Boy (Scouts) will be boys?

by Ashley Wills, Humberto Zarco–

Photo credit: brizzle born and bred via / CC BY-ND

The Boy Scouts of America announced it will become fully inclusive for girls for the first time in its 107-year history.

To support its decision, the BSA cited surveys of parents whose children are not involved in scouting that said 90 percent of parents surveyed expressed interest in signing their daughters up for a program like Cub Scouts. Eighty-seven percent expressed interest in a program like Eagle Scouts.

The announcement drew mixed reactions from the BSA community and indirect criticism from Girl Scouts USA. “The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent that it is today — and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success,” Girl Scouts said in a statement.

BSA membership has been declining for years. In 2016, the organization reported they had 2.3 million members, a decrease from 2.8 million in 2012.

For months, Girl Scouts USA felt BSA would try to start recruiting girls. Buzzfeed obtained a letter in August in which Girl Scouts President Kathy Hopinkah Hannah actually accused the BSA of recruiting girls to boost their declining numbers.

Digital News Delivery: We’ve got a Code Red!

Photo credit: Pixel Fantasy via / CC BY-NC-ND


by Mary Desmond, Freddy Mesmer–

There are many apps out there for your smartphone. Some are games, others are social media apps, but what many people are missing is an urgent news app.

The Code Red Alert app is a unique way of presenting the user with constant updates of emergency news going on around them. The user-friendly interface makes this an app accessible for all. The news updates range from flood alerts to missing people in your area.

When it comes to apps, users want an easy to use app. This Code Red Alert app is very easy to set up and follow after it is set up. The interface includes a list of alerts as well as an option to look on a map to see where certain alerts are relevant to your location.

This app is unique because it combines all kinds of alerts into one app. Users now do not have to rely on a weather app or other apps to give them separate alerts. Now, they can go to the Code Red Alert app and have all their urgent weather and news based needs there.  

Digital News Delivery: Audio technologies for journalists

Photo credit:

by Sara Joy-Hogg, Stephen Dixon–

Mobile technology is quickly changing the ways in which journalists record interviews and audio. Instead of using heavy and expensive high-tech equipment, journalists are using their smartphones and switching to mobile journalism.

A large reason for the switch to mobile technology is how cheap and easy it is to use. According to a poll by Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans had a smartphone in 2016. Since many journalists already have the smartphones, downloading a voice recording app is convenient and either free or very cost efficient.

However, a key issue with cheaper, mobile technology is the lack of quality. These mobile apps are free for a reason, resulting in many people questioning if journalists should be using them instead of standard, high-tech equipment.

In the vodcast below, we compare mobile apps such as Voice Recorder and Voice Memos, a digital audio recorder, and a lavalier mic.

Digital News Delivery: Swipe left for headlines

Photo via / CC0


by Caroline Cleary, Whitney Turner–

Apple has recently created a news application that comes already installed on the latest versions of Apple iPhones and iPads. Since the application is already installed on the device, set up is very easy.

The application allows users to customize their newsfeed with the sources of their choice. Once the sources are chosen, users have to option to receive notifications from these sites on their device or via email.

Top stories from these sources are then organized within the application for easy navigation through the most relevant stories. The news application is also connected to the newsfeed on the device itself. By swiping left on the home screen, the news application provides four stories it thinks the user would be interested in.

This application creates an easy, convenient way for people to access the news they want to read without having to search for it.

Historic Hokie recruiting class


Photo credit: techsports via / CC BY-ND

by Isabella Post, Zach Wajsgras–

Hokie fans have a lot to look forward to next year as head coach Justin Fuente recently locked up a historic recruiting class for the 2017 football season.

Prior to his inaugural year at the head of the program last year, Fuente only had a few weeks to recruit for his new team. This year, the new coaching staff took advantage of the full off season to reel in the top talent in Virginia.

With players like Devon Hunter, the number one ranked safety in the country, and many others headlining the new group of players, Fuente will have a lot of decisions to make to fill the positions left behind by last year’s team.

Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges, Jerod Evans and several other players from the 10-3 team last year left the team, leaving many to wonder who will be the dominant players next year.

We spoke to Virginia Tech students about what they hope to see in next year’s Virginia Tech football team.

Digital News Delivery: Trump and Twitter

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via / CC BY-SA

by Johnny Kraft and Becky Shumar

President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is changing the way Americans get their news. While it gives the American people a personal connection with their president, it has also brought a fair share of controversy and backlash for our new president.

Twitter allows Donald Trump to communicate directly with the people on his own terms rather than through traditional media, similar to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats in the 1930s. However, this has its pros and cons as Trump’s brutally honest, but unfiltered tweets can be seen as inappropriate and controversial.

President Trump is held to a different standard than almost anyone in the world as everything he says or does will be analyzed and judged by the public. That is why his unfiltered tweets can, not only lead to issues for him, but also the country he runs.

This trend has started to spread to other nation’s leaders as last week Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced on Twitter that he would not attend the meeting scheduled with President Trump on January 31.

So while Trump is changing the game with his use of twitter, it is his twitter game that may have to change if he wants to avoid more controversy as president of the United States of America.

Digital News Delivery: iPhone 7 aides in citizen journalism

by Kyle Cooke, Maria Dobbs–

Given today’s technology, it’s true that anyone can be a journalist. Whether it’s recording video, taking pictures, or sending out news on Facebook and Twitter, mobile devices and apps have enabled anyone with access to a smart phone to spread news. The new iPhone 7 is adding to this trend, specifically with its updated camera. The camera on the iPhone 7 is so high-end (it includes an incredible “portrait mode”) that professional photographers have been using it to shoot NFL games this season.

However, the way the iPhone 7 displays news to its users has also improved. Instead of having to open the separate news application, individuals can swipe right from their lock screen and the “Top Stories” of the day will show up. Even better, the news is curated to the owner of the phone.

Finally, the improved camera of the iPhone 7 is making live streaming more efficient and enjoyable. Many news organizations such as the ACC Network and even The Collegiate Times have been utilizing live streaming services like Periscope and Facebook Live from their mobile devices. With the iPhone 7’s improved camera, those streams are only getting clearer.


by Jenna Delaney, Delia Maresco–

Photo credit: Scott Beale via / CC BY-NC-ND

A new app has made its way into the top 10 of news apps in the Apple App Store. Bustle is a female oriented news and lifestyle app, written for women, by women. The app lets users choose from over 50 topics that they would like to show up on their personalized newsfeed. Users can choose from topics ranging from politics and women’s health, to home hacks and the Kardashians. The app has received some criticism for being geared only towards women, and not accommodating for men. However, this is also one of the app’s main selling points for it’s target audience. Bustle is taking the news world by storm and if you’re looking for something different, check it out in the App Store today.


by Chris Barnhardt, Sarah Turner–

GotCredit / / CC BY

With the advent of the digital age, came the desire for easily accessible, mobile news.

theSkimm, a daily email newsletter, provides just that.

theSkimm arrives in subscribers’ mailboxes each morning and delivers a full summary of the latest news and information interspersed with fresh, editorial content.

The brainchild of two NBC News producers, theSkimm was created in order to save media consumers time, and to promote interest in staying up to date on newsworthy topics.

Despite common assumptions that the Millennial generation is out of touch with news and current events, recent research conducted by the Media Insight Project, found that 85 percent of millennials say that keeping up with the news is important to them.

In order to appeal to the millennial generation, 86 percent of which consume news through social media, theSkimm also regularly posts news and updates to their social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Since its 2012 launch, theSkimm has garnered over 1.5 million subscribers, proving that this method of digital news delivery is relevant and here to stay.



DIGITAL NEWS DELIVERY: Facebook evolves into a news source

Photo credit: Foter / Public Domain

by Davis Gilbert, Cody Chapel–

The method in which we get our news is ever changing in this digital age of technology, and Facebook has evolved with the times in order to stay relevant.

Facebook offers “trending” news topics on every user’s homepage, a move that is similar to Twitter’s model and keeps users updated on the biggest and most popular news stories at that specific time. Trending topics on Facebook offer users the chance to read a headline and a very short synopsis before deciding if they want to click on it and read the entire article.

Facebook is available on the go via smartphone and tablets and is a popular site to browse when users find themselves with some down time, such as riding a bus or waiting for a meeting. In this day and age, offering news on the go is essential for news outlets if they want to stay relevant in the market.