Sunfest 2017: Where Music Meets the Waterfront – OUTLOUD Multimedia


In the quaint downtown of West Palm Beach, where the streets are embellished by a variety of shops and restaurants, a vibrant music and arts festival comes to life every year in the first week of May. The five-day affair brings people together from all over the state to share their passion for food, art, and most importantly, music. And this year, the festival was bigger than ever.

Source: Sunfest 2017: Where Music Meets the Waterfront – OUTLOUD Multimedia


The Artists You Must See at Sunfest 2017 – OUTLOUD Multimedia

The folllowing link leads to an article I wrote about the next music festival I’ll be covering. If you haven’t already, check out my coverage on Okeechobee Music Festival and Ultra Music Festival….It’s been quite a year!

Source: The Artists You Must See at Sunfest 2017 – OUTLOUD Multimedia

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival Media Coverage

From March 3 to 5, I was granted the opportunity of attending Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival as a reporter for the Miami Herald. I wrote two pieces on the event, each with their own set of photographs. The first is very news-oriented while the second is a personal account…. Next up? Miami Ultra Music Festival! 

Source: Young fans travel from all directions to enjoy Okeechobee Music & Art Festival | Miami Herald

Source: Okeechobee Fest 2017: I’ll Be Back – OUTLOUD Multimedia

Journalism Day at FIU: Calvin Hughes Shares His Wisdom

Under the humid East St. Louis sun, a young Calvin Hughes spent afternoons dribbling around the community basketball court, working on his jump shots and perfecting free-throws. Nothing could fathom his determination, for basketball, he believed, was the passport out of a rough neighborhood.

Today, Calvin Hughes is a news anchor on WPLG Local 10, in Miami, Florida. An emmy award-winning journalist, Hughes continues to be determined and hardworking amidst an ever-changing career. Because of his extensive knowledge in the field’s past, present, and future, he was invited to address an audience of young, aspiring journalists as a keynote speaker for Florida Scholastic Press Association’s (FSPA) 44th Annual Journalism Day at Florida International University (FIU) on Oct.14.

He emphasized the importance of developing strong communication skills: “At some point in your life, you will be called upon,” he said, warning the audience that one day, their speaking and writing skills will be tested. Hughes knows first-hand the importance of obtaining effective communication skills in the field of journalism. When he couldn’t obtain a scholarship through his basketball aspirations, Hughes sought fulfillment elsewhere. A teacher who noticed his unique way of telling stories in his writing suggested dabbling with journalism.

He joined the school newspaper, but quickly realized that his basketball slang and street talk wouldn’t cut it.

For hours on end, he’d take the local newspaper and read out loud. He was relentless and eager to perfect his speaking skills. “I had to completely transform the way I spoke. I practiced working on my diction…Just like I worked on my jump shot,” he said, now a seasoned reporter with a confident, booming voice.

Hughes has had a lot of experience with adapting to change, coincidentally the Journalism Day’s theme for the year. He experienced a culture shock when he transitioned from small town reporting as a recent college graduate to covering international news in the diverse city of Miami, Florida.

“In Miami, you have to be concerned about what’s going on … everywhere,” he said.

Not only did he have to adjust to a new city, but also to a new age of technology. He witnessed the field of journalism confront a new generation that receives news from social media networks. His role as a news anchor, in response, changed. He would no longer break the news; instead his job developed into fact checking and serving as the “journalism police.”

He realized that journalism is a transforming market and pointed out that this year’s coverage of the presidential election is an example why: Both presidential candidates announced their bid for presidency on Twitter. Baffled, Hughes looked unto the young audience before him and said, “Your generation has challenged my generation. We’re still trying to figure you out.”

Ultimately, Calvin Hughes has learned over the course of his career that journalism demands a quick adaptation to change. But he reminded those present on Journalism Day that although the field is transforming, one thing will always remain the same: Journalists’ adamant pursuit of the truth.

“The truth is being compromised,” he said. “It’s up to your generation that the future of communication lives on.”

Flint Promised Clean Water but got High Levels of Lead Instead.

Brown water contaminated with high levels of lead has been coursing through the pipelines of 100,000 resident homes in Flint, Michigan for the past two years now. Left with no other alternatives, the people of Flint drank it despite its smell, taste, and color.

They were constantly assured by officials that it was safe to drink.

Today, at least 100 children have tested positive for high levels of toxic lead in their blood which in many cases results in the irreversible effects of lead poisoning. Residents have developed rashes, hair loss, along with other severe health problems. And E. Coli bacteria was discovered in the water.

“My hair’s falling out. My blood tests are a mess,” Flint resident Melissa Mays told CBS news. “I was healthy.”  

Before the water crisis, the people of Flint were already stricken with the struggles of poverty and local crime. About 41 percent of Flint residents live at or below the poverty line.

And because the city can’t afford to fund a full-fledged police force with the tools necessary to keep crime at bay, Flint residents live in the most dangerous city of the country. So much so that Flint has earned the nickname of Murder Town of America.

Poverty continued to dictate the lives of Flint residents as the call for finding a cheaper water source landed a spot on the money-saving agenda for the city, a decision that ultimately snowballed into the water crisis of today.

In April 2014, the water source in Flint was switched from Lake Huron to the local Flint River as a temporary water source until a regional water system was finished—a project that wouldn’t be completed until two years later in 2016.

There were complaints right away, but the crisis wasn’t acknowledged until much later by local and state officials in October 2015. By the time the Michigan National Guard arrived to relieve the city with bottled water, filters and testing kits, the damage had already been done to both the people and the pipes of the city.

Since Flint water is highly corrosive and since the water service lines in Flint contain lead, the water leached lead off the pipes and into residents’ homes. This could have been prevented if the city had not failed to properly treat the water by adding anti-corrosion chemicals into it.

Republican governor Rick Snyder promised a solution to the people of Flint during his annual State of the State speech.

“We are praying for you, we are working hard for you and we are absolutely committed to taking the right steps to effectively solve this crisis,” he said. “To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before: I am sorry, and I will fix it.”

Flint residents, however, weren’t convinced. Many rallied and protested against the governor, calling for his resignation.  Many lost trust in their local government.

I Got Published on!

Right before my sophomore year ended,  my journalism teacher assigned us to interview a celebrity. I had no idea who I was going to interview, how I would get in contact with them, and if my nerves would take the best of me. I was aware of this assignment for months now but nothing came to mindwell nothing realistic, that is.

Then I got a follow on twitter.

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