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Opinion | As the earthquake, tsunami hit home

March 24, 2011

I was still awake when news of the disaster broke. I stumbled across initial reports of the earthquake on Google News by mere chance, around 1 a.m. on the night of March 10.

Even though I spent half of my childhood in Japan and the other half in southern California, both known for their frequent earthquakes, I saw the words “7.9-magnitude” in the headline and knew this was no ordinary occurrence. Making matters worse, the articles indicated the epicenter was close to Sendai, where my grandmother, uncle and aunt reside. Already, I felt queasy.

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News | For UM’s freshman class, effects of economic recession subdued

September 30, 2009

The impact of the economic recession can be felt everywhere, from the aggressive incentives offered by car dealerships to the once-employed workers that scour newspapers for job offers.

It might be comforting to know, then, that its impact on enrollment at the University of Miami for 2009-2010 has been substantially milder.

Early indicators suggest that the incoming freshman class for this academic year is much like that of previous years in both size and composition, with slight rises in the number of international students as well as total enrolling freshmen.

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Feature | Consolidation in U.S. airline industry is mixed blessing

December 4, 2010

Since the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, a landmark piece of legislation that lifted numerous operating restrictions and allowed the nation’s airlines to compete more freely with each other, some 200 carriers have merged, been taken over, or gone out of business.

Some of the now long-defunct names may sound familiar, especially to those who remember the heyday of the Jet Age: Pan Am. TWA. Eastern. Braniff.

That trend of consolidation seems to be accelerating. Within the last five years alone, mergers have taken place between US Airways and America West, Delta and Northwest, United and Continental and, most recently, Southwest and AirTran.

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Feature | Runs are down across baseball, but causes are unclear

November 16, 2011

The proof is in the numbers.

A quick glance at statistics across Major League Baseball (MLB) shows that 2010 was the lowest-scoring season in almost two decades, with teams scoring 4.38 runs per game over the course of 2,430 regular season games—down 5.3 percent from 2009. It was the lowest mark since 1992, when teams scored 4.12 runs per game.

Even casual fans of professional baseball are sure to remember some of the more impressive individual pitching feats during the regular season: two perfect games by Roy Halladay (Phillies) and Dallas Braden (Athletics), five no-hitters, countless shutouts and even a near-perfect game by Detroit Tigers right-hander Armando Galarraga that fell short only because of a missed call by umpire Jim Joyce.

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Opinion | When, if ever, are journalists justified in lying?

April 3, 2011

When is it justified for journalists to be deceptive? The short answer is never—never when disseminating news or information to the public. There is not a single instance in which it is morally justifiable for journalists, especially those in a country that values freedom of the press as much as ours does, to lie to their audience.

The reasons for this are simple: journalists exist, first and foremost, to serve the public, not the agendas of their news organizations. As the Pew Research Center put it, journalism’s first obligation is to the truth and its first loyalty is to the citizens. Even those in our industry faced with the most extenuating of circumstances or the most pressing of larger issues must never forget these principles.

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Opinion | Questioning the identification of sexual assault victims

February 8, 2011

In an era defined by social media and “pseudo-news” channels, it has become all too easy to shove aside privacy interests and standards of journalistic ethics. Those who accuse the media of sensationalism in identifying victims of sexual assaults, however, fail to see the larger value of the practice.

Identifying sexual assault victims promotes truth, strengthens the credibility of the article, and, perhaps most importantly, serves to diminish the social stigmas associated with such heinous crimes.

Is it not the fundamental duty of journalists to present all of the available facts to the public—thus promoting principles of objectivity and transparency—and not to pass their own value judgments on what and what not to print?

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