20 April 2013

Looking for "Helpers"

             As with many tragedies, the explosions that occurred Monday at the Boston Marathon left people in a state of shock. Innocent people were targeted during what should have been a time of joy and achievement, and the reason behind the explosions remains unknown.

            Easy access to internet and citizen journalists helped the news spread quickly, including graphic videos and photos of victims. The news often emphasizes misfortune during times like these because shock grabs people’s attention.

You May Feel Stress from News on Television 
Do you ever just get an uneasy feeling after watching bad news on television for a while? According to Medical News Today, a study found that some people can be significantly affected by traumatic news they didn’t actually experience but only watched on television, and may even display characteristics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There is a high correlation between the amount of television someone watches about a particular event and the likelihood that they will be affected by it.

 While death and devastation should certainly not be downplayed or ignored, it is important to focus on the positive that emerges during tragedies as well.

Social Media’s Influence on News
            Social media has been helping people accomplish that. Twitter hashtags such #BostonHelp and #BostonStrong have been trending to show support for those affected, and a quote by Fred Rogers (you probably know him from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) has been spreading around Facebook and Twitter:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
–Fred Rogers

Focusing on the helpers during unhappy times can prevent us from dwelling only on the negative and feeling helpless. We need to remember that while there are people who do terrible things, there are also many more people who have come together to encourage and help those in need.

Stay Informed and Supportive without Fixating on a Sad Event
            Because the study found a positive correlation between the amount of television viewed about an event and the likelihood of a person being significantly affected, a suggestion might be to read a summary of what took place and then move on rather than continuing to read/watch every single update that is given. This way you are staying informed of current events but you are trying not to let them consume you.

            Another suggestion is to search for the positive stories in the news and read those as well. While upsetting stories do come up frequently, there are also many inspiring stories out there. The positive stories you read could be about anything from good deeds to accomplishments, as long as you find them pleasant. This article about acts of kindness during the Boston Marathon explosions is an excellent example of looking for helpers.

            I think that stories of people who act sincerely out of the goodness of their heart can leave us with a sense of hope and happiness. They remind us that no matter how much negativity we encounter in the world there will always be more people with good intentions.

           Do you think that there are too many traumatic news stories compared to uplifting ones, or are they necessary? Is there any way to stay informed of current events without being affected by them?

  •  http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/acts-of-kindness-in-the-wake-of-the-boston-marathon-bombings-155030075.html 
  •  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/144839.php

14 April 2013

Keep calm and STOP bullying!

Although we are college students, we still hear the term 'bullying' all the time. It starts in elementary school and continues until some are old and grey. It is a serious matter that is constantly talked about. Some of us have dealt with it from personal experience while others have witnessed it.

Recently 15 year old Audrie Pott made the decision to take her own life after becoming a victim to online bullying.

Audrie was allegedly sexually assaulted at a party and then demeaning pictures of the assault were posted online. She then took to her Facebook account and posted that her life was ruined and that it was the worst day later. Sadly that was her last post because following that she hung herself. This past Thursday, seven months after the tragedy, three 16 year old boys have been arrested on charges of sexual battery. Justice has been served….or has it?

I don’t have the solution to bullying but I can offer a suggestion. I honestly believe that bullying should be against the law. If bullying was an offense, it would seriously cut down on the crime and suicide rates. We all know that a lot of mass attacks come from people who have been victims to bullying.

An example would be James Holmes who on July 20, 2012 decided to fire off shots at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 dead and 58 injured. He had no criminal record prior to the shooting but he was a victim to bullying. And another example is 20 year old Dylan Quick who decided to stab 14 people at Lone Star College near Houston Texas on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. He is also a victim to bullying.

Bullying can lead people to hurt themselves or others. I wish we could all treat people the way that we would like to be treated but I know that, that doesn’t always happen. However, if we witness somebody being bullied, I feel like we should be a friend to that person and we should also tell an authority figure. Bullying is a serious problem in today’s society and I don’t feel like the law addresses it, until it is too late. But if someone is reported for bullying, I feel like there should be consequences. It could start with tickets and then go up from there. But it should definitely be addressed as a crime.

What do you feel about bullying? Is there really nothing that can be done about it until it’s too late or should it be addressed early on?

-Kenisha Durley




11 April 2013

Frost Bite: Behind The Scenes

Carrissa McCoo is a student at the University of North Alabama. She explains her everyday experience at Frost Bite, which is a popular frozen yogurt business in Florence, AL.

Jasmine Redus

10 April 2013

UNA Phonathon

Twice a year, the University of North Alabama hosts a phonathon calling on alumni and friends to make donations to UNA.

DJ KG Off the Record

Kekoria Greer is a student at UNA that has started her own DJ business for parties and events on and off campus. See how she prepares for events and find out a little bit about her and about why she loves music. Check out DJ KG... off the record. 

09 April 2013

Wildlife Rehabilitation

Sharon shares what it is like to be a wildlife rehabilitator.

08 April 2013

Heath Butler at The Fix

Heath Butler has been working at The Fix in Florence, Alabama for several years now. A graduate from University of North Alabama, he shares some experiences and insight regarding his time at the station.

A Sequel in the Works

Something I've noticed about Twitter is that most of the time it works similarly to a flock of sheep. For this analogy to not end there, let's pretend that a topic is synonymous with a patch of grass.

Somehow a topic will flare up on Twitter and it doesn't take too long for things to escalate so that it seems the entire website is devoted to that topic. While sometimes the topics discussed are minor, such as #ILoveAGirlWho, there are some serious news stories that break on the site, such as the Twitter feud between members of One Direction and members of The Wanted. Lately, people have taken to Twitter to discuss their opinions on North Korea and the rising level of threats that they are sending to the US.

Building a Homestead

This is the story of Jim and Marija Grimsley of Enterprise, Ala. as they worked with Frank Allen to build the perfect log cabin next to a lake. 

Photos and Video all done by Corinne Beckinger

01 April 2013

Gay Marriage & The Fight for Equal Rights

Last week while casually scrolling on Instagram, I couldn't help but notice the sea of red equal signs taking over my picture timeline. Under each picture it read "Proposition 8: Equality for all" As soon as I saw Beyonce repost the picture, I knew I needed to find out what the hype was all about!

Supposedly, the image above represents the equal rights for gay marriage. Awhile back, California passed the right for gay couples to engage in marriage. Now it seems as if they are trying to ban it (Proposition 8). Supreme Court hasn't made any decisions on what the final outcome will be, but what do you believe in or hope for?

I do not believe that homosexuality is completely right; however, I do not think we should control another person's choice that he or she may make in life! I'm hoping Proposition 8 is not passed to ban gay marriage. I think we are all entitled to whatever we please with our lives. Sometimes you cannot help who you love. 

What are your thoughts?

Jasmine Redus