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New Yorkers and Food Stamps: “It’s Not Working.”...

According to the New York City Human Resources Department, food stamp recipients hace exploded in numbers since the onset of the Great Recession. In the Republican primary, several candidates have spoken disparagingly of President Obama’s policy in regards to them. I went to the Atlantic Center in Brooklyn to speak to weekend shoppers on their feelings about food stamps, given the current controversy surrounding them.  ...
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How Coffee is Roasted

Last week, I visited Kitten Coffee Roasters in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to see how coffee is prepared before it reaches the coffee shops throughout New York City.  Todd, Kitten’s head roaster, took me through the process. Check out the link below!...
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Listening Assignment for 2/22/12

1. Aimless Interview: Robert Siegel talking to Gary Johnson. http://www.npr.org/2011/12/30/144495487/johnson-discusses-opting-to-seek-libertarian-nomination This is an NPR interview with Gary Johnson, a former Republican and now Libertarian candidate for president in 2012.  I chose it as my “aimless” interview just because I didn’t find the conversation very dynamic.  Gary Johnson is sort of a bland guy, granted, but I did not feel that Siegel asked the right questions to show what an unusual and idiosyncratic figure Johnson is.  The only topic that got any depth was the environment, and I feel that Johnson’s views on the drug war, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, civil liberties, and economics were all potential catalysts for a much more interesting conversation.  Overall, Siegel just doesn’t seem very interested in getting to know who Johnson really is.   2. Aggressive/Invasive Interview: Amy Goodman interviews Bill Clinton http://www.democracynow.org/2004/6/22/bill_clinton_loses_his_cool_in I think this is a pretty classic example of an aggressive interview.  On election day 2000, Bill Clinton called up Democracy Now! to encourage people to vote, and instead Amy Goodman grilled him on a plethora of controversial issues that most mainstream politicians avoid talking about, including Leonard Peltier, Ralph Nader’s 2000 presidential run, racial profiling, and Israel and Palestine.  The point of the interview was to encourage people to vote, but Goodman used the opportunity to go on the offensive.  As Michael Powell said in the New York Post, “In this insider media age when oh-so-serious reporters measure status by access to the powerful, Goodman is the journalist as uninvited guest.  You might think of the impolite question; she asks...
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Listening Assignment: Morning Edition, 1010 WINS, BBC Newshour, WCBS...

1. Morning Edition, NPR, http://www.npr.org/programs/morning-edition/ Morning Edition takes on a very conversational tone in the way they present the news.  The pace seems much slower and more deliberate.  However, at the same time, Morning Edition is also formal–commercial radio seems eager to engage and grab you, while Morning Edition assumes you have a longer attention span.  They seem pretty focused on giving as comprehensive a summary of the world’s news as possible, usually involving correspondents who are present in the places news is happening, such as Athens, Greece.  Morning Edition focuses on major world and national events.  While the WNYC version has some local news, it doesn’t do many crime stories, which 1010 WINS seems to favor. 2. BBC Newshour, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsnk/episodes/player BBC Newshour is global in its focus…the February 15th episode opened with a story on the earthquake in Honduras, and mentioned the Greek crisis as well.  BBC feels more minimalist and no frills.  The sounds are usually simple and straightforward.  Unlike Morning Edition, 1010 WINS, or WCBS, there is no musical accompaniment–the focus is completely on information.  BBC seems to focus more on interviews–this episode had a lengthy interview on its top story, the Honduran prison fire.  The stories feel more in depth.  Morning Edition wants to summarize the news, while the Newshour wants to dig deeply into just a few.  It’s like a news magazine for current events. 3. 1010 WINS, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/station/1010-wins/ 1010 WINS makes no attempt to comprehensively examine the news.  They are just seeking to give listeners a quick summary.  While they say “We’ll give you the world,” the reality is that WINS focuses on local New York City news.  For instance, on the day I listened the first three stories involved the performance of Jeremy Lin, the death of an elderly immigrant, and a disagreement between Scott Stringer and Michael Bloomberg.  It’s major national story involved Kelloggs buying the Pringles brand.  The Greek bailout came last in its summary of the news.  WINS wants to give the impression that all their news is breaking–that it is all happening as you hear it.  The teletype machine in the background helps give this impression.  WINS is the polar opposite of Morning Edition. 4. WCBS, http://newyork.cbslocal.com/station/wcbs-880/ WCBS works as something of a middle ground between 1010 WINS and Morning Edition.  It’s not quite as frantic or fast paced as WINS, but it does try to sound a bit more punchy than Morning Edition.  WCBS goes into a bit more detail than WINS, though, and seems to feature more actualities.  It also features commentary and features, such as the Osgood Files, which doesn’t seem like WINS’ thing.  The day I listened, the Osgood Files did a story on banking in America that was pretty comprehensive, something I wouldn’t ever expect to hear on WINS. Here is my news spot: http://www.npr.org/2012/02/15/146912998/warm-canadian-winter-thaws-outdoor-fun.  It’s from the February 15th Morning Edition.  I liked this piece because it was a quirky, unusual topic, and also one that resonated with me because I am from Alaska…I can remember winters with a lack of snow, and the problems they caused the myriad events out on in my hometown!...
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Times Square

Times Square is all sound and light.  Car horns are wailing from all directions.  Bright white lights are beating down onto green, blue, purple, and blue billboards.  The billboards hang onto the buildings that are towering over me.  I think they must stretch infinitely into the pitch black sky above.  People are walking in every direction.  Some are talking on their cellphones, some are asking for directions, some are waving at speeding taxicabs.  The lights are always moving—moving as fast as the barkers in stocking caps who are selling tickets to comedy shows, city tours, and wax museums.  The sounds and the lights are always closing in.  They’ve got you, and they won’t let...