Assignment 3 Joanna Ravachi 48 hours

Hi Joanna,

Your essay is fairly good but I would recommend going to the Writing Center before posting your assignment for simple grammar and sentence structure edits. Your grade will improve if you do so. I understand that English is a difficult language to write in well, but you do need to learn to proofread your edits. I was unable to fully understand some of the things you were trying to say, however, sometimes you made some very good points in your post. Please do visit the Writing Center!

Nowadays, the news are is something really necessary in our day to day lives, however, But at the same time they it can also be an are also intrusion in our solitude.  In my opinion, if you want to be an outstanding person in life or you want to be educated you should be a little bit selfish to help others. (I don’t understand what this has to do with solitude) In the 48 hours My The anxiety I felt ? was really pronounced. The act of  not knowing the news of that two days and being disconnected from the world cuased caused me more anxiety and preoccupation. For example, I am from Venezuela and my country is passing for through a really bad and a critical situation so I am always looking the news because my parents live there. With the experiment I was really nervous of not knowing what was happening during those that two days.   To be honest, at the beginning of the process I was thinking my own thoughts and letting my mind run but after some hours  the only thing that was in my mind was my country, Venezuela.

Nowadays, with some technological advances,  the first thing that  I  do when I woke up every morning is to check the social media applications that  I have in my phone. Today, snapchat Snapchat is really famous in some people between 10-20 years so people tend to see some friend’s daily post on that application. That is a really good idea from the new era, to keeping up with friends lives. After that, I usually go to the New York Times application to read some news .

Within  the experiment, I woke up in the morning unable to do  that things which is part of my routing, do you mean ‘routine’? so to be honest it seems a bit relax of not seeking social approval and starting my date more pacific. With the hours, I was anxious and out of my place, I thought that I was not fulfilling my duties. The first problem was that time when I hear my neighbor talking about something that was happening in Venezuela in that moment. I was having a panic attack.

Ignorance was the first feeling that was passing through my body as I tried to disconnect from everything but still, I was trying to look the good part of the story trying to see the spiritual  part of the experiment. It was difficult to understand that I was missing every second of my life trying to find myself. For me, it results terrifying how being alone gives a lot of emotions and feelings. By the end of the day everything was better because of two things: I could not compare myself to unrealistic expectations and I was in peace with everything that was happening in the world because of course, I did not knew what was going on.

After  48 hours I was  happy to finally go back of my real life. From that experiment I learned so much things, for example, the act of finding my self and I could realize that I spent every second and minute of my life with a  phone or with a screen and at the same time I am loosing losing a big part of my life.

“Solitude has its own very strange beauty to it”

Liv Tyler








Final Draft

See email for comments


Joaquin Guzman Loera was found guilty of all counts. Rhetoric was used by various media sources around Mexico and USA trying to maximize rumors that link high government officials with “El Chapo’s” case. Regardless of secrecy in the trial, attempted to protect the identity of those involved, there are indications of a Mexican president involvedness in this game of corruption.

Several news media headings were starring by the kingpin, and not for less.  The notorious drug lord, already convicted of crimes in Mexico, was accused in the U.S. of leading a criminal enterprise, distributing cocaine and laundering the proceeds, among other crimes. The 17-count indictment, which spans decades, alleges that Guzmán’s cartel shipped tons of drugs from South America to the United States, and then illegally moved billions of dollars in profits to Mexico.

After escaping twice from Mexican authorities, it is not a surprise that most news media were anxious to transmit every detail of this event that represents a hit to drug trafficking. Even though there have been cases in which journalists have lost their lives, as is the case of renown figure Javier Valdez, allegedly killed by Guzman’s sons for reporting about cartel infighting, this hasn’t stopped journalists in Mexico from airing every possible occurrence related to the trial.

The use of rhetoric, mostly pathos, prevailed among media reporters and articles while delivering information related to outcomes of the trial. Journalists, in an attempt to appeal to people’s emotions replenished media with articles and reports which headings looked similar to the next one, “El Chapo reduced to tears as wife, daughters appear in court.”  In this sense, the intention, of course, is to be clickbait and persuade people to click and read the article. The first paragraph then, starts mentioning how his twin daughters waved at him and how he is a sensitive human capable of let his feelings be in front of others.

Ethos was applied by various media sources as well; as in the case of CBSN news that invited a professional in the matter, a criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor in order to transmit ethical appeal. This person had been following the case since its beginnings, plus they knew that he was going to be able to provide credible, reliable, and fair opinions and information. The reporters took advantage to ask him things like “Do you think that watch him cry and seeing his little girls waving at El Chapo might have any impact on the jury?”  To what he answered that it always does, but that they know till what stands they let that to have an impact on them. He also said that one reason for them to allow that type of scenes to happen is to humanize the clients, and thanks to that it was demonstrated that the kingpin is also a human, even though seen by many as a monster. 

They brought this  gentleman to the studio to discuss topics that maybe the journalists weren’t very familiar with, to give the audience a sense of truth worthiness when bringing to the table topics motioned during the trial, such as making El Chapo pay for Trump’s wall, how they showed the arms used by El Chapo and his men in front of the little girls, how the judge banned Guzman’s lawyers from using phones, among other things. The lawyer was asked to give his opinion on how he thought the case was going. Again, there was not better person to be asked about this case than a professional in the matter of criminal justice.  

Something that journalists are not very happy about is the decision of the judges to maintain part of the trial in secret. “Judge Brian M. Cogan has been tasked with keeping the first of these trials on track and the second one in check. Given the sensitivities involved and the enormous news media attention, he has conducted much of the proceedings in secret.”

 Though the exchange occurred in private, reporters obtained a transcript, and by Friday night, word spread that a witness at the trial of El Chapo was poised to accuse a Mexican president of taking bribes. A complicated game began in which students of Mexican politics tried to divine which president it was from the cryptic comments made in court. But not only students were trying to guess, journalists started to make conclusions as well. 

“Was it the incumbent, Enrique Peña Nieto?

Or maybe the defense had erred and it was actually the president-elect: Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” published New York Times’ journalist in his article “The Public Trial of El Chapo, Held Partially in Secret,” appealing once again to pathos, there is a lot people that will easily believe either or, people that think governments are corrupted, the same as people that dislike these individuals. 

In court, a witness testifying against Guzman also named one of Mexico’s top law enforcement officials, Genaro García Luna, as someone who took bribes. He said that on two occasions he met Mr. García Luna in a restaurant and each time gave him a briefcase stuffed with at least $3 million in cash.

Mexico has long been plagued by troubles with corruption, and some in the country were not at all surprised that tales of graft were emerging, thousands of miles away, at El Chapo’s trial in Brooklyn.

“The world might be shocked, but here, for us, this is old news,” said Fernanda Hernández, 23, a secretary from Mexico City. “To learn the inner workings of corruption at the highest level is something that for some reason feels rather obvious to us.”

To all this we see how secrecy not only took place in the trial, but also, we see how high-level government officials served to the drug lord without any actions being taken. Government may have even taken part in El Chapo’s scape from prison; people in Mexico knew or suspected it, even journal people, but no one had the courage to take action and speak up. 



Rough Draft Joey Hernandez #1

Joey –


See email for suggestions


Media has helped the public to be informed of what is happening in the world. The situation that is happening in Venezuela with President Nicolas Maduro has been heard all around the world thanks to the media. President Maduro has been in power for about 7 years and within these 7 years, he has been able to trick his people into his economic and political system. He has made numerous speeches in which he promised, like any other politician, that Venezuela will come out of the hole and that the economic situation in Venezuela will come to an end. These speeches demonstrate a lack of pathos, ethos, and logos from the president.

The news of the barricade made by the president in Venezuela’s border with Colombia was spread really fast around the world. Social media was the one responsible of spreading this news worldwide in such a short period of time. Social media is a powerful tool that can be very useful. There are many people that use social media as a news provider. In fact, the majority of people of this generation don’t watch news channels anymore. All of the information they get is only through social media.

The news of this barricade is a good example of how the president of Venezuela lacks the three rhetorical appeals which are ethos, pathos, and logos. People in Venezuela are currently dying of hunger and because there is a lack of first aid supply, therefore there is a huge demand of food and medical aid. The president created this barricade to block exactly those two valuable things that the people in Venezuela mostly need. Thousands of volunteers gathered at Venezuela’s border with Colombia to help them get tons of food and medicine into their country. The president increased border security to block the aid, claiming that it is a pretext for a U.S. invasion. Nicolas Maduro stated that the United States’ help was a “rotten gift” and that their intention was to take over their resources. This shows the lack of logos from the president. He attempted to persuade the audience by the use of arguments that they will perceive as logical, but it does not make any sense the decision he made. His own people from Venezuela are dying and basically because of his ego he did not let the supply come in.

People have lost a lot of credibility towards Nicolas Maduro. He talks about Venezuela as if there is no problem whatsoever. He lives in a bubble in which he doesn’t care about what is going on to his people in Venezuela. The only thing that he really cares about is that he and his family are doing well. All of the speeches in which he speaks he talks about some other Venezuela that people do not know. He talks about a Venezuela where people are free and happy, which is completely the opposite from the Venezuela that everybody knows. How do people know that Venezuela is in chaos and not like President Maduro paints it? Because of media, especially social media. This gives access to the core of what is happening over there. Many people post pictures of destruction, extensive lines to get food, people very skinny that have not eaten in days, and even videos of people crying of hunger and police brutality against their own citizens. This is exactly why people do not believe any word in which president Maduro says because it is perceived by the audience as not credible. This is considered as lack of ethos.

Because of the president’s lack of ethos and logos, it is very hard for him to persuade people to his favor. People already know his roots and his true intentions so it is very hard for him to be successful with pathos. There is absolutely no way that he can convince his people because of the things he has already done. He often uses arguments that make the people feel emotional, which is the goal of every politician, but still nobody will actually believe him because of all the lies he’s said to the public.

            Thanks to social media, people know what is really going on with Venezuela. Social media has been a key factor to expose what Maduro is doing to his own people. It has served to open the eyes of the public and uncover what Maduro is really doing with his political power. Social media also showed how President Nicolas Maduro lacks the three rhetorical appeals. People lack complete credibility from him, he is unable to persuade any audience because of the lack of credibility that he already has, and his decisions and actions have no logic to the public whatsoever.

Work cited:

“Ethos-Pathos-Logos-The-3-Rhetorical-Appeals.” Dr. Williams : USC Upstate : English Program / Ethos-Pathos-Logos-The-3-Rhetorical-Appeals,

“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Closes Country’s Brazilian Border.” All Things Considered, 21 Feb. 2019. Literature Resource Center

Taylor Wells final essay draft

Taylor –

See email for suggestions.


One of the biggest threats affecting humanity as the 21st century continues to move along is the threat of climate change. One of the countries that will be affected the most by climate change is the United States. The United States is the leader of the world in almost every aspect and needs to wake up and start tackling the issues of global warming and climate change head-on. Unfortunately, due to the current political environment, the issue of climate change has become a partisan issue. A great deal of that is due to how media has played a role in framing the conversation. The media and the general public need to wake up and start to educate themselves on the real challenges facing the country in the years to come. How we know what we know is due to a government report issued by the White House detailing how climate change will affect America’s financial as well as national security.

“A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end” (Davenport, Coral, and Kendra Pierre-Louis) . One of the biggest problems with the media is the way that information is conveyed. Currently, in the United States, it is liberals who have taken up the mantle of climate change will Conservatives are on the sidelines. The way that climate change needs to be framed and directed to Conservatives is through focusing on using the rhetoric of ethos and logos. Currently, the country places more emphasis on national security than on climate change as seen in the Pacific Journalism Review “The 2018 Make America Secure Appropriations Act is the latest United States federal policy which prioritizes funds for defense projects at the expense of climate change adaption planning in the Marianas Archipelago.” ( FRAIN, SYLVIA C.)

What could happen if climate change could be framed as the biggest national security threat facing the country? This is the role that national media and few forms of technology will play in relaying the message. Change in public attitude can be framed by the new modes of technology like Marshal McLuhan said. By focusing on climate change through the systematic use of things such as social media and smartphones. Journalists can highlight things such as the report by the United Nations on how climate change will affect our economy .“This sweeping report summarized the work of thousands of top researchers and pointed towards one overwhelming conclusion: climate change is occurring, predominantly driven by human activities, and harming people in ways we can see today that will only get worse without further action. One number you probably saw grabbing headlines is that warming could clobber the nation’s economy by 10%. (Jina, Amir.)

By focusing on Conservative news outlets and normalizing effective practical solutions to climate change real progress can be made. Currently, two different worlds live in distinct echo chambers when it comes to the media people watch. People are consumed with confirmation bias and feeling right but what if there was an overlapping topic which both sides could agree on and help. Media as well as having the power to divide also has the power to unite and if the American news apparatus could unite on the issue of climate change public perception could be mobilized into action. “Moreover, the media’s ability to shape public perceptions may be tempered by active audiences who look for media viewpoints that are consistent with their existing beliefs developing a deeper understanding of how the public perceives climate change requires moving beyond secondary research to in-person research”(Corbett, Julia B.)

Once this barrier of partisan issues has been broken the media can then begin to focus on promoting all three aspects of rhetoric with ethos, pathos, and logos to help cover and promote the facts about climate change. It is a fact that changes in the environment will affect issues that are important to both Democrats and Republicans. Increased temperatures will lead to droughts across Latin America and places like Mexico increasing immigration into the country. Climate change will also pose a significant threat to coastal cities increasing sea levels and drastically changing the layout of where Americans live fundamentally changing the demographics of cities and regions. “Economic damages from premature deaths due to high heat alone could reach $141 billion a year, under a scenario assuming high greenhouse-gas emissions. While the dangers are often little appreciated, heat waves kill more Americans than hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes combined. High temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal—particularly among children, elderly people, and pregnant women. ( Temple, James,)

With all the increased problems being caused by the underlying variable of climate change taxes will have to increase for Americans as people will be getting sicker due to an increase in diseases and airborne elements. This increased burden on the American economy is something that should not be taken lightly. The United States and the world is in an amazing position where access to information is so readily accessible that real goals to change public perception are attainable and possible. The media holds responsibility in reporting the truth and creating lasting change, but the media is no longer just the media. The everyday citizen is the media, and anyone who shares on social media is engaged in the exchange of information. “The medium is the message,” and it has never been easier to help spread the message to combat climate change.

In conclusion, it is not too late for Americans to change their minds; everyone is far too divided and needs something in which to unite. Americans can unite behind combatting climate change, and with this change, America can help lead the world in helping to save the earth.


Corbett, Julia B. “Media Power and Climate Change.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 25 Mar. 2015,

Davenport, Coral, and Kendra Pierre-louis. “U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Nov. 2018,

FRAIN, SYLVIA C. “‘Make America Secure’: Media, Militarism, and Climate Change in the Marianas Archipelago.” Pacific Journalism Review, vol. 24, no. 2, Nov. 2018, pp. 218–240. EBSCOhost, doi:10.24135/pjr.v24i2.407.

Jina, Amir. “Will Global Warming Shrink U.S. GDP 10%? It’s Complicated, Says The Person Who Made The Estimate.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 5 Dec. 2018,

Temple, James, and James Temple. “Cutting Emissions Could Prevent Tens of Thousands of Heat Deaths Annually.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 28 Nov. 2018,

Victoria Martinez, 48 hours Blackout Essay, IDS 3309, Team 6

Victoria –

Excellent piece. Very thoughtful analysis of Deresiewicz and your experience. Overall, your writing is good. A final edit would be useful. Omit needless words.


In the article “The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewicz, he explains how solitude has disappeared in our society. He stresses this has happened due to the want of being desire to be connected or known. Technology and modernism of our society, play a major role in the to e nonexistence of solitude.

Deresiewicz, says technology is “taking away our privacy”, which is true. We are constantly relying on what technology has to offer to make us feel as if we are connected with everything, rather than finding solitude without having technology. Our lives revolve around everyone else’s life, (good) like Deresiewicz stated, “We live exclusively in relation to others and what disappears from our lives is solitude.” His example of the teenage girl sending 3,000 text messages within a one-month period, is a prime example of how we do not put time into solitude. It has become a thing in this day in age known as a cultural norm. 

In the article, Deresiewicz talks about the history of solitude. He says it was used for religious practice in order to find and hear God, but he said solitude was not accomplished until the Romantic Period, where writers like Rousseau and Thoreau and more, find it to be a physical necessity. Solitude was desired, but that has all changed, due to the developments in technology that have been made, such as the television. Childhood changed, Deresiewicz said. Nowadays not very many children play outside. They use the T.V. as there resource of connection, rather than finding solitude in simply just being alone without T.V. As a result of the T.V., internet arrived.

The internet has made solitude impossible for many. Our The theme of our age, postmodernism, is the desire to be recognized. With the internet that is possible. It is a constant stream of contact, which keeps us “wired in to the electronic hive” as Deresiewicz has quoted, and disconnected from solitude. With the internet comes a variety of outlets that we use, such as, Instagram Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and much more. There is always a concern of how many likes we get on a picture on Instagram or how many friends we have on snapchat. Before all these distractions, solitude was a norm. It was easy to be alone but not lonely. Now, that is unheard of.

When I did the 48 hours of no apps, T.V., video games, etc, I found myself more alone than ever. It was really like being disconnected from the world. I am so used to the constant urge to check my phone for Instagram feed or simply just watch Netflix, but without all of that, sadness and loneliness crept up on me. Not being connected, made solitude isolation. Being alone was being lonely. I definitely can relate to what Deresiewicz said that now solitude is just loneliness and boredom to us, because that is what came upon me. I found myself trying to do other activities, such as, exercising or taking people’s shifts at work, to avoid being by myself.  Solitude was harder to do than I thought.

Technology is without a doubt, a necessary intrusion of our solitude. My experience is just one example that solitude is being lonely and I need news in order to feel apart of life. Having the internet and other ways to involve myself with the world, is what makes me feel connected. That is how many of us live our lives and that is what our generation has made our therapy.

Erin Keenan: Final Essay Draft (Team 18)

Good job Erin, good details and images.  I ‘d like to see you integrate one or more of the class concepts into your essay. You mention the word ‘secrecy’ but then there is no follow-up with that.  See if you could look at the rhetorical triangle as well and utilize that too. All in all, fine work!


As immigration becomes an intense topic in our country, the crisis at the United States and Mexican Border is more concerning than ever before. The mental and physical conditions of the immigrants who do not make it pass border control and are put into detention centers that are horrific. Specifically, the El Paso, Texas detention center is overflowing with internal health issues, secrecy and obvious neglect to the immigrant of which is causing deaths to many of these migrants.

Related image


The Mexican border crisis has been an American global issues for some time now. The events that take place before and after immigrants reach our free country is nothing new to our understanding. Their intent to make the dangerous journey to America could be for freedom, to get by committing crimes, or reasons we can not relate to. However, the bias we have when they are captured is what is reflecting in a negative light all over the media. How do we know this? News stories, books, interviews, and scholarly articles are all written in order to inform people about the Mexican border crisis.

Image result for the devil's highway

However what most people do not talk about, until recently, is what happens to the immigrants who barely survive the miles and miles they travel, but then are caught by border control. The media and higher officials portray most of these refuges as criminals, yet most should not be categorized to that social group. Most of these individuals have gone through extremely tough times in their home countries and they still make the dangerous journey to America. As time progresses we hear more and more about the deprivation of some of these brave individuals, some even write about their experiences or tell the media.  For example, Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway, wrote a true story based off a man’s journey through the Arizona desert in search for freedom. Through this story one learns about the detailed struggles this man went through with border patrol and legal Americans who hunt to take the law into their own hands. He wrote, “If it was Border Patrol’s job to apprehend lawbreakers, it was equally their duty to save the lost and the dying” (Urrea, 2011).  The experiences they go through are hard enough, but in addition, stories have lately come to our attention about when one is captured and put into a detention center. Specifically, one of the nine detention centers in the United States, The El Paso Service Processing Center, is the facility that has been in the news recently.

Thanks to George M. Anderson in his article “At the Mexican Border”, he touches upon the matters of who is in the detention center, where the detainees are from, and what they experience while being held there (Anderson, 1997).  It is hard to discuss the detail on how we know about the issues that go on inside because there is so much secrecy held within and around the detention center, The facility has kept lies about the health conditions of the traveled individuals who are usually suffering from and illness or are experiencing starvation after their journey that was cut short. Even though they are illegal, action should be taken on the matter and these certain actions are not being taken into account in these detention centers. The neglect of their hygiene, health, and hunger, all take an incredible toll on the immigrants. There has even been recent deaths lately. The Washington Post reported on the matter this passed December. Carlos Holguin, general counsel for the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, mentions in the article that the government has an obligation to care for the immigrants and not let them die in federal custody. He states, “The longer the custody extends, the greater the government’s responsibility” (Holguin, 2018). Health-care professionals were contacted and reported that the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector will now order immediate medical assessment on all 700 children that it is holding. The two deaths in the past three months have shaken Border Patrol agents in the detention center and have started to  re-evaluate their actions on the immigrants that come into the center.

In addition to the tragic deaths, The Denver Channel 7 News reported two of the detainees even went on a hunger strike. The news article included the experience of a Texas Democratic Representative, Veronica Escobar. She mentioned that she toured the El Paso Processing Center and met with the men who decided to go on a hunger strike.  The article quotes her saying that she found the hunger strikers “deeply traumatized and frail” (7NEWS, 2019). The ends for these individuals are usually to be held there or in jails for most of their lives. However, most of them would rather die in these facilities then go back to their treacherous home countries.

Looking at the border crisis from a real world perspective, there are many controversial aspects about the topic and the series of issues that come with it. The El Paso Processing Center has held secrecy and lies throughout the past few years. If it wasn’t for the media and individuals speaking up the public would have never have known about the neglect the immigrants experience on a daily basis. When the media speaks or publishes about this issue, there are a few rhetorical appeals that come to mind. Viewers and readers have expressed their opinions on how they feel about the level morality the processing center and the laws of the country obtain. When people are thrown into the detention centers, most of the time families are split apart. In the past year, there have been activist who have protested on the grounds of the El Paso Processing Center. In an online article by Lauren Caruba, a former immigration paralegal spoke about why she was there to protest. Amber Ramirez stated that “she wanted to help the families be reunited and influence change to the country’s immigration policies (mySA, 2018). Individuals who have been trying to have their voices be heard have additional protests of federal immigration policies currently being planned until they see a change.

<img src=”; alt=”

More than 1,000 people march on an immigration center in El Paso. 


As a result of the media and people speaking up about the Mexican border and El Paso processing center, the citizens of the U.S. and beyond are now aware of the matter and now know about the secrecy behind closed doors. In recent years, the media has had received backlash on how they present and what information they present to the public. However, in this case, the event needed to be announced for the country to hear. With activist and modifications to the protocol in the center, hopefully there will be evident change and more liability given to the center’s leaders.




Anderson, George M. “At the Mexican Border.” America, vol. 176, no. 15, May 1997, pp. 3–4. EBSCOhost,

Borunda, Daniel. “U.S. Immigration Policy That Separates Immigrant Children Angers Border, El Paso.” El Paso Times, El Paso Times, 6 June 2018,

By: The Associated Press. “ICE Halts Force-Feeding of Immigrant Detainees in Texas.” 7NEWS, 16 Feb. 2019,

“El Paso Pediatrician Discusses Medical Needs Of Migrant Children In Detention Centers.” NPR, NPR, 11 Jan. 2019,

Infante, César, et al. “Violence Committed Against Migrants in Transit: Experiences on the Northern Mexican Border.” Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health, vol. 14, no. 3, June 2012, pp. 449–459. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10903-011-9489-y.

Sacchetti, M., & Moore, R. (2018, December 26). After 2nd child dies in U.S. custody, Nielsen expands medical screenings, will head to border. Retrieved from

Urrea, Luis Alberto. Adult Book Club Kit for Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway. Fayetteville Public Library, 2011.

Tiffany Bolanos-Team 21. Final Essay


Media’s Influence on the Measles Outbreak. 

The measles outbreak that occurred on December 20th2018, re-sparked a controversial topic that has been relevant since the 19thcentury: the argument with child vaccinations and the resistance against them. The use of rhetorical statements from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), social media, political representatives, and news sources are used to persuade and inform the public on the beneficial effects of vaccinations while the anti-vaccination supporters oppose the use of these substances. 


Cases and Outbreaks recorded by the CDC. Years marked with an * are cases reported from the months of December 2018 and March 2019.

Leading health organizations like the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) use logos to respond and correct the misinformation released on social media platforms to show the public vaccines are proven to be safe and effective. In the research articleCorrecting Misinformation by Health Organizations during Measles Outbreaks: A Controlled Experiment,organizations are known to invest in financial and human resources to close the gaps of misinformation leads from the public. These organizations also address these false statements as “myths” (Gesser-Edelsburg, Ana 4). Anti-vaccine supporters and others that are still hesitant with the use of vaccines although these health organizations have provided society with credible information. In fact, these studies reported a “backfire effect:” vaccine skeptics formed even stronger negative opinions about vaccinations after being given information intended to undermine the supposed connection between vaccinations and autism (Gesser-Edelsburg, Ana 4). For example, the measles outbreak that occurred in Minnesota in August 2017 ignited the Minnesota Vaccine Freedom Coalition. This coalition had spread false information of vaccines and was active in anti-vaccine activity.

Facebook search results for ‘vaccines’ led users to articles that promote anti-vaccine myths.

The Washington Postuses both pathos and logos to address health crisis of the measles outbreak as well. There has been rumors that have caused havoc on medical efforts to keep the outbreaks from diseases low. In this case, the measles outbreak stirred up controversial issues about vaccines. This led to the release of false information that vaccines can lead to autism and other negative health effects. Even with increased attention to the disease’s dangers, the anti-vaccine groups “definitely are upping their outreach on the political spectrum” (Sun, Lena H. 1). Somali American children in Minnesota had a vaccination rate of 92 percent in 2004, higher than the state average, but the rate plummeted to 42 percent by 2014. (Sun, Lena H. 1). In efforts to showcase the effects of parents not vaccinating their children. The Washington Post recorded that there have been 79 measles cases in the year of 2017. With the release of this information, the amount of vaccines in Minnesota increased from 2,562 to 8,324 that were administered by 12 clinics. (Sun, Lena H. 1) 

Facebook and other social media sites like Pinterest have used their platform to inform the public about these falsehoods. The Independent addressed this issue stating Facebook and their efforts to broadcast correct information. We are exploring ways to give people more accurate information from expert organizations about vaccines at the top of results for related searches (Cuthbertson, Anthony 1). Social media users mainly obtain they’re information from these applications so with the revision of the falsely claimed information becoming non-existent, the more likely people will support and follow through with giving their children vaccinations. Repetition of information, even if false, can often be mistaken for accuracy, and exposure to anti-vaccine content via social media may negatively shape user attitudes towards vaccination. (Cuthbertson, Anthony 1).

CNN reported the measles cases are increasing in Washington and have declared in a state of emergency in February 2019. 

CNN video link:

TIME magazine uses ethos to clarify that there are cases to the release of false information about vaccines. They have released multiple statements of supporting the effects and benefits of vaccines throughout their posts. They have also released information on the effects of lawmakers and their opinions and decisions on anti-vaccine groups and parents. A Republican governor stated that he would not sign three bills passed by the Arizona state legislature designed to complicate and weaken state vaccine protocol (Davies, Wilder.1). With his statement released, made an impact to parents whom have been hesitant on vaccinating their children in the state. As the measles case spread, more lawmakers expressed their opinion through large social media platforms like Facebook to share their views. Lawmakers used their own credibility to express and influence the views of many others. A House of Representative for Arizona, KellyTownsendclaimedthat mandatory vaccine laws are “Communist” and expressed dismay that the people of Arizonabelieve the mandatory vaccines violate their individual sovereignty. (Davies, Wilder.1). She also stated the problem is causing great injury and that the problem is with the actual vaccine. (Davies, Wilder.1) The representative also used a source of pathos to express their views especially sympathetic stories that will compliment them. For instance, after Townsend released her statement, a Republican representative expressed their anti-vaccination views in an interview. The representative stated that attributing health problems experienced by her 22-year-old daughter to vaccines she was given as an infant (Davies, Wilder.1).

To conclude, many media outlets and health organizations had to a duty to fulfill to effectively rid of many false information posts about the measles crisis. The statements released from political representatives as well as posts from social media platforms like Facebook influenced parents whom have been hesitant on getting their children vaccinated. With these crucial decisions, this has affected the numbers of measles outbreaks and showcases how a disease can quickly resurface. The use of the rhetorical statement from the CDC and Facebook are used to support their views. The purpose of this method is to globally spread correct information and rid of false claims that vaccinations are the problem and can cause other underlying factors like autism. Without their action towards progress to decrease the percentage of children whom are not vaccinated, views given by anti-vaccination organizations and supporters would have spread like wildfire. As more protestors are facing backlash from their false claims, the truth and proven research that vaccines are save and effective are coming to light. With this change, the number of measles outbreak will soon decrease as vaccination numbers increase.


  1. Gesser-Edelsburg, Ana, et al. “Correcting Misinformation by Health Organizations during Measles Outbreaks: A Controlled Experiment.” PLoS ONE, vol. 13, no. 12, Dec. 2018, pp. 1–23. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209505.


2. Sun, Lena H. “Despite measles outbreak, anti-vaccine activists in Minnesota refuse to back down.”, 21 Aug. 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,


3. Rauf, Don. “Anti-Vaccination Debate Fuels Measles Outbreaks.” Stroke Center –, Ziff Davis, LLC, 22 Feb. 2019,

4. Cuthbertson, Anthony. “Facebook Is Cracking down on Anti-Vax Conspiracy Theories Fueling Measles Outbreak.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 8 Mar. 2019,

5. Davies, Wilder. “Amid a Nationwide Measles Outbreak Lawmaker Says Mandatory Vaccine Laws Are ‘Communist’.” Time, Time, 1 Mar. 2019,

6. Larson, Heidi J. “The Biggest Pandemic Risk? Viral Misinformation.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 16 Oct. 2018,

Final Paper Joanna

Name: Joanna Ravachi

Professor: Lauren Christos

Course: How we know what we know

Date: 03-19-2019

Venezuelan Crisis

Venezuela has been in a leadership crisis for a very long time. Currently, the country is in a stalemate where two leaders Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido are competing against each other. What is at stake is the presidency; Nicolas Maduro does not want to exit the seat of power while Juan Guaido is forcing his way in. Guaido has the backing of the people and the international community who have stepped in to pressure Maduro out of office. The Venezuelan people and the international community, support Guaido’s ideologies to restore peace in the country and end the humanitarian crisis that has seen a mass exodus. Venezuelans led by Guaido have led a number of protests to pressure Maduro to exit office. During the protests by the opposition in Venezuela on January 23rd2019, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, offered compromises to the Venezuelan people by swearing in front of everyone that he will fight for a better Venezuela and he will change the government for a new one.

The situation in Venezuela has been aided by the information systems in the country and the outside world. The deep focus of the situation by the international media prompted the increased demonstrations in the country. Many international media houses have focused on Guaido’s agenda of restoring democracy in a bid to end the authoritarian leadership. The Telegraph, a UK based newspaper, terms Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela. In the newspaper report, the focus was on Guaido’s strategies to restore Venezuela’s democracy. According to the article, Juan Guaido is focusing on taking control of the military as a way to take over from Maduro who has led to the destabilization of the country through his unproductive and authoritarian rule. The article also focuses on Guaido’s ideologies of restoring democracy (Alexander and Cody). The call on the military who are backing Maduro to defect is a strategy to strip Maduro of power.

The international community is another factor that has influenced the situation in Venezuela. Many western countries have thrown their support behind Juan Guaido. The main reason for this massive support is to protect democracy from authoritarian leadership led by Maduro. Therefore, they do not wish to lose Venezuela in communist ideals. According to the Guardian Magazine “European countries including the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark have recognized Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela in a coordinated move made after a deadline for Nicolás Maduro to call presidential elections expired” (Jones and Patrick). The UK becomes the second after America to declare Juan Guaido as the interim president of the South American nation. This gives him a lot of leverage in winning against Nicolas Maduro.

The main focus of the international community is to build a stable country. The first step to achieve this is to support Juan Guaido, a candidate whose main aim is to restore power to the people. Guaido does not share the authoritarian ideologies as the previous Venezuelan leaders, and therefore, it would be easier for the international community to work with him. Chavez and his predecessor effected populist strategies to propel them to power. Moreover, they engaged in dubious and bloody ways to rise to power. According to Ryan Brading’s book Populism in Venezuela, democracy in the country had been compromised especially during Chavez’s administration when he wanted to rule indefinitely after the 2007 elections (Brading 135). The main concern for the international community is to end the old regime and starts a new one that is popularized by democracy. This could only work for them when they have an ally, and thus the support of Juan Guaido.

The role of the media, in this case, is to popularize Guaido’s ideologies, and therefore, makes him identified more by the people. They see him as the right person to deliver them from the high cost of living, intense corruption, and humanitarian crisis. A number of sources have compared Nicolas Maduro’s leadership as the ripple effect of Hugo Chavez. He exhibits Chavez’s an authoritarian leadership that plunged Venezuela into corruption and many other upheavals. According to an article assessing the situation in Venezuela, the author states that Nicolas Maduro is still holding on to the dysfunctional opposition whose main ideologies were to manipulate elections (Buxton 3). The information systems both in Venezuela and the international community have antagonized Maduro. The support Guaido enjoys not only popularizing him but also makes him a hero to many people in and outside Venezuela. His ideologies are based on correcting the wrongs written by Maduro. He hopes to restore democracy and end the humanitarian crisis, corruption, and improve the economy.

The freedom of information is a challenge in Venezuela. The government during Chavez and Maduro’s regimes have been in constant conflict with the media. The government restricts the freedom of information and sensors what to be expressed by the media. According to an article assessing the relationship between the government and the media, there has been a poor relationship between the two and this has seen violence being effected against the media personnel. The article argues that there should be a balance between a reasonable regulation of media and rights protection to avoid conflicts and biases (Carney). The suppression of freedom of information in the region leads to the media houses to focus more on the popularization of the interim president Juan Guaido.

The situation in Venezuela is critical, and the support by the international community on Juan Guaido is influenced by the need for restoring democracy in the country. The poor leadership that has crippled the economy of the nation led to a humanitarian crisis, and the relationship between the media and the government are some of the factors that put pressure on Nicolas Maduro to exit. Information systems are popularizing the Venezuelan situation in a bid to pressure Maduro out of power. Both the local and the international media as the right person to save the country have popularized the interim president. Therefore, this gives him an advantage over Maduro.

Work Cited

Alexander, Harriet, and Cody Weddle. “Venezuela’s ‘Interim President’ Urges Military To Defect Amid Promise Of Possible Amnesty For Nicolas Maduro”. The Telegraph, 2019,

Brading, Ryan. Populism In Venezuela. Routledge, 2013.

Buxton, Julia. “Situation Normal In Venezuela: All Fouled Up”. NACLA Report On The Americas, vol 49, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3-6. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10714839.2017.1298235.

Carney, Molly. “Balancing Regulation And Rights In Venezuela’S Media War Molly Carney”. Loyola Of Los Angeles International And Comparative Law Review, vol 35, 2013, pp. 273-312., Accessed 9 Mar 2019.

Jones, Sam, and Patrick Wintour. “EU Countries Recognise Juan Guaidó As Interim Venezuelan Leader”. The Guardian, 2019,