Draft Thesis

The immigration crisis has been overflowing for years but hasn’t been as critical to present itself as a means of negotiation. On January 19, President Donald Trump announced a plan that provides temporary protection from deportation for some immigrants in exchange for funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Not approved. This is a well-written thesis and good topic, but I do not see anything addressing how it will be analyzed from the perspective of the course.


Draft Thesis Quincy Hicks Team 4

During the France Protest starting in November 2018, the protesters did the right thing by going against Macron and his government.

not approved: you are analyzing an event and presenting the way in which you plan to analyze that event. you’re not stating your opinion on an event and then presenting evidence in support of your opinion.

Team 4 Assignment 2: The Insider


Team 4: You did a good job with this assignment overall and included interesting media and cited a few relevant sources, as well. Although a relatively small amount of summary about the events depicted in The Insider and real life equivalent is appropriate for this assignment, there may have been too much summary. Mentioning class presentations within your analysis for assignments is not necessary. There was an understanding of secrecy and The Insider apparent in the responses, but some of the analysis could have been expanded upon in place of some of the summary in other areas. Question 4 and Question 2 were very well done, and Questions 1 and 3 also made some good points.

1. The mainstream media often face enormous challenges in trying to give audiences an accurate picture of the world. For individual journalists, there are extraordinary pressures and obstacles to getting at the truth and telling the stories audiences want and need.

You may select Jeffrey Wigand, 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace, producer Lowell Bergman, executive producer Don Hewitt, the Wall Street Journal editor who helped stop the smear or the NY Times reporter who exposed the inside story on how CBS handled the Wigand affair.

All of these people had significant personal and institutional pressures, some more than others. Please do not select your character because you believe everyone will write about that person. No team can analyze this case the same as someone else, unless they cheat.

Your essay should focus on how the principles and values of concealment and revelation apply to the tobacco case or the case at CBS News. 500 words.

​The Insider is a film based on a true story. This is the story about Jeffrey Wigand who became a whistleblower on the tobacco industry, specifically for the work  and research he conducted as a biochemist on the effects of tobacco tampering at a well known top tobacco company named Brown and Williamson. Mr. Wigand discovered that this company was adding a number of substances to cigarettes and pipe tobacco which were harmful to the health of human beings (Brenner para. 15). This occurred at a time when it was necessary for the public to understand the effects of smoking.  Congress was also involved in questioning corporations on whether smoking cigarettes is addictive. The Insider was a reflection of these occurrences during this period. The film starred Russell Crowe as Wigand and the focus was on the fights and disagreements that occurred within CBS on whether or not to publish the 60 minutes interview where Wigand blew the whistle on the tobacco tampering done by Brown & Williamson.  It also focused on the efforts by Brown & Williamson to silence Wigand who was their employee(Feldman para. 8).

​The story behind Wigand is that of secrecy, confidentiality and revelation. Secrecy has been cited through class presentations as a tool to control reputations. This is exactly the case that was happening in the Insider. Brown & Williamson was involved in the manufacturing of cigarettes that were laced with nicotine and other highly addictive substances. Wigand had been hired to help make cigarettes safe for consumers by the company and later on he was fired. After he was fired, he disclosed to his colleague the details of his separation agreement and the company sued him. A confidentiality agreement had to be signed by him and this was a secret to be kept for life. From the foregoing, it is evident that the company had something to hide from the knowledge of the public. The secret was that cigarettes contained substances that made them highly  addictive and were detrimental to the health of the public. According to Dean, non-disclosure agreements have proliferated the entire business sector, placing secrets and items of misconduct outside the knowledge of the public and specifically out of the reach of journalists that might want to expose the misconduct (Para. 2).

​Penetrating a secret is empowering. In this case, the congress wanted to empower the public with knowledge that cigarettes were made to be addictive. The CEO of Brown & Williamson testified to the congress that nicotine that was being added to cigarettes was not addictive. This gave Wigand the ethical justification to blow the whistle because the public was being misled. He lost his job and a good salary and his marriage fell apart. CBS was also conflicted on whether to air the interview or end up facing lawsuits since Wigand had a confidentiality agreement in place with the company. The secret was out and through the revelation, the truth became known. In an interview in 2016, Wigand said that he was pleased with his decision as a whistle blower (Feldman 13).

2. How does Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) affect the flow of information in The Insider? What legitimate argument, if any, could Brown and Williamson (B&W) make in support of the agreement? What NDAs have recently been used in the public sector? Using the critical perspective, what are the implications of NDAs for government employees? 300 words.

Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement affects the flow of information in “The Insider,” because Wigand signed a confidentiality agreement and he honors his agreements. Wigand doesn’t believe that you can maintain corporate integrity without confidentiality agreements. He has no intention of violating his confidentiality agreement and disclosing that which he said he wouldn’t. In the movie, Wigand has a talk with Sandefur, Sandefur mentioned to him that they’ve drafted a supplement to his agreement, that broadly defines and expands in more detail what is confidential. Sandefur, along with Brown and Williamson (B&W) are very serious in protecting their interests and want Wigand to sign the agreement. If he doesn’t sign the agreement they would terminate the payoffs under Wigand’s severance package, his own and his family’s medical benefits and initiate litigation against him. In support of this agreement, B&W points out that it is in Wigand’s best interest and he will sign it. The NDAs that have recently been used in the public sector were NDAs that were covering up serious wrongdoing, such as the conduct of the Catholic Church in several sex abuse scandals. Confidential settlements had also, on occasion, been used to quiet plaintiffs who suffered harm from an environmental hazard, something other members of a community might want to have been made aware of. The implications of NDAs for government employees is that it’s precisely common, especially in the White House. It was also recently revealed that many of Donald Trump’s top advisers, and even interns were asked to sign NDAs, forcing them to keep quiet about what happens in the White House, even after his presidency ends. NDAs have proliferated purportedly placing every secret, every item of misconduct out of public view- or more specifically outside of the view of some journalists who might want to expose a misdeed. NDAs are extremely controversial. From one vantage, keeping silent is thought necessary to avoid hefty financial penalties. Another view holds that NDAs are often unenforceable, most clearly if the activity meant to be kept secret is illegal, and that even when a court might uphold the agreement, the person held accountable doesn’t want to give up the other side-discovery on their bad behavior.

3. John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand’s reputation. Jack Palladino and his team of investigators were hired by Richard Scruggs to counter their allegations. Using McLuhan as a lens, analyze the forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino. If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, would today’s media have made things different? If so, how? 300 words.

According to Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message, because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.” He was talking about the effects of technology, not about the technology itself, but what and how the technology affects people and societies. In the movie, we see a clear example of how technology and media can affect our society by shaping public opinion. The main forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino were television and newspaper. Both parties used these media outlets to get their point across. Scanlon and Lenzner started a witch hunt against Wigand to prove that what he was about to say on national television should not be taken seriously. From traffic tickets and shoplifting charges to failure to pay child support, the sole purpose of this was to ruin his reputation and discredit him as a worthy source. Palladino and his investigators also used these media outlets to deny what was being reported about Wigand.

If the war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, it would have been different. For starters, newspaper readership has gone down significantly as online apps of journalism have become the norm. Televised journalism, while still relevant, is now spliced into videos and linked to web sites like Youtube, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter and personal blogs. So, in today’s digital era, Wigand’s witch hunt would have included multiple Facebook articles, tweets, hashtags, blog posts and so much more. It is easier nowadays to spread information and this could be both beneficial and harmful for both parties.

4. In the film, Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt attend a meeting with CBS Corporate.  CBS general counsel Helen Caperelli informs them of “tortious interference”I and its implications for the 60 Minutes Wigand piece. Provide a detailed analysis of the rhetoric used by the participants in the meeting. For each speaker, who is their intended audience, and how do they use the modes of rhetoric? 300 words.

Bergman’s intended audience is towards the public’s interest. Bergman intends to stay true to his duty as part of the news organization. Bergman, through the modes of rhetoric: logic and pathos, tries by all means to protect Wigand’s stance, while also maintaining firm in his belief towards the code of ethics. Reasonably, Bergman seeks the truth and intends to report it, while also protecting his source, which is Wigand, and in order to minimize harm. Bergman, believes that the public is entitled to as much information as possible. He helped give a voice to Wigand, who throughout the movie, was voiceless without his help.

Mike Wallace’s intended audience is the public interest in the rhetorical mode of ethos by using his credibility as a journalist and interviewer for 60 minutes.  This is noted when Wallace says “ we have never lost a lawsuit and run a classy show” . By stating this to CBS counsel Caparelli, Wallace is proving that they always check the sources they are interviewing and make sure that it is verified therefore, a tortious interference issue should not come up and CBS would not be liable for a lawsuit as a third party.

Don Hewitt’s intended audience is in the interest of the CBS company. Hewitt is the executive producer of the show. He has concerns with the show being cancelled and prefers to have a show then nothing at all that can protect his interests and that of CBS. This is noticed in this scene when Kluster comes in and tells the three of them that they want to put an alternative version of the show without Wigand’s interview. Hewitt uses the rhetorical mode of ethos and logos by confirming Kluster’s position on the issue who is the head of CBS.

Helen Caparelli’s intended audience is the best interest of her client, the corporation CBS company. Through the modes of rhetoric ethos and logos, Caparelli strongly believes that the reputation of the company should be protected and is highly concerned with the standards they must maintain in order to avoid potential damages from occurring to CBS. Caparelli refers to “tortious interference,” and warns the gentlemen in the room of its implications if CBS were to endure this type of litigation.  She emphasizes how the damages can increase depending on how much of the truth Wigand will reveal during his interview and imposes a risk upon CBS corporation.

Works Cited

Brenner, Marie. “The Man who Knew too Much.” Vanity Fair, May 1996. Web. https://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1996/05/wigand199605

Dean, Michelle. “Contracts of Sildence”. Columbia Journalism Review. Winter 2018. Web. https://www.cjr.org/special_report/nda-agreement.php/

Feldman, Cassi. “ 60 Minutes’ Most Famous Whistle Blower” 60 Minutes Overtime. Feb 04, 2016. Web. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-most-famous-whistleblower/


“Cinema Romantico.” A Better Life, www.cinemaromantico.org/2016/07/dissecting-scene-from-insider.html.


Daniella Alfonso- Researched and contributed to question 1.

Vanessa Maldonado- Edited, researched and contributed to question 2.

Emily Ortega- Researched, provided images and contributed to question 3.

Quincy Hicks-Researched, provided video and contributed to question 4.

Nicole Crousillat-Proofread, researched, provided images and contributed to question 4.

Quincy Hicks Team 4 The 48 Hour Blackout

I started my assignment on Friday night/ Saturday morning with the realization that I would have to stay away from news for 48 hours. I don’t watch television news, but I am usually active on Twitter so I deleted it for the weekend. Twitter is my main news source so I was complely cut off from news. I am a huge sports fan so I usually watch ESPN the whole day, but I found myself watching other channels for a change such as MTV and VH1 which don’t show news.

After analyzing the article, The End of Solitude, I quickly realized how deep into this generation I really am. Deresiewicz made it seem as I would be isolated from everything and he was right. The first hours were the hardest. I was so anxious to re-download Twitter to see what’s going on in the world. A couple before this assignment was assigned, I tried to isolate myself and I actually went a whole day focusing on myself with no news. It was peaceful after a couple hours and same for this assignment once I got settled into it. But it felt like I was missing out on something every time I thought about Twitter. During this assignment, I found myself going to the gym and playing basketball with a couple of friends for multiple hours. Also reading a couple of books I got a few weeks ago and mixing that with TV watching and homework. I felt more focused than I have in along time.

I see myself in Deresiewicz argument when he talks about it being it being very visible to see how people can imitate the idea of the celebrity in their use of social media. We care about the followers, likes and tags to give us a “sense of closeness.” In my house, when somebody messes with the router for the Wi-Fi and we lose connection to internet everybody panics it is like we lose touch with the outside world when it happens. We don’t know life without the internet and it’s sad.  When we wake up the first thing we look at is our phones and the last thing we look at before we go to sleep.

In my opinion, news is definitely a necessary an intrusion of our solitude. Knowing what’s going on in the world around you is important, but the way we take news can change. Most people including me, find articles/stories on social media and take them as fact. News is taking away the feeling of thinking for ourselves. The media has interfered with our solitude in the sense that we have intertwined ourselves through devices while being disconnected through real life. We are afraid to be alone because society fiends for recognition. The point is we need news and media, but we need to give some time to ourselves to think and focus in solitude.

I’m very glad that someone mentioned reading books and exercise for this assignment (two of my main hobbies). I was beginning to get worried about everyone. But seriously: nicely presented details of your experience. Some of your writing is still a bit informal (even for an assignment of this nature). You made a lot of great points and insights based on the reading and answered the questions stated in the guidelines (which somehow people miss). I liked that you wrapped it up with a conclusion.

Nicole Crousillat IA 3: 48 Hour news blackout

Technology has made our society dependent upon its existence to make our lives easier. Every morning we depend on the different applications on our phones to receive news on the events that occur in our local area, nationally and globally. Experiencing forty-eight hours of a news blackout proved to be somewhat difficult for me. By not being able to connect to the main applications I use: New York Times, WSVN-7 News, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, I experienced a new found anxiety of not knowing what was happening this weekend. I usually rely on these applications to know what is going on around me and with my friends or followers.

Although, being disconnected from any type of news was difficult, at the same time it brought me some sense of peace. I was able to become occupied with other tasks such as: taking my dog out for a longer walk, going to the mall shopping, doing all my homework on Saturday and visiting my cousin’s family all day Sunday. I found myself not caring about anyone else that I usually follow online such as celebrities and my followers on my social media accounts. I found myself more aware of my physical surroundings and wanting to spend a lot more time outside or doing some kind of activity. excellent self-reflection

 Deresiewicz makes a good general point when he says “Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants”. Our society in general, especially among teenagers and young adults, are consumed by their social media accounts and the constant need to be connected. This need has proved that people crave to feel accepted and validated from others. If you really observe most social media posts are selfies, great places one has traveled to, the best looking pictures of us with the best angles and even pictures of different foods we eat. Most people have also become concerned with the amount of followers, likes or even if their posts create some type of esthetic  (spelled aesthetic) that may help them become more known or “famous”. absolutely valid points and take-away from reading

I agree with Deresiewicz in regards to “Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it’s also taking away our ability to be alone”. Once you take a step back and stop using the applications that connect us to the news of what is going on around us one then realizes how true this is. Not being connected to the news has also allowed me to communicate more with my family and the people around me physically rather than online which made me realize, I do not really like being alone. Most people are used to uploading the latest news on what is going on with their lives and not being able to use this in a way does make one feel isolated. Therefore, having access and being connected to information and news is important and I found myself anxiously wanting to know what is going on with others around me or globally. 

excellent job on the assignment providing a great analysis and relaying your experience through the reading

48-Hour News Blackout Assignment

Deresiewicz in his article “The End of Solitude,” argues that our culture of celebrity and connectivity as they both converge, betray a common impulse. This common impulse is the validation that the contemporary self wants. In this argument, I see that I can relate this to my life. When I’m in my bedroom, my own space, I connect myself to my cellphone. I call that solitude since I am not physically around anyone, but the truth is, as Deresiewicz says, I’m not really in solitude. I am connected to the technology which connects millions just like me.  For instance, on Instagram I have more than 7,000 friends but from those I crossed about 200 and stay in touch with a few.

Having 48 hours of solitude without watching news and knowing what goes around my local area or globally, I find myself experiencing the solitude Deresiewicz describes but I do not find myself anxious. My reaction towards having 48 hours of not accessing the news, is already something I am used to doing, considering that I hardly ever watch the news. The only way that I would be alert towards what goes around in other countries or when it’s going to rain to bring an umbrella with me, is through my mother. To successfully complete this assignment, I did not ask my mother about anything, because I wanted to really focus and lock myself into the feeling of solitude that Deresiewicz critically talks about. I understand that knowing the importance of news is something I take for granted. I don’t really care about what goes around, and without knowing about the news, I walk through life completely oblivious and without consent or interest of what goes around me.  a few issues with tense and grammar here and make sure to use slightly formal language even in a self-reflection assignment

 I also realized that I’m not aware or involved with what goes around, but I should at least with my local area. It seems like I’m in my own safe and comfortable bubble. And I must exclude myself from all thoughts of “forever staying safe.” Especially since tragic events that happen in other countries, such as Venezuela, could happen here.

 My mentality is comforted and dependent on someone to tell me what is currently occurring before I step outside the doors of my home. I normally rely on this information to make decisions. Without the need of someone telling me, I do not reach to look at the news for my own. I consume my mind with unimportant things like looking at pictures of people on Instagram, or constantly substituting other faux social activities to fill in the gaps for keeping track or catching up with the daily news.

 My mind prefers the things that keeps me entertained, and since news is not something entertaining to me, I always omit its presence, despite its role of importance in my daily life. News is a necessary intrusion of our solitude, because it’s a use for survival to us and it does not make us think for ourselves, it rather helps and educates us. different approach to the assignment focusing on your routine of a lack of news in your daily life. I really liked the analysis relative to the reading and this approach, as well as your candidness.

Emily Ortega- Assignment #3 -Team #4.


We live in a hyper-connected reality. Sometimes things get overwhelming, and this is mainly because we have the world available on the palm of our hands all the time. During the 48-hour blackout, I experienced the solitude Deresiewicz describes. I was lonely, bored, and disconnected. great opening

“The End of Solitude” by William Deresiewics describes how our fear of being lonely has an impact on society. He firmly believes that we should have solitude to discover our true personal identity and needs. Reading the instructions for this assignment made me anxious. I was instantly tempted to open Intagram, Twitter, and all my social media accounts, but it could’ve been triggered by not staying occupied. As Deresiewicz said, “the two emotions, loneliness and boredom are closely allied… loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence”.   good incorporation of reading

Personally, being disconnected is my biggest fear. I’m far away from home, and far away from my family. I constantly rely on the power of social media and news outlets to keep up with what is going on back home, and also here in the US. Not only that, but I’m guilty of keeping up with the Kardashians, and also with all of my friends who pretend to be them. This is connected to the idea of “culture of celebrity” discussed by the author, which I am part of 100%.  self-aware

 I caught myself unconsciously peeking through my social media for a bit to see what was going on. After realizing that I was compulsively checking my phone, I decided it was time to find something better to do instead of sitting in my room looking at the ceiling. I read a couple of articles for one of my classes, I called my mom to ask her what was going on in her life, and after that I had the need to open all my apps again. Then, I understood what Deresiewicz meant by stating that “technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration.” We are so consumed by technology, obsessed with knowing what’s going on, and letting others know what you’re doing every minute of the day that you forget to live in the moment.

Not being able to fill my time with these activities brought a wave of solitude that I typically don’t experience. I truly understood that our generation doesn’t know what real solitude is like. I took this opportunity to reflect on the role that technology has in my life (to be honest, I was a little freaked out by all this). I’m used to wake up with news on my TV, I check the weather report, I open my apps to see if something big is happening somewhere, and by doing this I realized that news are an intrusion in our solitude, at least for someone like me who is used to keepING up with everything. I admit that not checking everything was a breath of fresh air, but I think I saw it that way because I knew it was only going to last 48 hours. After this experiment, I found that I wasn’t alone, I had myself, my thoughts and my opinions to keep me company. This is a good reflection with concepts from the article. You have fulfilled the assignment. You want to double check your grammar with verbs. (some are missing the -ed or -ing, past tense or gerund/present participle)