Wed12022020

Last updateWed, 18 Nov 2020 1pm

Editorial

The Return of College Sports

default article imageWith the sports world around the globe being put on pause for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic; universities around the nation are beginning to bring back their athletic programs with unprecedented precautions.

Monmouth University has taken an integral role in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) athletic procedures heading into the winter season. They plan on proceeding with the winter sports season with limited in-conference schedules and no fans in attendance.

The Outlook continues to report on the constant updates regarding the current COVID-19 athletic conditions, and the editors shared their opinions on how these circumstances have been handled. Many of the editors believe that there is still major risk involved in bringing sports back to campus, but at the same time they agree that athletics are key to the current state of Monmouth.

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The Phenomenon of "Fake News"

default article imageThe phrase “fake news,” which refers to news stories that publish false information, has been used quite often on social media in recent years. As the student-run newspaper of Monmouth University, The Outlook editors discussed their views on the implications of “fake news.”

One editor said, “I think it is unbelievably dangerous for people, and especially the president, to claim our media is all ‘fake news.’ If we do not have the media as the fourth estate, then we have nothing as a country. Without the media, we are simply allowing a few elites to dictate our entire lives.”

“Fake news is out there but not all of the news is fake,” commented an editor. “The claims that people and the president have been making about fake news is dangerous.”

It’s good to be skeptical and question things you read—that’s even an important trait for a journalist to have. However, it becomes a problem when readers label something as “fake news” when they simply do not agree with the facts being published.

Many of those who attack reporters on social media do not realize how important news and the media is. Without journalists, there is no one to inform the public about events or issues not only in our country, but around the world. In fact, it was two Washington Post reporters who began the Watergate scandal that led to investigations of President Nixon.

One editor said, “It’s no coincidence that the growth of distrust with the media and journalists in general directly aligns with the time period of President Trump making disparaging remarks about the industry. It would take the minimal amount of effort to cross reference what you hear from a cable news station with a neutral source, but people enjoy being angry too much to ever commit enough effort to doing something so simple.”

Some publications, such as USA Today, have even dedicated sections of their newspapers to fact-checking claims across social media. It is important for readers to be aware that fake news can exist, and that reviewing other sources can give a clear sense of what is accurate and what is not.

Some editors also noted that news sources sometimes “clickbait” a reader by publishing a deceiving headline, a common tactic in tabloid newspapers. One editor said, “When a person reads a title or a headline that strikes them in a certain way, usually in an outrageously abhorrent way, they are more inclined to immerse themselves in that news regardless of its validity since it is so eye-catching and compelling.”

Another editor added, “News outlets do have the tendency to sensationalize to draw in viewers, which is dangerous. But the outlets have to increase their viewer and readership some way, so they create catchy headlines and take eye-catching photographs or videos to draw viewers in. So, people need to develop their media literacy skills to better decipher the truth from the news and to learn what fake news looks like.”

As journalism students, we are equipped with the tools to find out whether news is “fake” or not. Under the instruction and guidance of our professors, we are able to strengthen our media literacy skills, which allows us to detect misinformation. For example, we know that information and quotes must be attributed to a source, most often an expert in a specific subject area, in order for an article to be credible.

The antidote to “fake news” is research. One editor said, “The phrase ‘fake news’ is easy to throw around when you’re pressed with information that is not easy to accept. It’s just so easy to find the truth behind a particular topic by reading the many different neutral publications. To label all of journalism as one particular thing just comes across as being intimated by education.”

The beginning of the pandemic in March also saw an increase in claims that news sources are “fear mongering,” deliberately spreading false or exaggerated news to spur fear and manipulate the public. Just like fake news, while fear mongering may exist, claiming that every article about COVID-19 is “fear mongering” can have alarming consequences. Publishing accurate facts and statistics about the virus is not “fear mongering.” It is simply informing the public, which is a journalist’s responsibility. If readers disregard important news about COVID-19 because they think the media is “fear mongering,” then it would have disastrous consequences on public health.

News and media outlets have a commitment to publishing honest, fair, and accurate news. Fake news does exist, and it hinders the credibility of other journalists and news outlets. It causes readers to be less willing to trust any news article they come across.

However, a major problem arises when people claim a news story is “fake” just because they may not agree with what they read. While fake news is dangerous, it is even more dangerous for people to distrust the media outlets that are committed to publishing real, accurate, and important news.

 

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University

Dear Mr. President

default article image2020 has been a year that has not only been infected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also been plagued by race and social issues, a plummeting economy, and a global climate crisis. Throughout all of these struggles, 2020 presidential nominees President Donald J. Trump, and former Vice President Joe Biden have campaigned to become the next leader of the United States.

On Nov. 3, millions of Americans practiced their civic duty and cast their ballots to decide who will guide America to the light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been the year 2020.

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Voting in the Pandemic Election

default article imageWith the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, it is safe to say that Nov. 3 is not going to be your typical Election Day.

Voting will look a little different this year. Every registered voter in New Jersey received a mail-in paper ballot with specific instructions that must be followed in order for the vote to count. New Jersey has eliminated in-person voting booths this year, except for people with disabilities, due to COVID-19 concerns. There have been many concerns about the possibilities of fraud in respect to mail-in ballots, as well.

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Virtual Club Involvement

default article imageThe University’s new COVID-19 protocols, which says that clubs must function virtually until Oct. 20, raises questions about club involvement on campus. Are students more or less inclined to join a club if all meetings are held virtually via Zoom meetings? The Outlook editors reflected on this question.

Many editors point out the difficulty of meeting virtually. “I think it is difficult for members to collaborate well over Zoom,” one editor pointed out. “I am always afraid I am going to talk over or interrupt someone else, so I am hesitant to speak up on Zoom.”

Another editor agreed, “I do not like virtual club meetings because I do not feel like I am as connected or involved when it is virtual.” However, this editor said that they will attend virtual meetings if it is the only option being offered, in order to stay involved on campus.

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Entering the Workforce During COVID-19

default article imageBetween an economic recession and the shift to working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an abundance of uncertainties when it comes to entering the workforce after graduation.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that COVID-19’s hit on U.S. economy might remain until 2029. Meanwhile, Vox reported on Sept. 27 that half of Americans who lost their job say they are still without one.

With many of the Outlook editors graduating this spring, they shared opinions on how comfortable they felt entering the workforce with the threat of COVID-19 still prevalent in our everyday lives.

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Newspapers Without a Newsroom

EditorialWhen COVID-19 shut down schools and offices in March, newsrooms were no exception. However, as things began to gradually re-open, a few newsrooms around the country decided to close permanently, with writers and editors working strictly from home.

The New York Daily News is one of them, as well as four other newspapers under the media company Tribune Publishing. It begs the question: can newspapers survive without a physical newsroom?

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The Outlook Editors on Re-opening

default article imageSince Monmouth University re-opened with a mix of in-person and online classes this semester, students have rapidly adjusted to the “new normal” on campus. Regulations such as social distancing, mask wearing, and hand-washing are enforced, while the new meal-ordering app was introduced to minimize the number of students in the student center and dining hall.

The Outlook editors shared their opinion on Monmouth’s approach to re-opening campus this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with some agreeing with the decision to reopen campus.

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The Outlook Welcomes you Back!

default article imageI am thrilled to give a warm welcome back to all Monmouth students, faculty, and staff!

It feels so good to be back after the abrupt transition to remote learning last semester. As we step into another semester here at Monmouth University, things are looking a bit different.

With this new school year brings many obstacles that we’ve never encountered before. We’re starting a school year wearing masks, social distancing, and taking untraditional online classes.

Freshmen, you are facing some unprecedented challenges, being the first group of students to begin college during the pandemic. You’ve had a challenging end to your senior year of high school. You might be worrying about things like navigating campus, making friends, managing online classes, and getting involved with clubs and organizations.

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University Club Involvement

default article imageWelcome to the club. As the University’s Wrestling Club hits the mat for the first time this semester, The Outlook’s editors reflected on the state of clubs at Monmouth and their experiences with them.

All the editors agreed that the University offers enough clubs outside of Greek Life that offer opportunities for all students to get involved. “I think there are plenty of club opportunities on campus,” one editor said. The editor continued, “I feel like since I’ve started here, there have been many new clubs that are added that are centered on new student interests and major-related activities.”

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Hawk Network Takes Flight

default article imageJob hunting. It’s stressful, time consuming, and a constant battle to outshine your peers. As a college student anything you can do to make the search easier, you will.

With the rise of technological interface, applications such as Linked-In and Indeed make applying for jobs and finding professional connections available from the comfort of your screen.

Now, current students and Alumni of Monmouth University just got another advantage in the mad-dash to employment by creation of the Hawk Network.

Hawk Network was created by Monmouth University, and according to the university’s website is a, “new digital community for professional networking, mentoring, exploring and posting job opportunities, and connecting with classmates.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu