NBA Star Kyrie Irving is Anti-Vaccine?

The seven-time All Star and Brooklyn Net’s player, Kyrie Irving recently announced views about hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccinations. Irving serves as the Vice President of the players union and has blocked efforts made to impose a vaccine mandate.

Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia on March 23, 1992. He started his NBA career becoming a basketball star at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After gaining attention for his athletic ability he committed to Duke University in 2009 working towards the opportunity to play professionally. He played for Duke University as a Blue Devil, and was drafted by the NBA to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011. Since then, Irving played for various teams in the NBA also playing alongside Hall of Famer’s. What wasn’t praised so much, was his recent announcement to remain unvaccinated. This decision sparked public backlash due to opposing efforts encouraging the public to get vaccinated. As confirmed this past week, the NBA will be withholding salaries from players who are currently unable to play because of their unvaccinated status. Meaning, Kyrie Irving could potentially miss out on half of his $34 million contract for the Brooklyn Nets home games.

We’ve entered the conversation of personal choice, COVID-19 culture, and “cancel culture“. As everyday people grew to adjust the new normal: wearing masks, using extra hand-sanitizer, or staying 6-feet a part, vaccine’s grew more probable. Private and public institutions began to mandate requirements for vaccine cards or proof of negative COVID-19 test results. Similar to the reaction of other pandemics such as the Swine flu and Ebola, people were hesitant about receiving the vaccine. Culturally, religiously, and politically there are many reasons people oppose to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. With the trust that “everyday” citizens have for high profile people, like basketball stars, Kyrie Irving is in the hot seat.

” I would just appeal to him, get vaccinated. Your fans want to see you. We all want you back. Your teammates want you back”

– De Blasio

Recently, YouTube made an effort to remove “anti-vaccine” content from their platform, as many people were mislead or misinformed by some channels. This was an effort to encourage Americans to receive both doses of the vaccines, to lower the casualty rates resulted from this virus. Because Irving has been an active figure for social justice in the NBA, fans were outraged by his punishment to bench Brooklyn Nets games for exercising his personal choice. Is Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated sending the “wrong messages” to fans? Should the NBA be able to withhold pay from players who refuse to get vaccinated? Does Irving’s example of exercising his personal choice encourage others to do more research on vaccines? How will this impact the NBA? How will this impact American citizens in the workplace? Is this an invasion of the First Amendment?


The Digital News Report 2021 raises questions about the future of news organizations

Image via Reuters Institute

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published their 2021 Digital News Report. The report is based on a YouGov survey of over 92000 online news consumers in 46 countries and the whole report can be downloaded here.

A summary of the most important findings in the 2021 Digital News Report:

  • After recent periods of decline, the overall trust in the news has increased in the last year, with 44% of the total sample saying they trust most news most of the time. However, the U.S. has the lowest level of overall trust in the survey (26%) and Black and Hispanic audiences and younger women in the U.S. feel that news coverage is unfair to them.
  • Familiar and trusted new brands continue to attract more attention, especially in those countries with strong and independent public service media. However, particularly young people have weaker ties to traditional news media. There are less likely to visit a news website or app directly but are more likely to find news via social media.
  • The pandemic has also heightened awareness about misleading or false information. In the survey, 54% of news consumers say they have seen misinformation about COVID-19 in the previous week. Those who use social media are more likely to say they have been exposed to misinformation about the pandemic than non-users.
  • Although reliable and trustworthy news media is very important these days, the industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, leading to job cuts in news organizations worldwide. There has been a significant increase in payment for online news in a smaller number of richer Western countries, while the overall percentage of people paying for online news remains low.

This survey is very important, as it draws attention to some of the biggest problems in media and news organizations. It gives added urgency for a more diverse and inclusive newsroom, as well as showing how important it is to spread awareness for misinformation, in social media in particular. Furthermore, the survey raises the question about the future financing of news organizations.

New Zealand Declares to Win Corona

27일(현지 시각) 저신다 아던 뉴질랜드 총리가 자국 내에서 코로나 바이러스 감염증이 제거됐다고 선언하고 있다./AFP 연합뉴스
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declares on the 27th (local time) that the Corona Virus infection has been removed in her country.

New Zealand, which has maintained a strong homeland blockade and a travel ban for more than a month since last month, has declared an end to the Corona crisis.

According to BBC and CNN, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference on the 27th (local time) that the coronavirus had been “removed at this time.” Accordingly, the “four-stage” Corona alert issued to all New Zealand territories will be lowered to three levels as of 11:59 p.m. on the same day, and non-essential workplaces and schools that have been suspended will also be gradually opened from Friday. New Zealand is scheduled to decide on additional measures, including the lifting of restrictions on movement, on April 11.

Based on the U.S. Johns Hopkins University tally, 1,469 confirmed cases and 19 deaths have occurred in New Zealand so far. On the 26th, the number of newly confirmed patients decreased to one. Foreign media say this is due to a strong blockade of the country and a wide range of Corona prosecutors. In New Zealand, which has a population of less than 5 million, 129,320 tests have been conducted. It is 2.4 percent of the population.

However, the local government does not rule out the possibility of re-proliferation, and appeals to most people to stay at home and avoid all social contacts. Ashley Bloomfield, secretary general of New Zealand’s Department of Health, said, “Removing corona means that there are no new confirmed cases, and we don’t know where other confirmed cases will come from.” Prime Minister Ardern said, “We want to reopen the economy, but it’s not people’s social life.”

In the meantime, New Zealand has been under a strong containment policy since last month when the spread of the Corona regional infection began in earnest. New Zealand closed all borders and banned foreigners from entering the country. It imposed mandatory quarantine measures on all citizens who returned to their countries. It has also imposed closures on all offices, schools and restaurants since April 26. Unlike other countries such as the United States, it was not possible to order delivery or packaging at restaurants.


Employees who won’t be back to work because continuing to receive unemployment benefits.

Critics pointed out that the U.S. policy of “perpetual unemployment benefits” weakens workers’ willingness to return to work and consequently encourages unemployment. This is through a column titled “Our Restaurants Can’t Open Until August,” published by the Wall Street Journal on the 21st. Kurt Huffman, owner of “Chefstable,” a restaurant chain based in Portland, Oregon, contributed the article

According to the column, Huffman temporarily laid off about 700 employees on April 15 in the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection. The key is to survive as much as possible until the restaurant is reopened.

It has since endured with packaging and delivery services instead of operating in restaurants. About two weeks after closing, packaging and delivery operations went better than expected. Sales were only 30 percent higher than before, but many employees were needed again.

That’s when it hit a snag. Every time I called to ask them to come back to work, the employees expressed their refusal one after another. The reason was simple. They say that thanks to unemployment benefits, the more they work, the less they earn.

They said they could earn $10 to $16 a week just by staying at home now. This is due to the Federal Epidemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program of the CARES Act, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which was enacted urgently after the outbreak of Corona 19. Rather than working full-time, he could earn $376 more every week. The inducement for reinstatement has vanished.

Sources :

Due To The Coronavirus, We Are In The Midst Of A Global Food Crisis

With the deadly Coronavirus looming over everyone’s heads, many are stuck wondering where their next meal will come from. Although global hunger has been prevalent for as long as we can remember, the Coronavirus has made things increasingly worse for both Americans and those around the world because there has been both a lack of resources as well as a lack of jobs that can provide a steady income to families so that they are able to eat.

According to the New York Times,

The world has never faced a hunger emergency like this, experts say. It could double the number of people facing acute hunger to 265 million by the end of this year.

To put things into perspective, people desperate to eat in the biggest slum in Kenya’s capital set off a stampede during a recent flour and cooking oil giveaway, leaving many injured and two people dead. In India, thousands of workers are lining up twice a day to keep hunger at bay for bread and fried vegetables, and throughout Colombia, poor households hang red clothing and flags from their windows and balconies as a cry for help to show that they are hungry.

Often, the coronavirus has been considered an equalizer because it has sickened the rich and poor alike, but when it comes to food, the commonality ends because people in poverty, including large segments of poorer nations, now are growing increasingly more hungry and face the prospect of starvation. In addition to that, the sudden loss in income for countless people who were already living hand-to-mouth, the collapse in oil prices, widespread shortages of hard currency from tourism drying up, overseas workers not having earnings to send home, and ongoing problems like climate change, violence, population dislocations, and humanitarian disasters have accentuated the issue of widespread hunger around the world.

As many go hungry, there is a concern in a number of countries that food shortages will lead to social discord, and as the Coronavirus continues to loom over us, we have to be mindful of the ways in which food will no longer be readily available to a vast majority of people around the world.


Shut Down or Shut Out? China closes the window to U.S. Media

President Trump at the daily coronavirus briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House last Tuesday.
Source: The New York Times

On March 2nd, following Trump’s travel ban from China, the State Department announced the expulsion of Chinese media outlets that worked within the U.S. While long-planned, this came in response to the Chinese government’s lack of information shard regarding the spread of the Coronavirus prior to the explosion of cases in the United States.

While the U.S. had waited for this opportunity to expel Chinese media from the U.S. this was reciprocated by the Communist Party in China, and China expelled reporters from The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. These reporters had given the world a look into the mistakes China made in reporting on the outbreak of the coronavirus as well as the reality faced by the Chinese people. While expelling Chinese journalists from the U.S. was meant to reprimand China for their failure to disclose fully on the virus, it backfired greatly, “’Given the fact that it’s vital to have good information out of China right now because of coronavirus, the U.S. decision was pretty disastrous timing,’” said Megha Rajagopalan.

While both the Chinese and U.S. governments are playing the “blame game” and attributing the expulsions to even the playing field, both sides had long awaited the chance to regain their privacy from the other. This issue is particularly tenuous for the U.S. as access into China by U.S. media reporters has been an on again off again game. While there is hope to re-stabilize relations in order to allow a necessary look into how China is coping with the virus, the timing could not have been worse.

Article Link:

British music producers are losing 70 percent of their income, the MPG report argues.

10 Steps to Help with Music Producer Depression - EDMtips

According to a report by British music producer Guild called MPG, local music producers are facing serious financial difficulties after losing about 70 percent of their income due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The study predicted that British producers and record engineers lost about $4,000 on average in March, and this trend will rise to about $5,200 next month. More than 50 percent of those surveyed said their rent or home mortgage loans would be overdue after three months or less, unless the government immediately provides aid.

MPG’s analysis also shed light on the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on British recording studios. All of these studios have been closed to comply with the lock order.

Meanwhile, arlier this week, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced that residents would face a three-week shutdown in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

British medical experts have diagnosed that there have been nearly 12,000 cases of COVID-19 patients, which has killed more than 575 people. Britain’s levels of coronavirus infections have increased dramatically since late hours, as tests are becoming more and more widespread.

Sources :

Spotify stock ratings have been downgraded amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spotify Shares Recover After Evercore Downgrade to Underperform ...

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Investment Banking Company Raymond James’s anaylyst, Justin Patterson has officially downgraded the music-dreaming giant’s stock rating from ‘Strongby’ to ‘Market Performance.’

Global streaming of Spotify’s top 200 songs fell about 12 percent from pre-Covid-19 levels, he said. Streaming of the top 200 songs dropped 16 percent in the United States and 20 percent in Italy, a hot spot where two coronavirus songs are in vogue. Potcasts are also on the decline, Patterson said.

Likewise, the report stressed that some Spotify users can switch to Amazon music because they rely on smart speakers like Amazon Alexa for home music streaming.

Spotify competes with Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Google (GOGL) in streaming videos.

Stock prices per share of Spotify have fallen (of course, as in the entire market), but most of the value of the coronavirus transfer has remained the same. Spotify executives are scheduled to deliver their financial reports for the first quarter of 2020 on April 29. During the corresponding earnings consultation, the top vendors will answer questions from investors. Inquiries can be submitted to Slido using the #SpotifyEarnings code.

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How We Got Here: The Media’s Role in the Coronavirus

Source: NBC News

“The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment. It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives.” We have likely all heard this quote by now, said by Surgeon General Jerome Adams in the airing of “Meet the Press”. Adams along with many other government officials have asked the American people to brace for our toughest week yet as we all attempt to flatten the infamous curve.

The media plays an interesting role within this all as all advances and good news are met with more warnings and increased cases. The article cites that the press’s role within this all is vital, “to hold the powerful to account, while being sure to produce the most reliable information based on facts and science”.

One of the major issues cited through the media was the denial and lack of forthcomingness about the Coronavirus in the United States. It took the Trump administration 70 days to acknowledge that the Coronavirus was more than a distant threat. The Daily Show’s clip showing major on and off air commentators downplaying and dismissing the virus and the need for people to take action to stop its spread. As an example, Tomi Lahren of FOX joked that “she would be more concerned stepping on a heroin needle than getting the coronavirus”. The blind trust that many people place on the opinions in media creates a major issue.

These missteps have opened up an examination of the media and the role it has to play in relating fully and truly. There is also an opportunity for different news platforms to step up to be a consistent source of unbiased, honest, and evidence based information during a time of so much uncertainty.

Article Link:

NBCUniversal Decreases Commercial Time In Favor of Advertisers

Programming of NBCUniversal

The giant media company announced on April 6th that they will reduce the amount of commercials and have room for more interrupted content.

Even though there is a surge in TV viewership, advertisers are pushing back on commercials because of the pandemic. Some industries struggle to maintain relevancy and it might even be more damaging to their brand to promote themselves, because they could come off as offensive. As these marketers struggle to shape their messaging in a relevant and respectful way, NBCUniversal is helping them by limiting the commercial time and offering their creative services teams as a resource for a waived fee.

Some of the channels that will hold more uninterrupted content are MSNBC, NBC News, CNBC, and Telemundo. During primetime, they will substitute some commercial time with clips from their comedy late-night shows. NBCUniversal also plans to hold (almost) commercial-free movie nights for families.