked up a couple copies of their two most recent publications: A regular issue with the cover story about deportees sent to Tijuana and their special 99 Essential Restaurants issue.

img_5049

Jason McGahan‘s story on the deportees is really stellar, and I’d recommend reading it here if you have the chance.

All-in-all I had a great time going to the L.A. Weekly, and I’d love to get the opportunity to go again one day.

 

March 7, 2017 Article Published

President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday that revoked and replaced the executive order from Jan. 27 instituting what has popularly become known as a “travel ban” restricting travel from seven predominately-Muslim countries.

I wrote the article about the new order for this issue of the Daily Titan.  It was one of the harder articles I’ve had to write, however not so much because of the content.  Last night’s production I was essentially on my own running the News desk due to my co-editor dealing with some personal problems and had to get by with a little help from my friends in the newsroom.

Beatles reference too much?  Maybe.  But I’ll leave it in anyway.  Because I like it.

Anyway, I had to split my time between writing this article, calling and interviewing multiple subjects for a series of stories we’re planning to write in the future and juggling the many ever-sporadic balls of writers doing deadline stories, laying out pages and keeping the ship as a whole afloat while things fall through at the last minute.

If nothing else it was an exciting night, and the fact that we didn’t get out super late I feel is a testament to the strength of our staff working as a team.

In terms of the story itself, after reading through and annotating the order, I talked with CSUF assistant political science professor Dr. Robert Robinson to find out more about the new order and about the idea of repealing and replacing an executive order as a whole.  Personally, I feel like I learned a lot from the experience, which by itself is always a marker of a good story for me.

However, in this case, I’d say the more weighty indicator of this being a good story was the fact that it was a pretty hefty same-day report on an issue of national importance.  Covering President Trump may already seem like an exhausting task just three months into his presidency, but the job remains as important as ever.

Digging into this new executive order helped remind me of that, since it was an interesting mix of looking into new writing being put out and seeing how the order differs from its predecessor, Executive Order 13769.  There are a number of key differences, such as the removal of Iraq as one of the restricted countries and a more in-depth description of the scope of the ban.

Because the original order will be revoked as of the official start date for this new order, March 16, the 90-day ban will also reset that day, extending the period of time the Trump Administration has given itself to figure out how to improve the immigrant vetting process.

Whether or not they succeed in that goal is yet to be seen, but I’ll be interested to watch how it plays out going into the future.

If you want to see the article in its entirety, you can see it here.  You can also check out my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

February 23, 2017 Article Published

Lots of crazy stuff happened last night and we wound up staying until the early hours of this morning producing our last issue of the week.

It wound up being arguably one of the best issues I’ve helped put together in my opinion.

As far as my own written contribution went, my co-editor Sarah and I worked together to produce an update for the story Sarah and our assistant Brandon put together on Feb. 8 about the lecturer involved in an altercation with members of the CSUF College Republicans club.

Not only did we get an official comment from the University’s Chief Communications officer that told us what the internal investigation into the issue turned up, we also got a comment from the lecturer himself about his current status.  Through those two we found out that the investigation concluded the lecturer did strike a student, impeded on the free speech of the College Republicans club and was suspended as a result.

Pretty awesome stuff to get to throw together all at once, and I’m super proud of how the update turned out.

However, that wasn’t the only thing in this particular issue that made it such a good one.  We also have stories about a strange and interesting series of arrests that Sarah looked into, Trump’s administration addressing the transgender bathroom issue yesterday, CSU Chancellor Timothy White releasing a statement about how immigration concerns will be handled by the school system and more.  Lots of really good stuff written by a lot of great writers in one of the more memorable page layouts I’ve seen in quite some time!

All the stories are available online of course, but I’d also recommend looking at them in their official print layout over on Issuu, since it really is a really nice issue overall in my opinion.  It’s a slightly biased opinion I suppose, but this is my personal blog so take it for what it is.

If you want to see the article on the lecturer altercation update in its entirety, you can see it here.  You can also check out my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan through the link over on the right!

January 30, 2017 Articles Published

Like I said in my last post, it’s been a long weekend.  After staying up for at least 27 hours writing and working, I’m looking forward to having a week off to focus on my schoolwork, especially since our staff writers are starting to work on stories.

As much as I enjoy writing, it’ll be nice not to have the editorial board stuck filling an entire paper on our own.

However, I’d say that the extra amount of time and effort I put in alongside my other editors was well worth the trouble, since the issue we produced is a really nice one.  We have our large two-story coverage of the Point-In-Time homeless census written by me, my co-News Editor Sarah and our Managing Editor Micah, but there are also plenty of other stories worth reading.

One of those stories is a small read of the general campus climate following President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel for some in the international community that was put in place last Friday.  There are also stories on the new parking spaces available for CSUF students, an art exhibit with traditionally Japanese-styled artwork depicting various modern-day issues and the other story I wrote about the Titan Direct Access pilot program that has been introduced by Titan Shops and the campus Information Technology (IT) Department.

There’s more than that too, and in my opinion, the paper is worth throwing up here for you guys to see yourselves:

In case you have trouble seeing it you can look at the digital version of the publication here on Issuu.

I’m still pretty exhausted though, honestly.  There’s some homework I have to do… But really, I think I’m going to take a nap first.

If you want to see the story I wrote about the Titan Direct Access program, you can see it here. You can also see the story Sarah and I wrote about the homeless people our groups encountered during the Point-In-Time Count here.  If you’re interested in seeing more, my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan can be found through the link over on the right!

January 23, 2017 Article Published

Today marks the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester for me here at Cal State Fullerton. Obviously, that means a few things.  It means the end of winter break, which is certainly unfortunate to an extent, but inevitable.  No break can last forever.  It also means brand new classes to adjust to, in this case a course on California government, a course on primate behavior, an honors-level history course and an investigative reporting class where we’ll be tackling the issue of homelessness with the school’s newspaper advisor.

Finally, a new semester means a new run of the Daily Titan.  Like I alluded to just the other day, I’d say it wound up being a good one.  We covered the Women’s Marches in Los Angeles and Santa Ana, the new interim city manager of Fullerton, art exhibits now on display on campus and, of course, Michael Dukakis coming to talk as a part of the Patrons of the Library 2016-2017 lecture series.

The former governor had a lot of interesting things to say about both U.S. foreign and domestic policies.  He also made his perspective on the new president, Donald Trump, pretty clear.  While I feel like I addressed all of these things in the story quite well, one thing I feel like I could’ve done better was talk about the personality of the man who was giving those opinions.

Michael Dukakis was not only a great orator, he was generally a great man as well.  He’s intelligent, experienced, funny and really knew how to read a crowd.  His extensive knowledge of U.S. political history was accentuated well by personal stories he was able to tell about his history in politics and life.  He also didn’t stick to one side of the political aisle, as he was able to pull stories and ideas from a wide variety of people.  On top of that, he had an opinion and something to say about everything, but not in a negative way by any means.

My only real regret covering this event was that I missed the chance to greet the man personally while I did extra interviews to finish my story.  If he ever comes back to talk at Fullerton, or anywhere nearby that I might be able to see him again, I’ll have to be sure to take the chance.

The whole issue of the paper can be seen up on issuu now if you want to take a look, since our Managing Editor puts them up after every production.

However, if you want to see my story in its entirety, you can see it here.  We have a new website design and it’s really quite nice, so I’d certainly recommend taking a look around at some of the other sections while you’re there.  You can also check out my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan through the link over on the right!

A look ahead for some things to come

Today, the world marched in reaction to the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.

At the same time, Michael Dukakis, a professor, former Massachusetts governor and democratic presidential nominee in 1988, came to speak at Cal State Fullerton about his views on United States foreign and domestic policy, as well as his opinions on the new President.

Michael Dukakis speaking to a room of about 120 people in the Cal State Fullerton Pollak Library’s Rotary Club Room 130.

Articles on both these events and more are going to be in our first edition of the Daily Titan for the Spring 2017 semester, and I can tell already that it’s going to be a good one.  We go into production tomorrow, and the paper will be out on Monday, so look forward to seeing it!

You can also check out our fantastic social media team’s work live covering the Orange County and Los Angeles Women’s Marches here on twitter.  It’s worth taking a look at and probably serves as a good preview for some of what will be written about in print.

Road to Decision 2016

Road to Decision 2016

The 2016 election is the first national election I’ve had the chance to vote for in my lifetime.While the Presidential race itself has admittedly been… Less than appealing, it hasn’t changed my conviction to go out and do my civic duty for the first time.  

With a lot of pretty significant proposition on the ballot in California to vote for, as well as local and national offices out of my district, it was definitely still an important thing to do despite any national disillusionment.Now that the voting is done, all there’s left to do is wait.  Wait and see.

Naturally, since I work for a newspaper, waiting and seeing means I’ll literally be charting the progress of the national and local elections in Orange County.  It’s going to be a long, long day…So having some caffeine in my system will probably be a good thing.

No matter who you’re voting for, I hope you have the chance to go out and exercise your right in what seems like an unprecedentedly big turnout year!

A very productive day indeed

Since this is something of a personal blog, I figure I can get a bit personal with the whole silly milestone kind of stuff.

California’s presidential primary for the 2016 election is today, and it’s the first primary I’m old enough to vote in.  So, it’s pretty exciting!  Especially considering just how much of a wild ride it’s been watching the veritable circus this election has been so far.  I still remember when things were just kicking off and the Republican side had 17+ candidates with their hats in the ring at once.  I also remember when Donald Trump decided to try out and everyone believed he would leave after a month or two with some boosted publicity.

Man, that sure took a way different turn, didn’t it.

Not that his ticket concerns me very much, as I voted Democrat – though I figure that much should be obvious after my slyly inserted roast against Trump in my Merchants of Doubt post.

Here’s the full pay-off.  Honestly, it’s objectively not a lot from a physical perspective.  A filled out pamphlet, a ballot stub and a sticker.  Subjectively, however, I feel pretty patriotic and satisfied just looking at it all together.  The feeling of having my voice heard is a wonderful one, especially since California is getting so much more attention in this election than it really ever does.  Plus, my family made voting a collective outing this morning before my Dad had to go to work and my sister to school, so it was a pretty fun way to get through my civic duty.


In other not quite so political news, I’m moving up the chain of command on the Daily Titan.  Earlier I did my interview with the new Editor in Chief and he already offered me the News Desk Editor position on the paper for this upcoming Fall 2016 semester.  So, expect to see a lot more news in my Journalism experience faction of the blog as the summer eventually winds down and school picks back up again!

Why you should watch Merchants of Doubt

For my Communications 233 class, Mass Communication in Modern Society, one of the things we were meant to learn about in the course is media literacy.  I say were because today is the day of our final exam so the course is technically over but… I’m not really here to get into semantics.  Media literacy was defined by our professor as having the ability to analyze the impact that forms of communications have on life.  This referred especially to being able to look at things like advertisements and being able to discern their true meanings through semiotics, for example.

Continue reading “Why you should watch Merchants of Doubt”