Final Podcast Pitch

For my final project, I thought I could do research on the process of becoming a student at Baruch when the student comes from another country; what’s different from our application process, etc. For the assignment I want to do each episode on one international student and try and follow through what they went through to get to Baruch, why they chose to study here, and what their concerns are (especially with the current political climate).

Final Narrative Podcast Pitch

For the Narrative Podcast I️ would like to go back to the Washington Business Improvement District.

For the first podcast I️ would like to interview the people that work there (I️ believe there’s around 4-5). I️ want to get more into the BID’s work ethic and the plans for Washington Heights.

For the second podcast, I’m not really sure what it’s going to be on. Hopefully when I️ go to get interviews it would lead me to another story. I️ know that there’s a website/facebook profile against the BID so maybe that can be the second but I’d have to investigate that further.

Final Narrative Podcast Pitch – Being Polyamorous

For years, evolutionary psychologists have questioned whether or not humans are meant to be in monogamous relationships. Some scientists look at both social and sexual monogamy in humans as more of a societal structure instead of a natural state.

For my final podcast, I wanted to create a character driven documentary-style series led by an individual who is polyamorous. Polyamorous is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.”

In episode one, I would base my podcast around her. She discovered she was polyamorous after finding her now (first) partner on Tinder, who is also poly.

In episode two, I would base my podcast around her relationship and the dynamic of it. (Hopefully) I will interview her partners. One of her partners wasn’t poly prior to their relationship, while her second partner has been poly for quite some time now.

Final Narrative Podcast Pitch:

For my final Narrative podcast, assignment i wanted to focus on Baruch’s Basketball team and hopefully interview their coach and maybe some players or former players of the team about their experience on the team and expectations for this years team.  And with their first home game in late November I wanted to talk to them again for a second part. about their progression so far and how the first home game went. and maybe interview someone who was at the home game to.  So for the first part I wanna focus on the teams past and expectation for the future. while in the second part focus on how they done so far in the first few games of the season.

A second idea for the final assignment I had was to interview people in charge of The knowledge House a organization that offers free technology courses. their focus is on technologists, entrepreneurs, and digital leaders, who will uplift their communities out of poverty. For the first part I wanted to interview someone in charge of the organization for they can tell us more information about it. and for the second part hopefully focus onone of the people taking the course and their thoughts on it etc..

The Lonely Pharmacy on a Hill

Ambi: Pill being counted and stored in pill bottles.

Host Intro: Consolidation of the healthcare industry has become a major sticking point in the national healthcare debate leading up to the 2020 Presidential election. Wholesale mergers between healthcare insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (or PBMs) dominated healthcare news in 2018 and 2019, promising patients lowered costs and an end to the complicated drug supply chain. With prescription drug pricing under scrutiny from regulators and voters alike, the conversation has intensified, hoping these major conglomerates stand by their word. But how do these mergers really affect patients and their local pharmacies to boot? Vlad Silver has the story.

Track: I’m sitting in Forever Coffee Bar near Bennett Ave and 181 Street looking at the entrance to CityDrug and Surgical, one of the lone local pharmacies in Washington Heights amid a sea of chain drug stores. The mood is peaceful in the coffee bar, a stark contrast to the constant bustle of patients and staff in the store across. There, pharmacist Alex Kronis shares his concern for the state of his business in the face of these mergers.

Act:  It’s crazy that PBM’s and the biggest chain drug stores can merge. What’s next, that they can own the manufacturers? That’s one thing they don’t need because that they can outsource. That’s too much of a problem. But if they buy a few manufacturers that’s it, they can buy a couple of generic companies and that would be it.

Track: Besides Alex stands Eugene Paus, a pharmacy technician and first-hand witness of the effects Big Pharma can have on local pharmacies.

Act: Small business will be out of business before they come up with a plan of action against Big Pharma. One couldn’t point a finger and say that CVS took all my business, but they did. They have made it harder for small business owners to fill prescriptions because they own certain PBMs by making reimbursements so they that we are forced out of business. There’s not much we can do.

Track: CityDrugs patrons echo these concerns, including Alan Sidransky, local writer and activist who questions the merits of the system from the ground up.

Act: Our medical system is a disaster. This is a nightmare. There is no way we should be the most advanced country in the world and still be dealing with this. The problem is that people are used to this. This system flat out does not work. This is a nonsensical system that is based on profit and profit only. It turns a blind eye to reasonable things that must be done to change the system.

Track: Mr. Kronis goes on to criticize the system further and suggests insurance companies prey upon the public.

Act: Generally, unless you work in this field, the population has no idea what’s going on, and on some levels its quite complicated. The way its all linked together is simple and its complicated; the mechanics are complicated; the idea is simple.

Track: Eugene counters with a wholesale overhaul, suggesting what the system needs is radical change, from top to bottom.

Act: If you got rid of PBM and insurance, healthcare would become as cheap as modern boxed food, where ramen noodles cost 99 cents. You’ll be buying your blood pressure for 99 cents a bottle, not $100 for a month’s supply. Just get rid of insurance and PBMs all together and your problem is completely solved. The drug companies will be forced to lower the cost of their drugs, otherwise no one would buy what they’re selling.

Track: This is Vlad Silver, from Baruch College, signing off.

Class Agenda: Wednesday, October 23

In class today:

Screenings of your radio stories and discussion.

Upcoming dates:

Monday, October 28: Pitches due on the class blog by class time for your final narrative podcast episodes.

Assignment: Produce two episodes of a scripted, narrative, documentary-style podcast series. (This means it will NOT follow a host interview format like the first assignment did.) Each episode should be  10-15 minutes long.

This podcast assignment differs from your radio story not only in terms of length but also in terms of style. You’ll have a little more creative freedom with this one. It’s journalistic, so you’ll need to abide by the usual journalistic ethics in terms of using actual natural sound rather than sound effects; however, you are welcome to use music to score it and create a little drama. There should be an intro and outro, similar to your first assignment.

Remember that the two episodes should fit within the scope of the podcast as you decide to frame it. You are welcome to do something hard-hitting: past podcasts in this class have included a series of episodes about Venezuelans living in exile in New York, or about homeless transgender teenagers. You are also welcome to do something character-driven and off-beat, like a series of episodes about various NYC subcultures.

Example of this kind of podcast episode from a previous class: New York City Underground.

 

 

Crown Heights and Flatbush Residents being affected by Gentrification

Host Intro: Gentrification in Brooklyn marches on, and the adjacent neighborhoods of Flatbush and Crown Heights are two of the latest to feel its effects. Longtime residents see the arrival of coffee shops, bars, doggy day cares, and hookah lounges as warning signs that they may soon be priced out. Although these places might be a nice touch to the neighbourhood, residents fear for their future in these places. Reporter Quain George has the story.

Vehicles driving by.

I’m on Schenectady Ave, Utica, Crown Heights. The area itself has a huge West Indian demographic. To my left there is a supermarket and a Korean vegetable market. Tenant complains that their rents are rising, the cost of food is rising, and a lot of the cheap places are closing down, like Os Grill, which was known for their Jamaican American dish rasta pasta. “Crown Heights native Kareem Thomas says it’s becoming impossible for anyone below a certain income to stay in the area.

 

Thomas says: “Well I was gonna say it affects all black people, but really it’s a wealth gap. Which blacks are kind of in the middle, sometimes we are doing just good enough, but we are never at the point where we can just go spend thousands on a place. Its’s really affecting people that don’t make 40 grand a year.”

Mr. Thomas himself has been affected by gentrification while moving out on his own. Ideally he wanted an apartment for himself, but after seeing the prices for apartments right now he took another route.

Mr. Thomas says: “Well I moved out and I’m leaving with roommates, you think that was my first choice? Hell no. I looked on Nooklyn which is real estate place that especially for Brooklyn, and the apartments were 1,500 which is double what I’m paying for rent right now. I could not afford, I had the money but, would it be a smart investment? No.

Vehicles passing by.

Im on Flatbush Ave between ave D and Ditmas, to my left there is Paw House which is a pet grooming company on that same block is where Nikiesha Hamilton live, grew up in Crown Heights but moved to Flatbush. She thinks that if these areas doesn’t get the proper support they might be displaced.

Mrs Hamilton says: If a certain community of a certain type of people doesn’t not have proper support for their living situation in the community they are going to be displaced.

Although Flatbush Avenue is very Caribbean and West Indian area, Mrs Hamilton still notices the changes.

Mrs Hamilton says: Flatbush is very Caribbean, when I come to Flatbush I barely see people outside the Caribbean culture or the Caribbean diaspora. I do slowly see gentrification happening, when you walk down certain streets you say “ OH, there is a Italian restaurant over there.”

Even though Mrs Hamilton had a lot to say how gentrification will negatively affect the people, she also acknowledged some positive aspects of it.

Mrs Hamilton says: I’m very adamant about protection for poor people, but I like that we get more attention to clean our streets and I like that I feel safer.

These are the challenges Crown Heights and Flatbush residents is facing while gentrification is among them, although it has it’s negative impacts, there are also some positives one, but is it worth it?

 

For Baruch College, this is Quain George, Brooklyn, New York

The Goal of Becoming a Viral Sensation

Social media has become a hub for people to share not only selfies and photos from cool vacations but also a community in which talent such as singing, dancing or makeup artistry are celebrated. Viral makeup artists James Charles and Patrick Starrr are examples of ordinary people who were able to create a name for themselves through social media. Their success has caught the attention of young teenagers who seek to create a name for themselves.

16-year-old high school student Alex Ferrer is one of many teenagers who became inspired by Youtubers like Patrick Starrr and Nikkie de Jager of Nikkie Tutorials. He began posting his makeup looks and tutorials on social media when he was twelve.

“let me just do makeup I don’t care what anybody is going to say it’ll work out and I just got brave and I uploaded my first video.”

Alex began his makeup journey by becoming interested in special effects makeup. He was then introduced to drag queens and would always wonder how they were able to create beautiful makeup looks on themselves. This thought led him to go through his mom’s makeup and give it a try.

“I was feeling myself okay, I was like wow this is what I want to do now, never mind let me do this and it was at a point that I was serious about it. I was like I think I really want to do this as a career.”

Alex’s bedroom is your typical teenage room. With a huge mirror hung on the wall and a shelf used as a home for Various hair products as well as his favorite facial sprays and brushes. Alex sees these platforms as not only a way to build a career path, but also as something that’s good for his mental health.

“I was letting everything out because at this time nobody knew, just maybe my sister and we swore we wouldn’t say anything and yeah it was kind of like therapy and I remember being so happy that day and I felt good about it. If I did that every day, it would make me happy.”

20-year-old makeup and social media influencer James Charles gained viral success after his senior photos blew up on twitter showing off his perfect makeup and glistening highlighter. It’s hard not to feel envious, Alex says “I crave becoming viral sometimes… because I see these people on YouTube, they post videos and off one video they get like millions of views and their career is made. they get money off one single video”

Alex dreams of pursuing a makeup career and is counting on his YouTube and Instagram pages becoming successful.

Alex’s parents were bewildered upon discovering his passion for makeup. Though it seemed very unusual to them, they showed him nothing but support and love.

“He’s a very good makeup artist, when it comes to posting his techniques, his talent in makeup, I honestly see it in a positive way, that’s one of the positive ways I see social media. it will give him chance to advertise his work for people to get to know him, people will start seeing his work on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, another social media and say wow that guy has got some talent wow what a beautiful makeup.”

Still, Alexandra worries that there could be a negative side to social media success. “Many people when one of their work becomes viral and they’re making money because of their views, okay you’re making the money, but you need a career. you need actual knowledge. I believe that this kind of work if it does become viral okay its very good but on a part time basis, not as a full-time career.”

Internet trolls and those who seek to cause harm to others are another concern. “I get scared of people out there who will post negative comments on his work on his attitude on himself in general just because he works very hard for this and it hurts me as a mom to hear negative comments about his work.”

As he sits and scrolls through his Instagram posts with a wide smile, you can tell that Alex is excited about the future and where his passion for makeup can take him with the help of his social media.

“I see a big future, to be honest, because everybody in this generation is just progressing their career through marketing and YouTube. They post everything and people get money off of it which is something that I want to do so I really see something, I think something is going to happen in the future if I keep consistently posting and keeping up with my social media.”

The creamy walls of Alex’s small room seem to glaze with a brightness of hope. Alex continues to scroll through his Instagram account admiring his work. He is ready for what the future holds. This is Ana Duran, for Baruch College in Queens, New York.

Perception Of Socialism in America

 

In America, the word socialism has a negative conation to it. Since the red scare and McCarthyism people were afraid to say that they were socialist. But things began to change with the Bernie sanders 2016 presidential campaign and eventually with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the midterm elections. Anchor Keenan Millinger is on the site at the Queens branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, the branch that helped elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Democratic Socialists of America meeting. The members are snapping and clapping. They are having a meeting about labor in America

Aaron Taube is a volunteer organizer at the queens Dsa and has his own ideas about the perception of socialism in America.

“ Is it bad? I’ve read interviews that actually among millennials socialism is polling higher than capitalism.  You know I guess there were generations of anti-communist propaganda, there was a red scare, there was Ronald Regan. There was a negative perception sorta partially colored by Stalinism, which wasn’t good; it was a perversion of socialism. And then part of it was pro-capitalism, anti collectivist propaganda.

According to Gallup’s measurements, in August 2018 for the first time in over the past decade Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than capitalism. Also according to Gallup’s polling, Americans aged 18 to 29 are more positive about socialism than capitalism. Older Americans have been consistently more positive about capitalism than socialism.

Dr. Mitchell Cohen, a political science professor at Baruch college has his own opinions on the changing perception of socialism in America.

“Well, I think we’re gone through several decades in which social and economic inequality has grown and grown and grown and grown and at a certain point, there’s going to be a response to that. It’s grown and grown and grown at the same time organizations and institutions that used to represent working people like unions have been damaged, done weaker, are weaker and weaker.  The Regan period basically led to an assault on unions. I find it very amusing to hear people talk about big labor as if it was a correspondent of big business, but big business has a lot of social and economic power, whereas the power and membership of unions declined greatly over many decades.”

Bernie Sanders And AOC political campaigns increased people’s interest in democratic socialism. The Dsa reported that their membership grew from 32,000 at the end of 2017 to 60,000 in 2019. Bernie Sanders and AOC’s polarization in the media had helped grow the popularity of democratic socialism

“Well, they put certain things back on the map.  If you take something like the idea of universal health care, call it Medicare for all, call it whatever you want. Virtually every western society has some version of that, we don’t.

Though Bernie Sander and AOC can be seen as near-perfect candidates, people still have their reservations. Dr. Cohen believes that they also have their flaws as political suitors

“I think they have their own problems. I tend to be quite sympathetic with them on domestic affairs, I think when it comes to foreign policy I find that they usually don’t know what they’re talking about. 

DSA Organizer Aaron Taube believes that their polarization is not necessarily a bad thing.

“I think every time you have someone who is saying things that haven’t been said in a while or haven’t been said before; they’re going to be polarizing. Gandhi was polarizing, Martin Luther King was polarizing. There’s a lot of people who accepted capitalist ideology and even working people who has taken the ruling class’ ideology and taken it as their own. And also there’s a lot of wealthy powerful people who are upset that they will not get to be all-powerful because Alexandria is challenging that power. On the other hand, there are people making murals of Alexandria, they send art to Alexandria. The people who love Alexandria: working people who see themselves in her, Latina women who see themselves in her adore her.

This is Keenan Millinger from Baruch college, Signing off

The NYC Ray of Hope walk

HOST INTRO: With New York City hosting a wide range of shelters and havens for victims of domestic abuse, Omega Phi Beta Sorority Inc. hosted its 8th annual Ray of Hope walk protesting violence against women at Riverside Park in NYC. Alongside the sisters in NYC, sisters in Atlanta, Chicago, and LA all protested domestic violence in their respective cities. Here’s Konrad Szybisty with the story.

AMBI: *Crowd responding say her name to women killed in recent year* “Dana martin” “Say her name”, “Daranisha Duncan boyd” “Say her name”, “Jazeline ware” “Say her name”, “Ashanti Carmen” “Say her name”

TRACK: With the cold air breezing from the Hudson, men and women from all over New York huddled together and marched to combat violence with non-violence. Music, cheers, stories of past abuse, and even some warmup yoga were all a part of the Ray of Hope walk in NYC. A new member of the sorority and first-time protestor Tiara McNeil held high hopes for her first walk.

ACT: “My expectations was having a large crowd and mobilizing the community to come together to stand for what’s right, basically raising awareness”

TRACK: The Ray of Hope walkers all shared a common goal; to get together. Hugs, smiles, and laughter were abundant before, during, and after the walk; something Tiara was very satisfied to see.

ACT: “That’s actually something that brought my attention immediately, before I even became a sister. I’ve seen the sisterly bonding and how you don’t even have to be a sister to build a relationship with those and I have sisters that want to push me forward to be a better version of myself before I even became a sister”

AMBI: “There are movies waiting to be seen. There are people waiting to hear each and every one of our voices, so today we are walking again for those who have came before us, for each and every one of us today and for those who have yet to tell their stories”

TRACK: Protesting an issue is all well and good, but people aren’t satisfied just saying they dislike an issue, they want the problems to stop. In the 2018 annual report done by the New York City Domestic violence fatality review committee, from 2010-2017 women accounted for 76% of victims in intimate partner homicides. Tiara’s belief on preventing domestic violence is teaching children at a young age the taboo of assaulting your partner.

ACT: “So having someone speak in schools and starting out from young and how this is something we should fight for, this is you know something that is inappropriate you know? Stand up for yourself, I think it really hits home to start with the youth because quite frankly youth, that’s whats gonna change our generation.”

TRACK: For Baruch college, this is Konrad Szybisty signing off.