Natalie Orta – Capstone – Group 2 – Palau Bans Reef Toxic Sunscreen

Natalie –

 

Excellent job!

 

Palau placed a ban on “reef toxic” sunscreen to protect its coral reefs (Perrigo). Although the actual effect of the ban is uncertain, it has garnered global attention in various news sources. Rhetoric used by supporters may generate public support which will lead to manufacturers and others countering with the virtues of sunscreen and the need for further research.

Palau has taken the leap to become the world’s first country to ban harmful ingredients in sunscreen to protect its precious coral reefs (BBC). Starting January 2020 anyone importing or selling sunscreen containing any of 10 banned chemicals face a $1,000 fine and tourists who bring banned sunscreen into the country will have it confiscated (Guardian). This brings on the controversial topic of the lack of knowledge in the field of epizootiology and also brings to the forefront how little we know about the preservation of coral reefs (Woodley). This shortage of information is skimmed over in many of the Palauan articles about this topic. The articles take on a pathos form of speaking hoping to pull on the heartstrings of the readers and skimming over the logos, which is what calls the attention scientists and critics alike. The controversy comes in the fact that some scientists do not agree that banning sunscreen will make a large enough effect on coral reefs that would warrant a countrywide or even citywide ban (Beitsch). Some also believe this will do more harm to humans that good to the coral reefs (Raffa). The threat of skin cancers becomes an important part of this ban and its thought process. The pros and cons must be weighed out. 

The article in Chemistry in Australia, “Sunscreen Ingredient Polluting Coral Reefs”uses ethos from the rhetorical triangle by having the article published in the “Archives of Environmental Contamination” as well as relying on the fact that it was written by a well known doctor from the field of environmental studies (EBSCOhost). This article also uses logos by having technical and scientific jargon to explain the effects of the banned sunscreen ingredients and their chemical properties, going as far as explaining how they each affect the coral reefs. There can also be an argument made for pathos in this article. This article goes into gruesome details on how the coral reefs are affected by different chemicals, detailing how the damages to their DNA affect them to the point that they may encase themselves in their own skeleton and then die. Coral reefs have been a controversial topic since the 1970s; there has been discussion on how they are being attacked at a global level. Sunscreen Ingredient Polluting Coral Reefs again uses logos whenwriting that weather and climate changes are to blame for much of the global destruction of the coral reefs, but also admits that the problem may be more locally specific. This refers to pollution, which is a cause that is gaining more and more popularity among those that wish to preserve the coral reefs of the world. 

Despite the different opinions, IslandTimes used both ethos and logos when they posted, “Palau Becomes the First to Ban ‘Reef-Toxic’ Sunscreens” about how Palau would be making history by being the first country to place a country-wide ban on sunscreens containing the ingredients that are harmful to the coral reefs (IslandTimes). This would be considered ethos because it was posted on the online newspaper in Palau, which is a trusted site used by the whole country as a credible place to receive their news. It is also ethos because of the mention to the Palauan president, Tommy Remengesau, and his agreement in how the chemicals found in sunscreens are harmful to their coral reefs. It also appeals to the logos argument because of the details posted about the amount of sunscreen that enters their waters everyday as well as the breakdown of what will be done with sellers, tourists, and Palauans alike. 

In this attached youtube video below by Newsy, they talk about the fact that Palau is becoming the first country to ban sunscreens that contain harmful substances to coral reefs. This law will be put into place in 2020 and will be banning ten chemicals usually found in sunscreen. This video uses ethos to describe the ban, mentioning that the president from Palau is the one that signed the ban. They use the president as a persuasive technique as to why you should listen and see the importance. 

This topic does not contain much secrecy. The facts are all there. It is more about giving their side of the topic, the believers of the ban, and the doubters. Since it is a fairly unpopular topic, most of the news has been spread through newspapers and not other forms of media like television news or books. Freedom of information is not an issue when it comes to the sunscreen ban in Palau. This topic is wide open in giving two sides of the coin on what the issue is, you either agree or you do not. McLuhan’s, “the medium is the message” comes into play with this topic. The ban of the sunscreen ingredients becomes less important if given by a site that is not as trustworthy. Considering that many of the more popular, reliable sites like BBC and USA Today are in agreement to the facts that Palau is placing a ban on ingredients as well as them being the first country to do so, gives McLuhan’s words a place in the story. If this topic were to come from a country like China, that has had issues with censorship in the past, it may make readers more skeptical to the facts and reasons behind it. It goes to show how important sources and transparency are. 

Annotated Bibliography

Perrigo, Billy. “Why the Pacific Island of Palau Is Banning Sunscreen.” Time, Time, 7 Nov. 2018, time.com/5447739/palau-sunscreen-ban-coral/

McGrath, Matt. “Coral: Palau to Ban Sunscreen Products to Protect Reefs.” BBC News, BBC, 1 Nov. 2018, www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46046064

Guardian staff and agencies. “Pacific Island to Introduce World-First ‘Reef-Toxic’ Sunscreen Ban.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 2 Nov. 2018, www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/02/pacific-island-to-introduce-world-first-reef-toxic-sunscreen-ban.

Woodley, Cheryl M., et al. Diseases of Coral. Wiley Blackwell, 2016

Beitsch, Rebecca. “Some Sunscreens May Kill Corals, but Should They Be Banned? Scientists Are Not so Sure.” USA Today, 9 Mar. 2019, 8am, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/09/some-sunscreens-may-harm-coral-reefs-should-they-banned/3106001002/

Raffa, Robert B., et al. “Sunscreen Bans: Coral Reefs and Skin Cancer.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy & Therapeutics, vol. 44, no. 1, Feb. 2019, pp. 134–139. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/jcpt.12778. 

“Sunscreen Ingredient Polluting Coral Reefs.” Chemistry in Australia, Mar. 2016, p. 6. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.fiu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=112702347&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

Pojas, Rhealyn. “Palau Becomes the First to Ban ‘Reef-Toxic’ Sunscreens.” IslandTimes, 27 Dec. 2018, islandtimes.us/palau-becomes-the-first-to-ban-reef-toxic-sunscreens/

Treviño, Julissa. “Can We Create Sunscreen That Protects Both Humans and Coral Reefs?” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 16 July 2018, www.smithsonianmag.com/science/scientists-are-unraveling-new-dangers-sunscreen-coral-reefs-180969627/.

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FINAL ESSAY _ LILLY COSME

Lily –

Excellent work!

 

 

Please see email for paper.

Dead Whales and the Plastic Industry

Nichole –

An excellent essay. Writing was tight and focused, analysis made great use of class concepts. Images were relevant and had impact.

 

Great job!

 

When news broke in Indonesia, the use of rhetoric was to enforce the idea that the fault was on human-kind and creating an existential crisis amongst all those that abuse single-use plastics. The particular medium of video sends a message of humankind alteration using the most impactful visual of a dead whale. The incorporation of social media has made it so that broadcasting it would demonize plastic users and manufacturers. Laws that protect plastic industry is a form of secrecy while allowing this event to happen again.

“photo will be sent via email”
some of the 1,000 assorted pieces of plastic found inside dead sperm whale

The article begins with an analysis of the event using logos. The intent of this is to make sure the audience gets a clear understanding of how and why the whale has died. These facts inadvertently include an emotional appeal. The purpose of this would be discourage readers from using single-use plastics. The explicit explanation of how plastic impacts the digestive system of a whale, increases the article’s logos. The use of factual statistics and information collected from credible sources increased the reliability of the article, or ethos. The sense of impending doom implemented with the use of lexis, keeps the audience intrigued. This intrigue is a necessary part of being able to explain to the audience how this is very possible in all parts of the world.

“Photo will be sent via email”
            Environmental and marine pollution in Indonesia

This event significantly boosted organizations to fight for laws that would provide environmental protection under Indonesia’s Criminal Code. The sense of secrecy, the government wants to instill about this topic is that their efforts to prevent this from happening again are nonexistent. Business would take more than the annual 1.1 million tons of local scrap making plastic waste and plastic lobby groups a source of improving the economy. Business holds a strong influence on the secrecy behind letting this event continue despite the outcry from nations and citizens to regulate waste, further (Jong).

The New York Times followed the definition of critical theory. The purpose is to overcome this event by presenting the news in a practical way. The event was analyzed in a way to overcome circumstances that limit humankind in the future. The inclusion of how plastic impacts all marine life is an analysis of human freedom through research (Bohman).

Technology influenced this event by having the news readily available to every person in the world. Social media is explicitly a way for citizens to take charge of what kind of change they would like to see in their country. It provides ideas to those that do not know how their actions can impact their way of life. Beneficial and harmful events easily influence the global culture, so the #trashtag challenge allows everyday citizens to bring about desirable change.

“Photo will be sent via email”
            Dead Whale found with 88-pounds of Plastic in the Philippines

In an event, identical to the one in Indonesia, a necropsy was preformed to make an assertive message to the audience. The use of this medium is combining the newly adapted mix of oral and visual culture to create a greater sense of real-life presence (Victor). Social media had a direct impact on how the incident was reported because without it, the government would present fake news of hindering environmental crimes but would eventually side with companies. For example, Newmont Mining Corp. was cleared of all charges, despite dumping toxic waste into a bay and making people sick (Wulandari). The revenue from this company on the economy is a driving force for these types of turn arounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuS2qLzhJ08

At 0:28, the term “she” is used in order to evoke pathos. It is a way of humanizing the whale and creating sympathy from viewers. This event will produce a cascading effect of guilt that will fall on the shoulders of companies who push for single-use plastics. The New York Times included a video of man preforming the necropsy who owns D’Bone Collector Museum, is knowledgeable in marine life and provides ethos to the article from The Associated Press. The sense of disappointment and the tone in which the speaker is talking, further establishes pathos in a way that those emotions are mimicked by the audience. The rhetoric used in this article was aggressive in order to ensure that the environmental message is viewed as important (Kronrod 95).

“Photo will be sent via email”
the impact of human alteration, and how the medium is a message of change

The ever-growing pollution problem has impacted the Philippines by hindering tourism in the form of trash on the beaches. The death of the whale influenced this movement because of the intended impact on the audience. Social media has encouraged local citizens to be a part of the cleanup and document the effects to motivate others. It has also been the start of #breakfreefromplastic, #trashtag, and many others. Making others aware of these polluted beaches is what effects everybody. According to McLuhan, this form of media is an extension of our bodies, thus making the repercussions due to our faults. The photographer recognizes the alterations done by humankind on the beach and exemplifies the impact by presenting what it is like without these alterations. The medium alludes to the idea that things would be better without the alterations done by man. McLuhan would consider this image a hot media because the audience understands that the only reason why trash is there is due to the human desire for single-use plastics. According to McLuhan, the reason why this artist chose to capture this scene was to present awareness and read the language of the outer world to relate it to the inner world. This relationship imposes critical knowledge to all the viewers, and to choose an image to present this idea is a message.

Bohman, James. “Critical Theory.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, 8 Mar. 2005, plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2016/entries/critical-theory/.

Jong, Hans Nicholas. “Activists Fear for Environmental Protection under Indonesia’s Revised Criminal Code.” Mongabay Environmental News, 11 Apr. 2018, news.mongabay.com/2018/04/activists-fear-for-environmental-protection-under-indonesias-revised-criminal-code/.

Kronrod, Ann, et al. “Go Green!! Should Environmental Messages Be So Assertive??” Journal of Marketing, vol. 76, no. 1, Jan. 2012, pp. 95–102. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1509/jm.10.0416.

Victor, Daniel. “1,000 Pieces of Plastic Found Inside Dead Whale in Indonesia.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Nov. 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/world/asia/whale-plastics-indonesia.html.

Wulandari, Fitri. “Newmont Cleared in Indonesian Pollution Case.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 24 Apr. 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-newmont-indonesia-idUSJAK2335120070424.

@Greenpeace. “.@Unilever @ProcterGamble @Nestle named in Philippines plastic pollution beach audit #BreakFreeFromPlastic >> http://act.gp/2ufxNcI.”

Final Essay

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

The trial was the main topic among media outlets for months. El Chapo, 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 outlets 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 in the case of the renowned 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 about the trial. Journalists, in an attempt to appeal to people’s emotions replenished media with articles and reports whose headings looked similar to the next one: “El Chapo reduced to tears as wife, daughters appear in court.” In this sense, the intention is to be clickbait and persuade people to 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 demonstrating his feelings 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, to transmit ethical appeals such as credibility and reliability to the public. This person had been following the case since its beginnings, which contributed positively to the discussion.  It is a technique they have implemented since they started transmitting the case. During one of the first transmissions, which focused on discussing the charges Joaquin was confronting, disseminating the trial’s opening statement, judge’s initial attitude, among other things; they invited CBS’s legal analyst Rikki Klieman, who beyond being knowledgeable in the matter, is also a television personality which many people. 

On the other hand, logos was also used. In the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he utilized this rhetorical component in a particular way. He laughably presented the information. Anyone who follows him knows that funnily giving the news is what characterizes him. However, even though he implements a comic attitude when reporting the story, he does so base on facts and presenting reliable sources simultaneously. He stated his point of view through jokes, for example: there was a part where he brought up the declarations that cause ex Mexican president of accepting bribes of $100 million, and at the end he said, “Although, to be fair, the Mexican president has already denied it from the deck of his $101 million yacht. In the same way he presents many other facts by amusing his audience.

 “But despite our self-protective escape mechanisms, the total-field awareness engendered by electronic media is enabling us–indeed, compelling us–to grope toward a consciousness of the unconscious, toward a realization that technology is an extension of our bodies.” McLuhan prediction is more vivid than ever nowadays. Media is everything; news can reach unimaginable places in seconds. Even though this trial was in New York, people from Mexico still obtained every detail of what happened in that trial.

Journalists are not happy about the decision of the judges to maintain part of the trial in secret. Judge Brian M. Cogan kept 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 word spread that a witness at the trial of El Chapo was poised to accuse a Mexican president of taking bribes. A game began in which students of Mexican politics and journalists tried to divine which president was from the cryptic comments made in court. “Was it the incumbent, Enrique Peña Nieto? Alternatively, maybe the defense had erred, and it was the president-elect: Andrés Manuel López Obrador,” published a New York Times’ journalist in his article, “The Public Trial of El Chapo, Held Partially in Secret,” appealing once again to pathos. Many people will easily believe either or, people that think the governments are corrupted, as people that dislike these two individuals.

 “The world might be shocked, but here, for us, this is old news,” said Fernanda Hernández, 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.” Troubles with corruption have long plagued Mexico, and some people 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. Television hosts also second this. Most of them said that it wasn’t news for them.

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 taken. The government may have even taken part in El Chapo’s escape from prison; people in Mexico knew or suspected it, even journalists, but no one dared to take a stand and report those actions.

 

 

Final Essay

Miami has always been known as the doorway to the Americas. A melting pot and gateway to the rest of the continental United States, Miami is a city full of diverse people, foods, sights, and sounds. Miami has always had a sordid history when it comes to illegal activities a city unlike any other in the United States, Miami was built on smugglers. From pirates smuggling treasure past the English, Confederate soldiers smuggling arms past the union, Rumrunners and bootleggers smuggling alcohol during prohibition the city has been a magnet for all illegal. Although the city has a long history of breaking the law, drugs have been the focus of attention in recent memory. Unfortunately, there is a trade far more sinister and under-reported than drugs that go on unnoticed in the Miami area. The horrible trade that this paper will be focusing on is the smuggling of exotic and endangered animals. The most pervasive category occurring within this trade is that of Shark fins. How do we know what we know about this illegal trade happening in our backyard and how can we help stop it?

The World Wildlife Fund has stated “Wildlife crime is a big business. Run by dangerous international networks, wildlife and animal parts are trafficked much like illegal drugs and arms. By its very nature, it is almost impossible to obtain reliable figures for the value of illegal wildlife trade. Experts at TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, estimate that it runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.”(WWF). Stemming from the mass supply created by the Chinese black-market the sale of Shark fin has become an epidemic on a global scale. Unfortunately, the city of Miami has become the leader in the United States for the highest amount of contraband entering the country. As stated by Jenny Staletovich of the Miami Herald “Since 2015, Miami has led the nation in the number of shark fins imported from Hong Kong, likely caused by an increasing number of import bans in other states. According to a review by the nonprofit Oceana, the number of fins arriving at PortMiami from Hong Kong, the historic center of the fin trade, was dwindling between 2010 and 2014. But after California and New York banned imports in 2011 and 2013, fin shipments began rising.” (Staletovich, Jenny)

Considered a delicacy in many East Asian countries primarily China Shark fin has been a staple on the menu for generations. For decades shark could and was responsibly harvested helping to maintain a stable population in the coastal waterways to ensure their survival. With the onset of the 21st century and mass production, the demand for shark fin increased dramatically along with the population. With this increased demand and little to no emphasis on preservation, many shark species have come close to extinction. “Shark fin has been banned in 12 states within the United States since the year 2000.” (Wilson, Jim,) There has been much media spotlight in the national media and cable television shows on the realities of shark fin harvesting. “It’s without doubt, the worst act of animal cruelty I’ve ever seen,” says celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay in his television documentary on the shark fishing industry.” (Wilson, Jim,) unfortunately, that amount of coverage has not reached local media outlets in the city of Miami.

Engaging in the consumption of shark fin soup is essentially extinction in a bowl and one in which millions of people engage in daily around the world. As stated by Krista Mahr of Time Magazine “All told, up to 70 million sharks are culled annually for the trade, despite the fact that 30% of shark species are threatened with extinction. Indonesia, India, Taiwan, Spain, and Mexico land the most sharks, according to a recent survey of global shark populations conducted by the Pew Environment Group. “Sharks have made it through multiple mass extinctions on our planet,” says Matt Rand, director of Pew’s Global Shark Conservation division. “Now many species are going to go the way of the dinosaur — for a bowl of soup.” (Mahr, Krista)

There have been many conservation measures taken in China to help curb the sale of shark fin soup by using celebrities for example “Shanghai-born Yao Ming, a retired star player with the American National Basketball Association, is the celebrity face of translocal conservation campaigns to stop the consumption of shark-fin soup in Chinese restaurants worldwide” (Jeffreys, Elaine.) Back in Miami, local authorities have taken steps them selves to help stop the market for endangered animals through the use of some four-legged companions just as eager to fight crime. Miami International Aiport uses black Labradors to help sniff out any illegal animals that maybe in the process of being smuggled into the United States. “An international treaty known as CITES helps prevent animal trafficking by banning or restricting trade in endangered and threatened animals. CITES requires licenses and other documentation for animals, animal products and plants being imported and exported. It falls to inspectors like Lawal and Viper to uphold those regulations. They make sure endangered animals aren’t being smuggled into the country, and that legally imported animals have the proper documentation.” As stated by Kate Stein of WLRN (Stein, Kate)

Only time will tell if global as well as local efforts will help stop the flow of shark fin into the United States. For now, it is important to help educate the population on the realities that occur when hunting sharks for their fins. Anyone who engages in eating these endangered species is an accomplice of systemic extinction. Only through education and using media and conversation and debate using ethos, logos, and pathos can the conservative community effectively spread the message of the horrors of shark fin soup. I have faith that this is goal can be accomplished, using the new mediums of technology especially mediums like the internet we can help change the world for the better and help save various species of sharks that are close to extinction it’s up to all of us.

References:

“Illegal Wildlife Trade.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-wildlife-trade.

Jeffreys, Elaine. “Translocal Celebrity Activism: Shark-Protection Campaigns in Mainland China.” Environmental Communication, vol. 10, no. 6, Dec. 2016, pp. 763–776. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/17524032.2016.1198822.

Laufer, Peter. Forbidden Creatures. ; Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets. Globe Pequot Press, The, 2011.

Mahr, Krista. “Shark-Fin Soup and the Conservation Challenge.” Time, Time Inc., 9 Aug. 2010, content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2021071,00.html.

Staletovich, Jenny. “Miami Now Nation’s Top Importer of Shark Fins. Many States Have Banned the Product.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2019, www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article210157954.html.

Stein, Kate. “Meet Miami’s Top Dog Inspector: He Sniffs Out Animal Trafficking.” WLRN, www.wlrn.org/post/meet-miamis-top-dog-inspector-he-sniffs-out-animal-trafficking.

Wilson, Jim, et al. “Shark Fin Is Banned in 12 U.S. States-but It’s Still on the Menu.” National Geographic, 25 Mar. 2019, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/01/restaurants-sell-shark-fin-soup-despite-state-bans/.

 

Final Essay, Dylan Adams-Martin, Team #2

Thesis: As the recent wave of populism continues to engulf parts of the world, countries continue to find themselves in a cross road of what comes next. The government of France has been at the brink for more than 15 weeks combatting the street protests, known as the “Yellow Vest Movement”. The protests have been covered very differently depending on news outlets. Euro-skeptic and alternative media sources have been quick to praise the protests while pro-EU and establishment media companies have blacked it out and reported it in a negative light.

The 21st century and all the technological change it has brought has warped the global landscape and post-World War II order as we know it. Ever since the 2008 financial collapse, we have seen a shift in global politics with the rise of populism. Historic events such as Brexit, the 2016 American Elections, as well as the rise of Eurosceptic governments in Europe the world is changing fast. One of the countries that seem to be taking the brunt of this change is the western European country of France with the “Yellow Vest movement”. For weeks on end French citizens have taken to the streets to protest the government of Emmanuelle Macron. How we know, what we know about the events is the way that the media has portrayed the yellow vests within France, which has led to varying narratives of what can be considered the truth.

The same way that the American media apparatus has become divided the same has begun in France. We see two portions of the population engaging in new and old forms of media consumption. This personal confirmation bias fueled media consumption has led to a parallel reality in France one in which words and actions take on a different meaning. “We can still observe some confusion in the academy and the media about the definition of populism, which has led to a very contested and vague use of the term”. (Fernández-García, Belén, and Óscar G. Luengo.) This vague and differing definition of what populism is and the labels being placed on protestors in France has exacerbated the situation creating an extremely-polarized environment.

The continued protests are stemming from a pathos emotion filled rhetoric claiming that middle and working class people of the country feel abandoned by Macron. The government narrative and many macron loyalists believe that Russia is behind the stream of disinformation and fake news, which has led to these uprisings. The government fears that access to new forms of tech such as social media has opened the door to Russian influence operations within the country.

As stated by Sylvie Corbet of Times Magazine “The movement, named after the fluorescent emergency, vests the French are required to keep in their cars, held its first nationwide protest Nov. 17. The main complaint then was fuel tax hikes, but that long ago expanded to an array of demands to maintain pressure on the government to reverse policies they see as favoring the rich. Calls for a citizens’ referendum is now among top demands on the list.” (Corbet, Sylvie). The rise of the protests began as the effects globalization and the loss of manufacturing jobs in parts of France have led to many people losing their jobs due to automatization as well as the increase in migrants willing to work for less.

 As stated by Pierre Souchon of Le Monde Diplomatique one of France’s biggest newspapers. “The weekly meeting in Branceilles was starting as I arrived. During the evening nearly 150 people got up to speak, people who found themselves homeless because they could no longer pay the rent or depended on charities for food. Their pain and anger were suddenly public after being kept private so long. One said, ‘I used to spend my evenings yelling at the telly.’ They were angry at all the political class: Emmanuel Macron and his ministers, members of parliament they barely recognized, and other elected representatives. (Souchon, Pierre)

Like a worldwide trend happening across the globe, we see differences in the ethos, pathos, and logos in thinking between the interior populations and populations living in big cities. With this change, we see the clash between the old French media and new alternative online media as McLuhan stated, “People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath”.

State run media outlets throughout the country have rushed to the defense of the country and created an ethos-fueled narrative of their own framing the protestors as Nazis, Bigots, Anarchists, and disruptors. This counter narrative is what has increased many hostilities in the country as now media outlets have begun to make otherwise center leaning people more radicalized unfortunately. As stated in the Associated Press “Yellow vest protesters marched on the headquarters of leading French broadcasters Saturday, as small groups turned out in Paris and around France despite waning momentum for their movement. Hundreds of demonstrators — some chanting “Journalists – Collaborationists!” — gathered at the central offices of television network BFM and state-run France Televisions. Some protesters hurled stones and other objects during scattered skirmishes with riot police firing tear gas. (Press, Associated)

The government has also taken steps to help stop the spreading of fake news articles on the internet. Fears of Russian influence campaigns within the country have led the government itself to start censoring. The problem with these actions is that the line between truth and reality only becomes more blurred. Critics also argue that the manipulation of information could jeopardize democracy as well as hurt freedom of the press. This action possesses a grave threat to the access of information and the type of media in which people watch as you have the government effectively deciding what the population can and cannot watch. “As stated by Pauline Bock of the Guardian “Resentment against the “president of the rich”, as Macron is known” (Bock, Pauline). This resentment can only be expected to increase if you have a government willing to manipulate the access of information to its population.

The bounds of debate will be expanded regardless because failure to let people air out their grievances by watching their favorite shows with likeminded opinions will only generate anger. If people cannot nod and agree in anger on what they watch in the privacy of their home or smart phone, they will protest in anger out on the streets instead. It is crucial for both protestors and the government to come to a resolution and compromise of some sort before both sides unknowingly walk into a self-made media dystopia.

 

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.