Front Page Articles

April 19, 2006

Expert encourages resources preservation

by Bitty Reilly
south news editor

   “How can we get another thousand years out of our planet?”
   Charles Hopkins, of Canada’s York University and a member of the U.N. Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, addressed this concern while speaking on global issues and sustainable development at a recent presentation on South Campus.
   Hopkins said he recently journeyed into a tropical rain forest and found a new understanding of the issues facing the planet.
   “ I was sitting beside an Antarctic Beech tree that lives 7,000 years,” he said. “I was trying to picture what the world would have been like 7,000 years ago, and there was a little seedling beside it. My mind switched in the opposite direction.”
   It puts things into perspective, Hopkins said, when the issue is how can we even get one more thousand, and it becomes kind of mind boggling.
   Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
   Sustainable development is a shift in the way of thinking that economic development comes with casualties to the environment.
   Hopkins addressed three areas of development: global changes, poverty and human development or social, cultural, diversity and equal rights.
   Growing up in a northern Canadian town with a pulp and paper mill, Hopkins said he thought the smell from the mill was awful, but his uncle would tell him the problem was not the smell. If they didn’t smell it, the mill wasn’t running, and the town was out of work, the uncle said.
   “ We always thought that in order to have development or progress, we’d have to tolerate bad working conditions, pollution and terrible jobs or poor paying jobs,” he said. “And that was the price for development.”
   Hopkins said the new goal includes overcoming that kind of development. Humans can look into the future, but also into the past and see what has been done or what can be done.
   With this knowledge, Hopkins said, comes a responsibility to learn from it.
   “ We can chart the past and see that from 1950, things really started to change on the planet,” he said. “We had this tremendous shift in consumption.”
   We can project into the future and know we are not going to have enough resources to last forever, Hopkins said.
   Hopkins showed slides of a man who has to climb trees and cross-pollinate them by hand because insecticides killed all of the bees.
   “One has to start thinking: What kinds of services do we get for free from nature? What if we had to purify all of our sewage water to drink it again? What would be the cost of that?” he said.
   Hopkins said renewable resources, including forests, soils, water, fisheries and air, are most at risk.
   “ Some of the problems are that we think ‘Well, it’s just using up supplies,’” he said.
   Hopkins said he has seen people take in young children and the elderly into emergency rooms with breathing troubles on ozone alert day, but they drive up in big SUVs or pickups.
   “ I am afraid to ask how many [people now] have asthma or allergies,” he said. “But the problem is that people don’t make the connection.”
   Hopkins said the second issue is economic.
   “ It is hard to realize, unless you travel, the scope of the world’s population,” he said. “About one-third of the population controls the money. About one-half to 60 percent of the world’s population lives on less than $1.50 per day.”
   Sort of a resentment exists, Hopkins said, because 92 percent of people buy only what they need to make it through that day.
   “ People everywhere are on the move because they know that life is better somewhere else,” he said.
   Hopkins was also concerned about trying to move forward, planning ahead, keeping costs down and moving beyond worrying about jobs being sent to other countries.
   “ Once someone gets into social unrest, there is no unemployment insurance; there is no welfare; there is no hope,” he said. “So people need to have some kind of jobs.”
   Hopkins said the third issue of human development includes the rights of people. Everyone should have the right to breathe clean air, drink good water and live in adequate housing.
   “ We are going to need to come up with [a resolution] if we are to get another thousand,” he said.    “Sustainable development is the paradigm for future development like a stage in the intellectual development of humans. At this time, I believe it is the best that we have.”
   Hopkins said technology is good, but it cannot save the world.
   “ We will come up with new technologies, but they will be expensive,” he said.
   Politics should not be an issue, but, Hopkins said, because the elected officials are too concerned with the costs of providing a more sustainable environment, they do not take a stand on the platform for fear of risking their popularity.
   Several audience members supported Hopkins’ views.
   Samantha Mitchell who has a bachelor’s in biology and currently takes classes on South Campus, has researched the effects of the environment on mice.
   “ The changes from industrialization are affecting the environment,” she said. “It is like everything [people] are doing now is really taking a toll on the environment.”
   Student Jake Seibel, who is studying to work with the Doctors Without Borders program, said he agrees with sustainable development and Hopkins’ definition of the world condition.
   “ Every year Bono of U2 goes and pretty much harasses all the world leaders to donate [to end third-world poverty] because the Gates foundation [of Microsoft] can only go so far,” he said. “If all the countries who could afford to donate would, it would be just phenomenal the good that the foundations could do.”

Bitty Reilly/The Collegian

Charles Hopkins, of Canada’s York University, visits with South Campus students following his recent presentation on global issues such as environment and protection of resources.


Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

April 19, 2006

Newspapers thriving, despite Internet, journalists say

by Bitty Reilly
south news editor

   Five years from now, journalists do not know how people will get their news, Bob Schieffer, noted CBS newsman, said to introduce a symposium on The Changing Communications Landscape.
   Schieffer, Jill Abramson, Len Downie Jr., Larry Kramer and Judy Woodruff of the mainstream press participated in the symposium April 5 at Texas Christian University.
   Schieffer moderated while he and the panelists spoke on some of the problems facing journalism, including its future.
   The panel addressed the question of whether or not newspapers will exist in 10 years.
   Abramson, managing editor of The New York Times previously worked for The Wall Street Journal.
   “ I think there will be newspapers. But I think the important word in the newspapers is the news,” she said.    “Journalism of fact, rather than the journalism of assertion, and smart journalism [are important]. People love the physical paper still and love the serendipity of discovery in articles you weren’t searching for but you just find and read.”
   Abramson said some younger readers who want the Internet and other readers are interested in television documentaries.
   “ [The Journal does] podcast, video on the Web and international coverage,” she said. “We want to deliver quality news any way our audience wants it.”
   Abramson said companies historically involved with newspapers are now growing, braving the new media forms and conquering the current multi-platform journalism world.
   “ We will always need professional journalists who know how to operate who have tested standards,” she said, “journalists who are so dedicated they are sleeping in their cars.”
   Downie, executive editor of The Washington Post, said his newspaper incorporated a new method of getting the information out to its audience. A Washington Post-owned radio station runs a program 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m. with reporters talking about the stories they are writing.
   “ Instead of giving the news rapid fire like all the stations do, we are providing longer format,” he said. “We have a lot of experts on our staff, and they know important things. They know all about science or the Pentagon or the war in Iraq, and that is a commodity we have that people are still interested in.”
   Downie said an average Washington Post reporter now could be taking pictures, filming video for the Web site, writing stories and doing the radio show. When the Post began the program, reporters worried they would work all the time, but they realized there was not more work because they already had the information, Downie said.
   Kramer began as a reporter 20 years ago and now is president of CBS Digital Media and founder of
   “ The change [in journalism] is in the story-telling process,” he said. “Technology has allowed us to bring all the tools of storytelling into one medium.”
   Kramer said putting stories on the Web poses new benefits and raises the standards of journalism.
   “ The expectation is that our stories are correct,” he said. “When you put out a newspaper, people know that things change. We learn more as a story progresses, but that’s the best [the paper] had at that time. On the Web, ‘that time’ is when someone is reading.”
   Blogging responses and story monitors change the value of the story and can provide new insight to topics that hold the audience’s interest, Kramer said.
   “ You write something on the Web that causes a reaction and you’ll have 500 e-mails by the time you get back to your desk,” he said. “ So you have to be careful.”
   The most important issue with the new formats depending less on classified ads and advertising, Kramer said, is that those who read it, pay for it and support the news.
   “ We have a symbiotic relationship with Bloggers. They usually get their news by quoting mainstream news organizations,” he said. “When Matt Drudge quotes the Washington Post articles, he brings more readers to the Washington Post site and he becomes a source.”
   Woodruff, a political spokeswoman soon to premiere “Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard” for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, said the advancements from newspaper to radio to television to Internet sent the journalism field into an explosion of new format, and connoisseurs can respond to the information.
   “ I think we are going through a time unlike any I have seen in my 31 years,” she said. “The whole revolution of fact-based news verses opinion-based news is embarrassing. Along with the 24-hour news, we found [news] wasn’t enough. We had to find a way to make the news not only important but entertaining. We are dealing with this, and it is sudden.
   “ Yes, there is going to be Internet. But we are always going to need reporters, and we have to figure out how to pay them.”
   Woodruff said she worries how the news industry will continue to support great journalism if the premium is on short pieces spread across many different platforms.
   Fairness is an issue in objectivity, Woodruff said.
   “ Shoe leather journalists are a mixed bag of views,” she said. “Many are liberal, but there are those who have conservative views.”
   Schieffer said everyone is familiar with rumors. A tradition in journalism, he said, is for a news outlet to try to correct a mistake it makes and to ignore one made by a competitor giving the organization time to “get it right.”
   Schieffer used Sept. 11 and the events that followed to describe what can happen in the news.
   “ We found most of what we did was tracking down and correcting rumors that would emerge on the Internet,” he said. “We had to do this because, had we not, we ran the risk of creating mass hysteria in the panic.”
   Schieffer said they knew there were no airplanes in the sky, but when the Internet reported a plane heading for the Sears Tower, the network repeatedly ran the same piece to knock down the rumors.
   “ The Internet is the first vehicle that can transmit news, nationally and around the world, without an editor,” he said. “You don’t know where this stuff comes from. Blogging worries me.”
   Schieffer said he questions the impact on culture from missing stories people would normally chance upon when reading a newspaper.
   “One of the great pleasures of reading the newspaper is that you do run across things that you weren’t looking for,” he said. “I wonder if we are limiting ourselves with the new information-gathering techniques. You get on the Internet and Google it and just that information pops up.”
   Bob Bolen, faculty senior advisor to the TCU Chancellor, said his only regret about the presentation was that more people did not hear it.
   “ Some people don’t understand what the world is going to be like tomorrow,” he said. “I still love to read the papers every morning, but I do think the format is going to change.”
   “ The downside of having all this information available is how to get enough time to look at it all, and you have to be selective,” he said.
   Bolen said this change could make a lot of people miss the experience to learn, and it could affect the amount of information the younger generation is willing to consume.
   Megan Vroman, a TCU political science major, said she does not worry about the demise of the newspaper format.
   “ There will always be a newspaper out there, even if the popularity declines,” she said. “There will always be the option to read the newspaper.”

Bitty Reilly/The Collegian

Jill Abramson, left, Bob Schieffer, Judy Woodruff and Larry Kramer, members of the mainstream media, leave the stage to mingle with the audience after The Changing Communications Landscape symposium on the Texas Christian University campus April 5.


Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

March 29, 2006

Author to speak on immigration

   Dr. Juan Hernandez, author of The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants, will present a free program Thursday, March 30, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the WSTU 1303 on NW Campus.
   Hernandez, a Fort Worth native, founded the Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.
   In the lecture, sponsored by The Texas Association of Mexican-American College Students, NW English for speakers of other languages program and NW student activities, Hernandez will speak about topics covered in his book and the issues of immigration, especially relevant to Texans.
   While at UT-Dallas, Hernandez coordinated meetings between then-governors Vincente Fox and George W. Bush. As head of the President’s office for Mexicans Living Abroad, Hernandez fought to end border violence and led informational campaigns on the dangers of border crossings.
   The presentation is open to everyone. For further information, contact Vesta Wheatley of student activities at 817-515-7795.

Copyright © 2006 The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.

January 25, 2006

Black History Month events calendar

South Campus
Feb. 1-28 A Black History Month display will be in the South Campus Library through February.

Feb. 1 South Campus opens its month-long celebration 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sweet Roots of Blackness, a jazz band, will perform along with African dancers and drummers and modern dancers in the SSTU Living Room and Cafeteria. Contact Zeb Strong, director of student activities, at 817-515-4553 for further information.

Feb. 2 South Campus students, faculty and staff are asked to wear black on this day to support African heritage.

Feb. 2 During the Honor and Day of Remembrance poetry recital, Dr. Ernest Thomas, campus president, will recite poetry. Located in the SSTU Lobby, times will be announced. For more information, contact Zeb Strong, director of student activities, at 817-515-4553.

Feb. 14 “Open Mic, Sing Your Songs of Love!” will feature South Campus artists and singers noon-1 p.m. in the Student Center. The Latino Student Union will sell carnations for Valentine’s Day. Contact Zeb Strong at 817-515-4553 to participate.

Feb. 15 South Campus presents James Branch, author and speaker. Branch will speak about his book Vacant Pews: Why Aren’t My African American Brothas Attending Church? 12:30-2 p.m. in the SSTU Forum Room.

Feb. 16 Dr. Pamela Hill will present “Black Culture and Consciousness” 12:30-2 p.m. in the Student Center.

Feb. 17 The South Campus Annual Gospel Fest, sponsored by TCC Voices United and the African American Student Organization, will be in the Recital Hall (SREC 1110) 7-9 p.m. Local churches and community groups will perform. For more information, contact Annie Dobbins at 817-515-4558.

Feb. 20. Student activities will sponsor a Gender Issue Forum. Women will meet in the SSTU Forum Room, and men will meet in the SSTU Texas Room noon-2 p.m. Call 817-515-4553 for additional information.

Feb. 23 South Campus African American Student Organization will present A Black Filmmaker Showcase 12:30–2 p.m. in the SSTU Game Room. Contact Annie Dobbins at 817-515-4558 for more information.

Feb. 25 Delta Silhouettes 2 of the Delta Sigma Theta community group will perform in the Recital Hall (SREC 1110) 6-9 p.m. Call Annie Dobbins at 817-515-4558 for additional information.

Copyright © 2006The Collegian - All Rights Reserved.


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