Final Story- Helena Hild

In the age of apps like Tinder and television shows such as Sex and the City, a change in how women perceive relationships and marriage has begun. The once popular opinion of marriage being the end all be all of a woman’s life has taken a backseat to a new idea focusing on their careers, personal relationships, friendships, and various other aspects of a woman’s life that aren’t marriage.

Recent statistics from the US Census Bureau show that the percentage of women aged 20-24 who are married has decreased from 46% in 1970 to 31.5% in 2015. When looking at these statistics further, a trend emerges which shows that overall in the U.S., women are in fact waiting to get married later in life.


Na’ama Shenhav, Ph.D candidate at the University of California, argues in a recent paper that the reasoning behind women waiting longer to get married is that they no longer have to rely on their husbands to provide for them financially. She goes on to say that previous generations of women did not have the same opportunities as the women of today and this directly played a role in why women tended to marry younger. For example, in 1970, a woman was faced with a crucial decision; does she pursue a career in a male-dominated work force where she will not get paid a competitive income, or does she instead marry a man who does have a career which pays almost more than half of what she would make? Unfortunately for many women, this decision was made for them either by their parents, or by the fact that they had no other choice.

Shenhav contends that the main reasoning behind women waiting to marry is because they are finally able to have fulfilling careers where they get paid an income that they can support themselves with. Shenhav also discusses some of the factors for marriage today and how they differ from previous generations of women, “as women become less financially reliant on men for household necessities, the decision to marry becomes more dependent on factors like love, social norms, or the desire to start a family”. Some of these factors are similar to the factors that previous generations of women used when deciding on getting married, but the only difference is that now women have more options and opportunities to acquire jobs and careers and have the ability to depend on themselves financially rather than on their husbands.

This idea of being financially independent is one that Maribel Tostado is familiar with. She recalls having a discussion with her father in which she explained to him what her lifestyle meant to her, “I know you think that I’m partying every night… [about her late 30s and the club scene] but I’m not. I actually live a very healthy life… I have a condo, actually, I own it and I have my car and I take of myself. I’m self-sufficient.” Being self-reliant has become a priority for her and was surprised to see the conversation was all it took for her parents to recognize her lifestyle as legitimate.

Tostado also spoke about online dating stating she met her current boyfriend on the popular dating app, Tinder. She adds that, “[Tinder’s] such a rare place to meet somebody of quality” acknowledging the stereotypes concerning the app. Tinder among other dating apps is conceived to be a hook-up app used to meet someone and them never talk to them again. Despite this perception of online dating, it is shown to have changed due to many people agreeing that it has become an easier way to meet people.

Pew Research Center found that users age 18- 24 increased from 10% in 2013 to 27% in 2016 while users age 55- 64 also saw increases in the number of users.

What does this say about the success of dating apps? Not much. Out of the 15% of Americans that have reported that they have used a dating app, only 5% are married to a spouse they met online (Pew Center Research).

Even with apps and technology that make dating easier, women are still not getting married at the rate they used to. This forces us to face the facts head on that times are changing. With changing times comes shifts in attitudes and values placed on certain social mandates. It is no longer the age of marriage, but the age of independence and self-sufficiency.

Group Contributions

All group members were present and participated during the interviews. Edeliz acted as the interviewer, asking questions and responding to the interviewees, Helena recorded the audio during the interviews, and Karina and Jess recorded video for them which we decided would not add to our story, so we did not use it and instead opted to go for a podcast. Edeliz provided the main editing of the audio, as well as recording the voice-over for our podcast. She also wrote the script for the podcast. Helena wrote the initial story pitch as well as being the group’s secretary. Helena, Jess, and Karina worked on writing the story and Jess created the graphics.

Final Pitch- Helena Hild

Our final story will examine the stigmatization unmarried women face in our society and how they feel about being pressured to get married as they get older. We will be utilizing video/audio interactive elements to conduct interviews with Maribel Tostado, professor at St. Edward’s and a single, Mexican woman living in the age of sex and the city with inescapable cultural and societal pressures to get married. The interview will hopefully allow us to gain a specific insight into how Tostado interprets these rising pressures and if they have affected how she has planned out her life. We also plan to interview young female students at St. Edward’s to get another perspective into if young women in today’s society feel the same cultural and societal pressures that a somewhat older woman such as Tostado feels. Also during these interviews, we plan to ask whether or not these women’s cultures have played a part in creating some of the pressures behind getting married.

Headlines- Helena Hild

  1. “Possible Arson at Mallory College injures 2.”

Last evening around 6 p.m., a fire was started in a Mallory College classroom which left 2 students with minor injuries. The injuries were sustained when the students attempted to put out the fire. Officials are investigating this as a possible arson attempt.

2. “Man sentenced to 9 months for cross burning”

Fred R. Thornton was sentenced to 9 months in jail for the cross burning he and two other men committed two months ago on the lawn of a racially-mixed couples home. Thornton pleaded guilty to the charge of bias harassment.

3. “Anti-drug pencils recalled after fourth grader notices major flaw”

Arthur Metzler brought attention to the Britton Pencil Co. “Too cool to do drugs” pencils after realizing that when sharpened the message actually had a pro-drug message of “Cool to do drugs”.

4.  “Plane crash near Stinson airport causes only minor injuries”

A single engine plane crashed yesterday near the Stinson airport, but left only the pilot and passenger with minor injuries. Pilot Herbert Young said that cause of the crash was due to power loss during take off and landing.

5. “Sudden storm expected to freeze metropolitan area”

This weekend the metropolitan area is expected to experience snow, sleet and freezing rain. With good weather quickly disappearing behind us, city highway crews and utility workers are already at work in preparation for the storm.

Midterm Story DRAFT- Helena Hild


Has potential, but you really do need to be able to see and talk with the volunteers and, ideally, people coming to look at animals for adoption….What is the story? Who are your characters? Who is your main character? Think about how you plan to tell the story, the beginning, middle, end, the narrative arc. And remember that the written story can be no more than 400-600 words and should complement, not repeat, the interactive element.

Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! has had the same mission in mind, to promote and provide the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals. APA! shelters primarily focus on providing care for animals that would normally not survive within the Municipal shelters. They provide specific care to key demographics of animals that would normally be euthanized. These key demographics included puppies with parvovirus, unweaned kittens, cats with ringworm, dogs and cats in need of additional behavioral support and/or additional medical attention. APA! has several programs created to help these at-risk demographics get the medical and behavioral care they need. Because of the specialized care that APA! provides, in 2010 Austin became the country’s largest no-kill city.

For this story, I plan to interview shelter employees/volunteers about their experience at APA! and to get an idea about the basic day to day operations that take place at the shelters. I also plan to interview some key personnel such as Dr. Ellen Jefferson, executive director of APA!, and Rusty Tally, president. However, I am still waiting to hear back about their availability. In the case that I cannot interview them, I will instead interview a manager at the Town Lake Shelter Headquarters in order to get information about this organization and the bigger issues that the shelters are facing as well as to get an idea of the history and mission of APA!.

The interactive media elements I will use for this story will be mostly video of the animals, the daily activity at the shelters, and video of the interviews. I will also incorporate voice over elements for introducing the story as well as for transitions.

Audio Assignment- Helena Hild

Cultural identity is CRUCIAL in how we perceive ourselves and others. Over 7% of Americans identity as having TWO or more cultural backgrounds. For some, like Maria Portillo (POR-tee-oh), sophomore at St. Edward’s, FITTING into either culture can be difficult at times, but has also allowed her to be more open and accepting of other cultures.

Maria: When I was a kid, I was raised in a predominantly Mexican culture, so I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things, like people would have sleepovers and I didn’t know what that was until I was in middle school and a lot of kids really didn’t understand that. When I was in Mexico, I remember getting made fun of a lot and kind of put a stigma on me that I wasn’t a “true Mexican” because I didn’t know the politics of the country, the economy, or the set traditions of the town that my parents are from. And so when I would speak English, they would kind of make fun of me and call me “gringa” which means white girl and I just remember feeling upset about that because I didn’t feel as if I was a white person, like I felt like I was Mexican. But in their eyes because I lived in this country and spoke English I was considered to be American. Being here I don’t feel like it is a big deal that I am Mexican-American and I feel like at least in this community we encourage diversity so I’ve never felt out of place or have had to stick with one identity.

She discusses how she tried to assimilate into white AMERICAN culture, and leave behind her MEXICAN culture.

Maria: When I was in middle school I kind of became obsessed with trying to be American. I think I just wanted to fit in with everyone that I was around and so I remember just hating being Mexican and I wished that I had blonde hair and pale skin and blue eyes. I just remember really wanting to be a part of this American culture of being like a true American because in the media I saw a lot of stigmas attached to Mexican-Americans and I just didn’t want to have that as a part of my identity so I was trying to assimilate into that culture, into American culture. Obviously, it never worked and honestly up until recently I have been proud of being Mexican and having two different cultures that I can relate to.

While Maria has had some difficulty ASSIMILATING completely to both cultures and maintaining both cultures equally within herself, she also found some of the BENEFITS of being bi-cultural.

Maria: Having two different identities has kind of helped me spread the traditions and language of my ancestral background, some of our traditions or words in Spanish, so I think that I’ve kind of got two worlds in one where I can relate to a multitude of people in different countries. And I think that will eventually help me travel the world and be more of an open person because I come from a background where everyone is different and that encourages diversity as well.



Midterm Story Pitch- Helena Hild

I have a few ideas of what I would like to do for my midterm story and will most likely add a few more ideas to this list before I decide on a final topic:


I like both these ideas. Think about your “characters.” Who, specifically, will you interview? How do these “issues” become stories? Try as soon as you can to line up people to interview in action (not behind their desks at work).

  1. A story about Austin Pets Alive! or similar organization(s) in the Austin area. I would like to go in and interview the volunteers/employees to understand exactly what they do and the basic day to day operation of their organization. I would also like to ask them if they are having any issues/success with adoptions and about any other interesting things about working with animals and specifically in Austin. This story would use largely video, but it could also feature other elements such as photos or an interactive map showing areas in Austin with the most homeless animals.


2. A story about LGBT organizations in Austin and what sorts of issues or concerns they are having in this current political environment. Some possible ideas of stories within this could be, anti-LGBT legislation and how the Austin LGBT community and its organizations are feeling towards this. Also what sorts of issues/successes the Austin LGBT community is having that may be different or unique from traditional LGBT issues/challenges.