Our Environment Today

In keeping with my beat of “school spirit”, but broadening it to look at solidarity and the ways in which groups band together to have an impact, I recently read an article about immigration in the New York Times. The story, highlighting the success that 11,000 migrants had in entering Hungary. From there, the immigrants went on to enter Austria. With the danger that is present in Syria today, this migration gave a feeling of “relief” to on Syrian student.  With parts of the world at war, the groups of migrants are prominent, and in sticking to my theme, show solidarity, which is slowly helping them achieve the goal of resettling that they want. Granted, because of the large number of them, nations are having issues with allowing them all flow in; Germany, for example, “initially laid out a welcome mat for asylum seekers, but then, overwhelmed by a surge of migrants, imposed controls along its border with Austria ” (Chan, Karasz, NYTimes). This demand, a product of the desires of a group of want-to-be immigrants, led to an administrative change in the U.S government. Although the change isn’t overwhelmingly great, according to some, it is a change that comes as a result of voices banded together across the world. I focus on this idea of a group, because like students who have school spirit, groups who stick together show their solidarity through their like-minded actions.

NYTimes Picture

Photo, from the article, by Sergey Ponomarev, of people trying to leave Croatia; (Sergey Ponomarev, New York Times; http://nyti.ms/1iGKPK0)

Reading the article about immigrants making their way to Austria again, but in the hard copy of the New York Times, the content was all the same, but the experience was completely different. Reading the story online was almost harder because of the distractions that popped up on my screen. The Times popped up three stories, seemingly related to this one.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.49.55 AM


There were also several social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) available on the left side of the article, as well as at the top. Clicking on these social media icons allowed me to share the article, something that isn’t so easily done with a paper copy of the story.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.49.42 AM


Without sharing the story, I kept scrolling down my screen only to get further distracted by the hyperlinks located all throughout the piece. “Syria”, for example, is a word in the story that was hyperlinked. Since Syria is such a broad term and represents it’s own country, I clicked on it to see what would pop up; New York Times articles related to Syria showed up on my screen as soon as I clicked it. Interestingly enough, every hyperlink in the story led to different New York Times articles, keeping readers interested in, and on, the New York Times website.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.32.11 AM

(Chan, Karasz, New York Times; http://nyti.ms/1OH1069)

Thus, I didn’t necessarily learn different things from the article by reading it in two very different ways; the content was the same, but the experience and the environment changed drastically. It is definitely easier to focus in on a story when it is flat out on a piece of paper than on a bright screen with pop-up related stories and hyperlinks to distract you.

Lastly, it was interesting to read in the Innovation Report that visitor frequency to the homepage is decreasing, “only a third of [all] readers ever visit it” (p. 23 of Innovation Report). I don’t disbelieve it, however, because of my habits and the way I found this migration article. Instead of searching for it on the homepage, and via the homepage, I just googled “Immigrants Go To Austria New York Times” to find it. The affordances of digital technology are vast and our changing environment is proof to that. Not only did I learn about immigration issues, especially pertaining to Syria, but I learned a great deal about the way in which one’s news environment shapes the news that they are actually reading.


Benton, Joshua. “The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age”. Nieman Lab. 15 May 2014. Web 20 September 2015. <http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/05/the-leaked-new-york-times-innovation-report-is-one-of-the-key-documents-of-this-media-age/&gt;

Chaz, Karasz. “Thousands of Migrants Flood Into Austria”. The New York Times [New York]. The New York Times, 20 September 2015 . Print.

Chaz, Karasz. “Thousands of Migrants Flood Into Austria”. The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 September 2015. Web 20 September 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/world/europe/thousands-flood-into-austria-as-refugees-are-bounced-around-europe.html?ref=todayspaper.

Gordon, Lyman, Smale. “U.S Will Accept More Refugees as Crisis Grows”. The New York Times. The New York Times, 19 September 2015.Web 20 September 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/world/europe/us-to-increase-admission-of-refugees-to-100000-in-2017-kerry-says.html&gt;


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