Facial Recognition’s Unlawful Use and Human Rights Violations

U.K. judges recently ruled that police had unlawfully used facial recognition software to capture wanted individuals. By digging into their personal data, the courts ruled that law enforcement had initiated a human rights violation.

The issue doesn’t involve the activities of the alleged criminals in this case. It is the fact that South Wales Police scanned up to 500,000 people without consent while looking for wanted individuals.

Ed Bridges brought the case to light after he was scanned during a protest and out Christmas shopping while in Cardiff.

In the ruling, judges urged all police officials to do everything reasonable to eliminate gender and racial bias. 

Police Say That They Intend to Keep Using the Technology

Although the deployment of facial recognition is still in its earliest stages, police departments say that using this software generates results.

During the deployments in question that eventually triggered this ruling, two arrests were made during the first use. On the second one, an individual who made a bomb threat was located and identified.

Critics say that the ruling shows the police have too much power and discretion to implement facial recognition for watch list comparisons, and that now they must shut down. Supporters say that they can continue using the software by making changes that align with the court’s expectations.

South Wales Police reported in 2020 that their use of facial recognition software had generated over 60 arrests.

London Metro Police started using the technology for regular deployments despite the lawfulness of the action recently. Those two departments are the only one using this approach to law enforcement in the country currently.

The Liberty human rights group calls the ruling a victory for those who support privacy and data rights. It fights against oppressive policies and potential discriminatory practices.

So far, this ruling is the only one of its kind that looked at the implementation of facial recognition and human rights.

How Some Countries Stopped COVID-19 in Its Tracks

The recipe for stopping COVID-19 is straightforward. You need rapid testing, population access to resources, social distancing, facial coverings, and herd compliance.

We know that this sequence works. Countries like South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and New Zealand have successfully limited how the coronavirus spreads in their communities. When people buy-in to the process, COVID-19 gets stopped in its tracks.

The countries where it hasn’t been stopped typically see one problem: herd compliance.

What Is Herd Compliance, and Why Does It Matter?

If you ask someone about wearing a mask in the United States, the activity gets equated to a political statement.

Most Americans who wear masks are Democrats, and the ones who do not are Republicans. 

People who wear them see the process as an uncomfortable way to help others. The goal isn’t to stop them from getting COVID. It is to prevent a potential infection they have from spreading. Since people are contagious before they display symptoms, you can infect others without ever knowing it.

People who don’t wear masks see the issue as one of control. Those who follow the government’s recommendations are “sheep.” It’s one step closer to losing even more freedoms.

If the coronavirus is ever going to stop spreading, more people need to comply with the safety regulations encouraged by health professionals. It’s that simple.

Why Is It Difficult to Wear a Mask?

When the rest of the world looks at the United States, they wonder why so many Americans have a problem wearing a mask.

Some complaints seem logical. Masks can cause your glasses to fog up, cause skin irritation, or create breathing issues for some people. For many, the issue of COVID is overblown and disproportional in response.

As Susan Wiles, a retired sign language interpreter and someone with an autoimmune disorder, says, “Sure, there’s a virus. But people die of the flu every year. I don’t fall for this. It’s not what they say it is.”

Until those attitudes change, the coronavirus is going to linger. That’s because it doesn’t care what political party anyone follows. 

Will Supply Chains Take a Hit This Winter Like in Spring

We have plenty of food to feed everyone. This fact has remained true for well over a decade. Oxfam reports that we create about 20% more calories than what every human requires for survival. 

What prevents us from making sure that no one goes hungry? Our supply chains are nowhere near where they must be to distribute food.

When COVID lockdowns happened in spring 2020, the entire restaurant industry food chain all but disappeared. With most suppliers not having access to grocery counters, shortages began appearing across the United States.

With a winter surge of the coronavirus expected, can we predict a similar outcome?

What Are the Challenges of Winter Food Distribution?

The federal government has offered loan programs and economic recovery stimulus to bolster the economy. These measures helped many small businesses survive the lockdown months.

As we’ve learned more about how the coronavirus spreads, we see the importance of outdoor dining and social distancing. With the weather turning colder this winter, restaurants may have fewer serving opportunities. That means less revenue – and lower food availability.

Should restaurants try to hold on through a winter where influenza, COVID-19, and more potential lockdown threats could shut them down? Is now the time to start cutting losses?

Most food servers (except grocers) have been losing money all summer. Many choose to throw in the towel because if it was that bad during the warm months, how much worse could it get with cold weather?

The First Businesses to Fail Were Already Struggling

Food supplies became low because restaurant suppliers weren’t providing products to grocery stores. That avenue has a lower profit margin, which makes it uninviting for a conversion.

When lockdowns happened in April, food producers and distributors expected a return to normalcy by the fall. Now that we’re here, it is clear to see that we’re nowhere near that outcome.

The first businesses to close were the ones already struggling. Those who wanted to retire or would have gone bankrupt in a couple of years went next. Now, the ones dependent on tourism are closing.

It is the established brands that survive. Companies like Douglas Laboratories, Host Defense, and Jarrow Formulas follow the same recipe of successful restaurants. When your brand stays at the top of the mind, people will want your products.

People will stay home if another COVID surge happens. That means even more pressure on restaurants and distributors to meet food needs. If everyone goes back to the grocery store, we may find even more challenges waiting for us in the months ahead. 

Presidential Elections That Are Happening This Fall

Everyone knows that the United States has its next presidential election in 2020. This four-year cycle is continuous, making it a unique transfer of power that shows how effective democracy can be.

While everyone may be watching Biden versus Trump play out on the world stage, we must remember that several other elections are happening this fall that could shake up global leadership.

1. Moldovan Presidential Election

This Moldovan election faces the unique backdrop of having some rule-of-law problems in place that undermine the country’s economy. Before the coronavirus issue, the International Monetary Fund said that the government needed to retrieve stolen assets and stop money laundering. The incumbent maintains a lead in the polls leading up to the election.

2. New Zealand General Election

This election was put off because of a coronavirus surge, making it one of the most essential referendums worldwide this fall. Citizens in New Zealand are deciding on leadership, cannabis, and euthanasia in this cycle.

3. Palauan Presidential Election

Although Palau may be tiny, the 340 islands are in free association with the United States. Americans provide defense for the republic, funding, and social services access. Their leadership could create difficulties for American efforts to stabilize the South Pacific.

4. African Presidential Elections

Several countries on the African continent hold their presidential election during the final months of 2020. Four of them are in October, including the Ivorian, Tanzanian, Guinean, and Malawian contests. November has Egypt and the Seychellois presidential elections, while December sees the Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Chadian contents.

If the election cycle follows the same outcomes that we saw earlier in 2020, populism is still the emphasis found in many cultures. That means many incumbents may find themselves elected once again.

For American Democrats, that trend is something that they’ll want to stop. For Republicans, that information provides hope when polls have Trump down by 5-10 points.

Quotes About Journalism to Keep You Motivated

Being a reporter in today’s world is a tough career assignment. You might be traveling to flooded communities, reporting on COVID, or covering an international conflict.

It can be challenging to stay motivated when it feels like the whole world is against you. That’s why these quotes about journalism are essential. They can help you to stay motivated in the fight for the truth.

List of the Best Quotes About Journalism

1. Lord Northcliffe

“News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising.”

2. Anonymous

“A news story should be like a miniskirt on a pretty woman. It must be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.”

3. Grace Kelly

“The freedom of the press works in such a way that there is not much freedom from it.”

4. Samuel Johnson

“The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are included to write against others. It is a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.”

5. Thomas Jefferson

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

6. Walter Lippmann

“There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.”

7. Albert Camus

“A free press can be good or bad, but most certainly, without freedom, a press will never be anything but bad.”

8. Pete Hamill

“People become writers in the first place by those things that hurt you into art, as Yeats said it. They become separated from what started out affecting them. Journalism forces you to look at the world, so you don’t get cut off.”

9. Oscar Wilde

“In America, the President reigns for four years, and journalism governs forever and ever.”

10. Hunter S. Thompson

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks – hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, generally stuck in bogs of stagnant mediocrity.

11. Terry Pratchett

“Journalism makes you think fast. You have to speak to people in all walks of life – especially local journalism.”

12. Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Journalism largely consists of saying that Lord Jones is Dead to people who never knew that he was alive.”

If you are pursuing a career in journalism, then use these quotes to help to inspire you!

These are the 6 Types of Leads in Journalism

When you start writing in a journalistic context, it is essential to remember the difference between “leads” and “sources.”

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, a lead is an opening paragraph of what gets written. The source is where the journalist obtains the information.

If someone says, “I’ve got a lead on a story,” that is different than the types of leads that go into the final piece.

These are the different types of leads you’ll find journalists writing each day to convey stories, profiles, and current events.

What Are the Different Types of Leads in Journalism?

1. Single-Item Leads

This structure focuses on a single element in a summary. The goal of this introduction is to create a strong hook that encourages the reader to follow.

2. Summary Leads

Most reporters use this option because it provides a quick summary of what to expect in the rest of the article. It uses as few words as possible while answering the six essential questions of journalism: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

3. Creative Leads

Most profile pieces use this lead option because it captures immediate interest in a person, organization, or community story. It focuses on the details of the subject matter to help the reader start building a relationship with the writing.

4. Analogy Leads

Reporters use this lead when writing to create comparisons between news events and something else a reader might understand. “The explosion at the chemical factory was like a nuclear bomb exploding,” would be an example of this option.

5. Short-Sentence Leads

The goal of this lead is to use a short phrase or a single work as a teaser. Journalists use the rest of the information later in the piece to keep the reader engaged. Although it seems gimmicky at times, this structure works well in print if the editor runs the story on two different pages.

6. Delayed Identification Leads

This option is used quite frequently by journalists because it identifies the critical elements of a story before identifying the participants involved. It sets up the reporting throughout the remainder of the piece by introducing the reader to what happened.

What is the Best College for Journalism?

Journalists come under fire today for being providers of “fake news.” One way to avoid that issue is to attend one of the best schools that teaches this career option.

Several different choices are available in the United States if you want to pursue a journalism major. Here are the best programs to consider attending when your goal is to report on current events and breaking news.

List of the Best College Programs for Journalism

1. Northwestern University

This private school is situated about 30 minutes outside of the city of Chicago. The undergraduate enrollment is less than 10,000 students per year, helping to keep class sizes down. Instead of focusing on semesters or trimesters, the institution follows a quarter-based academic calendar.

2. Washington University

This St. Louis-based institution has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 7,500 students. The campus is somewhat small compared to other schools at only 169 acres, but it is also located in the heart of the city. You’ll get to study journalism while enjoying the culture and life of this beautiful Midwestern community.

3. University of Southern California

USC offers an incredible journalism major while keeping students in an urban setting. The central campus is right in the downtown arts and education corridor of Los Angeles, with satellite locations around SoCal to attend. Earning a degree here gives you a highly-esteemed education that can get you a job almost anywhere.

4. New York University

Attending this institution will put you in the heart of Greenwich Village in Manhattan. You received guaranteed housing for all four years of your studies, helping you to find your roots in NYC while learning the foundation of your future career. Almost 300 student organizations are available on-campus to explore.

5. University of Florida

With over 2,000 acres of classes, athletic fields, and more, this suburban campus is only two miles from downtown Gainesville. Over 50,000 students attend this school, providing you with plenty of social opportunities. Many graduates with journalism degrees find themselves working for the nation’s largest news providers in print and television.

Many other local schools provide excellent journalism programs. You can also attend a junior or community college to complete your entry-level credits for less before moving to one of these storied institutions.

Is Technical Writing the Right Career for You?

Technical writing follows process documentation to create user instructions, software guides, or scientific knowledge. An entry-level way to see if this career choice could be the right one for you would be to practice writing how-to guides as blog posts.

If you love showing others how to accomplish or understand something specific, this job can be very rewarding.

You must follow several steps in the creation process to ensure that the work is complete. Your journey in this career often starts with an understanding of the technical data you must convey to the reader.

How Technical Research Turns into Writing

Most technical writers don’t have a degree in the field or industry where they work. They create materials based on the research they perform while typing out the text for readers to enjoy.

Let’s use a healthcare writer as an example for this process. This person might be familiar with radiology, but they do not have an understanding of supplements.

If their job were to create a technical manual involving the manufacturing processes followed by Argentyn 23, Sovereign Silver, or Quicksilver Scientific to create a healthy supplement, research would be necessary to complete the assignment.

Technical research involving unfamiliar topics is a common standard for modern writing. If you can find useful information online consistently and love to write, this career could be a perfect choice.

What Are the Benefits of Technical Writing?

When you follow a career path that includes technical writing, your job puts you into a position where you become a lifelong learner. You must be well-versed in each field to produce new documents to follow.

The depth of knowledge and wisdom needed for basic instructions or manual development requires a broad understanding of each subject to ensure accuracy.

Working as a technical writer means that you can find a job in today’s most lucrative fields. Engineering, consulting, health and wellness, manufacturing, and financial institutions all require this service.

Most technical writers can earn a salary that equates to $20 to $40 per hour. Many individuals work on a per-contract basis in this field, so opportunities for traditional full-time employment can be hard to find. 
If you are interested in other writing careers, such as publishing, you should spend some time learning about what this career entails and what sort of training you will need to succeed.

Best Movies About Investigative Journalism

You can hear a lot of noise about fake news online today. We must remember that authentic investigative journalism changes the world when it uncovers stories that people need to know.

Many of the best movies about investigative journalism do an excellent job of capturing what the experience is like in real life. If you are looking for something new to watch this evening, consider streaming or renting one of these titles.

List of the Best Movies About Investigative Journalism

1. “All the President’s Men

This movie takes you through the story of how journalists broke the news of the Watergate scandal. The work would eventually take down the Nixon Administration. What is even more remarkable about this film is that it hit movie theaters only two years after the president resigned. It is about as close to current events as one can get from Hollywood.

2. “Broadcast News

Although this movie is meant to be satire, it feels a lot like reality for anyone who has ever worked on a local news broadcast. The film is loosely based on the life of Susan Zirinsky, who rose to become the president of CBS News.

3. “Network

Most people know about the “I’m mad as hell” speech, but they don’t realize it comes from one of the best journalism movies. It is a surprisingly funny film that seems to have a message that was meant for today’s polarizing coverage.

4. “Shattered Glass

This underrated film covers how Stephen Glass from the New Republic built a reputation as an up-and-coming writer. The only problem with his work is that he made up most of the content that he wrote. It is an exciting tale – investigative journalism that takes down a journalist.

5. “Live From Baghdad

HBO made this move to show the pivotal moment when CNN was in Iraq to start broadcasting footage from the 1991 Persian Gulf War. It shows the dedication that reports have to tell a story, especially when it is an event that might change the world.

6. “State of Play

Russell Crowe stars in this 2009 movie as a journalist who investigates the death of a politician’s lover. The film has a ridiculous amount of star power for something that only made about $20 million in profits. It is based on a British TV show that shares the same name.
Learning about investigative journalism is a great way to discover more about the craft of journalism. You can learn lessons from many places, including popular personalities like Jon Stewart.

Lessons Journalists Can Learn from Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart might have gotten his start in comedy, but his work on The Daily Show made him a trustworthy source for news. He became one of the most rational-sounding voices in television.

Stewart always kept some humor about the news and its analysis. He was also never afraid to take a tough stance when there was a clear line between right and wrong. His crew was never scared to satirize spin, belittle, bombast, and call out the blatant hypocrisy of politicians, journalists, or the average person on the street.

When Stewart was the face of The Daily Show, its website told people that the program had an anchor, five correspondents, and no credibility. It never pretended to have integrity or accuracy, but the information that the team provided always seemed to be closer to the truth.

The Best Lesson is to Stop Taking Yourself Seriously

A journalist is there to report the news. People don’t want opinions or thoughts. They want to know what is happening in their community, country, and the rest of the world.

That is only the first lesson. Here are a few more.

1. News is a Choice

A 24-hour news industry means that multiple networks have tons of information to find for people to consume. It is up to each person to choose what they want to see or hear.

2. You Don’t Need to Present Both Sides

Donald Trump is a polarizing figure because he attempts to cater to all sides while still trying to offer a moral foundation. There are some incidents when “very fine people” aren’t on both sides. Sometimes, no one falls into that category. Instead of trying to show everything, journalists can walk away from the idea of false balance.

3. Walk Away From the Commercialism

The people who pay the piper are the ones that dictate the message. Advertisers leverage their influence on news organizations all of the time by pulling their funding when a story or viewpoint comes out that they don’t like. If you want to focus on the news as a journalist, you can’t be in a position to be bought.

4. Honesty is Always the Best Policy

Being a journalist doesn’t mean that you try to make yourself look good. The goal is to convey a specific story to others that you care about in some way. When what you’re reporting on seems dull or boring, that message gets conveyed to everyone else.

Jon Stewart learned that sometimes you must stand up for what is right – no matter what the consequences are afterward. Today’s journalists should learn to do the same.