Tips to be a cool global citizen

 

 

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photo by google

 

Marshall McLuhan , who was a philosopher of communication theory, predicted that the world would become a global village with the development of electric technology 15 years ago. And it seems like his prediction was correct. Now, the modern people can go anywhere in the world within 24 hours, experience a country without actually visiting there. The number of international tourists has increased, and people can easily meet foreigners in their surroundings.

The problem is, global citizens are not ready for welcoming new visitors. Discrimination toward foreigners still exist in a country, and immigrants are not fully accepted as a part of the society.  However, the world keep changing. we cannot live in a small room anymore. It is time to open the door and go outside.

Then, what should we prepare for being a cool global citizen? I found some clue to be a cool global citizen from ULM international student, Chi Thee Boss from Jamaica. She is a good example of a global citizen. Chi is born at Nigeria, but she moved to Jamaica following her parents. As their parents keep strong culture of Nigeria, she needed to follow her parent’s culture. IMG_0598However, when she was hanging out with her friends at school, she naturally accepted Jamaican culture too. Influenced by parents who introduced her to other culture, she was also interested in other culture too. She said, ” Asian culture gave me a refreshing jolt. It was so new that I wanted to explore it more.”

It was interesting for me when I asked her identity. “I am not African, I am not Jamaican, neither Nigerian. I think I am in the middle ground.” For her, the tag that indicated where she was from is not important. She love to experience other culture and is ready to accept it. And that is why she decided to come to America.  Chi said, ” American culture is a huge melting pot. The beginning of this country is from immigrants and lots of people came to America.IMG_0599 I loved to experience various culture. So that is why I  came here. And I am so happy to be here, since ULM has quite big international community.” ULM hold annual events for international students and try to give a chance to American students to meet international students. She is glad to participate those event and really enjoys those.

However, there were not always happy memories in the United States. One time she tried to visit one of her friends house but she could not go to the place because her friend’s parents did want their daughter to hang out with Black friends. “That was not a common happening but I was quite surprised because I thought America overcame racism somehow. But I realized that it is still in somewhere in America.” Besides this happening, she experienced cultural prejudice against her culture. “Whenever I said I am from Jamaica or from Africa, they start to see me with compassionate eye. “Can you afford this?”, “Do you need some food?”. People are just ignorant about other cultures.” About the silly questions, She thought it is hillairious rather offended or uncomfortable. Because she knew that they really did not what is going on the African continent.

Modern people already live in the global village. They cannot hide from the trend anymore. The necessity of people in the modern world, smart phone, more specifically, iPhone is not made in single country. Even though the head of Apple is in America, the actual products are made in other countries. Besides the iPhone, lot of goods are made in multiple countries. Now all the countries in the world need to get together and cooperate each together.

What I found the key to be a cool global citizen from her is her attitude to meet a new culture. She tries not to have a prejudice on a specific culture and to embrace their culture. ” I listen French music, love to watch Korean drama, I liked to watch Japanese animation, I eat Italian food, and I go to school at the United States. Culture is around us and I love to get into it.”

Open up your mind just a little bit and allow other cultures to get to you. The culture is in your own background.

 

 

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All the president’s men – What has changed and what has not changed over the past 40 years ?

The primary election for electing presidential candidates is in full swing. The smear campaign between the candidates is also getting intensified as the election campaign goes. Their comments on each other become an issue every day.

Donald Trump said, “Frankly,  If the Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.”, and he accused Ted Cruz’s father of helping JFK’s assassination.

Hillary Clinton was in hot water when private email scandal broke. About the Donald Trump, she called him a racist.

Besides the examples above, candidates slandered the opposing candidates and belabored the weak points of opponents during the campaign.

While I was watching the movie,”All the president’s men” which was released in 1976, I realized that the political situation has never been changed or even got worse.

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the movie poster of “All the president’s men”- photo by google

 

 

June 1972, five  unidentified assailants possessing radios and cameras invaded Democratic party headquarter, Watergate building in Washington. They are arrested by police and Bob Woodward who was the journalist of Washington post went to the court to cover the case. Soon, he realized that this case is not a simple larceny and started to investigate the case further with his fellow reporter and rival, Carl Bernstein. Based on the relevant information provided by an anonymous source, Deep Throat, they chased the case persistently. Through tenacious investigation, they figured out that White house was back of the case. Not only the White house but various government agencies including FBI were also related to the case. This case is one of the most famous political incidents in American history, the Watergate affair.

“All the president’s men”is based on the nonfiction book with the same title written by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.  This movie portrayed the reporting procedure of Watergate affair. The procedure was quite different from the procedure of today. Unlike today’s reporters are essentially using a smartphone and computer aka digital methods, two reporters in the movie used analog reporting method: meeting informants in person, calling to informants directly, writing down all the information they collected, etc. In one of the scenes in the movie, Bob asked who is the person while he found in the process of investigating the case. Bob and Carl called all people who might be related to the case. If they are in 2016, they would simply google in order to figure out the relationship of  individuals and to collect the information. Instead of calling to suspicious people, they would send an email to them first or leave a message on their phone.

Even though the methods of collecting information to cover a case have changed, there is one thing that journalists should keep in mind- the sense of duty as a journalist.

 

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photo by google

The situation today is not different from the situation 40 years ago. Politicians tell a lie and deceive people to get power. Political scandals have broken constantly. Entrepreneurs cheat on consumers. In this situation, journalists should fulfill  their role as a journalist. They should stand up to adversity and pressure and report the true story that the public needs to know. The virtue as a journalist was and still is an insatiable inquiry for the true.

 

What is your next step?

 

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photo by google

 

The end of campus life is coming! The long journey of your education is almost over. However, there are some students who decided to extend their educational background- The graduate students.

The number of students who apply master program has been increased. According to the report published by Council of Graduate School(CGS), 479,642 students enrolled the graduate school, and CGS expects that this number would grow. (for more detail, click this link)

Then what about after they graduate grad school? I interviewed two students who are graduating this year from the Communication program.

Katie Lindstrom

Sultan Amulsam

Some of students who are about to finish might consider to enter grad school. Going to grad school is not a easy decision. It means that students need to solely focus on studying and doing assignments. It needs lots of time, efforts,and sacrifice. From my experience, the average time that I am going to bed is around 1AM, and I have passed night without sleep many times.

However, as a graduate student doing master degree, I can confidently say. It is worthy! You would never know the feeling that you finish the hard process to get the degree. Classes for under-graduate students and graduate students are totally different. I would say, all the activities in under-graduate course are just baby steps. If you want to experience higher level of knowledge and studying, do not hesitate to apply graduate program. It will lead you to the new world of knowledge!

 

After I came to the United States, I am so surprised that American people consider Asian culture  as one  type of culture, where there many different types of sub-Asian cultures that have somewhat similarities, but as well as many  differences.

Let us look at the following picture.

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Can you notice anything strange in this picture? If you cannot, let us look another example.

 

 

The movie, Mulan, is an adaptation of a legendary woman warrior, Hua Mulan from China. Therefore, the movie is set at the time of Ming Dynasties(1368CE-1644CE)of ancient China. However, Disney character Mulan in this picture is wearing

 

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Geisha, photo by google

Geisha makeup, holding Japanese style umbrella next to a cherry blossom tree. Except the clothing that Mulan is wearing, the overall look of Mulan is actually Japanese style.

 

The music video that Rihanna and Coldplay took is worse. The music video is the mixture of all Asian cultures.

The title of the video is “Princess of China” Rihanna is clothed on modernized  Kimono which is from Japan, the hair style looks like Geisha which is also from Japan, the set and general atmosphere of the set is Chinese, some of the scenes in the video appropriated Hindu culture. If the director of this music video wanted to describe Chinese Princess, Oh no he was so wrong. Well, it might be possible if the princess would be kidnapped by Chinese King from Japan!

Besides those examples, the movie industry in America and media amalgamate Asian culture and call it “Asian culture” Asian culture definitely have something in common like all Western cultures. However, people do not mix France culture and American culture.

Perhaps, the reason why they are ignorant of other cultures is that actually American people do not experience foreign cultures in reality. Even though they are interested in other cultures, they actually do not try it. Thus, they experience those cultures through media that are easier than going abroad.

As people say, the proof the pudding is in the eating. The world is so wide and there is a bunch of things that you can experience. Go outside of America and taste the new world!

Why so serious? Enjoy it!

New Hampshire Voters Go To Polls In Nation's First Primary
MANCHESTER, NH – JANUARY 08: Harriet Boylan heads into a voting booth to cast her vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary at the Ward 3 Carol M. Rines Center January 8, 2008, in Manchester, New Hampshire. New Hampshire residents vote today in the nation’s first presidential primary. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

What comes to your mind when you think vote-counting broadcast?  Boring!

Politics is difficult, complicated, and arduous. In addition, American voting system is complex. Therefore, it might be natural that many of broadcast companies deal with election broadcasting in serious and heavy.

In general, the vote-counting broadcasting is like a marathon. It takes a long time to read all the votes and receive the result. We need to be patient to see the result. And no one wants to participate the whole journey of ballot counting.

However, Korean broadcasting companies started a new initiative to break the prejudice that the ballot counting is boring. They added entertainment in the broadcasting.

 

The video clips above are the scenes that Korean broadcasting companies aired in order to report a tentative voting tally.  They described the votes come in using Computer Graphic(CG).  By using CG, viewers could catch how far the ballot counting was progressed easily and enjoyably.

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Photo by Mark MacKinnon

 

Viewers at home responded positively on the program. At first, the viewers were confused by that new experiment, but soon they praised their novel trial. The program covering an election won popular acclaim and recorded high rating compared with previous programs (average 8%)

In Korea, the turnout has been recorded very low because of the distrust and ignorance in politics.This is a part of the effort to encourage citizens to participate in politics. A number of intellects are giving an applause to broadcasters’ effort.

There is a saying that an election is the flower of democracy in Korea. It means that the democracy can be actualized by an election where all members of the society can participate. Suffrage is the right that citizens deserve and enjoy.

Stop being serious and give some fun in politics!

.

 

 

Crisis of paper publication: will the newspaper really disappear?

 

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Photo by Eunhui Kim

 

March 27, Evegeny Lebedev  declared to stop printing the Independent with the last editions to be published in late March and only publish online contents. The independent started to publish the first issue at 1986 and became one of the influential daily paper in the United Kingdom with the Time and the Guardian. His decision has shocked the publishing industry.

Actually, Many of Scholars and professions have anticipated the death of the newspaper.

According to Australian futurist Ross Dawson, the traditional newspapers will disappear to begin with the United State around 2017,  England at 2019, South Korea at 2026, Japan and China at 2031. If his anticipation is correct, after 2040, all printed publication will vanish completely around the world.Also, Nicholas Negroponte who is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab predicted the death of the physical book.

Even though we are not sure that those predictions are right or wrong yet, it is true that the publishing industry has faced a time of crisis.  Newspaper circulation has kept falling, however, more and more people approach new through internet based channels.

Then, will the death of printed newspaper really come true?

 

KakaoTalk_20160412_151954604
Photo by Ennhui Kim

I want to take a look at an example of South Korea.

South Korea has the fastest internet in the world, highly ranked in the penetration of internet, has the #1 ranked smartphone penetration. as well as the highest amount of available WiFi locations worldwide. That is to say, it is easier for Koreans to approach to digital contents than any other citizens in other countries. (further information about the internet usage in South Korea) In other words, technological problems of accessing to digital contents do not work in Korea.

Korea Press Foundation(KPF) researched news consumption pattern and perceptions of newspaper readers in Korea. KPF conducted the survey targeting printed newspaper subscribers at 2015.( the Korea press)

According to the institution, The subscription rate in Korea is constantly failing. The subscription rate in 1996 was 69.3% in Korea. However, it has been steadily declined, and in 2015, it dropped by up to 14.3%. Also, the rate of passionate readership declined from 82.1 % at 2002 to 25.4% at 2015. KPF reported that the media consumption pattern has changed from printed material to internet-based material. Even though the number of readers who subscribe printed newspaper dropped, the loyalty of printed newspaper was still high.KPF conducted the survey targeting printed newspaper subscribers at 2015. Korean subscribers read 2.6 newspaper on average. 74.4% of the survey respondents said they will keep subscribing printed newspaper, and 71.1% of the them opposed the cease of publishing printed news.  However, opinions that present format of newspaper needs to be changed was prevailing. Respondents of the survey said that the size of font needs to be larger than the current size, the size of a newspaper should be smaller than the current size, the quality of print should be improved,and the pages of a newspaper should be increased. In addition, 68.6% of respondents think the price of the traditional newspaper is cheap(a copy of newspaper was sold for 70 cents) , and 1 dollar seems about right.  Additionally, traditional newspaper subscribers highly acclaimed the function of a newspaper as the press. They think that printed newspaper is more objective and impartial than the internet based press. 67.8% of respondents said that paper news is more memorable than mobile news.

Let us focus on young Koreans in their twenties and thirties who are the main users of the internet. The subscribers of printed newspapers, who are  in their twenties and thirties, are 21.7% and 11.0% respectively. About the frequently used news sources, only 3.1% of them used printed paper as a channel of gaining news.They mainly used portal sites such as Naver, Daum, and Nate and social media sites. In Korea, lots of people read news by clicking photos and headlines in portal sites. The average reading time of  newspapers were 2.5 minutes(150 seconds). The average using time of mobile internet and social media was 106.7 minutes and 50.1 minutes each. Even though they spend a lot of time using the internet and social media for reading the news, the credibility of those was low. Whereas, the credibility of printed newspaper was higher than other channels. Yesul Park who is a ULM exchange student from Korea said, “I usually contact news through Facebook or portal website. However, I cannot believe 100% the news from those channel. Because some of journalists write malicious and groundless stories. We call them Giregi which is a combination of words “Journalist” and “Trash””.

What can we guess through the numbers? In South Korea, more than 11 million households have 24 hours Internet access, and about 85 percent of the population goes online. A report released at the OECD Ministerial Meeting showed that South Korea ranked first in terms of Internet penetration. Under this situation, Korean publishing industry is focusing on the accuracy and quality of the news in order to attract more readers.

It has not been long that Korean publishing industry recognizes the crisis of printed newspaper, and they just started to look for a breakthrough to overcome the crisis. One thing for sure from the research is that journalist should consider the quality and credibility of news contents. In other words, though  individuals can get a high speed of internet anywhere in the country, if the accuracy and quality of the news are not protected, they would turn away from the news.

Butterfly effect- the importance of warm words

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I wear makeup every morning, do my hair with a hair iron, and check my outfit by looking in the mirror several times in order to gain confidence. I DO care about how I look. Whenever I am walking on the street or in a public place besides my house, I read others countenance. By reading a stranger’s face, I cast beyond the moon. For example, if someone smiles at me, a thousand negative thoughts begin to rush through my head. “Why did she/he mock me?” “Is there something on my face?” “Did I look silly?” That is ascribable to my timid and thoughtful personality, and also, it is started from few words of my childhood friend.

Actually, my childhood was not bad; rather I was a STAR in my school. I was always chosen to be the classroom representative, friends followed me, and there were always love letters in my school locker. Everybody knew me, even their parents.

It all began in the 6th grade. Normally, Asians are small and skinny. But in my case, I was different. In the 6th grade, my head already reached the 5.4 feet of a locker and my weight was equal to 132 pounds of a potato bag. I did not know that I was big. I just thought that I grew faster than others. But only a few words changed my whole life. One summer day, I wore shorts and a sleeveless shirt as usual. I played with my friend during lunchtime. Suddenly, one boy who was leaning on the side of a door, said “how could you wear the shorts and sleeveless with that fat arm and legs? Aren’t you ashamed?”

Have you ever heard about the Butterfly Effect? It is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The words that the boy threw off have influenced my whole life. I am not sure whether he intended this or not. It did. The words made little waves in my mind and the waves were getting bigger and bigger. First, I started to check myself in front of the mirror. And the time that I spent in front of the mirror was getting longer. Finally, whenever I looked at myself in the mirror, the reflection kept saying to me – you are fat and ugly, no one likes you. And it has bothered me for 10years. In order to get over it, I started to wear makeup on my face and tried harder to gain confidence. I even went to a counselor. It is getting better but the words are still stuck in my head.

Sometimes I imagine what if he did not say the words? I cannot guarantee that I think myself as a princess, but at least, I may not think myself as Shrek.

The power of words is stronger than you think. Those can kill someone and save someone according to its usage. Think twice when you spit out words.

 

Trump’s new weapon – Chalks

As the time for the presidential elecetion of 2016 get closer, candidates are campaigning more actively. Also, supporters of Donal Trump presented a new weapon in thier campaign, chalks.

The campaign is inspired by events at Atlanta’s Emory University where a message supporting Donald Trump appeared on a sidewalk on campus. The chalk message made some Emory students angry and feel unsafe, and they strongly requested that Emory administrators denounce Trump supporters. Similar incidents happened at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Santa Barbara. The campaign has been spread through online by Trump supporters, hashtagged #TheChalkening. The twitter page keeps uploading the pictures of chalk messages from college campuses around the United States.

There is a variety of opinions concerning the happening.

Some people worried about the possible violations from Trump supporter that were shown in the media – the campus is not safe anymore.

Some people think that the students are overreacting on the happening and consider it as a joke. A chalk is just a chalk. It does not have any power.

 

Some people approach this issue with the matter of free speech. Even though some people shows their supports on Donald Trump, the others who do not support Donald Trump do not have any rights to restrain them. People need to accept their opinions and deal with it. Here is an interview from one of the professors in Emory University – click

Today, it happened at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. It is presumed to be written on Sunday, right before the school restarts. How ULM students feel about the chalk messages, Did they feel threatened? uncomfortable? Some students might ignore the messages. Some might agree with the messages and support trump.

What did you feel after you actually see the supporters’ campaign?

 

Don’t be shy, just come and enjoy!

globalpIt is the time of year to enjoy the exotic mood for ULM students! From March 21 to 24, there will be one of the biggest and funniest events at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.That is “international week”

The university of Louisiana at Monroe has been friendly to international students and they hold an event that both American and international students enjoy together. For international students, it will be a great chance to introduce their culture to American students, and for American students, they can experience a new culture that might be hard to contact with. This event would give an opportunity to understand other cultures. In ULM, there are 292 international students from 57 countries. And the number of international students is growing. They form a group their own community and try to communicate each other and regional students. Their endeavor to communicate and understand other culture lead to hold such event.

Each year, the international office at ULM plans various events conjoining international students. This year, starting with flag parade on Monday, March 21, the international week will be last until Thursday, March 24. Please follow the link for the detailed schedule. The most popular and well-known event for the international week would be “international food fair”

At the food fair, international students and faculties prepare food that can represent their culture. They use curious ingredients that American would never try before or use ingredients with different receipes. It would offer a great experience to try new dishes. Also,  participants of the event will get a chance to vote for the dish they enjoyed. Since the dishes in the food fair has limits, you might neet to rush to the event place in order to try the food.

I hope that such events happen more frequently so that people experince other cultures and understand each other. It would be a small step to solve intercultural conflicts.

 

The global trend of right wing

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The approval rating for Donald Trump speaks volume, and he is leading in the Republican primary against other candidates. Lots of people on Social Network expresses concern over Trump’s leading and even say they would leave America if Trump wins the presidential election. Then, is there any possibility that Donald Trump becomes a president of America? who votes for trump?

His unexpected upturn might reflect a global trend. Including America, many countries around the world take the right wing. the rating of France’s far-right National Front party has been increased after the terrorism in France,  Japanese government led by Shinzo Abe who is known as extreme rightist stays in power, and Law and Justice (PiS) which is right wing party in Poland came into power after 8 years. Besides these countries, it seems that a plenty of countries select a right route.

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Many scholars analyze that this trend connects to the global economic crisis and threats of terrorism. The world has been suffering from economic hardships and people do not have room for others. Also, the provocations of extremist light the fuse of conflicts. Eventually, ecocentrism has been spread individuals’ mind.

Historically, war comes after a great economic regression. If the world keeps moving toward the right, the third world world would not be just the flight of fancy.