INTERNATIONAL: Immigration issues, solutions

Photo: Pexels.com

by Katie Leeper, Abass Al Zanjne–

Immigration has been a hot topic of debate among politicians for years but in the midst of the pandemic & change of presidency, the historic surge of immigrants storming our borders from not only Mexico – but also from the Middle East & Africa – has caused many issues. In this podcast, we will discuss issues ranging from healthcare to the economy to border security.

Many countries do not want their citizens to leave & the United States doesn’t want individuals to enter illegally so international actors are having to work together to find a solution. In this podcast, we will discuss possible solutions – specifically building a wall along the Southern Border. 

SPORTS: NCAA athlete compensation crisis

Photo on Pexels.com.

by Jett Hooker, Maddison Dempsey —

The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) officials have been considering proposals that would make it possible for top collegiate athletes to receive compensation for their name, image and likeness. However, the money that some athletes would receive as compensation would come from the revenue that is meant to fund a variety of different sports, including women’s teams.

As a result, the NCAA has received criticism for considering the compensation proposals, especially after the 2021 March Madness Tournament in which the men’s basketball teams received better facilities and rewards than the women’s basketball teams due to the differences in revenue that the teams bring in. Many coaches, players and even athletic directors are concerned that the state of play for women’s sports teams will only grow worse by compensating athletes that bring in the most money, since it will be taking away the little bit of revenue that women’s teams have to work with. Additionally, if the proposals are passed, it will be hard for schools to adhere to the Title IX gender equality rules that are currently in place, which could ultimately cause further problems for women collegiate athletes.

ARTS/CULTURE: Rebounding Art Market

By Evan Hughes and Patrick Cunningham

*NOTE: Header image is not the painting discussed in the podcast due to copyright laws.*

On this edition of the Arts and Culture podcast for The News Feed, Even Hughes and Patrick Cunningham discuss an article from the New York Times about a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat that recently sold at auction for $41.9 million. The piece titled “Warrior” from 1982 depicts African American men’s struggles in a white-dominated world.

This edition of the podcast also discusses how the sale of the piece hopefully is a sign that the art market is rebounding after a drop during the COVID-19 pandemic, as written about in an article from ArtNews.com. Stretching beyond the art market, Evan and Patrick discuss how this is also hopefully a sign for a revival of art museums and work for artists, as the end of COVID is hopefully in sight.

SCI/TECH: LG discontinues smartphone business

The Korean company, LG, announced recently that they are officially quitting the smartphone business after 12 years. This decision came after years of struggling in the competition against popular brands such as Apple and Samsung. The company has also suffered billions of dollars in losses from its smartphones globally.

Even though they were claimed to be the third-largest smartphone maker in 2013, LG suffered tremendous losses with their products that were too gimmicky and not functional enough to compete with bigger brands. Despite this, they tried to make smartphones with new innovations and features such as a curved smartphone screen and a rollable tablet phone that was supposed to be released this year.

LIFE/STYLE: Spring is in the air, and it brought friends

Photo by Ramaz Bluashvili from Pexels

by Brandon Alimanestiano, Mason Gorelick–

Spring is finally back on the East coast and more importantly in Blacksburg, where residents are taking their lives back outside–masks on. Virginia Tech Students are taking back the Drillfield with the usual spring activities — showing up in the latest pandemic-inspired fashion trends. However, while students rejoice in the warmth, a looming annoyance is set to emerge.

On this Life/Style podcast episode, Brandon and Mason discuss some of the latest trends in mask fashion, and how creative they can become when using them as a style aid. Then, the two co-hosts take a turn and talk about the downside to the warmth: flying insects getting everywhere, and the impending doom of 17-year cicadas coming soon.

LIFE/STYLE: “Cancel Culture”

by Ian Hatcher, Meredith Topian –

Photo via pexel.com

“Cancel Culture” is a new phenomenon in which a person is effectively boycotted in response to some allegation. Since first popping up on social networking sites around 2017 the term has picked up major traction. In most instances where an individual is cancelled they are usually high profile celebrities. David Dobrik is latest in a long line to be cancelled, and the YouTube star has lost nearly all his sponsorships. Celebrities aren’t the only people who can be cancelled and there are multiple instances of normal people being cancelled for resurfacing evidence.

On this Life/Style podcast, Ian and Meredith discuss the origins of “cancel culture” and what it really entails. With this idea becoming more and more commonplace as the day passes they grapple with the implications of this phenomenon.

ARTS/CULTURE: Performing Arts, pandemic restrictions easing

by Juan Zapata and Madeline Quiroz-Haden–

In this Arts & Culture podcast, reporters Juan Zapata and Madeline Quiroz-Haden discuss the impact Covid-19 has had on the performance arts scene in the New River Valley. With social distancing guidelines being enforced and businesses being told to limit customer capacity, many theatres, art galleries and even student run organizations have suffered.

Zapata and Quiroz-Haden talk about how organizations are doing what they can to keep business and morale high even when the only options are to appreciate the arts virtually or 6ft apart. With virtual concerts,  social distanced rehearsals and outdoor performances becoming more popular during the pandemic, it’s safe to say that while performing arts events have taken a hit due to the Coronavirus, they are finding ways to spread creativity to the community regardless.

INTERNATIONAL: Nigerian bandits and boarding schools

Photo on Pixels.com

by Jett Hooker, Darrell Grant —

The number of kidnappings has been rising in Nigeria over the past year due to the county’s economic crisis. Several groups of armed men operate in northern Nigeria and rely on raiding boarding schools and abducting boys and girls to receive ransom money or bargaining deals. Abduction has become a growth industry in Nigeria as a result of these events. 

Just last week, a group of gunmen abducted hundreds of schoolgirls from the Girls Science Secondary School despite the fact that the Nigerian military had a camp set up nearby. Fortunately, the schoolgirls were released but the Nigerian people are highly disappointed with the lack of help from their government and military. 

The frequent raids and abductions have caused many teachers to flee to other states for protection, while many school children have abandoned their education to avoid the violent attacks. As a result, residents of northern Nigeria are demanding that local authorities bring the action needed to keep the schools safe.