New kid on the block

Being an American in America is somewhat under heavy fire. For some people due to a flux of recent racial tension that has become one of the leading headlines besides “Russiagate”. The latest story that has been blasted across social media and television media is a story of a young man who almost became a hashtag.

Fourteen-year-old Brennan Walker woke up one morning not knowing that post events would forever change his life. As it happens with many children, he missed the bus for school and decided rather than play hooky, he would walk to school. Brennan a young black teen cut through a neighborhood hoping that he could get help from people in the area. Little did he know moments later he would be shot at and almost brutally murdered.

After knocking on a door in Rochester Hills, Michigan, he was confronted by an angry woman, her husband and a barrel of a shotgun.

Walker tells Fox 2 Detroit, “I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door. Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High. And she kept yelling at me. Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun, I saw it and started to run. And that’s when I heard the gunshot.”

For many people it was as simple as, “why doesn’t a teenager know his way to school” and for others many teens get on the bus and browse the web or talk amongst friends not really paying attention to the navigation of the bus driver.

It would seem this is a clear case of racial bias. Many people myself included, wonders if this would happen to say, a white American. I am an African American who just moved into a suburban neighborhood myself. As the “new kid on the block” I want to introduce myself to my neighbors and perhaps bring over a gift. Should I have to worry about whether I’ll be met with smiling faces or a barrel of a shotgun?

In this case we can say justice will hopefully be served. The shooter, Jeffrey Zeigler a retired fireman faces life in prison on the charges of assault with the intent to murder and a felony firearm charge. His bail was set at $50,000. I hope he will be an example to all registered gun owners and people with hidden racial biases that not ALL black people are monstrous despite Hollywood’s depiction and also that not ALL gun owners are reckless.

Gun control situation encourages students to walk out in protest

Across the nation, gun control has been a controversial issue that many citizens have an opinion about. The #ENOUGH movement sprouted from it and motivated students to walk out of class in protest saying the school shootings have to be stopped.

Celebrities like singer, Zendaya took it to social media to show their support:

The future. #rp

A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on

Students from different grades, schools, and universities made it a duty for themselves to stand up to legislation as they look upon the gun control situation. Samantha Raphelson from NPR reports in an article on the issue, a student said, “Stand for us, or beware, the voters are coming.” Students have lost hope that adults will act so they took matters in their own hands.

Following this movement, another one sparked up called #Marchforourlives which was in protest of gun violence in California.

The New York Times reports on the #Marchforourlives movement in California.

The New York Times reported in an article about the march that more than 30,000 people marched through downtown Los Angeles. The cause brought all these citizens together because they needed to express their feeling of danger.

The Times also describes a young girl who held up a sign reading, “Am I next?” Signs like this were held with different messages that captured the purpose of the march.

Effective lead in The New York Times’ Florida shooting news story

The recent and unfortunate event of the Florida school shooting has been covered from all angles by different news outlets. Which story do readers notice themselves selecting to read first?

Google search gives many results to the Florida school shooting, which one should be read first or at all?


News stories with descriptive and concise ledes are the ones that attract readers. For example, The New York Times wrote a story,  “‘Is This the Day I Die?’: Teachers React to the Florida School Shooting,” on the Florida school shooting and the fear that exists within teachers all over the country in the midst of violence.

The lede reads, “After the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week, The Times heard from many teenagers in the United States who have grown up in an era of school gun violence. We wondered how this climate also affects teachers, the people we trust to protect our children.”

This lede focuses on the “5 W’s and H” which consists of the following:

Who: Teachers

What: How violent climate affects teachers

When: After Florida school shooting

Where: Parkland, Florida

Why: Understand affect on teachers because they are who we trust with our vulnerable loved ones.

How: The Times will listen to different teacher accounts (Implied because they “heard from many teenagers in the United States who have grown up in an era of school gun violence”).

The key to writing a good lede is to include as much as one can in the line without making it too wordy or confusing. Once there’s a good lede, then there are readers pulled in, and it leads to a story being read by many!