Rise, Fall, and Rise Again: Rebuilding Detroit

Detroit is looking to rebuild from the turmoil it drowns in, and with any city hoping to rise from the bankruptcy ashes, it starts with rekindling small businesses. 

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Detroit once prided itself on the moniker they are known as today, “The Motor City.” But as of the last 20 years or so, the city has been left in despair trying to pick up the pieces from the criminal disregard of a once prestigious city. Many debate whether it could ever regain its metropolis status, but I wouldn’t say it is necessarily up to debate because the city still has the makings of a metropolis, it just needs the idealistic hands of the many visionaries that can re-enhance the prominent plateau Detroit once shined upon.

                         The big question to answer is, how can Detroit attract new entrepreneurs to invest in the city?

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As is well aware, Detroit is climbing out of a huge debt the city had to file bankruptcy for, so it already has a weight holding it down. But that doesn’t mean the city is not working hard to prove it deserves to be recognized and considered the commerce central for the state of Michigan.

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But what exactly would that take and how can Detroit be the beacon of hope for energizing the motor city moniker. For one thing, the city could provide reassurance and protection. Since opening a new business can include a laundry list of tasks, the city needs to make more of an effort in showing it is here to protect not only the people but the businesses. I asked Amera Faraj what she felt was important about opening in Detroit.

There are so many factors in deciding if Detroit is a good place to start a business, and when unnecessary pressure is added, the persuasion of bringing in potential developers becomes that much more difficult. Entrepreneur Don Holmes said, the city is making an effort to help.

If it’s not graffiti, its worrying about arson or breaking and entering. Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press wrote an article on how Detroit wants businesses to clean up their blight, so the road to recovery is already underway.

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Native Detroit businesses have come up with different strategies, like using a steel garage door to cover their business during closed hours or a high security alarm system with a private security response team for the more profiled shops like jewelers or fine dining to protect from malicious crime.

Besides assuring security, the rebuilding of Detroit needs to come from a culmination of everything the city has to offer. Mary Kramer wrote about patience and keeping a clear vision in rebuilding Detroit and that’s exactly what it will take.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.23.35 PMBeginning with the citizens representing the city to the grand spectacle of being supported by popular professional teams, anything helps.

Communications entrepreneur Louis Nelson believes the city has a lot of hope stemming from the new-found good fortune of Detroit’s professional teams like the NFL’s Lions, the MLB’s Tigers or the always dominant Red Wings from the NHL.

Renovations and new buildings of stadiums, expansions of systems already in place to credit unwarranted income and all the little jobs that come from these businesses factor in to helping Detroit gain its confidence back.

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If there is one thing Detroit has plenty of, it is open to develop land and as investors continue to research and look in to development opportunities, location comes first, so being in a popular area makes all the difference. For example, the location of the old tigers stadium is now the up and coming development area and once it picks up traffic, the scene should be quite an eyeful of strong running businesses!

Detroit does have a light at the end of its tunnel because young and old, the city has the potential to become whole again. It will take a lot of effort but if Detroit can use new advancements to its advantage, their will be no more empty, broken down buildings between two strong standing businesses.

Start-up Entrepreneur Thaki Chowdhury discusses the benefits of a tight working community.

There will be skeptics, but with skeptics come optimists like Chuck Salter, who believes in rebuilding Detroit starting with a young united front. For more specific examples, Sam Colt provides a look at 13 young influential entrepreneurs already lifting off.

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A city survives by uniting the internal structure and providing the body of what the corporate model represents. As long as the small businesses owners can sustain and the larger corporations continue to support, Detroit can really bury the dirty past and look to a new, clean future.

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Ethics of Investigative Journalism

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To what degree is a journalist required to identify himself when using a social network?

Based on ONA’s “SOCIAL NETWORKS AND THE NEWS: KEY ISSUES,” it answers this question very straightforward by generalizing the situation to the common journalistic professional. Its states that journalists should clearly identify themselves by their name and the organization they are reporting for on any social network platform. I would agree with that, because as a journalist it’s all about expressing the news through their perception but have it be the most accurate and credible information available. That’s the key thing, credibility. With social networks, there are so many “citizen” journalists, you can never tell what news is authentic and what news is fabricated, so when a professional journalist lists their full name and organization, that gives them a supporting background, instead of someone randomly posting something anonymously. The reading also suggests asking a certain question about if an exception should be made for journalists researching a story undercover using a pseudonym as the account name to research inconspicuously. I think that is a very good question to ask because, investigative journalism is a big part of revealing the hidden truth that many corrupt individuals try their hardest to shield and sometimes extreme measures must be taken. I think the article, “The Ethics of Undercover Journalism” by Stefanie Chernow makes some interesting points in that, major precautions need to be taken when using another account to dive in to a story and really get the in-depth details, because although it may be difficult, there is a fine line between what is legal and what is illegal in a sense of entrapment and harassment. So it’s not that undercover journalism is wrong, it’s that it is very dangerous and sometimes can come off as passively aggressive, so being cautious of your surroundings and the information you gather and release is very important. I also found this article with great tips to prepare for investigative journalism.

Hate Crimes in Cyberspace Review

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I recently finished reading the book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace by Danielle Keats Citron. From the start, author Danielle Citron laid the groundwork for what the book was going to discuss and why it is so important in society. “Despite the gravity of their predicaments, cyber harassment victims are often told that nothing can or should be done about online abuse (Citron 19).” That was the first sentence under the heading “Dismissing Victims” and instantly I understood exactly what Citron was going to argue for, and that is, cyber bullying is just as affective if not more than general harassment or bullying. In fact, recently on March 21, 2015, Citron released an opinion article on Aljazeera America titled, “Expanding harassment laws to protect victims of online abuse.” So her standing was clear, cyber bullying is not to be tolerated at all and now as her article suggests, we really need to be making a bigger impact.

This was the type of book that I knew would make me cringe reading it because I always read news articles online or watch the news and hear a case of cyber bullying but you don’t get the full details. Hate Crimes in Cyberspace does not hold back on the details. I had to prepare myself for vivid descriptions of real life scenarios and it just makes me so mad to think this is the way “educated” people think.

For example, on page 40, Citron explains a situation where a young lady at a law school was being maliciously harassed and then I read some commenters on the post would say things like “I’ll force myself on her, most definitely,” and vile thoughts like, “I would like to hate-[sic] [law students name] but since people say she has herpes that might be a bad idea. (40-41)” That persons thought from the start was a bad idea.

The book was really well researched and thought out, the hard facts and details are there for everyone to read and really get the best understanding of the effect of cyber bullying. What makes this book a more fascinating read is that it is aimed at everyone, not just young adolescents but adults everywhere, because this could happen to you.

What made the biggest impression on me from this book was the steps people take to remedy the situation but they don’t get the justification they propose. Chapter two provides some insight in the strides a girl had taken for a “revenge porn” incident where the girl and her mother got in touch with their U.S. Senator Marco Rubio after law enforcement refused to help. The book in itself is dynamic and complex, but not to read, to understand the whole of cyber bullying because let’s be honest, the Internet is a vast universe of mindless action.

Some other reviews of this book that I found insightful are below:

Steve Donoghue: “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace

Katharine Quarmby: “The internet is a brutal place

Book Citation:
Citron, D. (2014). Hateful Messaging, Dismissing Victims. In Hate crimes in cyberspace. Harvard University Press.

Take a look at this clip of Citron explaining her book!

Culture of the Arts

I had the great privilege of sitting down with professor David Magidson (PhD) of the Arts and Theatre department at Wayne State University to discuss the research he was doing in regards to the economical and non-econimcal aspects of the arts and culture in everyday living.

The research was structured around getting a better understanding of the everyday value of arts and to be able to look at the economical implications that come with art. By documenting the place of arts and culture in our lives it provides us a look in to what the arts are featured as in each city and why they matter. Professor Magidson also explained how arts is such a broad term it is being almost ignored in the sense that it categorically is not present. For example, he expanded on that by saying art can be anything from a flute to a kite in the sky, it’s the perception by which it is viewed that alters its motive in everyday life. Economically it is all mixed up in regards to what is considered art, for instance, he mentioned how in the U.S. yearly budget report it showed all the arts separated in different categories, so instead of what is known as an instrument which is considered artistry that would be labeled under timber and wood work which is really bizarre to me. The significance of this research was to find ways to help develop challenged communities with ways to not only attract tourists but to also brighten up the community in which the art is presented. This could be a new art gallery or simply a beautiful statue, anything that can broaden a horizon is worth the addition.

The study was conducted in a couple different ways including surveying groups and interviewing people who would come through a town that had a real life model on display to see if that would get them to return or want to purchase something. Sadly though, professor Magidson stated the results were usually negative and the overall impact of the research was not as successful as he had hoped.

WSU Chinese New Year Gala 2015

Wayne State University and the Confucius Institute put together the 2015 Chinese New Year Gala free for all students, faculty, and staff.

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The 2015 Chinese New Year Gala hosted by the Confucius Institute of Wayne State University was held on Monday, February 23 at 6PM and ended at 10PM. The gala was held in the ballroom of the Student Center on the second floor. The cost was free to all alumni, community, current undergraduate and graduate students along with faculty and staff. There was lots of food and refreshments catered by the Panda Express restaurant based out of Detroit, MI.

The Gala was held to celebrate the 2015 Chinese New Year, also known as, the “Year of the Goat”. It was organized by the Confucius Institute of Wayne State and included acts of entertainment by students and groups of different universities like the University of Michigan VeryUs team, or the talented Yimin Li from the University of Detroit Mercy.

The ballroom was filled with a diversity of students enjoying the cultural event. Based on my reporting, the gala was well received by all the attendees I spoke with and they all appreciated the fact that it was productive and unique. Productive in regards to including the participants and audience in the events of the night and they also held many different raffles and games. Besides that, the event was remarkable in its own respect because it translated the celebration of the Chinese culture for all cultures to participate and explore. The ball room was well designed for the event, the stage was clean and clear for all to see and the entertainment was new and refreshing. This event was not only important to those that celebrate the Chinese New Year but also to those whom would like to explore and expand their horizon on diversity.