National News Nightly

By Parmita Protik Das, CNN

 

Guda Raad, Blog Post

The decision that faced the staff at NNN ahead of the 6 o’clock news:

There has been an explosion in Downtown Boston and the police suspect nefarious motives rather than a simple technical glitch because there was a suspicious suspect at the location. How should NNN go about reporting the incident?

As the President of International, my responsibilities were not just to the NN Nightly at 6 o’clock but also to NNN International, so I had the duty to divide the time slot for the coverage in both platforms.

I believe that field reporters at the scene of the bombing could help gather information and I dispatched journalists to retrieve security footage from the scene. Some reporters were instructed to go interview several key witnesses, first responders, police officers, medics and emergency personnel disposed to the site. To reassure the American people, we would need to inform them of the steps being done to keep them safe as such incidents have the tendency to cause mass hysteria and panic. I knew that reinstating their trust in law enforcement was key and I knew that NNN could not air speculation because it goes against our duty as gatekeepers of the 4th Estate to mislead the public with unconfirmed information.

 

As President of International, I knew from my experience covering such events that take place around the world that graphic images would add to the air of uncertainty and should be avoided as much as possible to keep our ratings high. To be competitive, we needed to be the first to get hold of any new information so the strategic dispatch of our reporters would be necessary.

 

I was taken aback when I heard the update that Reddit users were pointing fingers at minorities and putting targets on the backs of two men, who may be completely innocent, without due process. I knew that this would lead to Islamophobia as people tie it back to the stereotype they have of Muslims. I felt a particular need to emotionally appeal to the masses and urge them not to fall for the demagoguery as such speculation has widespread and lasting impacts on the Muslim population around the world. I would hate for my young nephews to grow up in a world even more divided by fear, where they are constantly ostracized.

 

To reinforce the trust the people were losing in traditional media I felt it was necessary to inform the public of the measures we were taking to obtain accurate news and urge them, through our anchor, Dulce Doolittle, to not give into fear because that would be exactly what any nefarious individual would want. I believed it was imperative to remind them that terrorism exists in all forms and the culprits behind such acts do not fall into any particular religious or racial category. I wanted to humanize the people who would be impacted by baseless speculation, I felt personally responsible for that. My colleagues differed in their perspective and did not see the urgency I felt the matter deserved; in fact I struggled getting them to hear me or see my point of view. I could not communicate with them about the times I felt stared down as I made my way across the John F. Kennedy International Airport on my way to Qatar after 9/11.

 

As other news flowed into the boardroom, I quickly began drafting the schedule for NNN International, NNN 6’ o clock and highlighting the topics we needed to cover in our 24-hour channel. I felt that, since the world would be losing faith in humanity just a little bit more in light of this incident, the clinical trial for HIV which showed promising results would need to be banked on heavily in the news cycle and advertising. The Women’s March would also need to be capitalized due to its relatability and the personal stakes that half our viewership has in the event. The fact that Nigeria would be hosting the 2020 Olympics would become a matter of discussion in a few days after the dust settles, so it needed to be aired semi-prominently. I sighed internally because I knew we would need to be airing Donald Trump falling out of his plane (what a comical character that man has become). The stocks would also be of interest to our viewership, those of who have investments in the stock exchange. I quickly jotted those notes down and passed them across the table. (Approved, excellent)

 

Further updates came pouring in. The explosion had two confirmed casualties and 5 injuries. We would have to offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

It was relayed to us that the Boston mayor would make a few announcements and that the Police Chief would be speaking to the press. I quickly got our journalists on the phone, securing prime locations in the pressroom for the announcements and asking for one-on-one interviews with both these prominent personalities. As celebrities’ tweets poured in, I decided that it would be best to run them under the Breaking News banner for the 24 hour cycle. To stop the people from sending in unsubstantiated tips to the police hotlines on the basis of the Reddit posts, it was imperative that we ask them in our 24 hour news channel not to disrupt the investigation thereby.

 

On hearing the attacks on traditional media by User124 from Reddit, claiming that Reddit users would be personally staking out the alleged suspects that Reddit identified and had run down their home addresses and other such information, I was immediately angered. As if to lift me out of my internal tirade, came the news of the actual suspect who had been identified by the police. The suspect was affiliated with Brothers of Liberty, a white supremacist group. Now the debate on the floor was whether or not to air the video and photographic evidence on air. Acknowledging the need the victims’ families had for closure, I felt it best not to air the graphic scenes but to snip the video to only that part which showed the suspect’s guilt. It seemed in the flurry of the moment, the rest of my colleagues had forgotten about this technology. I also deemed it best that we should air the picture of the suspect so that the people could take measures for their safety and also help the police in apprehending the criminal.

 

However, our actions may have contributed to a copycat bomber in Chicago who wanted the fame that the Boston suspect was receiving and had posted his intentions on Tumblr prior to his activities. Unwavering from my belief that people had the right to know of the suspect to take precautions for their security, I felt the best course of action would be to warn people to call in any suspicious online activity to the police if they indicate such intentions. I also adjusted our schedule to reflect the new development believing it prompt to dismiss coverage of Donald Trump falling down the stairs and subsequently air the Boston and Chicago bombings on the basis of evidence available to inform the public of, believing that geography is not a factor to decide coverage on.

 

Shots Fired in Myanmar Assembly, Reporters Scattered, Delegates Applauded

World News

By Chief International Correspondent

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — Earlier today, ethnic ministers took over the Myanmar Assembly. Sources told Komsomolskaya Pravda that the defense establishment orchestrated a brutal coup that resulted in the resignation of the Foreign Minister and the executions of the President and Vice President.

Just as journalists gathered for a conference in the Assembly, armed gunmen took control of the committee while delegates applauded. At least three shots were fired in the room with a weapon resembling a semi-automatic machine gun. None of the reporters were harmed.

Best Corps, Press Corps

Press Corps is hands down the greatest committee without question at Harvard Model United Nations 2017. From having an absolutely astounding Director and Assistant Director, to being surrounded by intelligent and thoughtful individuals who take their job seriously and genuinely enjoy every second they spend interviewing, reporting, writing, or any other functions of journalism. Regardless of what others say, I have never encountered any group of dedicated and driven individuals quite like this. From both experienced delegates and new delegates to HMUN, professionalism and “journalistic integrity” were always the priority of each and every member of Press Corps.

To those who may be reading this next year, I hope that you find the same amount of value in this prestigious committee as I have.

To those who are currently in this committee, I say to you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making this committee so much more than I expected, from the assistance with stories and structure, to the constant sarcasm and chatter present amongst the reporters there was seemingly never a dull moment with you all. I would also wish to commend you all on your undying commitment to reporting and giving a voice to those who may not be able to get their points heard outside of their committee were it not for you.

So, as a final send-off before both myself, my friend the “observer” and the rest of my school are to return back to the desert, I wish you all the best of fortunes in everything that you do. Whether that be skiing, running marathons, studying mathematics or humanities, continuing in journalism, pursuing a career in law, I wish all of you the best and I thank all of you for creating such an incredible and energetic environment for both myself and Cam “The Observer”.

New York Times, Haydon Bergren

A Day in The Life of a Press Corps Delegate

First, what is Press Corps at HMUN?

A lot of people think of Press Corps delegates as authentic reporters, writing stories to inform the public and to report the world-changing decisions among committees. But there is more to Press Corps than meets the eyes. Beneath the surface lies an irrefutable truth: no one really knows the specifics of what we do as Press Corps delegates. For instance, I got a text that says,

“press corps seems so fun omg but like what do you guys do actually????”

from one of my friends last night. Well, here are four steps that will educate you about we do at Press Corps:

Step 1: Go on http://harvardmun.org/committees.php

Step 2: Click on Specialized Agencies

Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Committee Summary” and “A Letter from the Director” under Press Corps

Step 4: Voila. You’re welcome.


Just kidding.

To lift the veil that covers the uniqueness of Press Corps, I will be sharing my personal schedule of the day to give you readers a truer, more down-to-earth vision of the uncommon things Press Corps do at HMUN.

Here is my schedule of the day:

7:30am woke up

7:45am woke up

8-8:15am waiting impatiently for my friend Ritika to go to Au Bon Pain together

9:30am started committee session IV

  • Every Press Corps member was assigned a role in a news channel stimulation
  • I was the Executive VP of Programming of National News Nightly
  • We faced a crisis: a terrorist attack in downtown Boston, followed with more crisis that challenged us to think intellectually as news company executives (read more about it in the article named “The National News Nightly: Not As Simple As Putting It On Paper” published by The Guardian!)

12:28pm NNN’s President of International (the delegation of CNN) motioned to introduce a directive, but we all just screamed “yes” to temporarily suspend the debate and go to lunch

2pm started committee session V

  • Under the ‘beats’ system, a system that allows all the delegates to cover the three organs at HMUN, everyone got to go to the organ that they haven’t been yet and collected information in committees
  • In the Computer Lab, I finished my article about WCW inspired by the massive numbers of working-papers and intellectual conversation about the legality of commercial sexual industry

3pm 8 people, including me, volunteered to conduct a small press-conference with our director Frankie in the Cabinet of Russia after the death of Vladimir Lenin

  • Some inspiring questions we wanted to ask/have asked:

“Who’s going to be the successor?”

“What effects does it have on the future of Communism?”

“Does this change the ideology of the Government?”

4:29pm writing this article, trying my best to be precise but I simply cannot because so many fun things happen in Press Corps, and asking other delegates for title ideas

5:54pm submitting this article and waiting for the end of committee session V

So above is the schedule of a Press Corps delegate today. I hope you gained more insight into Press Corps and what we do after reading this article.

See y’all at the Delegate Dance at 9:45pm!

 

 

Puerto Rico Struck again!

The physical control board took control of the puerto Rican  cabinet following the lack of fiscal responsibility and allegations of corruption. Five members of the cabinet were arrested following the allegations made against them and were replaced by members of the physical control board. The cabinet has been stripped of most of it’s powers specifically budgetary decision! We must wait now to see how the cabinet responds and strikes back!

Imminent Invasion by ‘Mother Russia’?

“Putin will come riding a bear”

Well… that sounds terrifying. Or is it? The Constituent Assembly of Myanmar was faced with an interesting proposition by a visiting Russian representative: either remove the presence of US military troops or give more power to ethnic minorities. If neither of the options are fulfilled, the wrath of “mother Russia” will come for the Assembly.

Last night, the Assembly was called back to their assembly room for a crisis: a cyclone had hit the country and damaged the land. In the end, the Assembly decided to allow the United States military to enter Myanmar in order to help the country rebuild. However, it is obvious from the Russian delegate’s visit that certain forces oppose this aid.

Many delegates leapt at the chance to provide ethnic minorities recognized by the shadow government more rights. The New Minister of Border Affairs proposed granting minorities land rights and emphasized the importance of unity within the country. We must “make Myanmar strong and legitimate so other countries will respect us,” the delegate stated. Other delegates, like the Minister of Defense echoed this sentiment, offering to negotiate with minorities in return for their loyalty, and a promise to put down their arms.

The minority groups in question welcomed the chance for more equality. As delegate Bao Youxiang of the United Wa State Party lamented, the most “disgusting” thing is the lack of simple voting rights in the Assembly. Many of the minority groups were open to negotiation in the hopes of gaining more recognition.

Others in the room took Russia’s threat to extremes. The representative of the Rohingya peoples ominously reminded the Assembly that the Rohingya had “no friends on this committee,” and their only ally was the United States. Should the committee attempt to remove US troops, the Rohingya would ensure that the US had a presence in making sure the Rohingya people got their rights. The Minister of Ethnic Affairs stated that there is “no reasons to remove US troops,” and considering the Rohingyan threat, she may be right. Giving ethnic minority groups their rights seems to be the simpler solution.

On a complete opposite note, the Shan representative spoke of allowing Russia into the country. “How bad is the Russian federation [anyways]?” the delegate challenged. Not responding to Russia’s threat and essentially welcoming the country in, “offers us a unique opportunity to reshape this government,” said the representative, commenting that the Russian invasion would make way for the states would become the leaders.

The Russian threat – fix your country or we will invade – was a sinister one (although it was snarled in a remarkably good Russian accent by a crisis member). Nearly all the delegates of the Constituent Assembly of Myanmar were pro-giving ethnic minorities rights. To agree, however, is the easy part. Now, they must get to compromising.

 

 

 

 

The Dim Light of Puerto Rican Cabinet — Green Energy and Its Inefficiency

After the recent founding of the new Cabinet of Puerto Rico, an immediate crisis puts their strength to test right in front of a handful of reporters from different international media outlets. A temporary power outage struck the committee room, along with many civilian and private buildings, and rendered the island literally “powerless”.

During the press conference and before the power outage, the new Cabinet proudly presented their new energy plan that was bringing clean and sustainable resources to the island without compromising efficiency nor coverage. According to the delegate of Policia, the new green energy plan involves hydraulic, solar, and geothermic power. Due to the excellent geography of Puerto Rico, it will profit the island economically to utilize their own abundant resources.

A delegate joined in the conversation and added the fact that Puerto Rico has a zero petroleum reserve and few other fossil fuel resources. He also argued that fossil fuels can impact the environment extensively. Considering the animal diversity on the island, it would not be a considerate decision to employ fossil fuel as a energy source.

When furthered inquired about whether the energy was enough for the entire island. The delegate reassured that to ensure sufficient energy, the new Cabinet decided to undertake a transition stage in which Puerto Rico will keep importing fossil fuels internationally, while actively developing domestic renewable energy.

This all seemed like a perfect plan. That is, until the outage of power happened right before the eyes and pens of the press corps.

Two workers entered to report on the reasons behind the outage, and the logistics the outage covered. Many civilians on the island were affected by the breakdown. It is evident that many more energy crises are yet to come and the population will have to go about their life without energy or modern technology powered by electricity.

Apparently, the new Green Energy plan of the Puerto Rican Cabinet was not sufficient to respond to the entire population of the island. The explanation behind this failure remains debatable, yet the corruption of the new Cabinet is undeniably a major contributing factor. Under the current administration, the Puerto Ricans were not only powerless in their daily energy demands, but also powerless in checking the decisions made by the administration.