Midterm story draft: CARLYE COOK

What simply began as a class project, has now become an organization that has impacted thousands of lives.

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand that is determined to give every child battling cancer in America a hat. The brand also donates 50% of the proceeds to fund pediatric cancer research.

It was 2012 when friends, Zach and Brian, founded Love Your Melon for an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul Minnesota. Since then, the organization has grown into some 800 different groups, spreading across college campuses all over the nation.

Collectively since 2012, Love Your Melon has raised over 2.6 million dollars and donated over 51,000 hats to kids with cancer.

It was not until the fall of 2016 when Love Your Melon was brought to St. Edward’s University.

Beatriz La Vitola, and Aida Domingo felt the desire to reach out and make a difference. Both girls come from Latin America, where volunteer work is more of a common activity amongst young adults.

La Vitola said, “In other countries it is more usual to do volunteer work, and we noticed we did not have something like this in Austin, and at St. Edward’s University.”

The two got a group of four girls together to email and contact Love Your Melon, and shortly after St. Edward’s had their first Love Your Melon campus crew.

“It only took us three days to get to 20 people,” Dominigo said. “It was really fast.”

The group grew so rapidly, they have had to create a waiting list to join the SEU campus crew.

The main focus for the college campus crews is to raise awareness for pediatric cancer and to spread the word of the brand, Love Your Melon. The more people who are aware of the brand, the more purchases can be made, and the more money can be raised for research.

The LYM St. Edward’s crew has hosted events and promoted the brand through various functions since September of 2016. However, the most memorable experience La Vitola and Domingo expressed was visiting the Dell Children’s Hospital.

When the crews go visit the children they dress them up as Superheroes, because that is what Love Your Melon views them as. For a few hours the superheroes are allotted a break from the hospital beds, and are greeted with a lot of love and laughter.

Domingo described it as, “They are given an escape from their reality.”

“However, it was emotionally draining,” said La Vitola. “You could see how the children were wanting to escape from that reality, as well you saw the family of the child and they were so exhausted but so grateful.”

The girls plan to continue their work for Love Your Melon, and are always looking to help the Superheroes within the area.

If you are interested in helping, go to loveyourmelon.com to make a purchase. Upon checkout, select St. Edward’s as the campus crew.

Midterm Pitch: Carlye Cook

Mobile Loaves & Fishes is presenting #WelcomeHomeless. This is an event aimed to help promote community in the city of Austin. The goal is to gather a couple hundred volunteers, and homeless people to come out during rush hour, and hold signs rallying for the respect of the Homeless. I plan to interview, photograph, and possibly video the event.

I’d really prefer that you get beyond event coverage. What about an issue or profile? Something other than showing up and covering an event. 

PHOTO: Carlye Cook

Interesting shot. Underexposed. You’ve got a few of these that are dark, so let’s get some guidance on lighting. I’ll talk with Erin Peloquin for some tips. Now, write AP Style photo captions for each of them. Click on the photo. Up will come a template w/a little pencil icon. Click on it. Up will come THIS template. Write your caption, choose your display settings and then click Update on the bottom right.


Media Critique: CARLYE COOK

“Rape on the night shift” is a story collaboration from the The Center for Investigative Reporting. PBS Frontline, Univision, KQED, and the investigative reporting program at UC Berkley teamed up to investigate the sexual violence of women working the night shift in the janitorial industry. The story is presented in three different multimedia platforms titled, read, watch, and listen. The different mediums presented are an article, an episode on Frontline, and a podcast.

The section titled “Read” is an article by Bernice Yeung, titled “Under cover of darkness, female janitors face rape and assault.” The article’s lede is written in narrative style, telling the story of Erika Morales being sexually abused by her supervisor Jose Vasquez. This immediately engages the reader with the unfortunate story of Erika Morales. Along with the narration, the article provides photographs, illustrations, and gifs to help the reader better depict the story. As the story gets into the nut graph, more interviews with women who had similar experiences are told, as well as interviews with attorneys who worked on the cases.

The episode of Frontline, written by Lowell Bergman and Andres Cediel, is an hour long episode offering video footage of the investigation into rape within the janitorial industry. The episode showcases the footage of the people who were also written about in Yeung’s article. The episode follows the same narrative style, and holds the same information as the previous article.

The listen section of the report is a podcast on Soundcloud presented by Al Letson with Reveal News. The podcast is almost word for word a reader reading the article written by Yeung. Along with the reading of the article, the podcast adds information and narrative to help the listeners better understand and follow the story. This is comparable to the different illustrations and photographs offered in the article to aid readers.

By presenting the story in three different mediums, the consumers are given the freedom to choose the medium of their pleasing, Many consumers stick to one way of receiving news i.e. reading online articles, watching television, or listening to the radio. What Reveal News did was offer this story to every outlet, assuring that the story was read, heard, or watched by consumers. The story is relativity displayed the same across all mediums, show casing that the same interviews, and the same facts are told. Personally, I think that was a good idea on behalf of Reveal News. Having the same story presented in every medium increases the amount of consumers because it is easily accessible.

Thought Exercise 2: CARLYE COOK

“Payday Nation”

1)  The interactive media in “Payday Nation” helped me understand the high degree of unfairness the payday lenders were imposing on borrowers, and the unfair profit shares to the matchmakers and tribes. The interactive model, “Tribal payday lending 101” was helpful, because it visually presented the model used by payday lenders to evade state restrictions.

2)  The people who borrow money from these lenders are often uniformed about the pay back processes, are tricked into signing deceptive contracts, and even harassed by debt collectors. I think this group of people would benefit from reading this article, because it clearly lays out the corruptness of these lenders.   

“Map: Where is Childhood Homelessness Getting Worse?”

3)  I think the main differences of child homelessness in the different states would be cost of living, and state resources (aid to the homeless). The map however does not offer any understanding to the increases in rates.

4)  California has the highest percentage of homeless students as a “share of all students” with 21.3%, New York follows behind with 8.3%. (Texas a close 3rd, with 8.1%).

“Concussion Watch”

5)  “Concussion Watch” offers photos of all the players with concussions from 2012-2015, the number of concussions per NFL team, along with a dot graph expressing the number of concussions per position from 2012-2015

6) “Concussion Watch” highlights the alarmingly high number of concussions the Nation Football League is struggling with, but it does not offer any insight into how these concussions are affecting the players in their daily lives, and abilities to play ball.


1. How do you get most of your news? New York Times app, The Daily Skim, and other online sources.

2. What device do you prefer when interacting with news stories online? My phone or laptop.

3. Do you read any print newspapers regularly? If so, which ones? No

4. Do you watch TV News (network or Cable). If so, which programs? No

5. Do you listen to news on the radio? If so, what programs? This American Life

6. What is your favorite news or entertainment website? New York Times or BuzzFeed

7. How often do you read, watch or listen to news stories? Daily

8. Please write the response that applies next to each question:

News organizations play a key role in democracy: Agree_____

Politicians are not held accountable by journalists: _Disagree____

The media I consume keeps me informed about my community: _Agree___

News organizations hurt democracy:Disagree ____

The reporting of facts and events is important for our society: ___Agree_

I have knowingly shared a fake news story on social media at least once:  Disagree_____

I have shared a story I later realized was fake news on social media at least once: __Agree__