Well, here's what's on my mind...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

16th Week-- Exxon Valdez Oil Tank Spill Case Study

Exxon Valdez Oil Tank Spill

Several companies have their downfalls through history that are due to many factors of moral and ethical issues, out of their hands due to natural causes, or due to poor management. In Exxon’s case, the Exxon Valdez oil spill knocked all three out of the ballpark. As they say in baseball, ‘three strikes and you’re out!’ Alaska natives, fishermen and environmentalists have been doubtful of the oil industry’s footprint in the area for good reason—fear of an oil spill.
On March 24, 1989 Alaskans’ worst fear came true and marked one of the most devastating oil spills of our time. The Exxon Valdez tanker entered the Prince William Sound, located in Alaska, on its way to its destination—California. The vessel traveled outside the normal shipping route in an attempt to avoid icebergs and resulted in one of the most devastating man-made environmental disasters ever to occur at sea. Underwater rocks tore enormous holes into the vessel damaging eight of the eleven tanks on board and major spillage to occur. The Exxon Valdez suddenly went aground and spilled approximately 10.9 of the 53 million gallons of unrefined Alaskan crude oil into the Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef, also home to hundreds of salmon, sea otters, seals, seabirds, and great white sharks. According to Science Daily, the more accurate estimates are “250,000 sea birds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 orcas, and billions of salmon and herring eggs.” The oil would eventually impact over 1,100 miles of Alaskan coastline.

It is reported that the response for the spill involved more personnel and equipment than any other spill in U.S history. According to the Encyclopedia of Earth, “At the height of the response, more than 11,000 personnel, 1,400 vessels and 85 aircraft were involved in the cleanup.”
The Encyclopedia of Earth stated that after Captain Joseph Hazelwood returned to his quarters for the night and Gregory Cousins, the Third Officer, took charge of the ship. Cousins was not qualified nor was he supposed to take the vessel into those waters. With the absence of the Captain and impairment of sober judgment by Cousins and crew members, Exxon Valdez went aground. It is said that the Captain and his crew had been drinking significant amounts of alcohol.
(source: Prince William Sound: Paradise Lost? & Encyclopedia of Earth)
> March 23, 1989
•7:24 p.m: Loading cargo completed; securing deck for sea; Navigational equipment test.
•11:52 p.m: Hazelwood left to his quarters leaving Cousins in charge.

> March 24, 1989
•12:04 a.m: Time of collision of Exxon Valdez at Bligh Reef.
•12:07 a.m: Cousins called Hazelwood and said there was possible trouble. (I find that “possible” word humorous, given the fact the “possible trouble” mentioned ended up being on of the biggest in U.S History.)
•12:27 a.m: Hazelwood notified the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company the ship was aground on Bligh Reef.
•3:00 a.m: The Aleyska spill response barge arrived on the scene. (The two and half hour delay of the response barge was due to the spill response barge being re-outfitted and was out of service.

> March 25, 1989
•Exxon (approximately 2 days later) assumed full responsibility for the spill and cleanup effort.

From the timeline and in the Encyclopedia of Earth, the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the cause of the incident and said there were several key factors that aided in this event. For instance, if Hazelwood had provided Cousins with a navigation watcher and the U.S Coast Guard provided a more effective and efficient spill response barge, things might have turned out differently. These delays allowed the oil to sink deep into the water and spread hundreds of miles across the coast and only 15 percent of the oil was recovered. Most importantly, something that should have never happened was the noted amounts of alcohol Hazelwood and his crew members had participated in before shipping off.
On the “Exxon Valdez TED Case Study Web page,” The Trade and Environment Database (TED) Web site said:
“One of the conditions on which the Trans Alaska Pipeline was constructed was that Alyeska submitted an oil spill response plan. According to that plan, Alyeska would be at the site with response equipment within five hours of the spill…little of the oil-containment equipment was ready and the barge which should have much of the equipment already on it sat nearly empty. It would be ten hours before clean up crews would arrive.”

PR Process:
Referring to the PR process in this Exxon Valdez case, research (also known as the discovery phase of the problem-solving process) was inaccurately done or just plain made up. One of the many examples of the lack of research done can be seen in a YouTube video about Exxon, called “Exxon Lies.” In the video, Don Cornett, Public Relations Manager of Exxon in the U.S. and top-official of Alaska at the time, lied or misled the people of Cordova, Alaska in a town meeting held after the crisis. Cordova was one of the worst areas affected from the oil spill and there fishing fleet was significantly depleted. To contest the question asked by a Cordovan resident concerning what Exxon was going to do to compensate the affects of oil in the food chain, Cornett said, “I believe that research data that I have seen indicates that if the fish go through the oil, they will take it up and it will get in their system, and then it will go out of their system. But if you get them too soon, they will taste like diesel.” That last sentence is extremely amusing and comical to me. Who says something like that when you are trying to comfort a town in a time of a crisis? Anyways, Cornett and Exxon clearly did not do their homework because all the inhabitants of the Prince William Sound that were exposed to the spill either swallowed the oil or breathed in the poisonous fumes, thus resulting in their bodies coated with thick layers of oil and thousands died in a short amount of time. (If necessary, please refer to the estimates of animal deaths on page one.)
Overall, more research should be done to avoid and more importantly prevent oil spills from happening to minimize occurrence of similar events while maximize the quality of health in the environment.
The second step, planning (the strategy phase) was inefficient. As mentioned earlier on the “Exxon Valdez TED Case Study” Web page, the Aleyska oil response plan was clearly unprepared for an oil spill of this magnitude and therefore could not apply the plan to this specific crisis event. Also, on www.specieshandbook.org, there is an article called “Endangered Species Handbook” about oil spills and how it affects the aquatic ecosystem. The Web site stated that “Almost no action to clean the spill took place for days, due to the lack of preparation on the part of the Exxon Corporation and state authorities, and lack of agreement about whether to burn off the oil…or to spread chemical dispersants that were feared to cause wildlife mortality.” This shows lack of planning led to the oil to the spreading so much, most of it could not be retained again. Planning for the future should include training personnel specialized in using equipment for catastrophic oil spills.
Communication (the execution phase) is the third step of the PR process. Once again, communication lacked in this situation. Specifically, immediate communication lacked due to “A Report to the President” by Samuel K. Skinner and William K. Reilly where it said, “Lack of phone lines delayed requests for resources that response teams needed to combat the spill” (12). Radio communication was also difficult. Since at the time of collision Exxon Valdez was located amongst mountainous terrain as well as completely isolated, communication was practically non-existent. Other times where communication lacked was when Hazelwood went to his quarters and left Cousins with no watcher and when Cousins did not get back en route as was planned. Perhaps if communication was more on point during this time, the whole oil spill could have been prevented. In addition, a case study done by Professor Ron Smith from Buffalo State University, called the “Exxon Valdez Spill,” stated the communication strategies that Exxon used was, “no designated spokesperson” and “refusal to communicate openly.” With these supposed ‘strategies’ in place by Exxon, they pushed the publics farther away and with intent to do the exact opposite, drew in the media that was determined to find out anything and everything that was not being said (at that time, a lot was not being said.) There were three key errors Ex-CEO Lawrence Rauls committed. The first was when CEO Lawrence Rauls refused to be interviewed during this disaster. His hibernating tactics worked in neither his nor Exxon’s favor. In fact, it portrayed the assumption that Exxon was hiding things from the media and from the people that had a right to know what Exxon was going to do to compensate for thousands of people’s losses. The second was when Rauls claimed it was not his responsibility to apologize for the spill. Neither he nor Exxon took responsibility for the disastrous event which was a cardinal mistake as far as corporate responsibility goes (also known as “good/smart/ethical PR.”) Lastly, when Fauls finally made a media and television appearance, he was unaware of the latest cleanup plans that were in place post-oil spillage. Fauls claimed, as the CEO of Exxon, it was not his responsibility to read such reports. It is crucial to be able to communicate internally and externally with a cohesive, concise, and clear message to your stakeholders and publics. When this is not followed through, it appears to look unprofessional and inconsistency becomes prevalent to all. For example, in the YouTube video, several points made by Don Cornett were not actually followed through. Cornett claimed on behalf of the Exxon Corporation, Rauls urgently wanted to come to Alaska and see the oil spills first-hand to make a difference. In fact, Rauls was so urgent, that a little more than two weeks later he visited the site. Thus, as a result, values such as trust, faith, integrity, and truth weakened to the point where on www.mallenbaker.net, a corporate social responsibility Web site of news and resources had an article called, “Companies in Crisis-What not to do when it goes all wrong,” said “Exxon lost market share and slipped from being the largest oil company in the world to the third largest. The ‘Exxon Valdez’ entered the language as a shortcut for corporate arrogance and damage.” Overall, communication took too long to get back to the media and victims. By the time decent communication was put into action, it was too late and crucial relationships with the Alaskan people, and the media were diminished.
The last step of the PR process is the measurement of how effective the action was and if it met the organization’s goals, known as the evaluation. It is difficult to say much for this last step since evaluation is defined as how effective the action was. In this case, their really was no action evident or prominent enough that sticks out in mind except for Exxon’s YouTube video, “Exxon Lies,” of the open forum meeting in Cordova, Alaska. This was Exxon’s attempt to reach out to the public and answer any questions or concerns of the people affected by the oil spill. This was a great opportunity for Exxon to regain trust of the people smash any thoughts of deception publics and media might perceive of the Corporation but resulted in failure. The lack of compassion and sincerity came off rather harshly. Thus, the meeting, in my eyes, was a dud. With that said, it is pretty evident that there were more negatives than positives, if any, in this certain case. On the other hand, in a positive light, Exxon can still re-evaluate itself given the advice from Robert D. Frause, APR, Fellow PRSA member, that said in PRSA’s Ethics Month article about “How to ethically engage in new media: “Deception is high on the list of things that can happen in the new media environment. We need to pay close attention to how we distribute messages.” If Exxon fixes the problem of sending a bulk of confusing messages to the publics, Exxon can possibly redeem itself in the eyes of the media, the Alaskan people and government, and the world.
It is called into question whether values and principles were considered as well as whether values were linked more to communitarianism or utilitarianism view after the oil spill due to Exxon’s lack of social and corporate responsibility. It is possible that some values were ignored during Exxon’s crisis management and decision-making process.
Justice is the first value considered. Several trials occurred at this time. In fact, a few important case settlements are mentioned in the case study by Professor Ron Smith who was mentioned earlier. “In punitive damages, $5.3 billion existed making it the largest punitive fines ever for corporate irresponsibility,” Smith states. “In December 2006, it reduced to $2.5 billion and is still being appealed as of January 2007.” Also, “Exxon was fined $150 million, the largest fine ever imposed for an environmental crime. The court forgave $125 million of that fine in recognition of Exxon’s cooperation in cleaning up the spill and paying certain private claims.” Not only is this justifiable but a positive step in the right direction for Exxon. Furthermore, compensation was questioned earlier on but is now resolved/leaves those affected more content when Exxon agreed to pay $100 million for the injuries caused to the fish, wildlife, and lands exposed to the spillage. Justice was eventually served as a result of the improved regulations in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The act, in simplest terms, assessed liability for accidental oil spills. With those settlements mentioned, justice within the communitarian view (idea that “everybody matters”) is difficult to live up to but Exxon is stepping, slowly, towards that concept. On the other hand, there are still unsettled and ongoing claims occurring from infuriated Alaskan victims to this day. For example, on the YouTube video, a comment by user CordovaFishUnited is as follows:
“Almost 18 years later our fishermen are still waiting for compensation, many of them now dead. The fact that his court case still “lingers” (much like the oil on our beaches, and the devastation to our fishery) demonstrates the US legal systems inability to protect people of this country.”
Another view, the utilitarian side of justice, is expressed in the 1990 Oil Pollution Act as “the greatest good for the greatest number” (especially those affected Alaskans.) This will attempt to assure people that the oil spill of the Exxon Valdez magnitude will (or dare I say) should not occur again. The Act is an attempt of the cosmopolitan view or even a slight representation which aides in breaking through hurdles and coming up with a cohesive consensus that can apply to all if a similar situation were to occur. The Act is an attempt for humanity to belong to a single moral community—a community that holds somebody accountable for an oil spill.
The second value is humaneness. Overall, their was considerable disregard for the people of Cordova and others that were affected by the oil spill. Insincerity comes to mind initially. According to an article by The Textbook League (TTL) called “Exxon peddles corporate propaganda to science teachers,” New York Times published newly released transcripts of phone conversations that took place during the oil spill in 1989.
TTL states, “Company officials realized that for public-relations reasons they had better put equipment to work even if the task was hopeless.” It was reported thirty one hours after the collision on a transcript Don Cornett said, “It doesn’t matter if they are really picking up a hell of a lot of oil, at this point—it makes a real bad impression with the public, without any activity going on.” The communitarian and cosmopolitan view in this situation was completely absent throughout the whole crisis. The lack of concern for the aftermath affects on people, economy, and animals was clear-cut. The utilitarian view of humanness was the pathetic attempt by Rawls to show his “feelings” for the people affected by the oil spill, but, like mentioned earlier, he was not sincere. Therefore, it can be said his action was and attempt towards humaneness but his behavior expressed otherwise. As much as one’s aware of the amount of money Exxon spent in compensation, nothing beats “I’m sorry” which the people affected never received. Thus, one has to ask, can Exxon even spell humane?
The third value is stewardship (the concern for the community and stakeholders.) This was jeopardized when Exxon failed to communicate effectively with the community and stakeholders. The ambiguous message they constantly sent out only made people not only despise Exxon more, but ruin ties that had been formerly established. This is evident in the article called, “Management Ethics: Integrity at Work,” by Joseph A. Petrick and John F. Quinn, where the New York Commissioner of the environment, Albert Appleton, said “Exxon has a corporate philosophy that the environment is some kind of nuisance problem and a distraction of the real business of moving oil around” (136). It seems Exxon focuses on strictly business without acknowledgement of the community and stakeholders. The communitarian view does not exactly apply in this situation. For example, in an article called, “Exxon’s Oil Spill,” it says, “Angered customer cut up their Exxon credit cards and mailed the to Rawl, while others boycotted Exxon products. According to a study done several years later, 54 percent of the people surveyed said they were still less likely to buy Exxon products.” Thus, not everybody mattered. Exxon did try to practice the utilitarian view like the YouTube forum in Cordova. Exxon attempted to do something remotely correct by leading a clean up effort that included 11,000 workers as well as sea otter rehabilitation centers. Their effort made a difference, but not drastic enough. Furthermore, the cosmopolitan view is not apparent either. Cosmopolitanism represents universal love for humankind and that is absolutely lacking in this situation.
Freedom is the fourth value. The conflict between the freedom and pursuance of continuing on attempting to be least affected by the oil spill vs. the integrity of Exxon and honoring and pleasing customers. Alaskans want to be hassle-free and not worry about aspects of their life. If that were possible, that would most reflect the cosmopolitan aspect of humanity belonging to a moral community. Unfortunately, realistically, as an affect of the oil spill, people’s jobs are gone, food is gone, lifestyles are suffering, and animals died in the process. What is necessary is a balance between both sides—a moral cosmopolitan community. Both sides are completely dependent on each other. In order for Exxon to have pleased customers that are loyal, those customers first want Exxon to be reprimanded for the instance as well as compensate those that are still suffering. Customers, at the end of the day, want to feel like you care. Thus, communitarian view would be ideal in this situation but it is difficult to live up to. Utilitarianism is more probable than communitarianism. In “The Encyclopedia of Earth,” it states that “All parties involved in the response agreed that continuation of cleanup into the Alaskan winter would jeopardize the safety of cleanup crews. In addition, it was speculated that the winter storms in Alaska could significantly remove oil from shorelines, including sub-surface oil.” Thus, slowly (I am stressing “slowly’) victims are becoming less and less affected while the integrity of Exxon is still very low but is working on redeeming itself.
The last value is the most important of them all and is evidently not present that much in this case study—truth. It would be too kind of me to consider the case study as expressing ‘half-truth.’ Lie and deceit is consistent throughout the whole crisis management process. Exxon claims to do all supposed actions and policies that are not followed through. The most fascinating part of this whole study is the uncertainty of whether Exxon has really re-evaluated their PR process and values after this historical event. On the Exxon Mobil Web site are several claims made that Exxon did not actually pursue. It has a page called, “Oil Spill Response” under the ironically enough, Corporate Responsibility heading that says, “The prevention of spills is a key company objective.” This is a positive that Exxon talks about safety and training involved in preventing most oil spills but despite several of their claims, almost none of their company objectives have been followed through. I suppose I will give Exxon credit and acknowledge the fact that the oil spill was unpredicted. I will also acknowledge the fact that nobody could fathom the magnitude of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Therefore, precautions that are normally taken during an oil spill (a significantly smaller spill than Exxon Valdez) could not be applied. At the same time, under the Health & Safety heading, Exxon satirically states that it strives for a work environment where ‘Nobody Gets Hurt.’ My rebuttal to that would be how about a work environment where ‘Nothing Gets Hurt?’ (this is the idea shedding light on the cosmopolitanism view.) This includes not just people but also animals and their environment—the idea of a moral community. Another alleged claim by Exxon, “…we spend substantial amounts of time and money to be in a state of readiness, to read speedily and effectively, in the event that a spill does occur.” Not one of those points had been followed through in the Exxon Valdez case. Last but not least, my favorite claim of all, Exxon states, “It is our long-standing policy to conduct business in a manner that considers both the environment and economic needs of the communities in which we operate. We seek to drive incidents with environmental impact to zero…” Do I need to say anymore? I did not think so.
Exxon Response:
In The Encyclopedia of the World, ExxonMobil states that the Exxon Valdez oil spill was a tragic accident that the company deeply regrets. Exxon also claimed that the “company took immediate responsibility for the spill, cleaned it up, and voluntarily compensated those who claimed direct damages.” As much as that might be true, there are some false aspects to that statement made by Exxon. For example, they claimed to take ‘immediate responsibility’ but at the same time refused to apologize. Also, their might have been voluntary compensations to Alaskans and businesses affected by the spill, but the majority were claims made against Exxon that they lost. In fact, a lot of the businesses that they do not mention went out of business. A good comment made by ExxonMobil is that they “hired its own scientist to study the impacts of the spill, and they come to different conclusions than many of the results published by government agencies…the data strongly support the position of a fully recovered Prince William Sound Ecosystem.” This is an example of what mentioned in the article of September’s PRSA Ethics Month article called, “How to ethically engage new media.” Margaret Ann Hennen, APR says, “That opinion reigns supreme in the absence of data and how, when an opinion get out there that is not founded on data, we interject the data to correct the incorrect.” That is what ExxonMobil did to counteract the comments other sources make about them.
The way I felt based on the ethical dimensions I have discussed and the comments stated by scholars I researched, prove that overall my opinion of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is consistent with the overflow of negative commentary made concerning Exxon’s lack of social, corporate, moral responsibility to the company, stakeholders, media, publics, atmosphere and environment. The main long-term affects of the organization’s actions are the relentless oil sediments that produce chronic exposure risks that are long-term to certain species. Some Alaskans never bounced back from the downfall that occurred from the oil spill. The long-term affects on ExxonMobil are very obvious—their name is forever tainted with this anti-erasable oil spill. All values and principles that a company must have in order to thrive and flourish successfully have been completely stripped. Like the Alaskans, they have yet been able to bounce back to the leading oil corporation.

Works Cited
“Aquatic Ecosystems: Oil Spills.” Endangered Species Handbook. 7 Dec. 2007.
< http://www.endangeredspecieshandbook.org/aquatic_oil.php>
“Exxon’s Oil Spill.” 7 Dec. 2007. html>
Smith, Ron. “Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” Spring 2007. 7 Dec. 2007.
Frause, Robert D. “How to ethically engage new media.” PRSA. 7 Dec. 2007.
Trade Environmental Database (TED). “Case Name: Exxon Valdez Disaster.” 7 Dec.
2007. < http://www.american.edu/ted/exxon.htm>
“History & Facts: Valdez, Alaska.” 7 Dec. 2007.
“Prince William Sound: Paradise Lost?” 7 Dec. 2007.
“Corporate Responsibility: Oil Spill Response.” ExxonMobil. 7 Dec. 2007.
Skinner, Samuel K., Reilly, William K. “A Report to the President.” The Exxon Valdez:
Oil Spill. 7 Dec. 2007. Valdez_NRT_1989.pdf>
“Exxon Oil Spill: Trustee Council.” 7 Dec. 2007. <http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/History/
“Exxon Lies.” YouTube. 7 Dec. 2007. leXLpo&feature=related>
“Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” YouTube. 7 Dec. 2007.
The Textbook League (TTL). “Exxon peddles corporate propaganda to science teachers.”
7 Dec. 2007. <http://www.textbookleague.org/36exx.htm>
“Companies in Crises-What not to do when it all goes wrong.” 7 Dec. 2007.
“Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.” The Encyclopedia of Earth. 7 Dec. 2007. <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill>

15th Week--Intecultural Communication

Professor Koji Fuse spoke to our Ethics class concerning Intercultural Communication. There are alot of factors that one must keep in mind when interacting with other countries especially those that you are not culturally familiar with. Our main reasons we need to be aware of this type of communication is because economically it can benefit a company, globalization is occuring, and staying on top of technological advances. Keepig these factors in mind we must create a message that is tailored to that local culture. If we do not, the urban legend "Bite the wax tadpole," can occur. It was said that when Coca-Cola translated their name into a Chinese phrase, when it was translated into English it was "bite the wax tadpole." An example, that proves the importance for the consideration of intercultural communication and the consideration of proxemics in the process.

14th Week--Newest tactic to PR

Word of Mouth (aka: buzz marketing)--that's the newest and most popular way to spread the word these days. Some say that this type of communication is credible but to an extent. Flaquery and fakeness (ie: fake blogs) can possibly come into play here. At the same time buzz marketing believes to get across to individuals and customers better than more formal approaches. This is all based on the factor that the "buzzer" is giving credible information which is not always the case.
Ethical concern and considerations must always be present for Word of Mouth to be successful. Here are some examples:

-Youtube.com (more people visited the site and would tell friends/family to visit to watch specific video.)
-Myspace.com (Satisfaction from those few customers initially told those to visit site and to create their own.)
-Gmail (No money was spent; accounts were given to "power users" only and others aspired for that title and as a result Gmail's "buzz" soared successfully.)

13th Week--Incident with Difference & Diversity

Our discussion in class today was very interesting and one of my favorie discussions. This is probably because I have had my first-hand experience with difference and diversity:

I used to work at this restaurant that appeared to run smoothly and very professionally. I might have been wrong. I was a hostess and one of my many responsibilites entailed me making sure that a smooth rotation was in place so that each waiter got equal amount of tables. On several occassion with almost all the waiters preferential treatment would occur. The waiters had a 'name' for African Americans since it was a 'known' fact around there that they didn't tip fairly. It was "Canadian." So everytime an African American family came to eat they would not take the table and would come up to me and tell me, "I'm not taking the table with Canadians. Give it to somebody else." This became very frusterating and not just that but ethically and morally wrong! No one should be stereotyped like that but the cruel truth is that people do act like that and that kind of behavior needs to be noticed by the manager team. I think similar situations like this have occurred in more restaurants than we want to believe but nobody says anything therefore this type of inappropriate behavior continues. What comes to mind, is the ethical paradigm justice VS fairness.

12th Week--Commonalities between Glen Ross/Enron

I have noticed that there are several common factors between Glen Ross & Enron like:
-Obsession with making money and profit (short-term thinking)
-No Humaneness present
-Competition within the office
-Stoop low to get what they want

The 5 Principles so important in a company were not present in both companies:
-Truth--Both companies lied to everybody including co-workers to get what they wanted.
-Freedom-With this comes responsibility and nobody will take responsibility for the downfall of both companies even after they both fell to pieces.
-Humaneness--There was absolutely zero consideration for anybody else except the individual himself.
-Stewardship--There was no leadership because if there was then that person should have noticed the downward spiral that was about to occur and try to prevent it from happening. There was a definite lack of stewardship which aided in the disastrous results.
-Justice--I think the only time justice was served was at the very end after the companies went out of business but by then, it was too late.

11th Week--Reality VS Perception

Reality is what actually is. Perception is what it appears to be.

Enron is a great example of this. Enron appeared to be all-mighty and successful while in reality, they were out of money and completely in debt. Hundreds of people were out of jobs all of a sudden. The harsh reality of Enron affected not only alot of people but the stockmarket as well.

It is important to take notice of the distinct difference between reality and perception and in our everyday lives as PR practitioners to be able to differentiate the two because it could 'make or break' a company--like Enron.

10th Week--Steve Jobs Apology

What Steve Jobs should have said (in a nutshell)...

As many of you may know, the price of the 8 GB iPhone has been dropped from $599 to $399. I have been receiving thousands of e-mails from those of you expressing your dissappointment and anger. From what I understand, many of you feel as toughh it was an unfair decision that we made. I first want to tell you Apple customers, on behalf of the Apple company, we are truly sorry for upsetting you. We respect and appreciate every single one of our Apple customers. We want to do whatever makes you, our customers, happy. You will be receiving $100 store credit in compensation for the distress we have caused. Please feel free to send me e-mails of your thoughts. Thank you for being Apple Customers.

Steve Jobs

9th Week--Fake Blogs

Fake Blogs are becoming more and more of a problem in corporations everyday.


I have actually had an experience with an unethical situation pertaining to blogs at an organization (which shall remain nameless.) I was told that an employee would get on blogs as a nobody and comment on statements or remarks made that were made untrue about that company. I asked why they did that and their response was so that it doesn't look like an authoritative figure is commenting on what is said and so that they are on the same 'playin field' as other bloggers.

8th Week--Corporate Social Responsibility

The element of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is crucial to an organization. To be actively involved in improving the quality of life of the workforce and families as well as that of the community. Taking interest and responsibility in society impacts customers, employees, and shareholders.

An example of CSR is Aegon, a financial insurance company I shadowed. Every year they have a United Way campaign that goes on for one month. They throw events and games throughout the month to raise money for the United Way. Aegon is a good example of CSR. To show the commitment from a company makes the customers and shareholders happy. To simply avoid and ignore CSR would be a huge ethical mistake.

7th Week--The notion of Corporate Apology

When speaking of the notion of Corporate Apology, a good example comes to mind: Southwest Airlines. They have had a couple of times where employees have asked customers of the airline to get off the plane due to what could be "lewd and offenseive" clothing to passengers and employees.
Southwest Airlines has a policy where the company will stand behind what their employees say. They believe in full confidence within their employees and will support them in any decision that they make. This policy has been called into question in a couple scenarios:
(a man was asked to get off the plan due to his 'politically incorrect' t-shirt)

The President, Colleen Barnett, addressed these situations on their blog as well as to the media.

As much as Southwest did not address these situations sooner, having the President apologize publicly and sending personal apologies to the customers themselves with tickets might not sound like a lot. At the same time, Southwest is also working on similar situations like these not happening again by sending out letters to their employees so that judgement calls made by each employee in the future will be more of a cohesive decision representing the company rather than a person by person basis.

6th Week--Personal VS Corporate Ethics

Personal and Corporate Ethics is always a 'sticky' situation because so many personal ethics can overlap corporate ones and then it comes into question, "Which do you follow when you have to choose between the two?"
Examples of ethics that overlap within Personal and Corporate Ethics:
-Truth VS Loyalty
Ex: Whether to tell the media something that is necessary and they should know VS Keeping your stakeholders happy and keeping information confidential

-Individual VS Community
Ex: Whether to satisfy the Individual VS a whole Community (to do what is better for one person or more...)

-Justice VS Mercy
Ex: To do what is justified VS merciful act (includes law VS emotions)

-Short-Term VS Long-Term
Ex: To achieve short-term goals VS long-term goals (profit VS overall success)

Each decision is strictly situational. What might be a better decision personally will not be suitable corporately ethics-wise so weigh out options keeping in mind the PRSA Code of Ethics such as:

Monday, September 24, 2007

5th week-- Dimensions used in decision-making

JUSTICE: Law is not really involved; In this case, powerful vs. powerless--the powerful would be Apple and the powerless would be the people.

HUMANNESS: I believe there was a disregard of humanness. Jobs did not sympathize with the upset customers but instead claimed that "this is the life in the technology lane." There was no concern for people but instead for numbers.

TRUTH: I believe this is most important yet there was half truth involved in this case. The partial truth lies where Apple and Jobs said they wanted to increase their number of new customers and commoditize the iphone. The deceit is expressed where Jobs believes early adapters have high expectations and do care about their customers therefore a rebate should make up for Apple defaming their integrity in the eyes of their early adapter customers.

STEWARDSHIP: Similar to Cowboys case study because loss of profit was top priority for Jobs and Apple as a whole. To be on the top and have the leading product was of utmost importance therefore they jeopardized their relationship with their early adapters to recruit more/new customers.

FREEDOM: Also similar to Cowboys--freedom to pursue profit (Apple) vs. integrity to customers. A balance is needed.

4th week of PR Ethics, Law & Diversity

After reading the Dallas Cowboys case study there were many things I was very shocked about. First, I honestly feel that celebrities (including athletes and 'royalty' like Paris Hilton) have gotten away with practically murder. Their punishments are no where near where they should be and that is exactly what happened to Michael Irvin when he was involved in a so-called "scuffle" with another player, Everett McIver, and resulted in a serious cut on his neck. What blows my mind is how the coach lied initially about the size of the cut and later it was revealed that it was about 6 inches long. Nobody, except the Cowboys, will ever know what really happened but their PR people did one heck of a job keeping everyones' mouth shut. Their were absolutely no leaks and the media could not understand, "Why now?" As much as it appeared to be a failure for the media, the Cowboys succeeded.

3rd week of PR Ethics, Law & Diversity

In Appiah's book, "Cosmopolitanism," a 'saving truth' is discussed. The example in the book given referred to female genital cutting. This is Appiah's way of showing those that are not familiar or even welcome the idea of genital cutting for females that we must get used to the ideas of others. A 'saving truth' cannot be changed/altered. It cannot be compromised. A 'saving truth' can be used within one's PR values/ethics. Two main examples would be plagiarism and honesty. There are no 'if, and, or but' on those examples of 'saving truth.'

Monday, September 17, 2007

2nd week of PR Ethics, Law & Diversity

So I started the textbook Cosmopolitanism and I do believe that Appiah believes in a sense of Communitarianism and that everybody does matter. According to the introduction of Cosmopolitanism there are two factors to the definition of Cosmopolitanism.
First, "we have obligations to others...beyond those to whom we are related to of kith and kind or even formal ties of a shared citizenship."
Second, "we take seriously the value not just of human life but of particular human lives." (Basically the idea that all people are different and we can learn alot from each other.)
As far as the people within corporate America's supply chains, the supply chains consists of groups of people and as I said earlier, everybody matters. In the book, on page 6, Appiah talks about how no "country can produce everything it needs: whatever it has, it is bound to lack something."
Hence, I believe Appiah indirectly is referring to coporate America's supply chains, and we must rely on learning and understanding each other through communication/conversation.

1st week of PR Ethics, Law & Diversity

It was interesting how the first day we compared/contrast charecterisitics about ourselves with somebody else in class. Amanda McFerren was my partner and we clicked instantly! After the class exercise, when we began to discuss what we discovered about each other, I then realized we talked the whole time without addressing the fact that I am clearly Indian and she is not. It's funny how in this day and age (for the most part) we can look past skin color/ethnicity and find other differences in ourselves. For example, Amanda and I spoke of how she is aggressive and I'd like to think that I am not. She is also more conservative (mostly issue-based) while I am a hardcore democratic. I guess we can say the first day of this course opened my eyes up a little bit more than I was expecting to...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Boulder High School

I found this article in the Star-Telegram concerning two men that walked in to Boulder High School in Colorado on May 10, 2007 wearing camouglage and one in a ski mask before school hours. Police searched the high school room by room but found no leads. Further investigation is being done by the Boulder Police Department. The article spoke of how in detail the Police checked all the rooms in the high-school as well as on the rooftop and even utility-access tunnels under the building. The article also included how The University of Colorado alerted their students but classes were held like normal.
(http://www.star-telegram.com/190/story/97190.html) <---Star-Telegram Article

The article had a website to refer to which is the Boulder High School website...(http://schools.bvsd.org/boulderhigh/default.aspx)
I surprised to see how little attention the website gave to this situation especially after the high-demand for security in our schools. On the website it has at the top of the screen a red box that says "Important Announcement" from the principal. It surprised me how small it was on the website. On the other hand, there was a link from the website to an attachement that was a letter from the Principal. Now, that letter was so heartfelt that even I felt touched! The Principal did a great job making it very personable instead of just 'cold facts.' At the beginning, he began to say how apoligetic he was about the even that occurred. The Principal even went into future plans to prevent a situation like this from occurring again. From now on the Principal said the doors for the school will be locked until school is in session (after 7 a.m.) Also, only two entrances of the school will be opened and their will be staff at the doors monitoring.

I also found it surprising that the Boulder School District did NOT have anything on their website concerning the incident that had just occurred. Although, there is about midway down the web page a link concerning safety and that with "events across the country... school security is the forefront of people's minds lately. BVSD has solid policies and practices in place to ensure our students and staff are safe." I find it humorous how that in their 'solid policies and practices' they do not mention what happened at Boulder High School and prevention actions that will be taken for the future not just there but at all BVSD schools.
http://www.bvsd.org/default.aspx <---Boulder School District Website

Friday, May 11, 2007

Media Kit -- WaterWays 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information contact:
Pod Yallapragada, (214) 499-8630
Christen Sanford, (214) 802-1232


Kennedy Jr., and Friends on a Mission to Raise Awareness of a Deathly, Growing Problem

DENTON, Tx. – March 10, 2007 – Scientists, philosophers, politicians, artists, mangers and specialists throughout the University of North Texas have come together to address a serious problem that our world is facing by holding the second biennial 2007 WaterWays conference. Conferences will be held from March 13-15 featuring guest speakers such as world-renowned environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and honorary research professor Dr. Ramaswamy R. Iyer as well as others. Their mission is to raise the alarm of water basin issues, particularly the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) basin. .

WaterWays seeks to offer a new way of recognizing the connection between humans, natural ecosystems, and water. WaterWays is sponsored by the Philosophy of Water Issues and discusses issues of: water-scarcity, quality and quantity of reserves, restoration of riparian areas, and cultural perceptions of water. This program looks to advance dialogue across the national and international boundaries.

Events occurring on campus for WaterWays include a luncheon at the Environmental Science building as well as a panel discussion lead by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., live music by Trio Montuno during the reception, and photography exhibits conducted by Donith Doherty and George Alfred James .

All events are free and open to the public, students and faculty. This opportunity gives everyone from all fields and backgrounds to collaborate for a global environmental concern that quite possibly could impact the amount of time we have left on Earth. Encouraging alertness can ensure that this does not happen and better our future.

About WaterWays 2007 Conference
WaterWays is sponsored by UNT. The Philosophy of Water Issues was made possible when it was launched September 2003 by UNT Philosophy Professor and Program Director Irene J. Klaver, and by a grant given from the Dixon Foundation located in Dallas. Its growing success reflects continual support from the UNT Department of Philosophy.

For more information about WaterWays 2007 and the upcoming events, visit the Web site at www.unt.edu or call (940) 565-2266.

Grassroots or Astroturf?

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) appears to be a grassroots organization due to the fact the organization is made up of 36 members on staff, located in Califronia and Japan. Some of their volunteers for this grand organization includes: scientists, teachers, students and parents...generally anybody who is concerned environmentally! Their motto is to sustain that the world can be created and that aggressive action must be taken in order to secure the world for our future children. With their annual budget approximately more than $3 million. RAN has included several corporations participating including some popular businesses like Home Depot and Boise to change their practices. Overall, they fight for environmental issues by using grassroots technique.

Some sites I used as a reference:

Bios on Speakers of WaterWays 2007

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a graduate of Harvard University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He also later attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Environmental Law. Kennedy Jr., has also made a name for himself in the environmental world. Mr. Kennedy serves as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper as well as President of Waterkeeper Alliance, a grassroots organization that dedicates to preserving and protecting the waters. Not only has Mr. Kennedy made a significant impact nationally but internationally as well where he assisted some projects in Latin America and Canada. Kennedy Jr., is credited for his leading fight to protect New York City's water supply. He was named Time Magazine's "Heroes for the Planet" for his success in helping Riverkeeper, an advocacy group that support the Hudson River ecosystem and challenges polluters, to resore the Hudson River.

Ramaswamy R. Iyer received his B.A Honors and an M.A in Bombay in 1948. He also received a Post-graduate Diploma in Economics and Social Administration in London School of Economics and was awarded mark of distinction. Iyer held several civil service positions in many Government Offices and Ministries that led to the position of Secretary to the Government of India. He was also a member of a Committee on the Pricing of Irrigation Water set by the Planning Commission. Mr. Iyer has become an Honorary Research Professor in the Water Resources, Public Enterprises, Public Administration and Governance Issues.

Lead for WaterWays 2007

University of North Texas is holding their second biennial Water Conference called Waterways 2007. This project gives many of UNT's departments including the Arts, Science, Philosophy and Politicale Science, and opportunity to collaborate together and raise awareness about water issues. Of particular concern for this year's conference is the rise of alarm of water basin issues, specifically the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna Basin. Conferences will be held from March 13-15 featuring speeches from Robert F. Kennedy and Natarajan Ishwaran as well as others. WaterWays 2007 sexxions are free and welcome to the open public.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Final Project-- What the...kind of language is in TV shows?

Title: What the...kind of language is in TV shows?

Introduction/Research question: I initially was going to do my content analysis study on how the radio "pushes the envelope." As I was researching, I found "pushing the envelope" on television to be of some interesting findings especially with all the new and different types of entertainment shows on today. Since my prior study involved the gender/race stereotype in commercials, I figured something different from that would me most appropriate for a final project. Something that we didn't talk too much about in class so I thought the language content during a TV show would be something to look at. Thus, my research question is how far doees television "push the envelope" concerning indecent and vulgar language? Is it the worst at a certain time of the day?

Summary of findings: I found that the crude language on TV these days is very common. I thought their would be a significant difference of results during the day, which are called the "safe harbor hours"(before 10pm)--time that children are watching TV the most, than the nightly shows. I found that it really depends on what you're watching that makes either the "safe harbor hours" true or makes it untrue. What I mean by that will be clarified in the following sentences. I watched 3 types of shows: a talk show, a soap opera, and a comedy show. The comedy show was clearly more indecent than the soap opera but not even close to being as profane as the talk show. This would probably be a good time to mention which shows I have done. I watched The Jerry Springer Show, Passions (daytime drama), and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Now, it is clear that out of the three which one must have the most indecency in its language content. If the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) cared and really believed in the "safe harbor hours" then The Jerry Springer Show would without a doubt not be on daytime television, but it is. That to me was discomforting to know that a kid only 10 years old could potentially be watching that same disgusting show called "I'm sleeping with your mother."

Summary of previous study: I used supporting information from a similar study. The work is done Bradford L. Yates, Ph.D and Anthony L. Fargo, Ph.D. ("Talk dirty to me: Broadcast and cable TV push the envelope on indecency," April 2002, Broadcast Education Association.) by They did case studies as well as a quantitative content analysis on whether TV shows have gotten worse in language content since 1994. According to the studies it has. This is why the FCC has now put ratings on TV shows for whether it is suitable for a child or not. I used their coding on all three shows.

Corpus and Methodology: As I watched all three shows, I coded my analysis study. I first categorized the language into 4 distinct and different parts: offensive language, vulgarities, and profane use and charecteristics. I then broke down each category into parts. This will be most efficient in bullet form:
  • Offensive language:

-Verbal (They vocally said something offensively/insulting beyond norms to somebody else)

-Implied (Bleeping out or mouthing off dirty words)

-Gestural (Ex: "giving the finger)

  • Vulgarities:

-"Seven dirty words"--These words have been singled out by the FCC to be too indecent for the airwaves. These words are: tits, shit, piss, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and fuck.

-Sexual words (Ex: "boobs" and "balls")

-Excretory words--Direct references to human waste products/processes (Ex: "shit" and "crap")

-"Other" offensive words (Ex: "Hell," "Son of a bitch," "bastard," "damn," "whore," "you suck" etc.)

  • Profane Use: (Using the name of God in a bad connotation)



-"God" (Ex: "God, she looks like an ugly cow!")

  • Charecteristics:

-Network (NBC, ABC, FOX, WB)

-Type of show (drama, comedy, reality)

-Time period (what time did it play it? daytime/nightime?)

With all these categories I was able to tell significantly what show was the worst and by how much as well as by what extreme. The category "vulgarities" helps with disputing the extreme level of offensive language. The "charecteristics" category showed what networks "pushed the envelope" more as well as whether the show was seen during the day or night.

Findings: Firstly, with "The Jerry Springer Show," it had by far the most offensive language, vulgarity but suprisingly not profane use. It was the only show to have not just once but 42 times of one of the "7 dirty words." You can only imagine which ones they were! Another shocking revelation was that "The Jerry Springer Show" played the earliest of the 3 types of shows at noon. Also, the most common word I heard was different synonyms for the word "slut" like "whore" or a "tramp." One can only imagine how many children are getting exposed to certain subjects one shouldn't at such an easily-influenced age. The next show to air was "Passions." The shocking discovery was that I initially had thought that daytime dramas would have a little more of vulgarity and offensive language but it almost didn't have any! The most significant finding for "Passions" was that it had more "other" offensive words than F.R.I.E.N.D.S did. It had 10 offensive words that were mostly made up of "bastard," "bitch," and the phrase "go to hell." F.R.I.E.N.D.S shockingly had the most and only "profane use." The only word they said was "God" 6 times. Something else interesting was the fact that F.R.I.E.N.D.S had two "Excretory words" while "The Jerry Springer Show" had only one. The worst words heard during this show was "bastard," and "bitch."

Conclusion: Overall, "The Jerry Springer Show" is the epitome of bad/profane TV and shouldn't be aired at noon and most certainly shouldn't even be aired at all. The language of use is disgusting on that show. As far as "Passions" and other soap operas, perhaps I underestimated their conservative level of language compared to other kinds of TV shows out there. Lastly, I never really realized that my favorite show F.R.I.E.N.D.S had any kind of crude language other than a 'slip' here and there, but it was very consistent through the show to have slight unsophisticated humour and not just that but to emphasize the word as well. I suppose I never realized it until here I am, making an effort to hear the use of language. It's funny how when you are just watching a show you'll never notice these little things that directors and producers purposely tell the actors/actresses to do. After doing this content analysis study I've realized how much we really do "push the envelope" on foul-mouthed language. It's a shame how we tell kids not to talk rubbish or else they get the 'soap in the mouth' treatment, yet here are some shows that maybe a family would watch (the exception of the "Springer show" and most likely "Passions") together and they are all full of 'potty-mouths.' So, I guess you can't really say anymore, "where did you hear that word young man?!" because I can tell you where they heard it from, the media.

My Data : -- "The Jerry Springer Show" --"Passions" --"F.R.I.E.N.D.S





















WB Talk show/Reality 12-1 pm

NBC Soap/Drama 1-2 pm

WB Comedy 1-2 pm



This class was amazing!

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the class: Race, Media & Gender. Dr. Lambiase is the most amazing teacher. She connects with all the students teaching you what you must know as well as being humorous and charming! I learned alot from this class that I can take away with me as I dive more into the Journalism major. This class is really going to help me in my new internship that I have started yesterday! I'm so glad I took this class! Thanks Dr. Lambiase for everything! I learned so much more than I had imagined!

Speaker Rebecca Rodriguez

I enjoyed it thoroughly when Rebecca Rodriguez came into class. I'm still unsure of what I want to do but I am very interested in broadcasting so it was a pleasure to meet her and have her come share her triumphs and losses with us in "making it as a journalist." Her tips were key:
-Having mentality that "I think I can do this"
-Goal: Always try to have a better idea
-Professionalism is key

After hearing how many times she had to get back on her feet and then fall back down again, but always getting back up, gave me hope that hey, it will work out. I sometimes get unsure, because of all the negative parts of this major, but I've come to realize that every job has that but Journalists' are just more apparent. After hearing her say that all that she does is worth it, I feel confident now "trying out the waters" of the Journalism field.

Gays in the Media

I'm glad that today gays are pretty much accepted on the media. Gays have been through a progression recently. They went from closeted/secretive, to "flamer", and now to invisible. When I mean invisible I mean eyes aren't drawn on them; they don't bring attention to themselves. They are just as normal and you and I. Sometimes I can also see this as a bad thing though. So that it is more accepted in our culture, I think it might need to be talked about more so that it can become a norm in our society today. Just like, in a way, we have accepted crimes occuring everyday and people dying as a result, we should be able to accept that gays will marry and want kids to live a normal life. If we can accept crimes, how come we can't accept gays wanting to live their lives in a family-oriented way?


In the movie, the female characters were seen as bystanders that didn't have drive to support men. I thought that was interesting since women are usually shown as that supportive-type especially paired with a man. It's funny how "Crash" not only talks very different, almost opposite one could say than what films usually portray of genders. Just like female characters are portrayed quite the opposite than what usually is. I liked that about this movie. It didn't in a mouth-dropping sort of way. Another example would be, women are usually treated with respect and equally to men whereas in this movie, Matt Dillan treats women harshly. It's nice to see a difference like this in a movie, but it can also get you upset at times. The movie has the 'balls' to say and address alot of things that we, as humans, think in our minds and would never say out loud, except in this movie I guess the motto is "speak your mind," because I know they sure do!

The Concept of WAR on TV

We talked about something in class for just a few minutes but I really thought it was interesting. Dr. Lambiase discussed how there's two types of wars: The actual war occurring and the war & camera type of war. The war & camera war is put straight onto TV. What's interesting is that people tend to act differently in front of the camera than when they are not in front of the camera. The idea of being viewed makes people not act the way they usually do, thus altering what is REALLY happening. Dr. Lambiase at this time brought up a good point that makes one ponder if it will ever be possible: Can the ACTUAL war be put on TV, is it possible to pass/ignore the war & camera-type war and get the actual events to the audience?

Has anybody seen my 'greaser?'

So we learned what "greasers" were on the 25th of May. Man! What an awful name to refer to Mexicans back in the day. They were defined as "immoral crooks that try to steal white women." I personally found it appalling that Mexcians only fitted into this narrow category of roles they could play in movies back in the day. For instance, Mexican women were only portrayed as the "bad girl, unfaithful and crazy" women. This is absolutely not true! It is unfortunate that our mind-sets had started off like that and sometimes still hold that mentality to this day. It's not Mexicans ever did anything to inherit the name "greaser" so how come they got stuck with it? I'll tell you what I think. I think it's because their skin isn't as 'light and pure' as Americans and therefore are stuck with this unfortunate stereotype.

Shocking Stats!

Ok, so as I left class on May 23rd I was shocked when hearing these statistics about video games/music videos that we learned in class by Dr. Lambiase. I've always loved statistics. They really give you a good idea of just how many people are involved in whatever the statistic may be. For example:
-82% of homes with 8-18 year old feature video game players
-25% of American households with children have 3 or more game consoles (half of this shows kida have the game player in their room.)

These statistics kind of disturb me because, perhaps I'm a girl and this genre of entertainment isn't exactly my cup of tea, but video games are really dominating in boys'/mens' lives. I have a friend that went to school at UNT with me freshman year. It was in the middle of the XBOX hype that I began to resent these game players. My friend had apparently become so 'hooked,' he stopped going to class because he was staying up endless nights playing. He eventually ended up dropping out. Can you imagine? Ever since then, I saw what these game players could do to you. I've seen and heard it happen to more than just my friend. It's one thing to play for entertainment another to let it run your life.

Jean Kilbourne's movie

In class when we watched Jean Kilbourne's movie, "Killing Us Softly," I thought it was really good and an eye-opener for her audience. Kilbourne's message that she sends out is that we should all take advertising seriously. The average person is exposed to 3000 advertisements a day. She believes that the media, especially advertisements, tells us who we are and who we should be. Advertisements also surround us with what the media believes to be ideal women's beauty but what not many know, especially young teens, is that models are touched up on the computer after the photo shoots. So basically, here are these young and poorly influenced teens that want this so-called "perfect" body and "perfect, blemish-free face." All of this to Kilbourne is unfortunate and she thinks it needs to stop immediately and her urgency is clear in her movie.

I agree with Kilbourne completely. Unfortunately, I don't see people really finding the urgency to change their mind-set. In fact, I think it's already ingrained in our American minds.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Is Froma for real?

When we were reading "Missing Sensitivity" by Froma Harrop, I didn't initially realize all the many many things wrong with the article. On a side note, it's funny how this class brings out those hidden senses that people don't usually pick up on. It's almost as if there's a sixth sense: the sense of Journalists!

Froma makes a point in her article to discuss the stereotypes and racism she found in the media. She believes that between these two missing girls, Natalee Holloway (White female) and Latoyia Figueroa (Hispanic female,) only one of them got alot of media coverage. Want to take a stab in the dark who that might have been? Yep, it was Holloway alright. What makes the article disputable is the fact that even though Froma is making a point, she's making the same mistakes in her article that she claims the media has committed. Coincidence, I think not!