Diversity & Inclusion in College Media

From September 30 to October 1 I attended the College Media Summit on Diversity & Inclusion at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

I went as a small delegation from my campus newspaper. We made the 4.5 hour drive down from Washington to attend workshops and to listen to speakers about what college media can do to be more diverse and inclusive and to better represent the people we serve.

It was a very interesting event and I’m glad that I was able to be there. Below I have included the video I made during the event. Please check it out and leave a like and a comment if you enjoyed it or want to know more about this awesome event.




Instagram problems again; this time, app won’t open for users

For the second time this week Instagram has been acting up. After an earlier incident where Instagram’s hashtag feature stopped refreshing, leaving users without their usual page traffic, the app now refuses to open for many users Monday night.

Yes. Instagram isn’t working….again.

This all comes after recent updates to the app, which Facebook owns, that introduced business profiles, analytics, and a new algorithm for showing posts on the main feed.

Instagram issued a statement on Twitter urging users to reinstall the app. This has worked to fix some, but not all of the crashes.

Once again, frustrated users have taken to Facebook and Twitter to vent over not being to access their beloved photo sharing app.

Instagram is broken: Hashtags not working, troubling smaller accounts

UPDATE 6:34 pm: The issue has finally been fixed, although Instagram hasn’t said a word.

Many users have noticed that over the past 48 hours hashtags have not been working properly on the widely-popular photo-sharing app Instagram. That’s right: Instagram hashtags are not working.

This may sound like a small issue, but hashtags are the source of pushing content to potential viewers on the app. Without a working hashtag system, many smaller accounts that rely on hashtags to get likes and traffic to their profile have seen a significant decline.

For myself, my photos that normally get 40-50 likes on a given day have been getting 10-20 likes and only from my followers. This is sad because the photos that I have been posting over the past 24 hours are some of my best that I really wanted people to see and share.

Now, I have a profile that’s almost dead. No traffic, no new likes, no new followers. Only the larger accounts with thousands or millions of followers haven’t noticed this and the issue has escaped the mainstream media.

Instagram itself hasn’t even acknowledged the issue, leaving its users in the dark about what’s happening and when it might be resolved. As a result, users have taken to other social media such as Twitter, using the hashtag #Instagramdown to voice their frustration.

This isn’t the way social media is supposed to work. It’s supposed to be a place to share content and inspire others to create new content.

So now I give a plea to Instagram for the thousands of frustrated Instagram users who have taken to Twitter and Facebook: FIX THE HASHTAGS AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE ISSUE.

Below: Instagram users have taken to Twitter:


We’re Going to Los Angeles!

That’s right! My newspaper is going to California for the Associated Collegiate Press’s MidWinter National College Journalism Convention next month.

What does that mean? It means I’ll get to enjoy L.A. for a few days, further my 21st century journalism skills, meet journalists from across the country, and have the opportunity to showcase our news website in the Best of Show competition.

I’m pretty excited. My idea is to work hard to make sure that the website is the best that it can be and to prepare myself for some vlogging for YouTube. I mean, how can you go to L.A. and not vlog?

It’s still a month out, but I’m that excited.

Can I best Buzzfeed?

I’m am writing this post yesterday…I wrote this post yesterday. Yes, and I scheduled it for today. Anyway, now that I have your attention, tomorrow…today I am filming a video for my college newspaper’s website, which I also manage (and my blog sucks in comparison).

We are filming a pumpkin spice latte taste-test video at the college that will be posted to YouTube soon. The goal is to be entertaining and to do better than Buzzfeed. Our video quality will be inferior, but we are hoping that we will be more entertaining and insightful about the taste than Buzzfeed usually is.

I have never attempted a video of this scope and I’m the one filming/editing it…so it’s pretty scary. As you’re reading this we’re probably already setting up in the conference room in the Office of Student Life.

Wish me luck.

Album review: Three Days Grace, “Human”

I originally wrote and published this article with JagWire newsmagazine on their website and it has been submitted to Best of SNO for possible inclusion on their website. 

– Chase –

Rock group Three Days Grace released their fifth studio album, “Human,” March 31 to stores everywhere and for digital download.

The album is the first with new vocalist Matt Walst following the departure of Adam Gontier in 2014 to pursue a solo career. Matt Walst, who rose to fame as the vocalist of rock band My Darkest Days following the band’s breakthrough album in 2010, is the brother of bassist Brad Walst.

Matt Walst had worked with Three Days Grace before and is credited as a composer on the band’s 2012 album “Transit of Venus.”

The band is known for mainstream rock hits such as “I Hate Everything About You” in 2003, “Animal I Have Become” and “Pain” in 2006 and “Never Too Late” in 2007.

“Human” follows a generic 21st century mainstream rock formula with repetitive lyrics and that somewhat muffled and electronic sound that all modern bands seem to have. The album isn’t exciting like the 20th century work of groups such as Van Halen or Def Leppard, but no one expects it to be either.

The album starts out with its third promotional single, “Human Race.” The beginning of the song sounds like awful electronic pop music for about 40 seconds, but the hard rock guitar riffs and vocals start right after and the electronic sound disappears until later in the song. Matt Walst’s vocals are strong during the verses, but they are a bit underwhelming during the chorus. The guitar solo starts at the last third of the track and it is probably one of the better guitar solos of all of the mainstream rock bands today. The song is definitely a standout for the album.

The album then proceeds to the mainstream rock radio hit “Painkiller,” a fan favorite off of the album. KISW – the Rock of Seattle – seems to play the song every two hours or so and has been doing so since the single dropped in late 2014. The song doesn’t differ too much from other rock hits of the century, but that doesn’t mean its bad. The song is the best one on the album.

“Fallen Angel” is a slower song that seems hit ready, yet has not been released as a single. The song does offer a glimpse at the upper vocal range of Matt Walst and an easy to follow chorus and lyrical structure, but not much else.

“I Am Machine” was the second mainstream rock hit from the album, played about as frequent as “Painkiller” was. The song’s chorus comes off as catchy and odd as it cruises through at multiple points of the song in a crescendo of intensity.

The seventh track on the album, “So What,” is fierce and on the verge of being a rock n roll anthem, which was likely the point. The song’s lyrics are rebellious in nature like all great rock anthems. It is hard to resist the urge to throw both fists in the air as the bend belts out big backing vocals during the chorus that make it a standout on the album.

“Car Crash” is a self explanatory title. The entire album seemed to be heading in the right way until this song came up. It is metaphorical for a love gone bad, but the song really just disappoints, sounding very much like the car crash it mentions.

“One Too Many” is very reminiscent of the type of music Matt Walst made with My Darkest Days: dark and disturbing vocals about love that lead up to powerful choruses. The verses of the song come across like whispers and warnings, low and scratchy.

Overall, the album is surprisingly pleasant. The first half rings true as a rock album while the second half seems to slowly taper off and fade. Vocalist Matt Walst has proven himself to be superior or at least as talented as Gontier on “Human,” as the album is better than “Transit of Venus,” which shows that Three Days Grace can continue to make good music in the future.


I tried my best and submitted a lengthy portfolio of my work, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I received a letter in the mail today from Washington Journalism Education Association formally rejecting my application for Journalist of the Year.

Continue reading “Rejection”

Rough week

Its been a rough week.

JagWire issue 15.4, Shattering the Silence on Cutting, was released March 13 amid inner-staff turmoil and intense outside pressure.

To be honest, it felt like reporters and other editors were turning against me at the last moment. They didn’t want the issue to be released for various reasons, although none of their reasons were structured enough for us to pull the plug or make changes. Even if they had been, we didn’t have the time to change anything if we wanted to. Some other editors and reporters even went as far as to blame me for their response towards the issue.

Upon its release the paper met criticism from a few staff members and a few students who didn’t feel like it was an appropriate topic for high school students.

A few of these students, including a JagWire staff member, publicly voiced their opinions in the hallways and in our room, which is not a proper way to share your dislike. The proper route would be to send a Letter to the Editor.

I got really mad at these students because of their outbursts, although I should have just let them go on doing their thing. My temper was tested again this evening when I saw that other students have taken to twitter to trash talk our issue.

The topic was taken seriously by JagWire and research was completed for every article. Trigger warnings and disclaimers about sensitive images were included on the cover and the first page of the FOCUS section. The only article not researched based was a feature on a student that does self-harm, and we chose to tell their story in full. We got a lot of outburst for that. I don’t really understand why. We told the student’s story in full as they told us. We didn’t add any additional information to it and we didn’t change things to make the story one sided.

Teachers showed their support today by stopping by and complimenting us on the issue, including one that was nearly in tears because of how well we had presented the too real problem that occurs at my school.

So, to sum it all up, I’m exhausted from dealing with all of this today.

Scholastic Journalism Week

Its Scholastic Journalism Week (Feb. 22 – Feb. 28). I just want to take a moment to recognize the hard work of my newsmagazine staff and of other high school newspapers across the United States. Adults and lawmakers may look down upon us and view us as children incapable of making the right decisions, but we are professionals in the making.

Use this week to spread knowledge and love of the First Amendment and of the freedom of the press. Fight back against your prior reviews (peacefully, please) and help campaign for shield laws in your state legislature. Let them know that you will not have your voice silenced.