Contemporary Issues/NewsActivist 2017: Champlain, Saint-Lambert

About this class

This course requires students to develop individual portfolios about contemporary issues, sharing work with increasing depth as the semester progresses.

Students write and collaobrate to develop cross-disciplinary knowledge and broaden perspectives regarding local, provincial, national, and international news. Assignments encouraging interactions with peers across campuses and borders will build broad understanding of issues in an exciting and personalized manner.  

Themes addressed during the semester involve: Journalism, Critical Thinking and Credibility of sources, Personal Voice in writing, impacts on communities of non-profits, NGOs, and socially-conscious businesses, the impact of academic research on communities, and the  possibilities of Collaboration and civic journalism in 2016.

 

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by anthonydm on March 27, 2017
The topic of clean energy responds to the issue of non-renewable energy. It is linked to technology, the branch of knowledge used in relation to science and has many academic disciplines, including Informatics, Computer Science and Energy Engineering. Informatics

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Demetrios.C.Ort... on March 27, 2017
The article “The US Military Is Building Gangs of Autonomous Flying War Bots” by Patrick Tucker, published on the Defense One news website on January 23, 2015, talks about the appeal of unmanned drones compared to their manned equivalents, as well as discusses the inherent drawbacks of automating war-machines. In addition to discussing the legally grey area surrounding the issue, Tucker also talks about the moral danger of the situation. It must be noted that this article is hosted on Defense One, which is less subtle in its support for US national security than most other sites.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by isabelleallain on March 26, 2017
In the United States of America, there has been a decrease of voting participation. Indeed, in between the 2008 and 2016 election, there has been a decrease of 8.3% of voter turnout according to CNN Politics. The poor voting outcome of this important North American country raised my concerns.Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/politics/popular-vote-turnout-2016/ 

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by michelle.bsparkx on March 26, 2017
Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness that affects millions of people around the world and despite how common it is, it is rarely spoken of. However, there is research although it isn’t often mentioned in media and out in the open.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by AlexeKantchev on March 26, 2017
For a few weeks now, I have been doing research on an important on-going issue: Homelessness. I have read many journal articles to find information and statistics to fully grasp the extant of the issue. However, news cannot compare to scholarly journals in their accuracy and truthfulness. Therefore, this week, I have found different articles and looked at the fields of research the authors used to make their findings. Here are 3 of the academic disciplines that can be used to collect data on homelessness.   Discipline 1: Public Health  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by AmandaMcc on March 26, 2017
Since I've been in my NewsActvism class, I have written several post about animal cruelty and abuse and even some of the laws put in place to stop it. This assignment, which was to find different disciplines that are related to my topic, which was animal cruelty, will help people would like to study different disciplines to fight against animal cruelty. The following three disciplines can be related to animal cruelty and how to fight it.   First Discipline : Psychology  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by pascaleworld on March 26, 2017
Animals have been interesting for many people in the world. There are many jobs related around them, but there are no specific academic disciplines only about animals. However, there are disciplines you can find that can contribute to the knowledge about the wild life.  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by YosefA on March 26, 2017
For the time being in the class NewActivists, I have written a long post about honor killing and how it has affected women and men in both Canada and around the world. This assignment will help people who would like to study different disciplines to combat honor killing or study against honor killing. The following three disciplines can be related to Honor killing and how to fight it. Family Studies (First Discipline)

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by gabrielleL on March 26, 2017
  Every day, millions of people leave their country in the hope to find a better life. The migrant crisis is a worldwide problem that causes many deaths. Because people are desperate to leave their poor conditions of life, people-smuggler have created a lucrative business. Every year many expert come together to try to understand this new phenomenon and how to eliminate people-smuggling once for all.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Elyette Levy on March 26, 2017
As long as there has been power, there have been people trying to abuse of it. The issue of corruption is broad and difficult to define, let alone to tackle. The academics who try to solve it are experts of similar disciplines, to which political science and public policy are often connected.   Discipline 1: Political Science

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by aymebenfeito on March 25, 2017
As a human living in a community, it is normal to have complaints or concerns about the way our community is governed; however, very often, individuals don't  know how to go about fixing the problems they see.  It all boils down to the issue of governance. How should we go about governing ourselves, sharing resources and making decisions in our communities?

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by SamanthaW on March 25, 2017
Abortion is the right to a woman/ young girl to change something they are not proud of, or something they have been forced into without consent. To show that is can be a health hazard and can endanger the mother to be. Three important dialects to look into are, Women’s Rights, Nursing, and Public health. These three topics tie into the subject of abortion.  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Laura-Camille on March 24, 2017
The issue of women’s rights can be approached in many different ways.  Everyday, women from around the world face various challenges simply because of their sex, and these challenges can be increased by other factors such as race, education, and social class. Although the need for the defense of women’s rights in western society is constantly questioned, Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres stated as recently as last March 13 that “women’s rights are under attack worldwide” (Lederer for TIME magazine).

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by emilyboiteux on March 24, 2017
Homelessness is on the rise but getting degrees in specific academic disciplines such as psychiatry, human ecology, and public health & preventing medicine could help diminish it. There are many issues surrounding homelessness that individuals suffer from. Some issues include health problem, mental disorders, and bad living conditions.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Julia G. on March 24, 2017
A growing issue in today’s society is the vast amount of stray animals on the streets. Many of these animals are victims of abuse and of irresponsible ownership. They have been neglected and abandoned, which begs the support of the community to help find a solution to this issue. A way to do so is to place more focus on academic disciplines such as psychology, economics, and law.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by B.Matthews on March 24, 2017
Positive body Image gives the right to both male and female to appreciate their appearances and is content with their bodies. Whereas people who suffer from negative body image treat their appearances to not be adequate enough for society, mass media or themselves.  The three important idioms to look into body image are; public health, psychology and child/adolescent psychiatry. These three topics which will be later discussed are important to the subject of body image.    

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Naomie Tat on March 21, 2017
The news reports and articles published by mass media solely cover the surface of the issue of campus sexual violence. Academic researchers, on the other hand, write about their more detailed and narrowed research which, by the way, it is written, seems to be only accessible to the people who are already familiar with the research topic but is still seeking to further their knowledge and understanding of the issue.   

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by SVL on March 21, 2017
It is not rare to hear, see or read about a rape case on the news. Today, more and more victims of sexual assault take actions against their assaulter by speaking up about their traumatic experience in hope that society will be more aware of what’s happening on the streets, parties, college campuses, etc. Although did you ever wonder about what happens after? What happens to the victim after he or she informs the authorities? What happens when the victim awaits the verdict of the judge? What happens when the whole case ends?

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2 months 1 week ago

I think you raise a good point about the dangers surrounding polarised media outlets, such as Breitbart, but I feel that the article you summarised, and you yourself didn't go far enough. It seems to me that Breitbart functions more like a propaganda machine than a Journalistic news source, though I admit the line between the two is rather opaque.
As someone who falls far left on the political system and someone who pointedly disagrees with just about every issue Breitbart has meddled themselves into, I realise my bias, which as you said is something constantly and consistently in play, has definitely become part of the conversation. That being said, I believe I must still address the elephant in the room, but I’ll get to that a bit later on.
I am an avid reader, particularly of anything related to the organisation of societies and civilisations, I consider my self a history bluff, in that there is still so much more for me to glean from the mistakes of our ancestors, and from what I’ve manager to learn, for thousands of years the world operated on a few simple rules:
1. Might makes Right
2. Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
This is solely my cynical perspective, but if you humour me for a second and consider that in that last few hundred years, Might has shifted from solely Military Strength to other areas like Information and Money, you’ll notice something very interesting.
Now I shall get to my point. Forgetting any political-ideological aspect, Breitbart is a For-Profit news source, meaning the bottom line is to make more money, and this presents an issue for the integrity of its “news.” To make more money, Breitbart would need to gain more readers, and by extension get more people talking specifically about Breitbart. Essentially the goal is to become a monopoly, but as you might recall, Absolute power corrupts absolutely, hence you could say that Breitbart was founded on an ill intentions. Note Breitbart is not alone in this crime, merely the loudest of the lot. Going further, if you liken Breitbart to a virus that uses news and articles simply to grow larger, it becomes easy to see it as a propaganda machine that operates on a self-serving objective. On the other hand, I would liken the ideal media source to be like a plant seed, instead subsisting off the readers, it would require effort from the readers to “cultivate” it in a sense.

For those who made it this far, I must thank you for reading. I Really encourage you to send my way your own opinions to further the conversation.

2 months 1 week ago

Your content is very good and has lots of information that really helps prove that your opinion is the right opinion. From personal experience from family living in the United States and visiting, I have had a few encounters with the American health care system for example a family member who was injured while on vacation was not able to afford to pay for the treatment he needed so we were forced to send him money to pay for a treatment to fix his broken leg. So in the end I do agree with having healthcare that is free or cheeper. Although this also does have its disadvanteges such as higher taxes and longer lines because of the fact that it is free and people will go to the hospital for whatever reason. In the end I do think that the advantages out way the disadavantes and I think you have a valid point.

2 months 1 week ago

I completely agree with your article. I think that the media has definitely done a bad job at covering stories on not only people who suffer from mental illnesses, but also studies on mental illness. I also agree with the fact that the tone used to describe people with mental illnesses is often negative and badly portrays the topic.

On the point that you mentioned that the media has to educate people on these kinds of issues, I would also like to add that people are often unaware of ableism (which is the term used to describe discrimination against people who are handicapped, ill or suffer from mental health problems). Racism and sexism are somewhat well covered by the mainstream media, and especially by liberal news organizations, and news related to these topics usually spark a discussion on social media, but ableism seems to still not be considered by the media. I have definitely met a lot of people who saw no problem with using the word 'retarded' as an insult because "ableism doesn't exist", even though that word directly refers to people who are mentally challenged. I have also heard words such as 'autistic', 'dumb', 'hysterical', 'crazy', 'schizo', 'insane', etc. being thrown around, often negatively, which really breaks my hear whenever I hear anything of the sort because it shows just how insensitive people are on the topic of mental health. I am not personally mentally ill or physically handicapped, I can only imagine how disheartening for people who are already not taken seriously to see names for their conditions used as jokes or negative expressions.

2 months 1 week ago

Your article gives us an interesting outlook on women’s oppression throughout history. It has introduced the reader to the Korean society, and how the women are defined within it; as you have written that the women received no medical aid despite illness, we can conclude they were also dehumanised by the government as disposal tools. I like how you mentioned specifically that Asian women were socially taught to think that they are inferior to men. You wrote that all over Asian women are labeled as inferior, but I cannot entirely agree. I am of various Asian descent, and in some part of my culture what you state is the unavoidable truth. However, in my Hokkien roots, women are considered to be equivalent to men, if not superior. This belief derives from our history because women were known to be courageous and capable when the Hokkien tribes were fleeting from one area to another. It is not only because Hokkien women are historically known to provide for their family that they are well acknowledged by their male counterparts, but also because the men recognise and respect all works categorized as “maternal”— cooking, nurturing, cleaning.

When I read your post I was reminded of another historical event which could possibly relate to this one. During World War 2, Korean women and Chinese women were used as “comfort women” by the Japanese empire, meaning that they were used as prostitutes for the soldiers. Many conflicts between the countries have risen from this horrendous event, but in most cases, the people have said that the issue should be forgotten because it happened during a time of war, hence considered “normal”. Yet, I like to think how because the issue remained unresolved it continued again: history repeats itself. So, as your articles says it, in the 1960’s and 1970’s the government of Korea itself decided to illegally make their own female citizens prostitutes for American soldiers.

2 months 1 week ago

Hello! Very interesting post, I learned many things about fast food packaging that I did not know about and it made me aware of the dangers of eating fast food too often and what the impact is on our immune system!

Also, I could relate with your article, since I have experienced three cancers among my family members, two that have been fatal, and my father has experienced thyroid problems for many years, causing him to lose spots of hair on his skull, which is called Alopecia. Meaning that this situation is something I will consider more often than before, since I have a fragile background concerning cancers and thyroid complications.

Since I was a little a girl, my mother has always been very aware and cautious of what ate and made sure to buy non-chemical products to ensure maximum health, but as I could see in your article, we are always exposed to these vicious chemicals, whether we like it or not, even if we are careful. Fortunately, as you mentioned, there are solutions that can help us reduce our consumption of fast food, putting our care for our immune system first, and I will surely follow these suggestions.

Keep up the good work!

2 months 1 week ago

First off, I like the way you structured your text. Every paragraph has a cathegory of its own. More importantly, I liked how you did not miss any important parts of the article. For instance, you took the time to explain what CrowdTangle is, which I thought was great. I rencently did an article similar to yours because I also see the influence Facebook has on all of us. A quick browsing of my news feed would probably show some unreliable news article shared by friends or pages that I have ''liked''. I remember constantly seeing pro-Trump articles that would be shared by ''friends'' on facebook that would discuss crazy subjects like a nuclear war being prepared if Americans would not vote for him. I am sure that I am not the only one that gets confused after seeing these types of articles on my news feed. :O

2 months 1 week ago

Based on the information from your post, readers are given a clear and understanding view of the main events that occurred in the article you chose. Your post was intriguing because, of just the other day, I read about the movie “A dogs Purpose.” You may not have been aware but there was a video of a dog being abused to conduct certain tasks. Animal cruelty is just as bad on humans as it is for animals, for that reason, people should be charged more than just facing six months in jail, a $2000 fine and a two-year ban from owning a pet. Animal cruelty was bad enough in this movie that he author of the book itself was petitioning to remove the movie from airing worldwide. However, not successful the movie has been receiving a lot of backlash about animal cruelty. For more information to further interest you, here is a link to Terry’s Law which describes more on the law against animal cruelty; http://www.terryslaw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Animal-Welfare-Bill-C...

2 months 1 week ago

I find your subject pretty interesting. A while ago I heard of various Instagram users, one of which was tuesdaybassen, accusing Zara of stealing their designs. They have since created a website recording what designs have been stolen that compare their designs with Zara’s designs that they are selling for a much lower price.
Here’s the link to it: http://shoparttheft.com/

2 months 1 week ago

To begin with, I think you chose a great article and summarized it very clearly. Your writing was very fluid and easily understandable. Now what I find you did best, is that you stayed neutral and objective in your writing even though police racism is a topic that raises lots of opinions and emotions. I, on the other hand, would have had trouble remaining dispassionate about the topic.

Now this got me thinking, a few years ago, my cousin got certified as a RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounter Police) officer. She’s currently in Saskatoon in the native reserves. One day, she was patrolling with another officer that she didn’t know very well. They were chatting nonchalant in the car and she noticed that her partner was expressing racist comments and ideas. Without further due, she mentioned her concerns to the authorities. The board indeed brought in my cousin’s partner for questioning. I was very surprised when she told me that they took the matter seriously and questioned the guy. I don’t know what happened to him afterwards, but I think that she had a great initiative and so did the board. It is a burden that must be taken seriously and every inch of a doubt must at all cost be clarified.

2 months 1 week ago

Hi! I loved your article. I think it is a good subject to write about and it is something that we all have to deal with. For example, I often have troubles dealing with full-time school, my 20 hours a week job, my sports, my hobbies and friends and family and still have time doing my homework. It is almost inhuman to do everything. This is why I think it is very important to organize my time. All the tips you gave were tips that I use on a daily basis. Organizing my day hour per hour can be a hard job, but it is worth it. I think that time managing is something very important for everyone no matter your age, but we also have to remember that it is possible that, one day, you do not feel like doing homework or you cannot concentrate. And I think it is ok to take a break and to do other things. Sometimes, no matter what you do and how hard you try, it just do not work, and it is normal.

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About the author

I'm a Humanities Teacher at Champlain College, Saint-Lambert and the designer and founder of Newsactivist. Between 2007 and the present, I've developed a course, Newsactivist, which asked students to blog about the news that they felt showed parts of the world in need of improvement.