I Don’t Have Cable In College And I Don’t Think I Ever Will Again

From the time I started college, I have had a TV in my room.

I can’t sleep without turning the TV on and just letting it play.

Most of the time I am not actually watching it.

I just like it for the noise and light.

Before I started college I used to watch cable all the time.

I used to be obsessed with making sure I watched my regular weekly shows that I was into to.

I would be extremely upset if I missed them because then I could not engage in conversation with my friends at school.

Once I got to college I did the same thing.

I made friends and we watched shows together and I would watch plenty of cable by myself.

I would time it correctly so that I could get home from class and watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch for a couple hours.

Yep. That was the life.

At least I thought it was anyway.

After a year at my old college I transferred to my new college and decided to make a change.

I realized that I could have been doing so, so much more with my time rather than watching cable.

When I transferred I still put a TV in my room and I got an Apple TV and I only really watch it when I am going to sleep.

Honestly it’s been the best thing I have ever done.

I like to focus on positive things in life and I never noticed how much of a negative impact that TV had on me.

I started realizing that it was altering the way that I viewed reality.

It sounds crazy but I was living as if I was on a TV show.

Not only was I living my life like that I was also missing out on the life going on all around me.

Life moves fast.

Do not waste your time on watching TV.

Honestly you can go out and live a life that’s so grand that you would never need cable again.

I’ve found myself being able to do so much more since I have cut the need for cable out of my life.

I have found a love for running and I’ve run two half marathons and am training for a full one.

I had a love for outdoorsy things before ,but since I’ve cut cable out of my life I love it that much more.

I used my friends longboard all the time and I just bought one for myself so I am completely excited.

I used to look at a lot of things on TV and would say to myself why can’t I do that or I would say I wish I could do that.

The truth is I can and you can too just cut useless things out of your life, such as cable.

This world has so many things to offer.

I always see this quote on things like twitter and tumblr and it says “You were not born just to pay bills and die.”

You also were not born just to waste your life away sitting and watching cable.

Besides all the good shows aren’t even on cable anymore.

It doesn’t benefit you at all.

Get out in the world and do something that does benefit you.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Stefan/ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cable News Is Dying And We Should Hope For A Swift Death

As a multimedia journalism student I should hope for the success of cable news.

After a steady decline in average viewership, the 2016 election cycle seems to have brought prime-time and overall viewership back into an upward swing.

Both revenue and newsroom spending for cable news has also steadily increased, a good sign for my personal post-graduation job prospects.

Local affiliate stations offer hyper-local news programs that provide information I’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere besides my local newspaper.

But I’m most likely to get my news online, just like 50% of my fellow millennials.

As someone who has friends and former co-workers in the cable news business, I wouldn’t wish for their stations and programs to be shut down.

But regardless of the statistics, advantages of the format and my friends in the industry, I firmly believe we’d be better off without cable news-at least in its current form.

I haven’t watched cable television since the Super Bowl and before that I only watched cable news for election night.

Most of the political coverage and debates were streamed online and I found no reason to stick around to get “expert analysis” from CNN, MSNBC or Fox News commentators.

While President Trump’s rise to power has been entertaining, his hyperbolic comments on the death of the media has fueled him and the industry he has targeted.

Still, the modern cable news program seems to serve no greater purpose than react to whatever crazy statement the Trump administration said that day.

The visual aspect of storytelling cable news used to have over newspapers and magazines has now been eclipsed by internet based news sites.

Cable news is looking as outdated as black and white in today’s world. Photo Credit: John Atherton/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Publications like Now This and TheBlaze have risen to prominence across Facebook and Twitter feeds for their easily digestible video content and controversial program hosts like Tomi Lahren.

Even the traditional cable news networks offer convenient links to the same videos and articles they talk about on television through their social media and online websites.

In a world of instant gratification through the internet, there’s simply no reason to watch cable news programs that require you to wade through the muck just to find the content you’re looking for.

One could argue that this new age of news is shortening our attention spans and encouraging the “rush to be first” breaking news mentality that stimulates inaccuracies.

But I would argue that news is headed this direction no matter what format we get our news.

The days of standardized local news “stand-up” stories and CNN pitting a panel of Trump and Clinton supporters against each other has done nothing but push me away.

I’m annoyed and exhausted with news programs that are driven through controversy for the sake of profits and attracting advertisers.

In an ideal world, I see the media being funded on a subscription basis, one that would allow the stories to be told without the outside influence of ads and sponsored products in-between every story.

Platforms like already provide a way for me to directly fund entertainment and programs I enjoy, while also giving me the power to influence the type of stories and content my favorite creators make.

This subscription based funding of media doesn’t facilitate a bright future for cable news, but then again neither does our current path of news digestion.

A 9-year-old with a smartphone and Facebook live can be considered a journalist.

Youtubers and vloggers can accrue larger daily audiences than many cable news programs.

Whether this is good or bad for the industry as a whole is a matter of perspective.

From my perspective, despite recent increases in viewership, cable news is on the way out.

Once the presidency of Donald Trump ends, cable news will become stale and ratings will settle into another plateau before declining again.

The journalism industry as a whole and those who engage in the content produced from it would be better off if the death of cable news was expedited.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Steven Depolo/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Why America Really Needs A New “West Wing”

As chaos, deceit and lies are engulfing the White house, the sanctum sanctorum of American democracy; I find myself increasingly pining for the “cartoonishly optimistic” days of the Bartlet administration on my TV screen.

I watch the reruns of West Wing with a sense of nostalgia, where the White House staffers would do the “walk and talk” with charge, meet at the Oval Office with a distinguished President, and give press briefings that were transparent and not a battle ground for the war against media.

Watching West Wing nowadays is painful.

The Trump administration has destroyed the prestige of working at the White House.

The well- beloved CJ Cregg, who was known for her astute mind and performance of “The Jackal”, has been replaced in reality with the aggressive and dull Sean Spicer, whose lexicon leaves a lot to be desired.

Leo McGarry, the man who always stood behind President Bartlet, who always viewed everything with benevolent pragmatism, has been replaced with Reince Preibus, a man who believes that defensiveness is the shield that he must carry and not necessarily political acumen or sensitivity.

It is almost like the Trump administration is trying to be the total opposite of what idealists loved about West Wing.

For almost a decade Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing mesmerized the American psyche; depicting American democracy’s morals, values and diplomatic stance in the world, albeit with a few instances of infamy, all along having a scholarly president at the helm of affairs.

With his penchant for classical music, literature and finer sensibilities in life, President Bartlet and his team exuded a sense of fairness, liberalism and intellectualism that acted as a panacea for the troubled times of the Bush administration.

The fictitious West Wing gave all Democrats a ray of hope.

Sam, we need you right now.

The President’s failure to disclose his physical ailment was tantamount to a big scandal!

It would probably hardly earn a mention when compared to the missteps of Trump and his team.

What do we do now?

The country is split along party lines.

The chaos is palpable.

Intellectualism has been relegated to a secondary place.

The disregard for traditional institutions of democracy, including its fourth pillar known as the free press, is too blatant.

We need an escape from reality.

This time, we need an even bigger flight of imagination.

At the same time however, something too idealistic might be painful to watch amidst a sense of crumbling political values and lack of accountability displayed by the current administration.

We need a show that encompasses “American values”, one that believes in intellectualism, respect and equality and yet portrays the reality with sincerity.

In the last season of West Wing, Republican nominee Arnold Vinick and Democratic nominee Matt Santos were fighting for the presidency.

Their election season was intense, their campaigns were on full throttle; but throughout the entire political discourse they remained civil.

Do you remember when we thought this was a tough debate?

They fought on the basis of substantive arguments, not through personal attacks and the spread of abhorrent lies.

In fact, both candidates found mud-slinging repulsive, and they never launched any attacks that would defame their opponent.

Granted that at the end of the day, this election wasn’t real, and these campaigns were all part of Aaron Sorkin and Lawrence O’Donnell’s imagination, but they remind us that civility is not unnatural, that it should be the norm.

Shows such as Scandal and Designated Survivor do an excellent job in commanding the attention of their audience for the allotted one hour block they are given, but they are meant to act as a source of excitement and drama.

Scandal is a somewhat dystopian depiction of the White House, where corruption, bribery and murders are rampant.

It’s a political drama in some aspects, but it doesn’t do the job of alleviating the nerves of those who are already flustered by the Trump Administration.

I personally love West Wing.

The fast paced dialogue, sharp analysis and wit of the show are all very addictive.

There are days when I watch four episodes in a row, just to soak up the intense and realistic depiction of what goes on in the White House.

West Wing is unique because it shows the camaraderie of Presidents and political leaders despite partisanship and politics.

It romanticizes the White House and its occupants.

When the reality is filled with mundanity and crudity and when there is an obvious attempt at breaking away even from the age old tradition of honoring one’s predecessor; the only escape can come from the TV screen, when we can turn off CNN and indulge in the pure extravaganza of wishful thinking!

The country deserves and needs an updated, idealistic, version of this show so we can all make it through the next four years.

So help us Aaron Sorkin, you’re our only hope.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Why Tomi Lahren Has Pierced Through My Democratic Heart

I love America.

I appreciate and cherish the rights and liberties afforded to me by those who fought for them throughout time.

I also believe in justice and what is fair.

As I grew up and learned who I wanted to be and what I wanted to believe in, I realized that in this post 9/11 world I was living in, there was so much hate, so much injustice and so much sadness that it would be impossible to align myself my ideal system with those who didn’t believe in equality for all across all spectrums.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a registered Democratic voter and a staunch supporter of all things that were supposed to be deemed “Democratic.”

As I spent time around those who didn’t grow up in the privilege bubble I lived in and exposed myself to other ideas and opinions, I started to question everything I had once believed true.

The 2016 Presidential Election has been the most divisive, abusive and zany political experience I have encountered in my very short time as an educated voter.

The rhetoric, the antics and the very pointed “journalism” by both sides to discredit the other has been extremely off putting.

Then I saw a Tomi Lahren video.

The first time I saw a Tomi Lahren video it was on my Facebook newsfeed and it was “liked” by one of my many “friends” on the social media platform.

I took the time to watch the brief two minute video of Ms. Lahren expressing her opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement and the radicalization of it’s members.

Her delivery was sharp, her tone was unapologetic and furthermore she was not afraid of whatever backlash was to come to her.

She wanted her audience to know her “Final Thoughts” on that topic and shed light on what she felt was the truth.

For those of you who don’t know who Tomi Lahren is, she’s a young Conservative political commentator who rose to prominence in 2015 over her remarks about the Chattanooga shootings.

Since November 2015, she has been working for The Blaze, owned by the one and only Glenn Beck, known for his very staunch Conservative views.

She’s gained quite the following among the Republican base both old and new and brings a millennial feel to the Conservative movement.

On a daily basis on her Facebook page she has new content of her show “Final Thoughts” usually about a topic that is in the headlines that day, whether it be the Dallas shootings, the 2016 election, or her thoughts on what’s going on in the world at the time.

READ MORE: Here’s The Ugly Truth About Conservative Talk Radio

She doesn’t hold back and her segments back it up.

Video after video I’ve watched, often times binging if I’ve missed a few, I find her words resonating with me because she brings a different look at headlines, often times forcing viewers to think outside the box, strip away the big media machine telling you what they want you to hear and laying out the facts.

Yes, she is a Republican.

Yes she often says things I don’t agree with, but I also identify with the views she so often shares with her viewers.

She takes her targets to task for their actions, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement, the Clinton & Trump campaign, our government officials, and those who can often times be so one sided.

Her intent is to get viewers thinking, to be engaging in civil discourse about issues that matter.

While her tone and her rhetoric may often be described as subjective rather than objective, she also backs up her pieces with fact, whether it’s statistics or it’s video clips or reports.

She’s a woman who understands accountability.

Her intent isn’t to incite a riot, rather it’s to awake her demographic from the mainstream media news cycle we’ve grown accustom to.

It is because of her I’m able to further engage in conversations with my peers about the issues in our community as well feel confident enough to ask questions and do my research and take an interest in subjects I may not always feel so comfortable with.

If anything, I’m grateful for Tomi Lahren because she allowed my bleeding blue Democratic heart to be challenged and force my hand to continue to learn.

Take a moment, regardless of your political beliefs and view one of her videos and then think about all the issues you weren’t actually thinking about before you watched her.

That is the magic of Tomi Lahren.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Miami TV: How Jenny Scordamaglia Used Her Body To Build A Media Empire

Miami is no stranger to pristine beaches, deep glowing suntans and beautiful, mostly half-naked people doing all kinds of things in public.

But one of the most interesting things to come out of this milieu is MiamiTV, an international online and television show based out of the city which was founded in 2007.

The show is described as an “entertainment channel covering the best events, festivals, parties around the world” on the show’s Facebook page.

With nearly 7,200 likes on their Facebook page, the show seems to be gaining popularity.

The popularity could largely be accredited to the show’s main host, Jenny Scordamaglia, who has had a history of hosting nearly 200 shows.

While being an engaging and interesting personality, the other thing the sets Scordamaglia apart from the bunch is that she is willing to broadcast in the buff, or at least close to it. 

She has helped build a sizable media brand by as the Miami New Times described it, perfecting the “nip-slip”.

As Terrence McCoy wrote for the New Times in 2014:

“The nip slip is the defining element of her on-camera presence. In appearance after appearance, she moves through gaggles of gawking bystanders, microphone in hand, nipples flashing like lighthouses in the night.”


Jenny Scordamaglia in the middle of conducting an interview for Miami TV. Photo Credit: Miami TV/ Facebook

But while some may find that distasteful, Scordamaglia is unfazed by the type of content her company produces.

“Unlike most media, Miami TV focuses on real life people and events live as they happen, no script, no cuts, edits or blurs,” Scordamaglia told RISE NEWS in an interview. “The shows are done spontaneous at the moment with a refreshing reality of what would happen if the viewer is there as well. We focus in bringing viewers positive entertainment so that they can distress from their everyday stress and the negative news on TV.”

The show is close to her heart, being that it was a creation between her husband and herself.

“My husband and I built this 8 years ago and made it our dream work, which for us it’s really not work, it’s a hobby because we love what we do, we love communicating with people around the world and bringing a smile to their face,” Scordamaglia said. 

While being based out of Miami, the show reaches an international audience, with audience members in places like Spain, Mexico and Colombia. The show went international after experiencing local success in November 2009. 

WATCH: Miami TV In Action

The production team, along with producing MiamiTV, also hosts other shows, including Hoy Miami, Miami Caliente and Jenny Live, according to the main show website.

The experiences gained by Scordamaglia have stayed with her for the nearly eight years she’s been on the air.

“While I attending a business event in Miami a couple of years ago where without getting into names, a surrounding local Mayor was there and we weren’t filming, also my dress code was more business attire at that event,” Scordamaglia recalls. “When this person comes close to me and says ‘What happened to the real Jenny, where’s the cleavage?,’ smiling. So I then knew, we had made a signature image for Miami TV and had to keep it.”

Jenny Scordamaglia. Photo Credit: Miami TV/ Facebook

Jenny Scordamaglia in the midst of a “nip slip” moment during an interview. Photo Credit: Miami TV/ Facebook

As the show continued to gain traction and popularity, Scordamaglia kept giving what her audience wanted. 

“We had made 727 studio shows where people can interact live via a chat and give their opinions on the life subject we are speaking about,” Scordamaglia said. “This is our audience’s favorite show, they like to interact, they like to be heard and responded to, but we like to also balance it with over 600 outdoor events we have covered.”

Scordamaglia believes that the audience makes the show, and hopes to continue to grow her brand. Whatever that happens to be. 

“To me, it’s imminent to listen to our viewers because they made us grow and we keep attracting new viewers daily,” Scordamaglia said. “We don’t want to become just another corporation, we want to continue to keep it real and the comments that move me the most can be as simple as those that say thank you for brightening up my day, to some deeper life changing stories.”

So there you have it. The most Miami media company ever is actually doing pretty well and they don’t seem to care what the haters think.

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

The TV Weatherman Who Is Trying To Save Miami From Drowning

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to [email protected].


CNN Is Such Shit Now

I don’t pretend to be an expert in journalism. But I know that the 24/7 televised news media in America is a disgrace, with few exceptions. It’s abysmal.

I am a news junkie. My small experience in working for the news department at my university’s radio station has increased my appreciation for good reporting, which is one of the most important things in the world.

In the film “Spotlight”, we see the power of good journalism and the incredibly moral influence it can have. Pursuing the truth at all costs is as noble as it gets. And it’s hard.

Journalists put themselves in danger for the truth. They travel across the world to war zones and third world countries. They hold the powerful accountable. They ask the hard questions. They filter through the noise.

But the days of Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Dan Rather (despite how you may feel about the events around his resignation) are over.

The trust between the people and their television journalists is practically gone. And for good reason.

There are obviously still sources of television journalism that have integrity, like 60 Minutes and PBS. But these are no longer the core of the tv news world; it’s now the 24/7 major news channels like CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

The problem is, they aren’t really news.
FOX News and MSNBC are partisan and foolish in their own ways. They cater to their base that is politically swayed right and left.

But CNN, which I believe tries to be down the middle politically, is the worst of the three.

It’s a shame, because CNN could be the best, but they continuously sell themselves out.

The 2016 election exemplifies this.

Donald Trump is a creation of Tea Party zealots and the media, plain and simple. Channels like CNN have people arguing and scratching their heads, asking how Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.

They can’t recognize that they have spearheaded the drama that has stuck to Trump like glue and made people attracted to him. For the past year, CNN has become the Trump channel.

CNN will back out of a televised interview with the President of the United States, talking about his Supreme Court nominee at the university where he taught Constitutional law, in order to have more talking heads arguing about Trump for ratings.

Channels like CNN are entertainment channels with a few moments of journalism.

Documentaries on CNN can be informative and interesting. But everything else is straight drama. It’s either Trump, the 2016 rat race drama, or war. Drama, fear, and more drama. Whatever it takes to get ratings.

President Obama, at the White House Correspondents Dinner, said that “Spotlight” was “the best fantasy film since “Star Wars”. He also said “Jake Tapper left journalism for CNN”. There is truth in the humor, and everyone in that room probably knew it.

CSPAN is also the butt of a lot of jokes, but it’s actually closer to what political news should be.

It’s incredibly objective, allows for the voices of the general public, and lets speeches/interviews play out for however long they need to.


Photo Credit: llee_wu/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Watching a recent congressional hearing on CSPAN about what to do with Guantanamo Bay was more exciting and informative than anything I’ve seen on CNN all year.

Watching 30 minutes of Charlie Rose discuss politics is more educational than weeks of CNN.

And listening to the populace is more interesting than any campaign spokesman CNN has had on their programs repetitively. Is CNN really hoping for interesting and nuanced answers from spokespeople that are on the campaign’s payroll?

There are times where 24/7 news can be valuable, like for broadcasting primary and election results, and when there is breaking news.

However, CNN ruins this too, because they seem to be in a perpetual state of breaking news.

The clip from a debate the night before is not breaking news.

Breaking news should be saved for rare moments when something is currently unfolding and has profound implications. That’s Journalism 101, Day 1, and it’s also common sense.

The candidates and politicians watch the media. It influences their own behavior in ways that I believe are not always apparent.

For example, I am convinced that the tone and conduct of the Republican debates was largely created by the dramas and tensions of the media. Of course, Trump also had a great deal to do with this, but he is himself little more than a cable personality.

The candidates, above all, are responsible, but the news media should be above the fray instead basking in it. Covering Trump’s tweets for an entire day does not serve anyone- it is lazy and boring.

I am not above fault. In fact, I watch the 24/7 political media because it can be entertaining, and I feel guilty about it.

The Trump phenomenon is fascinating, and CNN knows that.

But there needs to be more integrity, accountability, and responsibility from the 24/7 news networks.

They are more powerful than they’d like to admit.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: llee_wu/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Shark Tank Is Having An Open Casting Call In Miami

Shark Tank is one of the most successful business related television shows in history. Packed with interesting business titans, the show has somehow figured out how to make start up investing dramatic.

And if you’ve ever wanted to tangle with Mr. Wonderful or get the shot at becoming business partners with Mark Cuban and you live in South Florida, then this is your chance.

There will be an open casting call for the show on March 4th at the LAB Miami (400 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127).

This rare opportunity has been afforded to Miami and three other cities (Austin, New York City and Washington DC) in an effort to bring more diverse voices and companies on the show.


Just admit it, you would love to tangle with this dude on national TV. Photo Credit: Shark Tank/ ABC (Facebook)

Values Partnerships, an organization that helps forge unique connections in the business world is working with Shark Tank and other partners including the Knight Foundation and the Urban League Of Broward County to make the event happen.

“On a first come, first serve basis, companies may be selected to pitch their businesses to the casting team from ABC’s Shark Tank,” a statement on the Shark Tank Diversity Tour website reads.

From the group:

“Please note: Shark Tank occasionally features entrepreneurs who have a ‘good idea’, but the vast majority of entrepreneurs that appear on the show display market demand through user acquisition, sales, and/or intellectual property protection. We look forward to seeing you pitch your business.”

Let us know in the comments below if you are planning on going to the event!

Working on a cool start up? Send us an email to [email protected] because we might be interested in writing about you. 

Cover Photo Credit: Shark Tank/ ABC (Facebook)

Dashed Dreams: How My “Audition” For A Reality Show Opened Up My Eyes To The Fleeting Fame Of The Genre

We are all inherently narcissistic whether we choose to admit it or not.

The appeal of being famous has crossed our minds, especially mine.

I can remember the first time I saw MTV’s The Real World when I was about 8 years old. At that age, I thought it was a cool idea to be on television and live in Hawaii.

And as I got older, my understanding of the concept of the show, as well as the growing scope of reality television made me think I would be great for reality television.

The realm of reality television is so vast from reality competition programs (i.e. The Bachelor, Survivor) to reality social experiments (i.e. Big Brother, The Real World) to reality docu-dramas (Sister Wives, The Real Housewives) and a mix between reality and scripted (i.e. The Hills, Duck Dynasty).

Lastly, there’s the celebrity driven reality show documenting any given celebrity train wreck (i.e. Lindsay Lohan). You name it, I’ve watched it, binged it, digested them all. I’ve also learned from my countless hours of viewing what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to being on reality television.

When I finally turned 18 years old, the floodgates of reality television applications opened. The possibilities were endless. As I said in the beginning of the story, I was fascinated by The Real World.

I told everyone and anyone that I was going to be on the show. I even won “Most Dramatic” during my senior superlatives.

I had the bumper sticker hanging on my wall at home that said “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real?” (A phrase from the opening sequence of the show.)

The stars should have aligned right?

I should also note that I take the Jeopardy online test at least once a year, in hopes of winning some big money. Unfortunately I have never gotten past the initial test. I’ll enjoy sitting at home shouting out both incorrect and correct answers from the comfort of my couch, much to the amusement of my girlfriend.

Every season I would fill out my application and hear nothing. I googled casting tips (prior to the ease of access of Twitter and Reddit), then moved my stalking to Twitter for any tidbits from former castmastes, production company employees, even going as far as engaging in borderline harassment to get their attention.

I was a man possessed by a dream.

I was a man possessed by a dream.

I took it another step further and drove two hours to casting calls in hopes of being discovered. That didn’t work out as I had hoped.

I was not going to give up though.

As we entered the Spring of 2014, a new opportunity to apply for the next season arose and a a chance of turning nothing into something was mine.

For three days, I sat and contemplated what I wanted my application to say.

This was my first impression, and I wanted to make it count. With the rise of Vine and Instagram and these “instant-fame” outlets, it was becoming harder and harder to stand out and be unique.

I also knew that as a loyal viewer of the show that I needed to have a voice. One that was definitely out front and center. After a lot of internalization and mini panic attacks, I finally clicked submit and awaited my fate.

Two weeks later I received the most incredible e-mail I thought I could ever receive.

Having received what I assumed was my own version of the “Golden Ticket,” I drove two hours to the casting to what turned out to be the most shoddy and poorly run event I had ever been to.

The “VIP” wasn’t VIP at all. I had to wait around just like everyone else did who walked in off the street. I wasn’t given any preferential treatment. I was treated like a regular person. It was extremely disappointing.

Yes, I was guaranteed to go into the casting room, but it was in a large group setting with 10 other people and they ask you ONE question. In what world does that mean VIP?

Sitting there in that group interview listening to people talk about their strained relationships, drug and alcohol addictions, lavish lifestyles (and how they got them) made me realize I’M TOO NORMAL for reality television.

Reality TV is a rotten industry and it isn't getting any better as social media continues to mature. Photo Credit: Mario Goebbels/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Reality TV is a rotten industry and it isn’t getting any better as social media continues to mature. Photo Credit: Mario Goebbels/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Reality television is an abyss that sucks it’s cast members and spits them out at a rapid pace. Look at any of The Real Housewives.

Over the course of numerous locales and countless replaceable women, their relationships with their loved ones soured and ended, they file for bankruptcy, get bad plastic surgery, and the list goes on and on.

The most infamous reality television contestant, Richard Hatch, was sentenced to federal prison on tax evasion.

These of course are the most dramatic and most noteworthy of what life is like after reality television.  Look at the girls on America’s Next Top Model for instance; did any of them truly become household names? The Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants vie for the opportunity to be the next man or woman looking for love and maybe a summer in a nice house to win some money by being awful human beings.

The cast of Big Brother and Survivor, two staples of the 2000s, have seen their fair share of racists, bigots and homophobes.

If you were to search for any of the cast members from any MTV or ABC reality show on social media, their accounts are filled with them posing for cheesy selfies hocking whatever product they’re getting paid to advertise, or their promoting bar and club appearances.

Many go back to their real lives, the ones they left prior to their television debuts, hoping their time on television doesn’t come back to haunt them.

The most glaring issue with reality television is that it gives people a false sense of security.

For the viewers, it’s an escape from their daily lives by watching other people ruin their own, while those on the programs we watch are hoping to change their lives financially by participating on these shows. They don’t often consider the long-term effects of their appearance.

For better or for worse, reality television will continue to be around, but the men and women who grace our screens will be scratching to extend their 15 minutes of fame. A fame I no longer find desirable, especially if I need to make a mockery of myself to attain it.

The actress Meagan Good said it best: “make sure your desire to do what you’re aspiring to do is deeper than just fame and being a celebrity.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Cover Photo Credit: Justin March/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Jessica Jones: The Female Super Hero We All Really Need

By Kelsey D’Auben

Last month Netflix premiered it’s latest collaboration project with Marvel Comics- Marvel’s Jessica Jones.

Starring Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, the show follows a troubled New York private investigator who doesn’t play by the rules and also happens to have super strength and the ability to (kind of) fly.

Jessica Jones is the first female lead in the Marvel cinematic universe with special abilities. But her super powers are not what makes her so special.

Jessica Jones isn’t a super hero. She doesn’t wear a cape, or fight evil villains who are trying to take over the world. The evil Jessica Jones faces is a very real one, one that many real women face everyday. Jessica Jones isn’t trying to save mankind from a super evil mastermind; she is fighting against her abuser.

Kilgrave is the notorious villain of the show played by David Tennant. He has the power of mind-control and throughout the show viewers are shown flashbacks of Kilgrave and Jessica’s past “relationship” when she was under his control.

Not only does he force her to commit violent and heinous crimes, including murder, he also forces her into an abusive relationship. Using his powers he forces her to stay by his side while he tells her what to wear, when to smile, and even forces her to have sex with him. He controls her every move, all the while she remains helpless and unable to fight back.

She is able to escape from him, but only to suffer from PTSD accompanied by severe alcoholism, isolation, and insomnia for months after. When Kilgrave makes his return he wants only one thing – Jessica back. And he’ll do anything or hurt anyone to get her. He justifies all his horrific actions because he is doing so out of “love” for her.

Now, if you eliminate the superpowers and car chases from the show, the relationship between Jessica Jones and Kilgrave is very much real. He abuses her, but not physically. He never lays a finger on her because he doesn’t have to.

Everything Kilgrave does to Jessica are things that happen to people in mentally and emotionally abusive relationships. The way he obsesses over her and stalks her, the way he isolates her from her friends, when she tries to go to the police they don’t believe her, how he honestly believes he loves her, and how after all of the terrible things he has done to her Jessica genuinely believe it’s her fault.

Mental and emotional abusive tend to be overlooked when discussing issues of abuse in relationship. But they are just as harmful and need to be talked about, and that is why Jessica Jones is so important. This show brings to light real terrors that face women every day and show a realistic woman fighting against them.

And that is why Jessica Jones is one of the most important characters that Marvel has ever had.

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Cover Photo Credit: Facebook/ Marvel’s Jessica Jones


Person Who Lobbed School Bomb Threat Hoax At NYC Was Likely A Weird “Homeland” Fan

New York City officials dismissed the bomb threat its own public schools and Los Angeles schools received Monday as a hoax likely concocted by a fan of the Showtime drama “Homeland.” New York City public schools did not close down any of its campuses Tuesday but the same threat prompted Los Angeles Unified School District to… Read More

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