Contemporary Issues/NewsActivist Winter/ Spring 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 April 3, 2017
There has been a meeting at the World Gas Conference of Paris between the biggest gas and oil companies to discuss about natural gas’ environmental benefits. News summary from an article written on BBC News by Richard Anderson on June 2nd 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32976210 

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Easy LB on April 3, 2017
Fentanyl: 3 articles to explain why there is a rise in opioids abuse  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by YosefA on April 3, 2017
Julian Robinson, from Daily Mail online, has published an article about an honor killing case that occurred last month in India. The article mentions a father that killed his daughter with a meat cleaver after finding out that the boyfriend was caught in his house with his daughter alone. After the horrifying murder, the father took the body of his daughter and left on the doorsteps of his daughter’s boyfriend. The father was arrested and will be prosecuted.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by YosefA on April 3, 2017
Julian Robinson, from Daily Mail online, has published an article about an honor killing case that occurred last month in India. The article mentions a father that killed his daughter with a meat cleaver after finding out that the boyfriend was caught in his house with his daughter alone. After the horrifying murder, the father took the body of his daughter and left on the doorsteps of his daughter’s boyfriend. The father was arrested and will be prosecuted.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by BR on April 3, 2017
                                         In the article “Understanding the roots of homophobia around the world” written by Amy Adamczyk she explains how different factors such as money, freedom of speech and religious play a big role in homophobia in different countries. According to Adamczyk, every characteristic in each part of the world influences how people feel about homosexuality. She analyzed 80 nations in the attitudes, values and beliefs in order to explain the roots of homophobia.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by jasminecl on April 3, 2017
Having worked on diverse issues facing children in my previous writings, I have decided to focus on another issue I find should be of greater importance to all: the elderly and how they are treated in society. Indeed, in an article published by Justin McElroy on March 29th, 2017 on the CBC News website called Vancouver Seniors Face Eviction from Retirement Home explains the present situation of elders in Vancouver who were forced to move from their retirement home, Terraces on 7th.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by jasminecl on April 3, 2017
Having worked on diverse issues facing children in my previous writings, I have decided to focus on another issue I find should be of greater importance to all: the elderly and how they are treated in society. Indeed, in an article published by Justin McElroy on March 29th, 2017 on the CBC News website called Vancouver Seniors Face Eviction from Retirement Home explains the present situation of elders in Vancouver who were forced to move from their retirement home, Terraces on 7th.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Mila NY on April 2, 2017
Human Trafficking and Human Rights: Three articles showing the plausible causes and resolutions to the social issue  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by AlexeKantchev on April 2, 2017
In 2008, in Alberta, a university created a movement to spread awareness by living in the streets for a week just like homeless people do all year long. The students who do so live with the basic things a homeless person have access to such as a coat, a sleeping bag and maybe blankets. This movement became popular over the years and is now practiced here in Montreal by Concordia’s students. On March 16th, while there was a snowstorm here in Montreal, students decided to do the project anyways and were very happy of the results.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by isabelleallain on April 2, 2017
On March 27th, 2017, CBC News reported through “Privatization of Seniors’ Care Leading to Poorer Quality Service, Think Tank says” that the access to publicly funded senior care in British Columbia, such as homes and community care, is declining over time. Indeed, between 2001 and 2016, home support access experienced a decrease of 30%, whereas residential care with assistance access experienced a decrease of 20%. On the other hand, profit facilities are experiencing a growing demand of 42% from 2011 to 2016 as well.  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by michelle.bsparkx on April 2, 2017
The Star article titled “Mental health advocate Amy Bleuel, founder of Project Semicolon, dies” is about, as the title suggests, Amy Bleuel who passed away and the change she has made in the world. The article, written by Alina Bykova and Colby Itkowitz, describes what Project Semicolon was about, features things said by those close to Amy Bleuel and the importance of the project. The article was published very recently, on April 1st 2017.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by pascaleworld on April 2, 2017
The 13th of March, Global News published an article "Penticton woman charged with human cruelty" which exposes a woman who had abused her dogs. One of them was found with only skin on his bones. She will be facing the court on April 26th for making her dogs suffer without any reasons, leading the animals in distress. The article seems reliable as Global News provides many contacts and had published about the same issue before.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Laura-Camille on April 2, 2017
During the majority of the semester, my blog posts have focused primarily on women’s rights in several different spheres of life. From women’s reproductive health to women’s relationship with the law, I have used examples of recent news stories to illustrate that there is still a need of feminism in the 21st century.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by B.Matthews on April 2, 2017
The Star has published an article called “Ban food and drink ads to fight childhood obesity.” This article summarizes a non-profit organization, “The Heart and Stroke Foundation”, talking about a call to action towards the federal government in passing a law that prohibits food and beverage marketing towards children. According to Diego Marchese, interim CEO and executive vice-president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian children obesity rates have tripled since 1979 which places them at greater harm to developing heart problems, diabetes in their futures.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by SamanthaW on April 2, 2017
In this article a volunteer by the name Neesha, talks about her experiences as a volunteer teacher in a third world country. She said it would be nice to have some sort of certificate saying that she has volunteered somewhere. She also says, it’s not just about having a certificate, it’s about making young kids smile and making a difference.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Julia G. on April 2, 2017
         The epidemic of rabies is the negative result caused by dogs that have been abandoned and neglected by careless owners. The newspaper article, "I Want to Kill These Dogs: Question of Whether to Cull Strays Divides Yangon" written by Poppy McPherson and published to The Guardian on January 19, 2017 addresses the concerns of the community in regards to the dangerous stray dogs.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Naomie Tat on March 31, 2017
Last Thursday, Robin Camp, a Canadian judge who gained popularity last year when he asked a sexual assault victim why she could not just keep her “knees together”, resigned from Federal Court. It was a rare event in the Canadian justice system and was followed by the release of a report from the Judicial Council which demanded him to be fired.

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8 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.

8 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.

8 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.

8 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.

8 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!

8 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

8 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...

8 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/

8 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.

8 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.